Artificial Continuum

Saturday, July 16, 2011
Okay, so I'm aware we had one of these the other day. However, with the release of the final Harry Potter film this week studios have scrambled to preview their biggest upcoming attractions. We've got a wide range of films coming up so let's get started.

1. Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows

Robert Downey Jr.'s first Sherlock Holmes film was a financial success but in many ways controversial amongst critics and fans of the original series. The decision to make the series more action oriented indeed made it more pedestrian, but at the same time lost some of the source materials wit. The same seems to apply here, except elevated to an even higher degree. Jude Law and Downey Jr. continue to provide standout performances, but they lack the freshness of seeing them for the first time. Plus, seeing Sherlock Holmes in a dress was not on my bucket list.

Score: -B

2. Hugo

Hugo based on the critically acclaimed illustrated novel by Brian Selznick originally caught my attention when it was anounced that Martin Scorsese would direct. However, this new trailer has done nothing but harm my interest for the film. While the source material told an original and spellbinding mystery, this trailer barely hints at it and instead focuses too much on slapstick pratfalls. Not too mention that it is pared with 30 Seconds to Mars's song "Kings and Queens" which has become the go to soundtrack peice for uplifting family films. This trailer is just incredibly bland. There are hints of promise scattered within cover of medicority, but my attention is lost.

Score: C

3. Arthur Christmas

Another trailer that premiered with Harry Potter, this animated holidy comedy first appears promising with Morgan Freeman taking a jab at his own previous work in nature film narrating. Than we descend into one of the most frustrating and long whinded gags I have ever seen in a film trailer. The animation is nice, but the entire trailer relies on a singular joke that goes and goes and goes. The sad thing is, it wasn't even funny to begin with. Although the film stars James McAvoy of X-men fame, after this trailer I have zero to no desire to see this.

Score: D

4. John Carter

John Carter has slowly become one of my most anticipated films for next year. Not only is it a science fiction epic based on the classic books by Edgar Rice Burroughs (who also appears to be a character in the film), but its work is actually being overseen by Pixar. As for the trailer, it is good but not great. While the design for the film is stunning and inspired, we also are treated to a Mars that looks a little too much like the American West. The story also appears to be a bit on the familiar side. Despite this, my interest is piqued and I look forward to see where Disney takes this adaptation.

Score: B

6. The Thing

Although this didn't air in front of Harry Potter, the trailer for the remake/prequel to the classic John Carpenter film, The Thing, also premiered this week. While the trailer is exciting and looks to atleast have the potential to be as frightening as the original, I can't help but thinking I've seen this before. The sad thing is that because the film acts as a prequel it has to fit into the previous films canon. We already know what happens to that Norwegian snow base. Wouldn't that take away the scare factor? Sadly, this trailer doesn't do much to convince me otherwise despite the interesting visuals and creepy backdrop.

Score: -B

7. The Dark Knight Rises

The most anticipated trailer of the week, heck probably the year, and I'm not allowed to show you it. If you want to see the sneak peak of the upcoming Batman sequel you just have to buy a ticket to see the newest Harry Potter film (you should probably do that anyway).

As for the quality of the trailer? Its a teaser, so you can't expect much. We get out first glimpse at Bane, Liam Neeson does some voice overs, and Christian Bale stalks by in his costume. Its not much, but it's affective. Not too mention that creepy chanting from the viral videos is still around.

Score: B+