As The Shadow was fond of saying: "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit." Crime may not pay, but it often makes for compelling cinema. This week on trailer park we look at some recent trailers in which people, for one reason or another, find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Mark Wahlberg plays a retired sharpshooter pressed back into service to prevent a Presidential assassination. His attempts to foil the hit go wrong and he ends up framed by his former employers and on the run. The story is nothing we haven't all seen before, so it all comes down to the execution (pun most definitely intended). Wahlberg has developed a formidable screen presence, and I suspect he'll be able to pull it off. The most interesting thing about seeing the rapper formerly known as Marky Mark up there on the screen, is the fact that you no longer care that it's Marky Mark. This film is not to be confused with the similarly-plotted The Shooter starring Wesley Snipes. You can read Chris Ullrich's take on this trailer here.
Regardless of your views on marijuana, possession and use of it remains a crime here in the U.S. Martha Fischer first mentioned this film here on Cinematical back in March. This stoner comedy is from Gregg Araki, the director behind The Doom Generation, a nightmarishly messed up but fascinating film. Smiley Face stars Anna Faris as a young actress who really likes pot. After mistakenly eating an entire batch of cupcakes laced with the stuff, things start to get silly. Faris is probably best known for the Scary Movie series, and she does a pratfall in the trailer that will remind you of that fact. As sophomorically stupid as those films can be, I like Faris, and she's usually memorable in even small roles like the ones she played in Lost in Translation and Brokeback Mountain. I think this will be one to look out for.
I wrote about this film's newly announced release date just a few days ago. This is a dramatization of the Mountain Meadow Massacre of 1857 which saw the death of over 100 settlers (men, women and children) at the hands of members of the Mormon church. The trailer plays up the alleged conspiracy to cover up Brigham Young's part in the massacre. I'm not sure what new evidence director Christopher Cain could have uncovered at this late date, but the movie appears to be pointing out that religious extremism is hardly a new idea. Terence Stamp strikes quite a formidable figure as Young, and this seems like the sort of role that will garner an Oscar nomination next year. I have high hopes for this one.
An American Crime
Set in 1965 and based on a true story, Catherine Keener plays a suburban mother of six who keeps the teenage daughter of a friend locked in her basement. The trailer is intentionally vague on what is actually done to the young girl, and that vagueness makes the trailer all the more disturbing. The period and subject matter had me thinking of Capote, and I'm hoping this will be a comparably effective historical crime drama. Kim Voynar caught the film at Sundance, and you can check out her review here.
Heather Graham and Tom Cavanaugh (of Ed and Scrubs) play a brother and sister who are inseparable. Cavanaugh's character meets and marries a beautiful woman played by Bridget Moynahan. Complications arise because Graham realizes she is also in love with her brother's wife. The crime here is that Heather Graham's character is no longer interested in my gender and would prefer to be with women. Well, OK, that's still pretty cool. The trailer emphasizes the film's self-discovery angle, but its strengths will lie more with how well it works as a romantic comedy. The impressive leads are backed up by an equally stellar supporting cast that includes Alan Cumming, Molly Shannon and Sissy Spacek. Looks like fun.