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Amanda Mae Meyncke

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Amanda Meyncke lives in Los Angeles and writes about movies for a living. She often looks around for someone to congratulate her, but there is no one there.

Trailer Showdown: ‘Man of Steel’ Is the Week’s Strongest Trailer

Friday’s here and with it, another installation of the Trailer Showdown, where we do our best to rank the trailers of the past week in the hopes of helping you sort out your movie-going future. Kind of like a crystal ball, but easier to decipher!

What a week for epics! We’ve got the new “Man of Steel” trailer, which gives us a huge glimpse into the new world of Superman, a look at the newest problems faced by the victors of the “Hunger Games” movie, as well as trailers for “The Lone Ranger” and a new and improved take on the classic love story, “Romeo and Juliet.” From the dark and beautiful to the bold and bright, there hasn’t been a week this strong in months, and it’s time to get to the trailers.

And now, ranked from best to absolutely the worst, we present this week’s Trailer Showdown! Let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree with our rankings.

1.) ‘Man of Steel’

What an epic! The new trailer for “Man of Steel” gives us a long look at what we can expect from director Zack Synder’s take on Superman. The trend of making superheroes more relatable and human seemed to be plateauing, but the origin story of the most well-known superhero in existence has been handled remarkably well. Beautiful imagery and truly complicated ethical questions come into sharp contrast, and June cannot get here soon enough.
Starring: Russell Crowe, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams
Release Date: June 14, 2013

2.) ‘Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes’

A shy young girl becomes obsessed with her new next door neighbor, who looks remarkably like the girl’s deceased mother. This Sundance favorite is utterly spooky, filled with the kinds of images that stay with you for a long time, and dealing with ideas both abstract and concrete. While it’s often hard to tell from a trailer if you’ll like a film or not, this one doesn’t beat about the bush, and forces you to decide right away if you’re interested or not. As off-putting as that may be, there’s something bold, refreshing, and much-needed about that. It’s also lovely to see Jessica Biel and Kaya Scodelario taking on roles that challenge them, here’s hoping they rise to the occasion.
Starring: Jessica Biel, Frances O’Connor, Kaya Scodelario
Release Date: 2013

3.) ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

The next installment in the beloved “Hunger Games” franchise looks to be completely in line with the aesthetic and tone of the first film! Which is a great thing. When the film was a huge hit, there was some concerns that the sequels would be changed dramatically, but the action remains, the fighting spirit of the books remains, and the romance remains throughout. Jennifer Lawrence can do no wrong, and with the same great supporting cast settling into their roles, this one might even be better than the first.
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Release Date: Nov. 22, 2013

4.) ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Oh good, it’d been nearly a decade without someone else’s take on the star-crossed lovers, and America was starting to wallow in confusion and agony. Never fear! Julian Fellowes has adapted this version, which seems to hold true to the style and language of the Bard. Most of these productions tend to look like a meeting of the Youth and Beauty Brigade, but luckily they’ve thrown a lot of Paul Giamatti in there to keep things untidy. While it’s easy for one’s eyes to gloss over at yet another Shakespeare film, there are moments of beauty throughout the trailer that melt even the iciest heart.
Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti
Release Date: 2013

5.) ‘Summer in February’

Fans of TV’s “Downton Abbey” are sure to love this one as it stars Dan Stevens as a dapper, mild mannered version of his “Downton Abbey” character: a man loving a woman who is also in love with another man, a wild artist. Based on a true story, the film looks elegant, beautiful and positively dripping with that Edwardian charm that is so in vogue these days. With stunning performances all around, who knows? We could have another Oscar nominated costume drama on our hands.
Starring: Dominic Cooper, Emily Browning, Dan Stevens
Release Date: 2013

6.) ‘The Lone Ranger’

Whoa, another “The Lone Ranger” trailer? Yowsa. At least in this one we get a better picture of what the real look of the film might be, along with a glimpse of Helena Bonham Carter’s prosthetic gun leg (stolen from Tarantino, perhaps). Directed by Gore Verbinski, this take on the classic masked outlaw and his Indian guide looks to be filled with so much action and explosions that there won’t be any time for Johnny Depp to lapse into a pseudo-Capt. Sparrow impression. While I don’t know anyone who is particularly excited for this one, it might surprise us all by actually being kind of good.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner
Release Date: July 3, 2013

7.) ‘Love Sick Love’

While there’s plenty of horror films littering the year up and down, none of the others has comedian Jim Gaffigan in them! Hey-oh! But really, the premise of this one is dark and psychologically motivated: a beautiful woman whisks a new flame away for a romantic weekend getaway, but when they arrive and meet her family, things quickly take a disturbing and dangerous turn. Yes, this one milks the creepiness factor for all it’s worth, but there’s something in the mix of romance, horror and mental uncertainty that gives this trailer an edge. My horror dance card was full up, but I’m making room for this one.
Starring: Lindsay Rose Binder, Jim Gaffigan, Dean Kapica
Release Date: April 26, 2013

8.) ‘The Hunt’

A teacher’s reputation is called into question when a young girl accuses him of molestation. As time goes on, his place in society grows ever more precarious as the town he loves turns against him. While we’ve featured this trailer in the report many months ago, the resurgence means that we may be getting closer to a release date for this Mads Mikkelsen starring thriller. It’s interesting to see Mikkelsen in a sympathetic role, and while the subject matter is certainly depressing, this drama might be worth a watch.
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp
Release Date: 2013

9.) ‘Crazy Kind of Love’

It’s sad to see an Academy Award winner being so flagrantly touted in what looks to be a mediocre movie. All the staples of an over-budget Hallmark movie are here: depressed woman who can’t get out of bed, the wild young thing who is there to shake up the place and plaster smiles on the faces of the family, some random guys who need their lives shaken up too. You know the drill. “Heartwarming” and such, while actually just being boring. Sample comment on the YouTube trailer? “This looks as interesting as a paper plate.”
Starring: Virginia Madsen, Graham Rogers, Amanda Crew
Release Date: 2013

10.) ‘The Kings of Summer’

Formerly titled “Toy’s House,” and now with a much better title, this playful little Summery day dream was a huge hit at Sundance this year, garnering plenty of attention for its quirky offbeat brand of wacky humor. Three boys descend into the woods, determined to make it on their own away from parents and rules. While it’s certainly not for everybody, and often depends on a very, very specific kind of humor, the film is a kind of call to arms for anyone who has ever wanted to just leave the world behind and strike out on their own.
Starring: Nick Offerman, Moises Arias, Nick Robinson
Release Date: May 31, 2013

11.) ’1st Night’

Gotta love a film that was made three years ago that still hasn’t found distribution in the United States! Must be really good if England wants to keep it all to themselves. Oh wait, no. Just kidding, this looks like a strange mish-mosh of lots of other strange singing movies, with a little bit of haphazard Shakespeare-y-ness thrown in on top. A rich man bets someone else that he can sleep with a woman before the other guy can, and also that singer Sarah Brightman is in it. You know it’s bad when you watch a trailer and eight seconds later can’t even remember whether the movie was a comedy or a drama.
Starring: Peter Basham, Sarah Brightman, Edyta Budnik
Release Date: 2013


Categories: Columns, Trailer Roundup

Tags: Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes, Man of Steel, Romeo and juliet, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Trailer showdown, Trailers