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We have a decidedly unique slate of movie clips for you this week on Player Affinity. First off is the odd teaser trailer for the fifth installment in the popular video-game franchise with Resident Evil: Retribution, once again starring Milla Jovovich as the baddie-slaying mutant. Two of this generation’s most notable comedic talents, Jason Segel and Ed Helms, unite for a run on the indie circuit with Jeff, Who Lives at Home from directing duo The Duplass Brothers. Finally, we’ve got the action thriller Brake with Stephen Dorff starring as a government agent tangled up in a terrorist plot in this “one location” effort. Never a need to slow down here, we only rev it into high gear – it’s Trailer Tracker.
Resident Evil: Retribution
There is nothing like a high-quality smart phone when you’re trying to hold off the mutant apocalypse. No YouTube when a zombie is trying to eat your face? Unfathomable! At least that seems to be the haphazard approach Sony is going with in the teaser for Resident Evil: Retribution, which begins as a standard-issue cell phone add featuring the slogan “this is my world” before the grand (ish) reveal that it is in fact Alice’s dystopian world (and boy does she have a lot of work to do). Offering only snippets of what lays in store, what "Retribution" does promise are flashbacks to before of Jovovich’s Alice finding herself facing the Umbrella Corporation, a world gone more to shit than usual, and some new fearsome beasts to wage epic battles against.
I would think the approach to the trailer clever (and I may still tilt that way slightly), but the inclusion of such utterly glaring product placement ranges from a demerit towards any creative leanings to simply being unnecessary. Over the past decade, the franchise has grown increasingly bombastic and convoluted, losing any of the dopey B-movie charm the first two installments carried. “Retribution” looks to be the recent rule rather than the exception; if anything, the increased budget and moderate progression in 3D quality should yield the odd campy thrill, and as always we can count on Jovovich to strut her stuff in simultaneously arousing and emasculating fashion.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home
The Duplass Brothers (that would be Jay and Mark for friends and well-wishers) made sizeable waves on the independent film circuit with cult favs The Puffy Chair and Baghead before gaining more widespread recognition with the Jonah Hill/John C. Reilly collaboration Cyrus. With Jeff, Who Lives at Home, the mumblecore duo assembles Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer and Susan Sarandon as a collection of family members and acquaintances who interact over a day when Helm’s Pat attempts to track down the movements of his potentially cheating wife. This style of humor is very dividing for audiences (love and hate are not strong enough adjectives) and relies on your penchant for a sad-sack Segel and a lack of mainstream filmmaking techniques. “Jeff” received solid reviews at last year’s TIFF and is now scheduled for a limited release on Mar. 16. If this is your thing, keep an eye out.
Buried meets the two-part, Tarantino-directed CSI episode Grave Danger in Brake (now that is a weird comparison), a claustrophobic but ultimately popcorn take on the “one location” thriller. Here, Stephen Dorff plays Secret Service agent Jeremy Reins who finds himself held hostage in the trunk of a car and subjected to torment in an attempt to coerce information about the president’s current location. Brake looks to be nothing more than your average fun-while-it’s-happening escapist thriller, and Dorff is a very underrated talent while playing either villain or hero. The trailer itself is full-on low-budget trash but I think there may be an entertaining watch within this indie effort.