10 - Friday, December 5, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com d
COMING TO A RED CARPET NEAR YOU
Award season is almost here, and a number of unreleased films have already joined the Oscar race.
To sort out the season's best, Daily Arts is taking a look at the trailers for the year's most anticipated films.
Though he started on the streets of Philly
as the Fresh Prince, Will Smith has grown
considerably over the past 15 years, from
rapper to popcorn-celebrity to his current
position: respected actor. In 2007, he was
nominated for an Academy Award for Best
Actor in Gabriele Muccino's "The Pursuit of
Happyness." Smith stars in another Mucci-
no film, "Seven Pounds," slated for a Decem-
If Smith weren't so beloved, not to men-
tion bankable, the ambiguity of this trailer
might be reason for concern. With the num-
ber seven as a confounding motif throughout
(seven seconds, seven names, etc.), it's hard
to definitively say what the movie is about.
Smith plays Ben Thomas, who, following the
evident pattern, has to choose seven people to
help. While we know he has the unexplained
power to change their lives, it's hard to say
much more. But it almost doesn't matter.
The trailer features everything you'd
want in a Will Smith drama: tears, a fit of
rage, sprints through the rain and Smith's
handsome mug flashing a warm smile.
Additionally, "Seyen Pounds" features sup-
porting performances by Rosario Dawson
and Woody Harrelson. While it might be
hard to say whether or not this will be a
great movie, Smith is sure to earn recogni-
tion from the Academy.
DECEMBER 26, 2008
So Sam Mendes ("American Beauty") is
directing another sad suburbanite saga with
top-notch actors. Sounds like "Revolution-
ary Road" should be an obvious contender
for the Oscar awards.
If only the trailer didn't make the film look
like an overwrought Lifetime movie, except
with famous people and nicer visuals.
The storyline is simple: A husband and
wife in mid-1950s Connecticut experience
the highs and lows of marriage. As one
would expect, adultery, self-loathing and
lots of yelling ensue. Leonardo DiCaprio
slams his fists like any Best Actor-wannabe,
and Kate Winslet bemoans the doomed
union through the entire trailer.
The use of jazz singer Nina Simone's
music is nice, but besides that, who wants
to see domesticated dramas these days? We
have AMC and HBO for that. "Revolution-
ary Road" appears tobe a good bet for gold-
en statues come late February, but, judging
solely on the trailer, it could just as easily be
another moody melodrama to be forgotten
as soon as it opens.
From Page 9
fact that I've been burned," it's hard
not to think back to that now-char-
coal house. All the emotion gets a
bit corny after a while, but at least
it provides insight into the singer/
Walker's tendency toward the
dramatic results in a few cheesy
moments. Tediously slow-paced
and hollow synth beats drum
on behind Walker as he sings, "I
passed your place; I saw your car; I
thought of you."
The song also claims a similarly
worded chorus and makes the
track almost painful to listen to.
Adding to the melodrama, a few of
the songs were clearly influenced
by the blues, featuring harmonicas
and the works; "The Weight of Her"
could pass as a country hit. But
maybe that's just Walker's Georgia
roots coming through.
In spite of the countrified
moments,Walker still pulls through
friend Pink lends Walker a favor,
joining him for a duet on "Here
Comes The..." He lets his inner
rock star shine while reminisc-
ing over a horny, coke-fiend lover
and sticking it to the Man by bash-
ing American Apparel for "selling
womens' clothes to guys.' "Sum-
mer Scarves" features an eerie oboe
intro and a hauntingly captivating
guitar-heavy melody. And Walker
even proves he can rock out acous-
tically on "Closer to the Truth and
Further From the Sky."
The guy deserves some credit.
His long-term love affair with the
music industry has taught him a
thing or two about making a catchy
tune. That experience is heard all
overSycamoreMeadows and Walker
isn't letting anyone forget it. "Going
Back / Going Home" is virtually a
biography of his life. He reminds us
"Everybody knows I've seen aslot /
Yeah I'm experienced." His album
boasts more than enough radio
friendly tunes to ensure his cho-
ruses will be stuck in your head for
the next few months, but probably
not muchlonger than that.