Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trailer Watch: Summer movie alternatives

I'm as excited for Super 8, Captain America, and Harry Potter as the next nerd, but as temperatures climb and the summer blockbuster juggernaut starts to become oppressive, you may find yourself craving the sweet, character-driven relief of the art house. Thankfully, Trailer Watch is here with a few antidotes to the popcorn flick fare of this coming season.

First up, a film that's as hugely anticipated among certain segments of the moviegoing population as anything Marvel can throw at us, Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life:


Any entry from the legendary—and legendarily unprolific—writer-director is enough to garner widespread attention, but when the proceedings are this epic (much has been made of the film's dinosaur segments), expectations run high, indeed. I, for one, refuse to tamp them down. Tree of Life opens May 27, and I can't wait.

Next is the Rodman Flender documentary Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, chronicling Coco's gleefully vaudevillian 2010 national tour:


The doc, which got a warm reception when it premiered at SXSW this spring, reportedly offers a warts-and-all glimpse of O'Brien's post-NBC life and work, without making him unsympathetic (or, perhaps more important, unfunny). Can't Stop received a multi-platform distribution deal, becoming first available to AT&T U-verse subscribers before opening in theaters June 24.

Finally, the haunting Martha Marcy May Marlene, which took Best Director at Sundance:


Martha marks the feature debut for writer-director Sean Durkin, and was, interestingly—along with Vera Farmiga's Higher Ground and Kevin Smith's Red State—one of several films to deal with religious cults at Sundance this year. Also somewhat surprisingly, the thriller stars Elizabeth (sister to Mary-Kate and Ashley) Olsen in a breakout role as the titular Martha, alongside recent Oscar nominee John Hawkes, bringing that creepy warmth he so effectively employed in Winter's Bone. Very eager to check out this one, which opens July 10.

Well, these ought to adequately cleanse your palette from all the 'splosions of the multiplex. Which movies have you ready for summer?

2 comments:

Eric said...

excited for tree of life. it finally got released here in philadelphia. of course, it had to take a backseat to seeing harry potter

John G. Potter said...

Did you see Tree of Life yet?