Trailer Park: INCEPTION, SPLICE and JONAH HEX
By R. Kurt Osenlund, The Good Life film critic
Writer/director Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight") returns with this sci-fi psychological thriller about dreams and the theft of secrets and other fun cloak-and-dagger, sci-fi psychological stuff. The cast? Oh, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Caine, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy and more.
Turn-ons: Too many to mention. This is THE event movie of the summer as far as I'm concerned, and possibly one of the better films of the year. (I hope I don't find myself eating those words.) Nolan's third Batman film was recently given a summer 2012 release date, but until then, "Inception" looks to be an excellent stand-in to sate the filmmaker's fans.
Turn-offs: None to mention, really. If I must pick nits, the trailer makers should be ashamed for insisting on throwing in that obligatory, last-second bit of comic relief. Admittedly, it's classier than most, and doesn't affect my anticipation, but must every trailer include those annoying parting shots?
Two doctors (played by Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley) break the rules and use human DNA to create something new and scary. Things, of course, go terribly wrong.
Turn-ons: "Splice" comes from writer/director Vincenzo Natali, a cult visionary with bold ideas who gained notoriety with the home video hit "Cube," then thought way outside the box to deliver the conceptually intriguing "Nothing." It will be interesting to see what he does with more money in his pocket. And Sarah Polley is always welcome, be it in front of the camera or behind it.
Turn-offs: This trailer is jam-packed with scare tactics and plot points so recycled, it's nearly laughable. I should hope Natali's most mainstream work isn't simply a tepid mash-up of "Alien" and "Species."
Josh Brolin steps into the spurred boots of this supernatural comic book character, brought back to life to seek revenge and woo Megan Fox, all while sporting one nasty burn scar on his face.
Turn-ons: "Jonah Hex" boasts a fun cast, with Brolin and Fox backed up by John Malkovich and the terrific Michael Fassbender as the film's odious villains. In the director's chair is Jimmy Hayward, who helmed the charming and great-looking "Horton Hears a Who!" Let's see if he can't make the most of Brolin's considerable skills in the down-home-bad-boy arena.
Turn-offs: What was I saying about those last-second bits of comic relief? Really, though, this looks dangerously close to being the "Wild Wild West" of the superhero genre, and we all know how bad that Will Smith vehicle stunk.