Tuesday Trailers: The Colin Farrell Effect

Tuesday Trailers: The Colin Farrell Effect

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Welcome to another edition of Tuesday Trailers. Let’s go.


House at the End of the Street

ZO: It seems like one of Hollywood’s most well-known (and clichéd) paths to stardom is that of the Slasher Movie Starlet. The thinking goes that a young actress pays her dues by appearing in a few mediocre horror films, then begins her decent up the career ladder to more prestigious roles and bigger paydays.

Everyone’s favorite example of this, of course, is Jamie Lee Curtis, who started out starring in movies such as Halloween, The Fog, and Prom Night before moving on to more mainstream hits such as Trading Places, and True Lies (for which she earned a Golden Globe). But she isn’t the only one. Jennifer Aniston did Leprechaun before becoming Rachel Greene, and Rooney Mara debunked Urban Legends and fought Freddy Kruger before inspiring a social network and getting her Dragon Tattoo.

So, while this career path may not always lead to fortune and fame (anyone heard from the Paranormal Activity or Blair Witch girls lately?), there’s certainly enough evidence to suggest that it’s worth a shot. Which is why it’s so interesting to see Jennifer Lawrence seemingly going the opposite direction with this movie.

After earning an Oscar nomination at 19 for Winter’s Bone, and securing a spot in the hugely successful X-Men franchise (I’m assuming that this movie was shot before The Hunger Games happened), what made her decide to go the horror route? Especially with an unknown director and just a $7M budget?

Maybe the script was absolutely outstanding, and a great opportunity for Lawrence to flex some different acting muscles. Maybe she was friends with someone involved and thought it would be a fun project. Maybe she’s a big horror movie fan, and just wanted to do one.

Whatever the reason, she may be on the verge of pioneering a breakthrough. Will actresses start considering horror even after their career has taken off? Could the day come when we may see an actress nominated for a slasher flick?  Now wouldn’t that be meta?

In, Out, or Undecided? – In (out of curiosity…and I love a good horror movie)

ND:  That trailer was kind of all over the place for me.  My guess is that come October (a MONTH before the release) they’ll have a few more trailers for this one.  It’s kind of a swing and a miss as far as trailers go.  There some chloroform in a tin box…everything seems to be going backwards…Shockras were F*#KIN’ exploded…I just didn’t get it.

Going back a little, why is this movie coming out in September?  If it were up to me, which it’s not, I’d be pushing this thing HARD for October…um, Halloween? Scary movie? No?

And, what the hell is Jennifer Lawrence doing in this movie?  AbSOlutely, this movie was shot before Hunger Games, or at the very least she was signed on and ready to roll on it before so.  I don’t get it.  I’ve never heard of the Director, Tom, no, uh, Mark Tonderia, so I’m gonna need to see some more out of The House on the End of the Street to really understand it I think.  I can’t even come up with anything else to say…sorry

In, Out, or Undecided? – Out


Total Recall

ND: Typically, I am VERY nervous about remakes.  With Total Recall, let’s face it, some decent size shoes to fill.  This was Arnold’s hey day, Total Recall circa 1990 was epic and considered one of Arnold’s best of all time!  Now we have Collin Farrell making an attempt to fill those shoes.  Worried?  Not at all.

I have seen a lot push for this movie so far.  It’s been in theaters and online everywhere.  Overall, a pretty good marketing campaign by the boys at Columbia and from the looks of this trailer, I think we’ll be OK here.

The computer graphics look insane, the story is already there (more or less) and there is a huge cast attached.  Oh man, Kate Beckinsale…The things I would do for a date with that woman.  Unforgivable things. (cough)  Also, starring Bryan Cranston, who is friggin’ awesome.  I started watching Breaking Bad a while back for the sole reason that Bryan Cranston is awesome.  He’s the real deal, so I hope he gets a good amount of screen time in this movie.

