Can we just put all the personal stuff aside and unanimously accept Tom Cruise as the greatest movie star…ever? He’s impossibly charismatic, he can act…but what continuously impresses me is his total commitment to everything onscreen. When asked to run, he always does so at a dead sprint. When asked to be funny, he’s funnier than everyone around him. When asked to scale a mountain or building, he trains and does it himself. The dude is a pro. I’ll watch and love him forever.
In a nutshell: Did you see how this trailer ended? The final 30 seconds hasn’t a word of dialogue, but it is one of the most clever, funny, captivating scenes in recent trailer-watching memory. Still not enough Tom Cruise running for my liking, but I guess you have to save something for the actual film.
Life of Pi
I'm not a fan of Ang Lee. For me, his films play as bloated pieces of Oscar fodder, where attempts at understated performance and emotion fail and result in exaggeration and scarce emotional equity. I view “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” as the exception, not the rule, when it comes to his films. And yet, after seeing the arresting visuals in this trailer, I’ve allowed myself to overlook all of this.
“Life of Pi” looks b-e-a-utiful. Kudos to Lee; the images are crisp and the colors vivid (even on a computer screen), and they seem to coalesce to form a world that is both stark and surreal. The underwater shot of the boy watching the ship sink gave me chills. I’ve not read the book, so the plot is still a mystery to me, but with my not-so-stellar opinions of Lee set aside, this gorgeous-looking mash-up of “Titanic,” “We Bought a Zoo,” and “Castaway” is one I’ll definitely be seeing on opening day. And, dare I say, in 3-D.
In a nutshell: This movie essentially looks like an iTunes visualizer with a plot. I’ll probably watch it 100 times.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
After raking in billions of dollars at the box office, and winning numerous Academy Awards, it was only a matter of time before the Hollywood suits came back to search for their “precious.” But as the title states, The Hobbit took “an unexpected journey”—through financial and studio turmoil, rights ownership disputes, and a lost director—back to the big screen.
In a nutshell: It’s going to be perfect, just like the other three. If there’s one thing Peter Jackson knows how to do, it’s to somehow make me interested in science fiction/fantasy. It’s truly amazing.
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