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Monday 29 February 2016

Nominees for 2016 Beerbohm Award for Best Trailer...

So, post Oscar night and we know who won the Oscar for Best Picture.   Now it's time to Award the Beerbohm for Oscar Best Picture Nominee's trailers.

Here they are in alphabetical order.
Please continue to cast your votes by comment below, emailing to beerbohmtastic@gmail.com or sending me a tweet.

And the nominees for the 2016 Beerbohm Award for Best Trailer are...


Oscar Best Picture Nominee #1: The Big Short


I had no idea what The Big Short was about when I started watching the trailer.  F**K! The intensity of the content is magnified ten fold because it's basically "a true story."  How many people and families lost their homes because of the magnitude of such greed?  

The first thing that popped into my mind when the trailer ended was the poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes:

What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?
      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.
      Or does it explode?

In this case it explodes.

In Mordecai Richler's classic, "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz", Duddy is told something like "one is not a man until he owns land." 

So, the big American banks have stolen more than just money; they've stolen dignity and in some cases they've stolen lives.  MESSED UP!

As much as I love America for what it was and still can be, I'm sometimes glad I live in Canada.

Don't even get me started on the American dream...

Average folk like us have heard of, read about or experienced the gross injustice of the housing bubble/collapse.  To see a depiction of it, apparently from the inside, on screen is mesmerising.  Like watching a train wreck you know is coming.  Like staring at the bloody mess of a car accident. Morbid fascination had me glued to the trailer.  And, for the first time in years since starting this blog, wishing the trailer were longer.

What about the trailer?

The trailer for The Big Short is powerful.  It evokes so much that I don't recall specifics, just tons of emotion. Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Marissa Tomei...etc... All great! Just watch the trailer, you'll see.

I can't wait to see this film.


Oscar Best Picture Nominee #2: Bridge of Spies

I made the wrong choice, twice.

I chose to watch the 2:33 trailer rather than the 1:44 trailer.  I chose to review the 2:33 trailer rather than the 1:44 trailer. And while I know it's a winning combination of "true story," Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, I also pretty much know what is going to happen (at least I think I do) based on the winning combination and a trailer that gives away too much.

Following another trailer length rant (my rants have become mumbles so I don't wake up the kids) the wife asked me why I didn't just ignore the longer trailer and review the shorter one.  "Haven't you done that before?"

"Yes, I have in the past but right now I don't want to."  I responded.

The wife gave me one of her very cute smirks and informed me that Bridge of Spies is the next film she wants us to see.  Now that I've seen Pacific Rim, I will concede.

The trailer for Bridge of Spies tells us this:
- American pilot on spy mission caught by Russians
- Russian spy caught by Americans
- American family man, insurance lawyer asked to defend Russian spy
- American family man lawyer criticised for defending spy and puts family at risk
- American lawyer seems to be involved in prisoner exchange
- American lawyer goes to what looks like post Berlin wall Germany for prisoner exchange    
- Final scene of trailer shows American lawyer on bridge of spies waiting to make exchange

So, based on the trailer and the winning combination, it will have a favourable outcome. It's Spielberg so it'll be a great story.  It's Hanks so it'll be well-acted. I'm sure there are other sub-plots that the trailer didn't fully expose but the gist of it, I believe, is a complex story, told well and ending with a satisfied audience.

I'll see Bridge of Spies because it's nominated for an Oscar and the above-mentioned winning combination but not for the mediocre trailer that has left almost nothing to the imagination.



Oscar Best Picture Nominee #3: Brooklyn

When I looked up the trailer for Brooklyn and saw that the run time was 1:51, I smiled. Good length for a trailer. When I watched the trailer for Brooklyn all I could think of was that the wife would probably like this film.

Would you call the 50's a period?  If you did, would this be considered a period piece? Is this a chick flick, period?  Is this just a good trailer, period? I don't know, period.  I hope the wife isn't on her period when she reads this...

The trailer for Brooklyn captures the period very well. It's almost like the film stock is thicker, the colours richer, the sets, the sights, the streets very true to the period.  I found myself looking more at the background than listening to the story.  The background details were impressive.  Then something caught my attention and I tried to focus on the dialogue in the trailer and I heard myself saying, "huh?"