Annnndd Jessica Biel is pretty…

In, Out, or Undecided? – In

ZO: Consider the following:

  • Phone Booth – $98M BO / 71% RT
  • The Recruit – $101M BO / 43% RT
  • S.W.A.T. – $208M BO / 48% RT
  • Alexander – $167M BO / 16% RT
  • Miami Vice – $164M BO / 47% RT
  • Minority Report – $358M BO / 92% RT
  • In Bruges – $33M BO / 82% RT
  • Crazy Heart – $47M BO / 91% RT
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – $60M BO / 63% RT
  • Horrible Bosses – $210M BO / 69% RT

The left represents Box Office totals and RottenTomatoes ratings for movies where Colin Farrell was the lead actor billed, or was otherwise the primary focus of the movie (essentially, he was being asked to carry it). On the right is movies where he was a role player or part of an ensemble cast. Here’s how they average out:

Colin Farrell, Lead Actor: $147.6M BO / 45% RT

Colin Farrell, Role Player: $141.6M BO / 79% RT (+ a Golden Globe win for In Bruges)

Regardless of whether he’s in the lead or not, his movies tend to be fairly successful at the box office, but they score almost 35% better with critics when he’s a role player or part of an ensemble. Put more simply: Colin Farrell movies seem to be much better when he’s not the star.

Now this probably isn’t a completely fair analysis; Minority Report was all about Spielberg/Cruise, Jeff Bridges won an Oscar for carrying Crazy Heart, and Farrell entered rehab immediately following Miami Vice, so he may not have put his best foot forward in that one. But it does pose an interesting question. Is Colin Farrell a movie star? Or just a really good role player who can help make an already good movie even better?

Underworld veteran Kate Beckinsale, future Mrs. Timberlake Jessica Biel, and Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston round out a strong supporting cast and should give him some help in this one, but ultimately it’s his name at the top of the credits. Let’s find out once and for all if it belongs there.

In, Out, or Undecided? – In



ZO: Whoa! That was a lot to process.

Director Rian Johnson got his start at Sundance, placing him in the same category as directors such as the Cohen Brothers, Darren Aronofsky, and Christopher Nolan. Each of those directors has gone on to create a very specific and recognizable style for their movies, and no doubt Johnson is aiming to do the same here.

To me this can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you’re obviously very talented or you wouldn’t be at Sundance in the first place, and given the type of movies screened there, you’ve probably got a pretty unique style that isn’t being copied in every multiplex across the country. On the other hand, I would argue that new Sundance directors are hyper aware of those facts I just mentioned, and thus go out of their way trying to establish “their” style, sometimes to the detriment of things like “the movie making sense” or “people enjoying the experience of watching it”.

This isn’t inherently a bad thing, but it can lead to certain choices being made for no other reason than that they’re “different”. Speaking from my extensive non-existent background as a director, I’ve always felt that it’s best to make the decision that will lead to the best movie, not just the one that’s different (although I’m sure plenty would disagree with me).

The pieces are in place for a good movie (Joseph Gordon Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt) but at the same time, it definitely looks like it has the potential to come flying off the rails about halfway through when it tries to be smarter/better/more meaningful than any movie, ever, and fails.

In, Out, or Undecided? – Undecided

ND:  That was pretty awesome.  I liked the scene were Bruce Willis comes back and his and Joseph Godan Levitt’s eyes meet…like…holy shit…that’s me!  Good little touch and the trailer took off from there.  Nice little plug by Mr. Jeff Daniels too…he looks well?  Better shape up before Dumb and Dumber 2, that’s all I have to say.

As far as how I think this movie will be, I’m not worried about it.  Joe has been killing it lately, and continues to do so. PLUS, you got John McClane himself, Bruce Willis, running the ship to the top of the box office.

I’d say I’m in on this one. So…

In, Out, or Undecided? – In

Oh and David, where are the nachos?


Bonus Trailer! – Chimpanzee

ZO: Did you know that this Sunday is Earth Day? I’d be way more on board with animal movies if one of the main characters didn’t die 95% of the time. I understand that it’s part of nature and the circle of life and all that, but I’d rather live in denial and just enjoy myself.

That being said, Oceans and African Cats were both very good, and I’m sure this will be also; it’s Disney…

In, Out, or Undecided? – In (probably on Blu Ray though, not the theater)

ND: Earth Day, Shmearth Day…I closed this trailer half way through it.  I thought we were doing Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter this week?* No?  Are we not? — Yeah, Chimpanzee’s are awesome, but I’m gonna wait till this one is on the Discovery Channel on a Sunday morning after a long Saturday night, where it belongs…Disney is just trying to make a buck…Where’s my beer…

In, Out, or Undecided? – Out

* Note: Nic was encouraged to add any additional trailers that he wanted to review. He decided to throw rocks instead.

Check out watch@armovieguys for these trailers and more!

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