Trailer Round-Up

There are four trailers from the past week that are worth a look. A little bit of horror, LA crime drama, teen shenanigans and East End violence seem to be the shape of things to come.

The Cabin in the Woods

 I have seen The Cabin in the Woods, but I am sworn to secrecy. The film was co-written and produced by Joss Whedon. Go and see it when it comes out on 13th April 2012.

 Rampart

There is not enough noir in modern cinema. Rampart, released Friday 24th February, appears to go some way to rectifying this. Featuring a screenplay by L.A. Confidential‘s James Ellroy, Rampart focuses on a veteran cop in the LAPD. The film features an all-star cast including Woody Harrelson, Sigourney Weaver and Steve Buscemi.

 Project X

Project X seems to be a teen party movie with a twist. The film is about a seventeenth birthday party which high school students shoot with their digital cameras. Project X is produced by The Hangover‘s Todd Phillips and The Matrix‘s Joel Silver. The film is released in cinemas on 2nd March 2012.

 Pusher

Pusher is a remake of Nicolas Winding Refn’s film of the same name. This version is set in East London and stars Agyness Deyn, Ruchard Coyle and Bronson Webb. The remake has the approval of Winding Refn, who acts as executive producer of the project. Pusher is due for release this year.

Film Review: The Adjustment Bureau

The trailer for The Adjustment Bureau makes the film look highly unappealing. It is actually a lot better than this, but not exactly “Bourne meets Inception” as one of the film’s posters boasts.

David Norris is a New York politician running for senate. Facing defeat on election night, David has a brief encounter with a beautiful young woman. Longing to see her again, chance throws them back together a short while later. Mysterious forces, however, are conspiring to keep them apart…

Based on the short story ‘Adjustment Team’ by Philip K. Dick, The Adjustment Bureau was adapted and directed by frequent Damon collaborator George Nolfi (screenwriter of Ocean’s Twelve among others). Nolfi goes beyond the necessary padding out of his source material, creating the central characters and the majority of the plot.

The Adjustment Bureau is ultimately letdown by a script that puts emphasis on the romantic angle rather than the more interesting science fiction elements. Although the film can be classified as a sci-fi thriller, the primary focus is on the love story between David and Elise. The Adjustment Bureau would have worked better as science fiction with a romantic subplot. It is the ideas proposed by this aspect of the story that are most interesting, rather than David and Elise’s relationship.

It is easy to draw parallels between The Adjustment Bureau and films such as Dark City, The Truman Show and even The Matrix. Nevertheless, the premise is still fascinating, if not entirely unique. It is a pity that the ideas proposed by The Adjustment Bureau are not explored further. Like The Matrix, Nolfi’s film depicts supernatural beings not as magical entities but as smartly dressed men. The language used in the film is suggests a corporation and a chairman, rather than a mythical higher power.

As David, Matt Damon is decent, as ever, in the type of role that he has become accustomed to. Emily Blunt is convincing as Elise, while Anthony Mackie is appropriately contemplative as struggling bureau man Harry. The Adjustment Bureau strives to create an environment as realistic as possible (initially at least), which includes appearances by well-known individuals such as Jon Stewart.

The Adjustment Bureau is visually sleek, with some of the shots featuring a limited palette of greys and blues. The effects are suitably unassuming, with power being given to an accessory rather than to overly supernatural objects or forces.

The Adjustment Bureau is an engaging watch, but one that is ultimately unsatisfying. The film fails to live up to its interesting premise with too much focus on the relationship and a lacklustre conclusion.