The trailer for Brooklyn tells a simple story of a young girl who journeys to America, meets a boy and then has to go back to Ireland, meets another boy then must decide on which boy to stay with. That's kind of the gist of it and what I was able to pick up between listening and looking at the sets and scenery.  Sometimes I'll watch a trailer a few times.  I tried to watch this trailer again but the same thing happened.

I got the feeling that this film will win an Oscar for something. Maybe set design? I also know that the wife will want to see it.  I've heard that Brooklyn is a great film (Oscar worthy...duh!), but the trailer didn't appeal to any of my emotions.

As the wife sometimes says to me when I tell her she's hurt my feelings, "honey, you don't have any feelings."

'Nuff said. Period.


Oscar Best Picture Nominee #4: Mad Max: Fury Road

What makes a film franchise? Is it the story? Is it the central character(s)? Is it the creator? Is it safe to say that all movies related to The Avengers (Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Ant Man, are all part of the franchise?  Short answer is, yes.

In the case of Mad Max: Fury Road, it has to be George Miller.  Especially with the absence of Mel Gibson.  My buddies were sceptical about a Mad Max without Gibson, even though it's just another reboot.  But the ace in the hole here is that it's a reboot by George Miller.

Holy crap, what a trailer.  It seemed to be cut like the originals (my favourite is Road Warrior), and it was a ride you couldn't escape from.  The trailer smacked me to attention and I spent the next 2:31 trying to catch my breath.

The trailer tells the story of Max, a hunted, haunted citizen of George Miller's post apocalyptic vision of Australia after a rugby tournament.  Evil warlord goes after his kidnapped/taken/escaped harem and somehow hunted haunted Max is caught in the middle and brilliant Charlize Theron drives a big truck.  The evil warlord is scary and menacing, the albino soldiers are freaky, the harem is hot, the stunts are not computer generated (from what I've heard) and the pace is light speed. And the best part is that when the trailer ended I had a huge smile on my face.

What an awesome trailer!


Oscar Best Picture Nominee #5: The Martian

(Originally posted Oct. 5, 2015)

The Martian.  The trailer is over 3 minutes long.  3 minutes.  I could tell you my life story in 3 minutes. You could create life in 3 minutes (or less).  A movie trailer should never be more than 2 minutes.  I've been saying that, minus an 18 month hiatus, for as long as I've been blogging. For as long as trailers have been spoiling movies for movie lovers everywhere....

Matt Damon.  Love him or hate him he's an A-lister.  Let's face it, he's got a sh*t load of talent and he's extremely versatile. However, every time I hear his name I think of how his name was spoken in South Park. Regardless, I like most of his movies.  I heard he's the next Robin in the up-coming Batman and Robin starring Ben Affleck as Batman.

The Martian, trailer: So, team goes to Mars.  Chaos ensues.  All presumed dead.  One survives.  He has about 31 days worth of food/supplies.  It will take four years for him to be rescued.  Serious predicament. So, he has to become MacGyver on Mars.

I used to work with this guy that could fix anything with a book of matches and a paper clip.  I once saw him retrieve data from a USB stick that was run over by a car.  He, of course, used a book of matches and a paper clip.  He drove a diesel VW.  It was an older one so he got it for gas mileage and not the promise of eco-friendly.  Just sayin'.  While someone was tail-gating him, he figured out that if you hold down your wiper/washer fluid so that it generates a steady stream - in some VW's the stream sometimes jets over the windshield to the car behind it - and down shift at mid-to high RPM black diesel smoke fires out, and the fluid combined with black sooty exhaust hits the windshield of the car behind you.  Who thinks up shit like this? We used to call him MacGyver.

The Martian trailer should have stopped when Matt Damon has to be MacGyver to survive.  We don't need to know the politics and challenges around a rescue mission.  All we need to know is that there might be a rescue but Matt's going to do real cool stuff and endure challenges while he waits. And Kristen Wiig looks serious - I'd like to see her serious.

I'm sure the wife will want to see this.  I kind of want to see it, too.


Oscar Best Picture Nominee #6: The Revenant

Revenant - I had to look it up. It means to return, especially supposedly from the dead.


So, from the title we get an overview of the story. And from the trailer we see a man's fight for survival against his fellow man (friends), nature (wilderness, bad weather and a bear) and himself, the will to survive if only to avenge the death of his son from what appears to be the hands of his fellow man.

