No, it's not Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Kingdom of the Last Crystal Skull of the Ark or whatever they're calling it these days. Don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to Steven Spielberg returning to the kinetic action genre, and the trailer does look fun (and Cate Blanchett in tight leather...meow) but there are three factors preventing me from having my excitement raised beyond the "as long as it isn't as bad as The Phantom Menace" level: 1.) Unfortunately, I am the only person alive not to have caught Shia LaBeoufever, he seems to be a likeable enough guy but based on the two movies of his I've seen, Transformers and Disturbia, which granted are both bad movies, I haven't seen anything in him other than a propensity to smirk. Hopefully he'll finally prove to me why Spielberg has decided the kid worthy of being cast in every movie he's remotely involved. 2.) While all the previous Jones films featured state of the art special effects of the day, the action sequences we're pretty much all on-set stunts, the warehouse chase here features heavy use of CGI (and if you are really bored Google Jim Broadbent and CGI pants to see a curious debate the trailer has caused amongst fanboys). 3.) Two words: George Lucas. Yeah, the dude behind the Star Wars prequels. I know he didn't direct or write this, but, he's a major player in the franchise, and did I mention he's the dude behind the Star Wars prequels?
While I'll approach May 22nd with tempered anticipation, the trailer that has me psyched is the red band (meaning cannot be shown in movie theatres for films not rated R and therefore "not safe for work") Pineapple Express.
When it was announced that the vulgar yet sweet styling of producer Judd Apatow and co-writer/star Seth Rogen were collaborating with George Washington and All The Real Girls director David Gordon Green, whose natural lyricism directing resume brings to mind more Terrence Malick than The 40 Year Old Virgin, I thought there might be a natural clash, two great tastes that wouldn't taste great together, peanut butter and hummus, but looking at the trailer, the film looks to be something that I adore: a cinema-knowledgeable mash-up of genre styles (pot comedy, buddy action film)in the vein of some of Jonathan Demme's 80's work like Married to the Mob and Something Wild, films that served and operated in multiple genres, never settling to be just a, say, mob movie with some humor, but a full blown comedy and mob film.
David Gordon Green's movie literate style (in the preview alone there are visual shout outs to Tarantino and Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye) should prevent the inevitable "everything Apatow related" backlash that people will jump on after his less interesting looking producing input Saving Sarah Marshall and Drillbit Taylor open this Spring. It's also great to see James Franco return to playing a sweet dimwitted stoner in the vein of his break-out role as Daniel Desario in Freaks and Geeks after countless bland brooding roles in uninspiring films.
If you don't find the sight of Seth Rogen's (aided by wires)jump off the balcony in the warehouse and Franco's failed attempt to kick in the car window to be glorious and/or hilarious, than I might have no use for you as a human being.
Great use of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" too:
Opens August 8th.