Tag Archives: trilogy

Anatomy of a Trailer: Scream 4 (Contains Possible Spoilers)

I can’t believe it’s been 14 years since the first Scream movie came out in theaters!  It seems like only yesterday that I was sneaking into the movie theater to see it on opening night, having sneakily purchased tickets to some more “family friendly fare.”

That’s right!  Just like, I suspect, many of you, I wasn’t yet 17 when the first Scream came out in theaters . . .

(You know, I’ll never, for the life of me, understand why horror films, like this one, scrabble for the “Hard R” rating, when probably more than half of their movie viewing population has to be dropped off at the theater by their parents, because they don’t have their drivers licenses yet.  I mean, I get that it’s supposed to be this big “Status Symbol” to be “Rated R,” as a horror film.  Yet, all that Big Bad Letter really does is end up getting a lot of Movie Ticket Takers fired, for not properly ID-ing their patrons.)

“I swear, boss.  He totally looked 17 to me!”

But I digress.  There I was, underage, hanging with a bunch of my friends, and viewing Scream for the first time.  I remember when the movie started, seeing Drew Barrymore on the screen  (who was kind of a “big deal” at the time), and kind of rolling my eyes a bit.  “They aren’t going to kill Drew!”  I whispered to whoever was sitting next to me.  “Her face is on the movie poster.  And her name is one of ‘top billed.'”

 

And then they gutted her like a fish, in the first five minutes . . .

I was HORRIFIED . . . but, at the same time, very impressed.  I knew, right then, that I was witnessing the start of something pretty amazing.  As far as “horror movie cliches” were concerned, all bets were off!  We were all going to be in for quite a ride . . .

I saw the next two films in the trilogy on their opening nights as well.  And while neither had quite the shock value of the first installment  (The minute Jada Pinkett Smith walked into that movie theater at the beginning of Scream 2, I knew not to get too attached to her character . . .

 . . . ditto for Buffy the Vampire Slayer . . .)

 . . . I still found both films to be enjoyable, witty, and surprisingly well-written.

So, I was intrigued, when I started hearing buzz around the internet that the first film of a new Scream trilogy would be “stabbing” its way into theaters in 2011.  Like the first film, Scream 4 will be penned by Kevin Williamson (writer of none other than my current FAVORITE television show, The Vampire Diaries) . . .

 . . . and directed by, that denizen of horror himself, Wes Craven. 

As the poster for the film suggests, the new tagline for Scream 4 is “New Decade, New Rules.”  At this year’s Scream Awards, Wes Craven promised us a movie for  the “next generation” of horror fans.  Here, the same, now- tired, old rules, won’t necessarily apply.  You know what that means, don’t you?  Oh yeah . . . the Ghostface Killer is TOTALLY iPhone-ready.

“Psycho Serial Killer?  There’s an app for that!”

Sure, Scream 4 may be ready for the “next generation of horror movie fans,” but, the question remains, is it ready for us?   After all, in this new culture, of leaked scripts, pirated films, screencapped trailers, and endless film analysis on message boards and blogs, it is REALLY hard to keep a secret, and even harder to genuinely surprise fans.  Because, now, not only are horror movie goers more savvy, as Craven, himself suggested, they are also more well-informed.

For example, we NOW know that when an actress boasts a “cameo” in a horror film, and her character doesn’t have a “name” on the movie’s IMDB page , we can probably expect her to show up in one scene, die a quick but gruesome death, and never be seen again . . .

Usually a lover of all things spoilery, I personally found myself a bit disappointed when, after merely viewing the film’s teaser trailer and perusing the message boards, I already pieced together what will probably be the opening murder sequence (including the “fakeout” that will likely come with it). 

And . . . well . . . why don’t I let you watch for yourself . . .

Now that’s a trailer chocked full of spoilery information, if I’ve ever seen one! 

I’m just going to share a few screencaps with you that I found particularly instructive.  However, you can find ALL the screencaps for this trailer here.  (Special thanks to CNE20, who was kind enough to post these!)

Oh, and for all you Spoilerphobes out there, this would be a good time to STOP READING!

:12 “Welcome home, Sydney!  You’re a survivor, aren’t you, Sydney?  What good is it being a survivor, if everyone around you is DEAD!”

Yes, boys and girls, Scream queen, Neve Campbell (now 37), will be reprising her role as the much-abused Sydney Prescott.  After all this poor woman has been through, you would think she would FINALLY suck it up, and cancel her landline.  Cell phones, Sydney!  They are all the rage these days . . . not to mention that having them makes it much easier to RUN AWAY from the Psycho Serial Killer who always seems to be INSIDE YOUR HOUSE!

:18 – “All you can do is WATCH!”