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. Romans 12:19  
'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:18
As revenge is a major movie theme, I guess The Old Testament is more widely accepted: "AN EYE FOR AN EYE, A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH."  But I prefer the profound words of Roberto Benigni in the Jim Jarmusch classic, Down by Law, "..you throw the ball to me...I.. I... I throw the ball to you..."  Kind of sad, really.

It wasn't until "Catch me if you can" that I actually started to like Leonardo DiCaprio. Since then, he's been a stand out for me in the best actor category in most of his work.  Only criticism I have now of DiCaprio is that he should have understood what a Chinook wind was before making the silly climate change comment: natural phenomenon vs. global warming.  I still like him and  I doubt he'll knock any of my top 5 celebrities who should just shut up and go away list.  I think it's on this blog somewhere in the first or second year. But I digress...

Tom Hardy. Mad Max. Bane. Lawless. That crap love triangle film that the wife liked with young captain Kirk and Reese Witherspoon.  He's definitely got screen presence and is not afraid to take on any roll.  Saw him in a slow moving, uninspired film with the late great James Gandolfini, The Drop.  It was yet another tribute to his versatility.  I think I prefer him, though, as villain, rather then just a misunderstood bad guy.

Oh yeah, The Revenant.  As a parent, it pains me to see a parent lose child, even on film.  And the apparent manner in which Leo's child is lost in this film, at the hands of his "friend" is sickening and only makes the revenge part of his plight that much sweeter.  And while I didn't bother to look up the real story that this "based on true events" movie is depicting, I trust that the revenge, Old Testament/movie style, will be sweet.

Other than the emotion the wife says I don't have, the trailer made me think: Passion of the Christ meets Grizzly Adams. You know, one man enduring all that torture but this time in the wilderness...

The wife said she doesn't think she could sit through The Revenant. I think I can.


Oscar Best Picture Nominee #7: Room

It isn't often that the emotion the wife says I don't have is tugged upon.  Yet I found myself being taken from the very beginning of the trailer for Room.  

A mother and young child are prisoners in a small room.  The small room is the only world the child knows in his first five years of life, and other than what information they get from a small television, The mother plans an escape for the child, tells the child what to do and the child escapes.  The kidnapper/captor is arrested.  While the child is in awe of the sights and sounds of the outside world the mother is suffering from what appears to be guilt or depression or PTSD.  Post escape, something happens to the mother and we see her in hospital. She recovers and they adjust to life outside of the room...

The trailer was more like an executive summary - you know highlight everything without any serious detail - but with a high level of emotion.  Talk about tugging at the heart strings.  The injustice, the sadness, the tension, the escape, the adjustment, the setback and the human spirit prevailing. I was truly moved.  And this coming from a comic book movie nerd...

Wait a minute! I was so drawn in by the story that I didn't realise the trailer gave away the entire story. I can't think of another trailer that evoked so much emotion while giving away so much of the story. So, does this make the trailer for Room a good trailer for what it projects or a bad trailer for what it gives away?  For the first time as Beerbohmtastic, I'm at a loss for words.

Now I want to see the film...


Oscar Best Picture Nominee #8:  Spotlight

And I thought the trailer for Room was emotional.  FFS, this trailer made me want to cry.  The abuse of power, breach of trust and abusive, selfish corruption of innocent children is both infuriating and heartbreaking. 

One scene in the trailer shows a man holding a picture of a child and saying, "how do you say no to God?"  The magnitude of the abuse of power is mind boggling for me.  As a parent and human being I had trouble sitting through this trailer.

While the cast is great and the story horrific, I can't get past the pure evil of the crimes committed and the shocking attempt to cover it all up.  We hear about this type of abuse often and thank God there are law enforcement agencies out there hunting down these perpetrators...f**king animals, really. Paedophilia is the most heinous of acts and crimes. To destroy innocence in such a horrible way should be punishable, first by castration, then by slow death.  The punishment should fit the crime.  Sadly, in most societies the legal system continues to fail the victims.  

If a trailer is measured by what it tells you and how it makes you feel, then this trailer was powerful and effective. That said, I don't know if I have the stomach or heart to see this film.

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