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This week on Player Affinity, let us make like a sharing group of individuals enjoying a cake and split things up shall we? My compadre Steven has chatted about director Brett Ratner’s heist comedy Tower Heist here, but I’ll chip in my thoughts as well while turning my gaze to George Clooney’s political thriller The Ides of March, starring Ryan Gosling. Capping off the four clips this week will be Margin Call, a true-to-events and star-studded Wall Street tale about the impending financial crisis and WWII dog-fighting (as in airplanes, not Michael Vick) drama Red Tails. Heads or tails, you win — it’s Trailer Tracker.
New clips this week:
The Ides of March
After prodding the wrong end of the proverbial pitbull for many with X-Men: The Last Stand and for a third time (one too many to be sure) visiting the “Rush Hour” franchise, Brett Ratner moves onto another comedy/action hybrid with Tower Heist, an Oceans Eleven-esque caper flick with an undeniably stellar cast including Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Mathew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Casey Affleck, Alan Alda, Michael Pena and Gabourey Sidibe of Precious fame. These employees plot to steal a corrupt business man’s cash after he bankrupts them all thanks to his Ponzi scheme.
The trailer is solid and
seems to offer an ensemble approach which is encouraging considering the
talent, not to mention the propensity for Murphy to outstay his welcome in
large doses. To be fair, the comedian has not headlined a more “mature” comedy
arguably since 2002’s I Spy (unless
you count Norbit) as most of his
ventures have been kid-fare and voicing Donkey in the “Shrek” films. If the
trailer gives an indication of what’s to come, I just want to see this wacky
cast at work in a genre that I truly enjoy.
The Ides of March
Talk about your strong
starts. Check out the principle cast, intelligently blistering trailer and one
of the best posters of the year for director/star’s George Clooney’s The Ides of March, an adaptation of the
play Farragut North. The man-in-everything Ryan Gosling co-stars as the
too-idealistic political aid to Clooney’s possibly two-faced presidential
candidate alongside Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachael Wood, Paul Giamatti, Jeffrey
Wright and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Sometimes all it takes is a respected talent like Clooney to assemble a cast like this as here he also writes (his first venture into screenwriting since his Oscar nomination for Good Night and Good Luck) and directs. The trailer reveals both a lot and nothing; it is a congested barrage of political intrigue and that makes me all the more curious. This is not your typical fare, and many will be turned away despite the stars involved. Hope for awards recognition to get theater seats filled for this intriguing project.
It seems like the week of
ensemble casts this week on Trailer Tracker; this time Margin Call assembles Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons,
Zachary Quinto, Simon Baker, Demi Moore and Stanley Tucci for this financial
thriller about the employees of an investment firm who try to save themselves
on the eve of the economic meltdown. Margin
Call seems to offer Wall Street:
Money Never Sleeps for more cerebral audiences and like The Ides of March does not go for the
lowest common denominator when representing itself. I can see this movie going
one of two ways: culminating in an intelligently close-to-home and somewhat
disturbing portrait of greed or a muddled mess of jargon and slick twists. Let’s
hope for the former. The film debuted to a mostly positive reception at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
Though the WWII genre has
never gleaned mainstream adoration save a few key exceptions, the war of the
skies (especially beyond the age of biplanes and The Red Baron in the first
global conflict) has been greatly ignored, but now thanks to producer George
Lucas we not only get a lavish look at the cloud-bound heroes of the war, but
also a peak into the struggles of African-American soldiers as they strive to
prove they have the same merits as any other. The battle sequences in the
trailer are truly stunning, as