In less than a decade, David Mitchell's lush science-fiction fantasy Cloud Atlas has gone from cult classic to essential public-transport accessory to gift from Natalie Portman to Lana Wachowski during the shoot of V for Vendetta. It was at this point that an epic movie was seeded in the minds of the Matrix siblings, and shortly thereafter Tom "Run Lola Run" Tykwer was co-opted as third director (although if you follow the premise of the movie indicated in the trailer, it was neither the first nor the last time this happened). Gorgeous and pretentious, the epic trailer gives a strong and full impression that not every one of the 160-plus minutes of the most expensive indie movie of all time will cause your spirits to soar, but two or three moments at least certainly seem to have the potential.
After a string of comedies featuring thirtysomething women behaving badly, it's the teenagers' turn, and Fun Size seems determined to hold back its hair and splatter all the targets. On Hallowe'en, a doe-eyed innocent who just wants to hook up with the school's hot male is forced to tolerate all of the indignities: her little brother on the toilet, her best friend's lust, the affection of nerds, and Chelsea Handler as her mother. But to its abiding credit, the trailer does include an ingenious representation of that old stoner conundrum: What would happen if a giant chicken humped a Volvo? Nickelodeon. God bless them.
There is only one surfer movie worth seeing, and that is Big Wednesday, a classic genre-defining coming-of-age story with a cast that never achieved the same transcendence onscreen again. But then there's also Point Break. Ostensibly an action movie for men, it is actually high-order entertainment for groups of women. (Katherine Bigelow wasn't born making The Hurt Locker.) Then again, Michael Douglas might make a case for Blue Juice, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones as she was in 1995. Which is to say, Chasing Mavericks may be better than its rather insipid trailer suggests; seemingly another of those Gerard Butler vehicles that has him playing a stand-in dad.
There was another Silent Hill movie a few years ago, and this one looks no different, other than that it is in 3-D and Sean Bean is in it. As guarantees of quality go, you can't match that combo.
After directing the original Danish Pusher trilogy, Nicolas Winding Refn ascended to overrated '80s homage Drive (via underrated art movie Bronson, starring male model Tom Hardy), while star Mads Mikkelsen became a weepy Bond villain in the best of the three Daniel Craig outings. (You don't have to see Skyfall to know that.) For some reason, Refn has decided to allow another filmmaker to rework the plot, only this time in modern Lahnd'n, the capital of Inglun. Not sure what the new exotic locale adds, particularly since the cast is solidly British TV, other than Zlatko Burić returning as the same Serbian drug kingpin he played in the original, and Agyness Deyn. Bet she's a stripper.
Some years back, British-Iranian standup Omid Djalili starred in The Infidel, a comedy about a relatively nonreligious if anti-semitic Muslim cabbie, Mahmud Nasir, who finds out he was adopted and is actually Solly Shimshillewitz of Jewish parentage. In what is, at least on the surface, a more serious-minded take on the subject, The Other Son is the tale of what happens when a Palestinian and an Israeli brought up in each other's homes following an admin error during an evacuation find out who they really are. The trailer opens with this, er, bombshell, but the news is delivered with the kind of deadpan previously seen only in the Coen brothers' A Serious Man, one of the funniest films ever made. ("Sy Ableman?") Add to that the, let's say, considered casting, and you have a stealth comedy right here, at least according to this trailer.
Mashup by Mac Smullen.