Wednesday trailers: Two coming of age tales for the price of one!

The single most crowded genre in the history of film, television, literature, theater, and most definitely popular songs is getting a little bit more crowded next year.

First, “Tree of Life,” the new film from talented but way-too-contemplative-for-my-taste director Terrence Malick, threatens to be dramatic enough that I might actually like it — assuming he doesn’t spend 3/4 of the film shooting sparrows nesting in nearby trees and if can keep his reliance on endless, pretentious narration under control. (I’m still scarred by the drama-free-war-melodrama-cum-nature-documentary that was “The Thin Red Line.”) Or maybe he can make another serial killer film some day, because “Badlands” was pretty great. The pictures are very beautiful, however.


Tree Of Life
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So, handsomest-man-in-the-world Brad Pitt and willowy Jessica Chastain have a baby and he grows up into Sean Penn. Boy, and I thought I didn’t fare too well in the genetic lottery. A big h/t to Film Drunk and commenter Larry:

Malick has the worst narrators since the voice in my head that tells me to burn things.

Next, we have the first starring role in a while from Topher Grace. I think Grace is a hugely underrated actor with a gift for comedy. The movie, however is called “Take Me Home Tonight” and what you are about to see is even more familiar than the title of a bad hairband song. Also, why do people want to relive the 80s? I wasn’t so crazy about them the first time.

The good news is that, at 32, Grace is getting a bit old for this kind of material. I’m also fairly sure the very hot (I mean career wise) Anna Faris could probably do a lot better than this. Dan Fogler, on the other hand, is at approximately the correct level. Actually, the scene with the cuckold guy and the glamorous but slightly strange looking redhead was the first small chuckle he’s elicited from me so far, so there’s always hope for improvement.

  

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A special Thursday at the movies

It’s special because I usually do my box office preview tonight, but personal circumstance are forcing a small delay in that, so instead we have some more, if extra brief, news hits right now.

* The sad and shocking death of actress Brittany Murphy has been ruled accidental and is ascribed to a combination of pneumonia and prescription drugs.

* The Playlist points us to the latest on director Michel Gondry, off the set of “The Green Hornet” with Seth Rogen and working on some kind of “secret project” with Bjork, who long ago has sworn off movie making after the infamously difficult shoot of “Dancer in the Dark.”

dancer-in-the-dark-1-800

* From Nikki Finke: He’s not quite the J.D. Salinger of movie directors, but the very private and selective director with a large cult following and a tendency to take things slowly — very slowly — Terrence MalickĀ  (“Badlands,” “The New World“), is keeping busy and working with big stars.

* One of the most buzzed about documentaries at Sundance, “Catfish,” has been purchased. Sounds interesting.

  

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