Anna Paquin (Soookeh! of  True Blood) and Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) have both publicly admitted to having “cameos” in this film.  (We all know what THAT means!)  Many “experts” have posited that the first “murder” of the film, will not be a “real” murder, but actually a scene from the fictional Scream-like series, Stab (featured prominently in Scream 2 and 3), which Anna’s and Kristen’s characters will be watching at home on DVD.  These same experts suggest that Anna and Kristen, like Drew Barrymore and Jada Pinkett Smith, before them, will be the new film’s first REAL victims.  This scene here, which features Anna, turning off a DVD, while a frightened Kristen looks on, would seem to suggest as much . . .

:19 – “Ahhhhhhhh!”

Golly gee!  For two girls credited as having “cameos” in the film, Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) and Shenae Grimes (90210) sure got a lot of face time in the teaser trailer!  Many suspect that this is because these two will be stars of the Stab installment that Anna and Kristen are watching, in the film’s opening scene. 

(Note to Kevin Williamson:  It is not too late to CHANGE THIS!  In fact, if this is the actual concept for the opening sequence, and you want to REALLY shock fans, as you have done consistently in the past, you probably SHOULD!)

:21 – “Modern fans have become savvy to the rules of the originals.  I mean, there are still rules, but the rules have changed.”

OMG, Rory Culkin!  My, have you grown!  (I bet you’re taller than Macauley Culkin now . . . and Kieran Culkin, for that matter.)  It looks as though Rory will be inhabiting the “Horror Film Geek”  role, previously inhabited by Jamie Kennedy (who played “Randy Meeks”), in the first two films.

:50 – “Go ahead, if you have the guts!”

This highly controversial, and much discussed, screencap features Courtney Cox, seemingly about to get gutted by the Ghostface Killer.  Could the makers of this trailer be brave enough (or stupid enough, depending on how you look at it) to forecast the death of Gale Weathers –one of the three MAIN CHARACTERS from the original trilogy — so early in the film’s promotional campaign?  (Or will someone come to to her rescue, at the last minute, as is usually the case in these type of movie situations?)

:54 – “Well, it’s time for someone new to die.”

Here’s Rory Culkin again, along with Hayden Panettiere and Marielle Jaffe.  These three will likely function as the “Scooby Gang” to lead player, Emma Robert’s “Jill.”  Hayden will be playing Kirby Reed, “Jill’s” best friend.  The “best friend” moniker should keep her safe for at least the first half of the film.

Marielle will be playing “Olivia,” who, based on this  scene alone, looks and sounds like kind of a b*tch.  Since b*tches never fare particularly well in this genre, I’m guessing “Olivia” will be a goner, fairly early on . . .

:58 – “These aren’t just random killings.”

David Arquette (who I am liking SO MUCH LESS NOW, especially after his ridiculous drunken T.M.I. rant on Howard Stern) will be reprising his role as Deputy Dewey.  Also donning the dorky Rent-A-Cop uniform in this film, will be the adorable Adam Brody . . .

(Seth Cohen is a cop?)

 . . . and the very cuddly, Anthony Anderson . . .

1:00 – iPhone product placement alert!

I said it before, but it bears repeating.  Between the killer videotaping his murders, and the cast members running around with iPhones, it does seem that new technologies will play a major role in the new trilogy.

1:01 –  Emma Roberts alert!

Although she looks like she’s in a pretty tough spot right now, I’m thinking that Emma Roberts, who has been tauted by producers as “the NEW Sydney Prescott” (she plays Sydney’s cousin, in the film), will probably be around for a while.  In other words, if you happen to be watching the film, and really have to pee, the scenes where “Jill” is in “peril” are the best time to go . . .  At least, this way, you won’t risk missing a “cool death scene.”

1:16 – “I hear you like horror movies.”

              “It’s for you.”

I know I showed these two already.  However, this line was the only one in the trailer that actually made me giggle out loud.   It also seemed a bit cheesy, by Scream standards.  This only supports my hypothesis that all scenes featuring Shenae and Lucy are meant to come from the fictional Stab series.  Of course, I could be wrong . . . (I still kind of hope I am.)

Scream 4 scares into theaters April 15, 2011.  Will YOU see it?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Movie Trailer Recaplets, Scream 4, Spoilers and Sneak Peaks

Create Your Dream Cast: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

 

One of my favorite reads of 2009 was Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games.  The novel follows Katniss Everdeen, a strong willed 16-year old girl, who is forced to take part in a nationally televised fight-to-the-death survival competition against 23 other teenagers in the post-apocalyptic fictional nation of Panem.  From page 1, The Hunger Games is the quintessential page turner.  It transports you into another world and keeps you there, long after you’ve completed the book.

Collins does not discriminate, and there is something here for all ages, sexes, and book preferences: a bunch of knock-down drag-out, surprisingly gory, fights for the action buffs, a romantic triangle for the lovers, political intrigue for the Tom Clancy and David Baldacci inclined, a futuristic otherworld for the fantasy and sci fi geeks, adolescent angst for the teens, dry humor for the comedy lovers, and tons of thinly veiled pop culture references and digs at reality television for entertainment addicts.

