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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: What Could Defeat ‘Pacific Rim’?

If it’s Friday then it is absolutely, 100% time for Trailer Showdown, that super special time of the week when we let you in on all the trailers released during the week. Some are gems and some are absolutely abysmal, but never fear — we’re here to help you sort them into two glistening piles of avoidance and acceptance.

This week is strongly divided between some of the biggest, wildest summer movies and quieter, stronger dramas and comedies. We’ve got movies based on books, movies based on plays, movies based on movies and every other iteration in-between.

Let’s hope this next week gives us the kind of trailers we deserve. The next month or so should introduce us to the very beginnings of Oscar-season fodder, and that will be a blessed relief from all the blockbusters and duds swirling around right now. Enough to-do, let’s have it out! As always, let us know what you’re exceptionally excited about, or tremendously disappointed in, in the comments.

1.) ‘August Osage County’

Best of the Week: A family drama that revolves around the entire family returning for the patriarch’s funeral. Nothing gets family together like a wedding or a funeral. And, look at that cast list! Based on a play written by Tracey Letts, it’s nice to see big time stars in a piece that showcases their skills. This one just shot up to the top of my most highly anticipated movies of the year. Tracy Letts previously collaborated with William Friedkin on two films, one wonders if/why he’s flown the coop on that one. Drama!
Starring: Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Juliette Lewis
Release Date: November 8, 2013

2.) ‘The Wall’

This drama focuses on one woman’s wildness exploration, as one day she discovers she is trapped in the countryside behind an invisible, unbreakable wall. While it’s certainly lacking flash and glitz, this is the kind of simply, evocative story that a great director and cast can transform into gold, and it looks as if they’ve done it with this one. Well worth a watch.
Starring: Wolfgang M. Bauer, Ulrike Beimpold, Martina Gedeck
Release Date: June 7, 2013

3.) ‘The World’s End’

In this epic comedic journey, helmed by Edgar Wright, five friends finish what they started a decade ago, drinking their way from one end of town to another, 12 pints and 12 stops. If you’re a fan of “Hot Fuzz” or “Shaun of the Dead”, this movie will absolutely be your jam. But of course they can’t simply get together and drink, there’s got to be something mysteriously, truly wrong with the townsfolk…
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Simon Pegg, Martin Freeman
Release Date: August 23, 2013

4.) ‘Some (Girls)’

On the eve of his wedding, a writer explores his past loves and meets up with the girls who got away. I’m a huge fan of this movie since the producer is a good friend and I’ve worked with Adam Brody before on a short. Since I’m biased, I’ll just say THIS MOVIE LOOKS AWESOME! So witty and charming, just like every other Neil LaBute-written work.
Starring: Kristen Bell, Jennifer Morrison, Adam Brody
Release Date: 2013

5.) ‘About Time

In this time-traveling romance, a young man who can jump around in time woos the young woman of his dreams. Oh my gosh, you guys! This movie rounds out my Rachel McAdams box set by combining the best parts of “The Time Traveller’s Wife” with the worst parts of “The Vow” and comes up with something just as tame! Written and directed by the talented Richard Curtis, while the trailer manages to sap any life out of this one, I’m hoping in reality it’s got some of the weirdness of “Notting Hill”.
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lee Asquith-Coe
Release Date: 2013

6.) ‘Pacific Rim’

Oh noes! Big monsters from the sea attack and then humans have to build big robots to fight them off. As terribly stupid as this premise sounds, Charlie Day is a supporting actor in it, so maybe it’ll be awesome. Benefit of the doubt given as they likely highlighted the biggest and dumbest bits. Like, I can’t even believe this got green lit. It’s like that Hugh Jackman robot fighting movie. Just, whyyyyy.
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Charlie Day
Release Date: July 12, 2013

7.) ‘As I Lay Dying’

James Franco directs this adaptation of the 1930s classic novel, putting some of that endless talent to good use. Raw, dry, dusty, musky, violent, theatrical, disturbing and strange, this adaptation looks to be able to rise above its pedigree and work, all on its own. It’s been interesting to see Franco transition all across the board from acting to producing and beyond, and this makes sense, in a very weird way.
Starring: James Franco, Logan Marshall-Green, Richard Jenkins
Release Date: 2013

8.) ‘V/H/S 2′

The second iteration of this horror anthology ups the violence, the sex quotient and the scares, bringing us bite sized bits of horror with a loose narrative structure. Bloody terrifying at times, this film and the one that came before it are perfect vehicles for a genre that too often tries to go long form with something that should be short. A perfect solution to a problem no one really cared about.
Starring: Kelsy Abbott, Hannah Al Rashid, Fachry Albar
Release Date: June 6, 2013

9.) ‘Riddick’

Uh, this one looks pretty out-of-this world riddick-ulous. See what I did there? I doubt you even have to see one of the previous Riddick films to get what’s going on here. Left for dead, sun bad, dark good. Monsters. Space ships. Mash them all together in a Vin Diesel sandwich and you have this new one. Big dumb fun, emphasis on the big and dumb.
Starring: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff
Release Date: September 6, 2013

10.) ‘The Guillotines’

Swords! Ancient… China! An elite crime fighting unit! There’s too much silliness in all this not to love it, but to be honest, the trailer makes this one out to be a bit run of the mill. Now, if they’d thrown in some time travel, we might actually have something awesome!
Starring: Xiaoming Huang, Ching-Tien Juan, Purba Rgyal
Release Date: June 14, 2013

Come back next week for more rankings!


Categories: Columns, Trailer Roundup

Tags: As I Lay Dying, August: Osage County, Pacific Rim, Riddick, The World's End, Trailer countdown, Trailer showdown