This week is rife with compelling but problematic new trailers. Compelling but problematic but informative. Without excessive judgment before the fact, here are a few early impressions.
Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes sequel, A Game Of Shadows, is throwing everything it can at us to convince us to go. On the plus side, Sherlock Holmes fanatics will see a million little hints at which of Doyle’s original stories influence the plot. But even though I happen to be thrilled about this movie, I feel as though I have seen too much of it already. The saving grace is that, as in any good “Part 2” film, we have dispensed with the test villain and can expect full combat with a true archnemesis. Moriarty! Moriarty! Moriarty!
The Woman In Black promises to smother us with atmospheric dread. Nonetheless, having neither seen read Susan Hill’s novel or seen the long-running play, I can safely assume that neither had such strong overtones of The Grudge and/or The Ring. Victorian J-Horror could be fantastic, or just a weird mess. At very least, Daniel Radcliffe gets to bask once more in neato costumes and lavish, moody production design. And whatever else it is, it’s a Hammer film. If it somehow turns out to be a disaster, I still want front row seats.
Chronicle (dir. Josh Trank, 2012)
Chronicle, which is still pretty sparse on promotional material, could be a fresh and interesting take on the perils of superpowers. The bar is low for the “ordinary superhero” genre, and so this could be a major coup for director Josh Trank and writer Max Landis (son of the great John Landis). I will say first that I consider the trailer a complete success, because after that setup I really want to see what comes next. However, I do hate that it’s yet another “found footage” movie. This is a needless and irritating choice that can only hurt the movie. The effects look promising, and the character relationships ring true in the short time we witness them on screen. Fingers crossed that this will overcome a worn-out format that never had anything new to show us in the first place. In related news, watch for my review of Paranormal Activity 3 this weekend. If you can’t get enough hatred of found footage horror flicks, you are probably in for a treat.