The Hunger Games is actually the first novel of a trilogy series.  Its also-excellent sequel, Catching Fire, is already a bestseller.  The third book of the series, Mockingjay is due out August 24, 2010.  However, the novel is already available for pre-order on Amazon.  (Only $8.50 for a hardcover!  Way cheap!)

When I learned that Lionsgate Entertainment had purchased the film rights to The Hunger Games, and the Suzanne Collins, herself, was hired to write the script, I was excited and highly intrigued.  This book has surefire blockbuster written all over it!  The news got me to thinking about who they were going to cast for the major roles in this film — and, more importantly, who I would cast if I were making this film . . .

So, without further adieu, here are my casting pics for Lionsgate Entertainment’s adaptation of The Hunger Games:

Katniss Everdeen

My pick: Ellen Page

Why?  Although technically a bit older than Katniss (aren’t they all?), Page has the physical look of the character, as well as Katniss’ tough exterior and inner vulnerability.  She also brings to the table a recognizable name that will inevitably bring big box office bucks to the film.  Page definitely has the acting chops for this complex and meaty role.  Plus, if the X Men films, Whip It, and the ultra-dark indie film Hard Candy are any indication, she also possesses the strength and deft to pull off some fairly hardcore stunts, which may be necessary, given the action aspects of this novel.

Peeta Mellark

My pick: Sterling Knight

Why?  Like Page, Knight definitely looks the part here.  As the attractive and inherently likeable boy-next-door type, who may or may not be completely trust worthy, the actor who plays Peeta must appear both sweet and a tad sly.  I think Knight has what it takes to be both.  Best known for his role as Chad Dylan Cooper in Disney Channel’s tween sitcom Sonny with a Chance, Knight has already shown himself capable of playing the male lead in a love/hate type relationship.  I think he and Ellen Page would play off one another well, with respect to the romance aspects of this tale.  

As far as action scenes, I’m not sure whether Knight has what it takes, as I’ve never seen him act in any particularly physical roles.   Then again, Peeta always struck me as kind of a wimp (sorry girls).  So, athleticism may not be entirely necessary here . . .

Gale Hawthorne

My pick: Taylor Lautner

 

Why?  This one may be a bit of a stretch, seeing as Lautner is such a big name in Hollywood now, and Gale’s role in The Hunger Games is a relatively small one.  (Gale plays a much bigger part in The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire, however).  And yet, I can’t help but think Lautner was made for this role!  Dark complextion, killer abs, physical prowess, the ability to brood and pine over unrequited love, all the while being all-manly / hunting stuff . . . who could ask for a better Gale than Lautner?  Plus, we all know how much Taylor loves his love triangles . . .

Haymitch Abernathy

My pick: James Gandolfini

Why?  Yeah, I know, this is also a bit of wishful thinking on my part . . .  But I LOVE my Gandolfini!  Plus, I think he would be awesome as this gruff and hard-drinking, yet wise and loyal, former Games winner and mentor to Katniss and Peeta.  And, it’s my cast, dammit!  So, I’ll hire who I want!

Effie Trinket

My pick: Kristin Chenoweth

Why?  Chenoweth has the sophisticated look, chirpy ebullience, and high-pitched (at-times grating) speaking voice to pull off District 12’s well-meaning, but slightly haughty, PR representative, Effie Trinket.  I’ll cast her in this role on one condition . . .  she MUST sing at least once during the film!

Cinna

My pick: Adam Lambert

Why?  Lambert has the guy-liner, fashion sense, natural flamboyance, and addiction to hair dye necessary to pull off Katniss’ personal stylist for the Games.  Granted, I’m not really sure Lambert has any acting experience (unless you count those daytime talk show interviews).  However, Cinna never struck me as a particularly complex role.  So, I think Adam could pull it off.  Plus, those American Idol fans would go wild!

Primrose Everdeen

My pick? Elle Fanning (Dakota’s little sister)

Why?  Honestly, I don’t have much to say here.  The role calls for a fair-haired and cherubic pre-teen to play Katniss’ little sister.  I am pretty sure there is actually a law in Hollywood that states that whenever a role like this is created, a Fanning must be cast in it.  So, here we are . . .

Mrs. Everdeen

My pick: Toni Collette

Why?  The role calls for someone who is believable as the slightly unstable and depressive herbalist mother of both dark-haired tomboy, Katniss, and girly blonde, Primrose.  I think Collette fits in quite nicely here . . .

Well, there you have it.  Now, it’s your turn.  Hop on to that casting couch (no pun intended), and pick your favorites.  Who knows?  Lionsgate Entertainment just might be listening . . .

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Filed under casting, Novel, The Hunger Games