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Trailer Tracker: Lincoln, Texas Chainsaw 3D and More

Sadly missing a lot of vampire dicing and axe swinging, the decidedly more realistic tale of Abraham Lincoln has arrived with the trailer for Steven Spielberg’s aptly named Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Although there may not be any (or at least not a lot of) axes in Spielberg’s biopic, there are plenty of chainsaws in the trailer debut for Texas Chainsaw 3D, the latest installment in the long-running horror franchise. 

Following the finale of TV’s hit show House, Hugh Laurie gets a chance to headline a film with The Oranges, a comedy of errors in which a married father has an affair with his best friend’s daughter. Last off, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul is Smashed, the acclaimed indie drama that focuses on a young couple’s struggle with alcoholism. Personally, I know I always enjoy getting drunk ... off of movies! So bottom's up —this is Trailer Tracker.



Universally regarded as one of the greatest method actors in history, Daniel Day-Lewis, as it turns out, isn’t a regular at playing real-life characters in his films. He portrayed Christy Brown in My Left Foot, but that’s far from a world-renowned individual. His Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York was also only loosely based on the real William Poole. With Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, Day-Lewis will truly get to show us his stuff when it comes to authentic mimickery that ultimately transcends mimickery. Judging by this first look, we’re in for yet another tour-de-force from this two-time Oscar winner, if a more nuanced one. 

Also starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones and David Strathairn, Lincoln is based on the book Team of Rivals and spans the 16th president's life, particularly his freeing of the slaves, and is said not to feature his ultimate assassination. Regardless of what events of his life are depicted, the stellar cast and Spielberg’s trademark handling of conflict and war is sure to be an engrossing period drama. If there is one thing that seems absolutely certain, expect to see DDL at this year’s Academy Awards and perhaps even leave the ceremony bestowed with gold. Even though the Academy loves this type of performance, there seems little doubt (from this trailer at least) he doesn’t deserve at least a nod. 

Texas Chainsaw 3D 

Sans the “massacre” (why, I have literally no clue) comes the eighth installment in the bloody horror franchise that began way back in 1974 when leatherface terrorized his first batch of unlucky teenagers. Personally, I was not a fan of the original (it was limp to begin with and did not age well) and even less so of the torture porn-esque remake and its prequel. 

Packed with a number of television actors and from director John Luessenhop (Takers), there is nothing to indicate that Texas Chainsaw 3D is going to buck any kind of trend. If anything, this entry looks to be the most boring yet with both the origin story and original source material having been bled dry. For slasher fans I’m sure this dead teenager flick will provide an early 2013 diversion, but for everyone else I’m sure "Texas" will be last on their vacation list.

The Oranges

Assembling a wonderful collage of character actors including Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, Adam Brody, Allison Janney, Oliver Platt and Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester, The Oranges is an off-kilter comedy about a married man (Laurie) who engages in an affair with the daughter of their family friends after she returns to town following a five-year absence. The Oranges debuted at last year’s TIFF and will finally make it to theaters in limited release next month. Reviews were mixed for the comedy, but the trailer certainly made me chuckle quite frequently, so I’m still holding hope this will be the next City Island and not some overly quirky misfire.


Opening to rave reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Smashed was particularly praised for the strong screenplay from writer/director James Ponsoldt and for the devastatingly authentic performances of its two leads, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul. The two star as a happily married couple (or at least so it appears) whose fondness for getting (you guessed it) smashed eventually gets in the way of real life. Smashed has also made its way to TIFF, where it will likely score even more attention. If either of these actors can snag Oscar attention remains to be seen ,but considering the weaker nature of the Best Actress category this year, Winstead certainly has a shot.




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