Movies & TV

| August 31, 2012 - 5:19 pm

In this week’s trailer round-up, we have 50 Cent talking about drugs, Robert Redford talking about politics, a brutal hitman and an even more brutal… tree. Roll ‘em! HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING DRUGS Premieres at Toronto Film Festival

No, it’s not a referendum on hustling, as the title and faux-advertisment structure of this trailer suggests. Instead, “How To Make Money Selling Drugs” is writer-director Matthew Cooke’s nuanced documentary on the U.S. drug war in 2012, featuring interviews with DEA agents as well as celebs like 50 Cent, Eminem, Russell Simmons and “The Wire” creator David Simon. The production quality of the trailer is a bit suspect, but the inside look at the staggering profits of the drug trade — brought to you by people who have lived to tell the tale, like “Freeway” Rick Ross — is anything but shoddy. With the wrecking crew of interviews on display in this extended trailer, “How To Make Money Selling Drugs” could make some money in its own right, while telling some hard but necessary truths. THE ICEMAN Release Date: 2012
Poor James Franco — even his soft, pretty features won’t let him escape the cold, calculated wrath of Richard Kuklinski’s handgun in the trailer for “The Iceman.” After the obligatory snippets of watching Michael Shannon play a “family man,” the actor, as the real-life, stone-faced contract killer, just starts murdering everything in his path and makes “The Expendables” look like a family-friendly romp. “The Iceman” has a pretty deep bench behind Shannon, including Winona Ryder as his wife and Ray Liotta in his familiar role as Stressed-Out Authority Figure, but it seems like the grisly drama will belong to the man pulling the trigger over and over again. After earning raves in “Revolutionary Road” and “Take Shelter,” Shannon could ride his bloody dominance in “The Iceman” to a Best Actor nod at the Oscars — just in time for his mainstream turn as General Zod in “Man of Steel” next summer. THE COMPANY YOU KEEP Release Date: November 15
You gotta say this for Robert Redford: the man knows how to assemble a cast. At the end of this trailer for his upcoming drama, we are given a list of 12 (!) actors residing in the background behind Redford and Shia LaBeouf, and those names include Susan Sarandon, Terrence Howard, Chris Cooper, Nick Nolte, Anna Kendrick, Brendan Gleeson, etc. But a bigger question remains when this trailer concludes: can all that star power save what could very well be another sleepy political thriller from a film legend? After Redford whiffed on “Lions for Lambs” and “The Conspirator,” we have yet another star-packed showcase of fast talking and tenseness, this time revolving around 60s radicals and a reporter who is “just trying to put the pieces together.” Once again, Redford has some great pieces to work with, but they may not be enough to keep “The Company You Keep” from drifting through awards season like Redford’s last two features. HOLLOW Release Date: September 19
It’s “The Blair Tree Project,” as a group of friends try to overcome a haunted tree that apparently possesses an “ancient evil.” This British found-footage flick appears to be strictly for the hardcore horror enthusiasts, or for the kids looking to ironically enjoy a schlocky hunk of gore. Don’t want to see a tree terrorizing a handful of naive people, or anything else, for that matter? Don’t see “Hollow.” For the record, though, that shot of the telephone booth with bloodied crosses smeared on each side was pretty creepy. MUST-SEE TRAILER OF THE WEEK THE SAPPHIRES Release Date: 2012
Talk about crowd-pleasing: Chris O’Dowd, a supporting player in “Bridesmaids” and “Friends with Kids” with a ton of goodwill behind him, stars as the manager of a Aboriginal girl group trying to make a name for itself during the Vietnam War. As the latest trailer for this Australian film suggests, there will be comedy (one singer is labeled “Sexy One,” while another is dubbed “???”) and drama (This exchange: “It will take a special man to manage me!” “Well you’re looking at him!”) and lots of damn good music. Snapped up by the Weinstein Company before its Cannes premiere, “The Sapphires’s” gooey center, likable cast and Oscar-baiting backers could make it this year’s “The Help.” But even if it’s not, this trailer reveals just enough about the plot (which is based on a true story) to intrigue us, and showcases the type of sumptuous melodies that will tickle the “Dreamgirls” devotees.