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So many film trailers have been released this year already that it seems everyone will be spending much of 2012 on the edge of their seats in cinema screens. Here’s a short overview of just a few recent trailers:
The Grey starring Liam Neeson is an action thriller with a twist; a team of oil drillers on their way home from the outer reaches of Alaska crash land in the snowy wilderness, only to be set upon by a pack of bloodthirsty wolves. Ottway (Neeson) must lead his men in a fight against the animals while also trying to find a way back to civilisation and safety. Neeson is no stranger to action films; his roles have included Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and vengeful ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills in Taken (as well as providing the voice of Aslan the lion in The Chronicles of Narnia). In The Grey, which is released at the end of January, he is in his element as he battles the savage beasts (one scene included in the trailer even has him making his own claws out of broken bottles).
An intriguing take on the idea of super powers will be Josh Trank’s Chronicle; after making an odd discovery, three high school friends seem to develop super telekinesis, and are able to move objects using only the power of thought. At first they use their powers for fun; playing practical jokes on each other and scaring a young girl in a toyshop by making a teddy bear seem to come to life. The fun can’t last however, and soon one of the three takes the joke too far, accidentally killing a man. They go on to discover just how destructive the consequences of abusing power can be.
For fans of horror, ATM (standing for Automated Teller Machine) will be worth a look; three co-workers find themselves trapped inside an ATM booth late at night while an unknown killer terrorises them from the outside for no apparent reason. The trailer shows the situation go from bad to worse as the faceless killer tries anything and everything to terrify the trapped friends and turn them against each other. A claustrophobic thriller along the lines of Phone Booth and Panic Room, ATM will make you think twice before stopping off for some cash in an isolated area.
Oscar winner George Clooney will follow last year’s political thriller The Ides of March with a comedy drama about troubled family life on the idyllic island of Hawaii. In The Descendants Clooney plays Matt King, a man attempting to connect with his two young daughters after his wife Elizabeth (Patricia Hastie) has a boating accident and is put on life support. After discovering that his wife was having an affair, Matt takes his two daughters on the road in order to confront the man she was seeing. Directed by Alexander Payne (who also directed comedy dramas About Schmidt and Sideways), The Descendants looks to be chock-full of amusing and endearing moments as well as serious emotional drama.
Lastly, science fiction film John Carter is to be released in the UK in March. It has been described as the poor man’s Avatar, and it is true that the two films seem to have very similar themes; John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is a veteran of the American Civil War who suddenly finds himself uprooted to Mars, which is populated by twelve-foot tall green aliens, among other creatures. There he gets caught up in a war which he comes to realise only he can resolve. John Carter is based on a series of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the first of which was published in 1912; these books have inspired many film-makers, possibly including James Cameron (director of Avatar). This recent adaptation could well be an attempt to cash in on a little of Avatar’s success; however, the trailer is filled with impressive CGI and action sequences, and John Carter is being hailed as one of the more intriguing sci-fi action films to be released this year.