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Get to know the “Unknown”

UnknownThose of you that read this column regularly (thanks Mom) know what a freak I am for trailers (the movie kind, not the Britney Spears kind). There’s just something about knowing what new flix are coming out that I can only liken to knowing what you’re getting for Christmas in July, and then having to wait until December to open it. Half of you is excited because you know what’s coming, and half of you is completely devastated that you have to wait 5 months to get it.

Because I don’t go to the movies regularly, I have to get my trailer fix through other means. Enter the glorious Internet (thank you, Mr.Gore). By visiting sites like MovieWeb and Apple I’m able to watch and re-watch the latest the studios have to offer (and you can too!). I can literally spend hours (not recommended) clicking through the titles that seem interesting to me. What can I say, I know how to party.

Anyway, every now and again I stumble across a movie that piques my interest more than most. When that happens, my next step usually involves going to the “official movie site” and/or going to IMDb to do some “research”. This happened most recently with the film “Unknown”.

“Unknown” tells the story of five men that wake up in a locked-down warehouse with no memory of who they are or why or how they’re there. All that’s revealed to them is that some of them are kidnappers and some are the kidnappees. The balance of the film involves the men trying to figure out who is good and who is bad. I was drawn to this film for several reasons:

1) For a movie geek, the cast is just awesome:

- Jim Caviezel - was that Jesus guy in “The Passion of the Christ.” You may have heard of it.
- Greg Kinnear - brilliantly starred in "Little Miss Sunshine" and was nominated for an Oscar for his role in “As Good as it Gets.” Plus he was the first host of “Talk Soup” on E! which makes him cool.
- Joe Pantoliano - if you don’t know who “Joey Pants” is, you haven’t seen a movie or watched TV in the last 20 years.
- Barry Pepper - “Saving Private Ryan”, and a great performance as Roger Maris in “61*”
- Jeremy Sisto – HBO’s “Six Feet Under”
- Peter Stormare – most recently on TV’s “Prison Break”. Also plays the fantastically over the top German dude in the VW commercials. “Time to unpimp zee ow-toe”
- Bridget Moynahan – “I, Robot“ “Lord of War”

The combination of Caviezel and Kinnear alone is enough to force the universe to collapse.

2) With its heavy dialogue, minimal filming locations and raw intensity, it reminds me of “Memento” and “Reservoir Dogs”, two of my all time favorites (but for completely different reasons).

3) It doesn’t look like it’s going to get a very wide distribution or heavy promotion. Hell, I found it by accident on a trailer website. Which leads us to…

WARNING: EARTH-SHATTERING REVELATION AHEAD

Taken as a whole, it’s been my experience that the “fringe” or, dare I say, “indie” films tend to be better written, better directed, better developed and better acted than their big budget counterparts.

Shocking, I know. I hope you were sitting down.

Note: I say, “tend to be better” because sometimes indie films are a big steaming pile of post-Bauhaus-pseudo intellectual-film student thesis-crapola. (Wow I’m bitter. But that’s a topic for another time).

What was most interesting to me after watching the trailer (for the 4th time) was that I immediately started to think about all the other indie flix I’ve seen over the last couple of years. I thought to myself, “I should probably share some of my favorites with the fine readers of Trailer Trash”. This way we can all be cool together. Before I get to the list though, I do have to mention the “Dichotomy of Independent Cinema” or DIC.

The DIC says that a cool Indie film will remain cool for as long as nobody knows about it (hence, the unknown). That is to say, the more popular the movie gets the more credibility it loses (“Swingers" is a perfect example of this, but I still love it). It’s a fascinating subject really, studied by sociologists and beatniks for years, and it can be applied to most things in the pop culture vernacular. I mention the DIC because I wanted you to know the risk I’m taking in telling you about these movies.

So whatever you do, don’t see these movies, and especially don’t tell anyone else about them; unless of course you’re going to watch them with Britney Spears…in her trailer.

The Tao of Steve
Roger Dodger
Things to Do In Denver When You’re Dead
Trees Lounge
Albino Alligator

Word!

Mediaboy

For more Trailer Trash, check out these other fine postings:
"Babel"
"Casino Royle"
"Man of the Year"
"The Last King of Scotland"
"Farce of the Penguins"
"Transformers:The Movie"
"Ghost Rider"
"Bobby"
"Deja Vu"
"Go to the Movies, Leave After the Trailers"
"A Good Year, A bad Movie"

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Unlike traditional movie reviews, the postings to Trailer Trash are written prior to the films release and are based only on the trailers.


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Posted by on November 10, 2006 4:08 PM
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This movie looks good! The group amnesia thing has been done ("The Cube," "Saw 2"), but the cast in this film makes it more attractive than its predecessors.

Now I just have to figure out if it's playing near me anywhere. The Apple trailer says it opened Nov 3. Hmmm.

-- Posted by: shannon at November 13, 2006 9:46 AM

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-- Posted by: louise at July 12, 2007 8:03 AM

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-- Posted by: louise at July 12, 2007 8:04 AM

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