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Upcoming Distractions: Weekly Trailer Round-up

James Tyas takes a looks at the best and worst of the week's trailers. Includes Romeo and Juliet, American Hustle, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.

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Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Release Date: 25th October 2013

The latest Jackass film appears to be a meditation on the badness of grandpas and actually looks quite funny. The official plot synopsis says that " the signature Jackass character Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville) and Billy (Jackson Nicoll) will take movie audiences along for the most insane hidden camera road trip ever captured on camera." This film seems to follow the same half improvised, half scripted formula of Sacha Baron Cohen's films before he became too recognisable to do them.

This type of film may well be one of the very few things that genuinely warrants the over-used-to-the-point-of-meaninglessness 'guilty pleasure' tag. With these films, you laugh at the time but subsequently feel a bit grubby about doing so. Like that scene in Borat where he breaks all the stuff in that old couple's antique shop, you do end up feeling sorry for them despite knowing they would have been repaid for it. But, y'know... COMEDY.

American Hustle
Release Date: 26th December 2013

Everyone involved in American Hustle are probably getting quotes on trophy cabinet extensions and ordering industrial-sized vats of awards polish from Amazon because this has Oscars written all over it. David O. Russell's (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook) latest, which stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Robert De Niro, Michael Pena and Louis C.K, has possibly the best ensemble cast currently imaginable, plus Jeremy Renner. Bale is also at his best when he's in O.T.T mode and judging from this one minute fifty clip it looks like no piece of scenery went unchewed. As of yet, I've never been quite sold on the idea of David O. Russell as a top tier director but American Hustle looks like it could change that. Or it could be like American Gangster or Public Enemies where the trailer makes it look like The Best Film Ever(tm) but it turns out to be pretty meh. Hard to tell with these things.

Romeo and Juliet
Release Date: TBA

It really is borderline impossible to think of anything more inessential than a MOR, faithful adaptation of Romeo and Juliet scripted by Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes aimed squarely at the post-Twilight tween audience. People usually try and justify this sort of thing by claiming that if it gets teenagers reading Shakespeare then it's surely a good thing. Well no: this looks like a travesty. This will find its rightful home, in years to come, being endured in classrooms up and down the country on Friday afternoons when English teachers can't be bothered to do any proper teaching.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Release Date: 26th December 2013

The full trailer for Ben Stiller's remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has arrived and it all looks pretty exciting doesn't it? IMDb says this film is about "a timid magazine photo manager who lives life vicariously through daydreams embarks on a true-life adventure when a negative goes missing." Co-starring Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) and Adam Scott (Step Brothers, Parks and Recreation), this film seems to have a Wes Anderson meets Michel Gondry vibe but slightly more mainstream and less whimsical. It is also helped by the fact that the films Ben Stiller has previously directed (Zoolander, The Cable Guy, Tropic Thunder) have all been pretty good.

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