Trailer Trash: Ice Age 4, Pitch Perfect and Sinister

Sara Bentley reviews everyone’s favourite part of the going to The Pictures – the trailers…

More of the Same: Ice Age: Continental Drift

It is a debate that will remain contested and challenged for as long as the mind will tell: “The eternal struggle of the sequel”. 20th Century Fox’s Ice Age saga moves into potentially unknowing and questionable waters with their newest release: Ice Age: Continental Drift.

The fourth of the series, the animated cast are brought together once more to embark upon new adventures when their continent is set adrift. All that first ignited the Ice Age flame back in 2002 is showcased throughout the current trailer. Scrat the Squirrel (Chris Wedge) makes his traditional appearance through humorously meticulous attempts to cling onto his acorn; whilst Sid (John Lequizamo), Manny (Ray Romano) and Diego (Denis Leary) continue their journey into new territories and new acquaintances. The onus here is on humour. Each sequence – a confrontation with baboon pirates, a declaration of love – is laced with a hint of comedy that is suggested to continually grace the entirety of the film. Characterisations are also demonstrated to excess – Sid’s clumsy stupidity; Manny’s care and emotion – as if to serve as a clear declaration of what made Ice Age such a success in the first place.

Drawing upon its existing audiences for recognition and support, there is no question that Ice Age: Continental Drift continues in the trend of a fun loving, carefree and harmless series of films for all ages. Questions will however remain as to why? The Ice Age saga has indeed grown in its box office performance with every new release, though critical reception would suggest a drop in audience response and satisfaction. How many is too many? What else is there to draw out? Such questions can be tackled through analysis of upcoming stats and figures, but until then for now let’s just enjoy Scrat tearing the world apart in his quest for the acorn.

Ice Age: Continental Drift will hit UK cinema screens on 13th July 2012.

Feature-Length Glee: Pitch Perfect

With the major success of the High School Musical trilogy and US teen drama Glee dominating screens in the recent years, it’s something of a surprise to consider that more attempts at incorporating the genre within a feature length movie have yet to substantially appear. Jason Moore’s newest release Pitch Perfect would however appear to bravely tackle such an issue.

Somewhat confused to start, the trailer hints initially at a Mean Girls-esque approach – the new student in town struggling to find a place amongst the school crowds. We soon settle, however, into the world of the glee club through a barrage of song and dance. A narrative typical to the ‘High School’ genre, the initially distant and aloof Beca (Anna Kendrick) soon finds herself drawn into an area unknown as her hidden singing talents are unveiled. Upon joining ‘The Bellas’, Beca is soon at the fore of a gender rivalry between the female singing group and their male competition on their journey to the regionals and finals.

Narrative established the trailer pushes towards a spectacle of scenes, each as flamboyantly dramatic as the next. Musical performances, off-stage dramas and even a ‘riff-off’, Pitch Perfect is so synonymous of Glee it borders on irony. There is certainly a very ‘tongue in cheek’ approach in Moore’s efforts, but this should in no way be taken as derogatory. A classic High School teen drama, audiences should enjoy the light-hearted comedy and dramatic twist to the genre. Perhaps not so much unique as accurately imitating, should Pitch Perfect be taken as it is deemed to be – an addition to the genre as opposed to a battle for superiority – a fun and fresh film should emerge through the hazy smoke and lights.

Pitch Perfect is set for UK release on 19th October 2012.

Ambiguous yet Chilling: Sinister

From the offset, Scott Derickson could have potentially weaved a more thrilling title for his newest release, for which he both directed and wrote the screenplay. Regardless of specifics, however, the trailer for the slightly ambiguously titled Sinister paints a curious picture within the supernatural horror film industry.

Ethan Hawke stars as Ellison, a crime novel writer who moves with his family into a new home. Naturally the house is soon discovered to hold a multitude of dramatic secrets: a murdered family along with a box of home movies and found footage. In his quest to solve the mysteries surrounding the historic footage, Ellison unwittingly uncovers a supernatural entity that puts his entire family at risk.

During its opening introduction of narrative, the trailer breaks suddenly to a still credit – ‘From the Producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious‘. With the immediate linking to such a duo of films, renowned for their brutally chilling approaches to horror, Derickson is clearly delivering a message: ‘Sinister is here to scare you’. As if to prove a point, we then roll into a montage of suspense filled and fear inducing shots. The trailer is effectively stripped of a soundtrack, with only subtle, tingling noises murmuring in the background. The hollowed silence mingles with the echoing voices of character dialogue to develop a chilled tension that builds with every new scene.

A typically fast paced approach to its edit, shots jump and jerk onto the next, and the audience will jump and jerk with them. Though the trailer will naturally display the feature’s ‘best’ scares, with its narrative analogous to the likes of The Ring (Naomi Watts), Sinister looks set to scare, and set to scare hard. An most certainly intriguing prospect on the autumn horizon.

Sinister will hit US cinemas this autumn on 5th October 2012. A UK release is yet to be confirmed.

Sara Bentley

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