The pReview Re-viewing of..
highly recommended to check out the trailer and then read!
by: Jeff Finck
The premise: Picture, if you will, a small child. A small child carrying a stick. That small child with the stick, then strikes another small child who isn't carrying a stick, in the face with the aforementioned stick. This prompts the parents of both children to address the issue.. and hash it out in what should be a mutual agreement on how to handle the situation. Luckily, for us-- the audience-- it looks to prove to be a single night of complete childishness and utter mayhem. Yet another movie in a long line of movies that have that underlying message: it's a terrible idea to have kids.. and often times, parents.
The trailer opens up on a group of children that seem to be huddled up in a park, probably discussing whatever the hell children discuss.. what Justin Bieber would look like without hair.. or how G.I. Joe is way lame now.. or how high levels of inequality will affect social cohesion and lead to problems such as increasing crime and violence. Probably the latter, because as Jodie Foster offers up a voiced over account of the situation, one of the boys, "armed with a stick," Pujols Comma Alberts (that's a real verb, btw) another kid in the face. The camera pulls us into the present, where Jodie "Little Lamb" Foster and John C. Reilly (hereforth known as Talladega Nights: The Ballad of the Brave One") are in front of a computer, attempting to word the situation officially to Kate "Titanic" Winslett and Christoph "That's a Bingo!" Waltz (also, from now on, known by their newer, shorter name "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Inglourious Basterds").
The trailer continues for a bit as both couples attempt civility towards one another. It degrades subtly over the course of their interactions, which are all in the same day.. because for some reason, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Inglourious Basterds seem to never leave! Talladega Nights: Ballad of the Brave One offers up some vittles, which, E.S.o.t.S.I.B. politely accepts, not knowing there is something amiss. The audience gets an idea, however, as throughout the trailer, Christoph Waltz repeatedly answers his phone and in one conversation, he begins to snort and giggle like he just heard the word "penis" for the first time. (Side note: Just typing that made me giggle like a school boy.) And at one point, Kate Winslet says she's going to throw up *again*. And at another point, Esotsib are missing several articles of clothing.
It eventually comes out that T.N.t.B.o.t.B.O.'s son, Ethan, wouldn't let EsotsiB's son, Zachary, be a part of his gang. Revelations abound! So, basically, we're getting a behind the scenes tale of a human Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer! That's good to establish now, because now I know there will be a happy ending for the kid. But this doesn't follow THAT story. This follows Rudolph's uppity, snobbish parents trying to justify the actions of the violent tyke to Prancer's working class parents.. and the hilarity that ensues when those kinds of balls are flexed.
The situation begins bubbling over about halfway through the trailer when a little bit of bluntness and straight shooting, Nell (Jodie Foster.. get it? She was in a movie called Nell.. SHE PLAYED NELL!) states that Zachary is a maniac. Of course, Rose comes to her son's defense. (Rose.. that's Kate Winslet.. Rose was in the movie Titanic. she played Rose! IN TITANIC!) Immediately following Kate Winslet's defense of her son, Hans Landa (..nevermind..), I mean Christoph Waltz completely agrees! This sparks the moment of all 4 consenting adults turning on each other in a spiraling out of control, War of the Roses on heroin kind of way. At least I hope this regresses into that kind of utter chaos, because I was really hoping to see a story like that, done well. (sick burn, War of the Roses!) Christoph argues with Kate, Kate argues with John, Jodie argues with Kate, John argues with Kate, Kate destroys Christoph's phone, Jodie backs up Kate, Kate and Jodie attack John, John argues with Jodie, and in a cacophony of scenes, arguments, and classical music, the trailer comes to an end with the line, "Why are we still in this house!" delivered by the visibly flustered Kate Winslet.
The trailer itself is very.. straightforward, I suppose is the best word. The plot is very, very interesting to me, though. Usually, we would get this drawn out, dramatic retelling of the events leading up to, and possibly just a little bit past, the kid hitting the other kid and the parents would take a backseat to the action. This drew me in, though, because they throw that idea out the window and focus on these seemingly normal, secretly horrible people. They seem to have put these characters together well, based on what I've seen. It doesn't hurt that they managed to pull 4 great actors in for this, either! I am definitely going to check this out when I get the chance!
Release Date: December 16, 2011