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Moonshine, skeeters and Stetsons – that’s the flavor of the first trailer for Lawless, the gangster western starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman and Guy Pearce from The Road director John Hillcoat. We also bring to you the new, too-awesome-to-ignore trailer from this summer’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation featuring more destruction, more gadgets and more Dwayne Johnson.
From Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock and producers Will Arnett and Jason Bateman comes Mansome, a doc looking at the changing trends of male “beauty.” Finally from Jonathon Dayton (director of Oscar-winner Little Miss Sunshine) comes Ruby Sparks, a romantic fantasy starring Paul Dano, Annette Benning and Antonio Banderas. There’s no need for you to pinch yourself, this is no fantasy – it’s Trailer Tracker.
Aussie John Hillcoat has been making a steady name for himself stateside, beginning with his acclaimed revenge western The Proposition starring Guy Pearce. He followed up that indie hit with the grim Cormac McCarthy apocalypse film The Road and now has assembled his most star-packed effort to date with Lawless. Previously titled The Wettest County, Hillcoat’s depression-era drama collects Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman, all with a look that evokes Boardwalk Empire and Public Enemies.
Focussing on the three real-life Bondurant brothers (LaBeouf, Hardy and Jason Clarke) living rural Virginia, the family runs a successful moonshine business until they find trouble from the corrupt law officials who want a piece of the profits. The trailer focuses on gritty action, but looking at all the elements assembled, we can be certain there is a potent family drama at the film’s core. Many will argue that LaBeouf is the weak link in the chain, but when distanced from flashy blockbuster escapism, he is capable of solid work. Lawless comes from a novel written by one of the three Bondurant brothers and has been adapted by musician and writer Nick Cave (who also scripted The Proposition). Considering everything, if this is anything less than excellent I’m sure it will be regarded as disappointing.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
The “G.I. Joe” sequel has been steadily rising from the ashes from what was a mostly maligned original outing in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. First, the casting piqued interest when it was announced that Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis would be joining, and then more took note when the initial trailers were released. Promising grittier action and less camp, the “mountain ninja scene” became the thing to chat about. Now, on the verge of summer movie season, Paramount has unleashed a brand new trailer and it’s the best one yet. Jammed packed with new, intimidating-looking vehicles and gadgets, (and hinting at the destruction of London) frankly, if you’re not sold as this point you never will be.
Morgan Spurlock is quickly replacing Michael Moore as the pop-culture documentarian for our age having already tackled mainstream (but still inherently touchy) subjects including fast food and product placement. Now it’s on to the new age of metrosexuals and manscaping with Mansome, a comedic look at the huge aughties shift in male grooming. Featuring interviews with a slew of notable comedians including Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Adam Corolla, Zach Galifianakis, John Waters and Judd Apatow, it certainly doesn’t look like this will be an earth-shaking exploratory documentary, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have something poignant to say. Plus, the title is awesome – wait, sorry — man-tastic.
In his post Little Miss Sunshine/There Will Be Blood days, Paul Dano has become an insufferable blight on my cinematic viewing experience. He has taken the mantle of quirky flake in a number of indie efforts and I have yet to find a recent performance I can admire, let alone stand. Now, that being said, I will lift my vale of pessimism in the case of Ruby Sparks, a charming looking romance in the vein of Stranger Than Fiction. In “Ruby” a struggling author (Dano) writes a character which embodies his perfect woman. The rub: his creation comes alive and he must weigh being with the lady of his dreams or revealing the truth to her. Essentially, any romantic offering that deviates from the doldrums of the mainstream has at least my partial interest and Ruby Sparks has more than that, despite my lack of affinity for its lead.