This week on Screen Grabs: The pre-Sundance fervor yields plenty of intriguing trailers, in which Bill Murray and Charlie Sheen go vision questing, the K2 is ascended (mostly unsuccessfully) and Jamie Foxx goes vigilante on racist plantation owners. Watch on.
Spike Jonze’s Pretty Sweet
It isn’t standard Screen Grabs fare — in that it isn’t hitting big screens anytime soon — but Spike Jonze’s Pretty Sweet, available via DVD or iTunes, brings the acclaimed director back to his skateboarding-cum-music vid roots. Shot in gorgeous hi-def in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Barcelona and more, it’s not just for skateboarding fans, either — there’s even a half-baked dance-flick plot involving two rival gangs, The Jets and The Sharks. It makes me miss hockey even more.
The ominous, if nonsensical, Upstream Color is director Shane Carruth’s first feature-length outing since his beloved sci-fi debut, Primer. There’s little to take away from this trailer aside from the evil gut feeling it provides: It’s gorgeously rendered, to be certain, but it’s a series of beautiful non-sequiturs. See if you can make sense of it yourself.
Inside the Mind of Charles Swan II
Surrealist, hyper-stylized and 1970s-style psychedelic, Roman Coppola’s Charles Swan III follows Charlie Sheen’s descent into the depths of his strange mind after a breakup. (Biographical much?) Far from being overly introspective, though, this trailer is alternatingly flamboyant and bizarre: Bill Murray’s a horse-riding shaman. There’s a Secret Society of Ballbusters. Somehow, a hot dog couch is involved. This trailer’s better seen than described, so what are you waiting for?
Considering Dave Grohl tracked Nevermind’s drums at the fabled studio, he’s a sensible directorial choice for rock doc Sound City, a film packed with high-profile interviews and performances. Taking jabs at the rapid ascent of digital recording — which sunk the famed studio, even if it produced classics by Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, Rage Against the Machine and many more — Sound City’s central question seems to revolve around how to maintain the humanity in music recording. If it sounds a little blues dad-esque it’s because it is.
Here at Screen Grabs, we’re plenty excited for Tarantino’s latest, Django Unchained. Its third, and final, trailer might be the most gloriously blood-soaked yet, with Jamie Foxx playing a freed slave taking reparations into his own hands, inching ever closer to an delectably evil, plantation-owning Leo DiCaprio. (So, yes, a twist on the theme of Inglorious Basterds.) Soak in the feel-good violence.
Based on the Joyce Carol Oates book of the same name, and directed by The Class’s Laurence Cantet, Foxfire feels equal parts energetic and grittily stylized. This trailer — hosted by Indiewire — unveils a group of young girls who rise above their violent, unfortunate circumstances to form an all-female gang. This, despite the evident conservatism of the 1950s, the era in which the film is set.
Directed by Kasra Farahani — an artist who’s worked on everything from Benjamin Button to Avatar — Noon’s intriguing trailer is set in a post-apocayptic future, where the sun’s forever locked at (you guessed it!) noon. Set at a military garrison, the trailer, which previews a short slated for a January release, sets Noon up to be a sci-fi thriller exploring immigration issues — check the no-one-is-illegal dialogue in the trailer. As is expected, this one’s stylized to near-video game proportions.
Set on K2, the trailer for The Summit — mostly set on snowy peaks — has no choice but to look cool. But the plot hinted within is what grips: Exploring a 24-person expedition up the mountain, from which only 11 climbers return, The Summit bristles with an icy amorality, letting its actors fall down the mountain like it ain’t no thang.