Tired of trailers that give everything away? Well, below is the teaser trailer — or whatever it’s supposed to be — that’s been mystifying bloggers like Drew McWeeney all day. The movie is called “Rango.” [UPDATE: The trailer has since been deleted. I guess someone decided it was just too surreal. ANOTHER UPDATE, MUCH LATER: And now it’s back.]
Reminds me of a joke:
Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: The fish.
Or, in this case, the mechanical fish, I guess.
As per McWeeney and YouTube, the movie is performance-capture heavy animated piece about a “chameleon with an identity crisis” and stars Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, and a truly impressive collection of venerable character actors including Bill Nighy, Stephen Root, Ray Winstone, Beth Grant, Ned Beatty, Harry Dean Stanton and Alfred Molina. It’s being directed by Gore Verbinski and co-written by the very busy scribe John Logan. I am anything but a fan of Verbinski’s “Pirates” movies, but the marketing has worked. They’ve got my attention.
It’s hard to know what to expect out of a Blu-ray these days when the cover art detailing the included content fails to do just that. For instance, while the two-disc release of “Edge of Darkness” initially appears to be light on bonus material, there’s actually much more than Warner Brothers is letting on. None of it is particularly memorable stuff, but there’s still enough here to suggest that, even though it underperformed at the box office, the film had a big enough fan base (or at least the possibility of one) to warrant the added effort.
Much like last year’s release of “The Dark Knight,” “Edge of Darkness” rounds up a series of nine mini-featurettes covering everything from working with Mel Gibson and Martin Campbell, to adapting the miniseries for the big screen. Composer Howard Shore also discusses how he uses music to connect the audience to the protagonist, Campbell reminisces about directing the BBC miniseries, and writer William Monahan talks about his contributions to the script. Though none of them really stand out on their own, there’s enough good material here that they would have been better off putting together a single making-of featurette.
“Deleted & Alternate Scenes”
Mostly throwaway stuff, like Craven grieving over his daughter or threatening Danny Huston’s slimeball businessman. There is one substantial scene where Ray Winstone’s fixer is given all the details behind his new assignment, although it’s hard to imagine where this would have fit into the movie. It’s a major piece of exposition that would have undoubtedly ruined the mystery behind Craven’s investigation, but it also helps give Jedburgh a little more purpose. In the end, it was probably a smart decision to just cut it, as it’s more damaging than helpful to the film.
Though it would have been nice to have included an audio commentary by Campbell or Gibson, Warner’s two-disc release is still a far better showing than expected. The inclusion of a digital copy remains one of the most pointless “special features” around, but at least you can put it to good use and give it away to a friend. After all, if you’re buying Blu-rays for anything other than the movie, you have no one to blame but yourself.
It’s been 10 years since the release of Jonathan Glazer’s “Sexy Beast,” and yet the movie remains one of the most unforgettable crime thrillers ever made. Much of the film’s success was thanks to Sir Ben Kingsley’s electrifying performance as the venomous Don Logan, so it’s not surprising that the latest expletive-laced thriller from writers Louis Mellis and David Scinto is highlighted by the same kind of scene-chewing roles. “44 Inch Chest” assembles a cast of some of the best British actors working today, including Ray Winstone as Colin Diamond, a gangster contemplating murder after his wife informs him that she’s fallen in love with another man. After his friends kidnap her secret lover and take him back to their secret hideout to exact revenge, the heartbroken Colin must decide between killing in the name of love and walking away the better man.
Though “44 Inch Chest” is filled with lots of clever dialogue between Colin and his friends (an entertaining Tom Wilkinson, Ian McShane, John Hurt and Stephen Dillane), the story leaves much to be desired. There simply isn’t enough going on to fill an entire movie, and the fact that it’s structured more like a play (with a majority of the action taking place in a single room) only makes you wonder why it wasn’t conceived as one. If you can make it through the sluggish 95-minute runtime, “44 Inch Chest” is worth watching for the performances. Just don’t expect to be blown away.