trailers: flags of our fathers/casino royale
September 9, 2006
Two new (and very different) trailers have been making the rounds lately, one for famed director and actor Clint Eastwood’s World War II drama Flags of Our Fathers, the other for the twentieth James Bond film, Casino Royale, with Australian actor Daniel Craig replacing Pierce Brosnan in the lead role.
First, Casino Royale, the trailer for which is currently available exclusively at AOL’s Moviefone. From the very first monochromatic shots of Mr. Craig, it’s obvious that this Bond film is pushing for a slightly retro look and feel, hearkening back to Sean Connery’s defining turn as the head of the franchise with fewer gadgets and an old world air of glamour, elegance, and intrigue.
The filmmakers also appear to be seeking a grittier, more visceral sort of violence than was seen in the latest Bond films; perhaps it can lend Casino Royale a badly needed sense of gravity. Of course, that may all be in vain if babe-du-jour Eva Green’s “I’ll be keeping an eye on the government’s money…and off your perfectly formed ass” comment is this film’s idea of witty repartee. James Bond has always had an element of camp, but that and the overblown operattic accompaniment that chimes in towards the end go too far towards the “painfully ridiculous” end of the spectrum.
Flags of Our Fathers, by contrast, looks to continue Eastwood’s proud tradition of gripping, emotional storytelling that has brought such acclaim to his recent efforts Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby, both Best Picture nominees at the Academy Awards. Its trailer is accessible, for the moment, only from Military.com. The reverential opening voiceover, desaturated color palette, sentimental piano melodies by longtime Eastwood collaborator Lennie Niehaus, and pitched battle scenes struggle mightily to recapture the same magic that made Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan such a phenomenal success, critically and otherwise–it’s worth noting that Spielberg is a producer on Flags.
To promote the movie’s exploration of the “real story” behind the iconic photo of American soldiers raising the flag atop Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi, the trailer cuts between the war and its aftermath back at home, almost surely culminating in a rousing celebration of American courage and strength. World War II is hardly new territory for cinema, but perhaps Mr. Eastwood, with his uncanny grasp of the delicacies of conflicts both large and small, can bring us something insightful from the familiar. Watching him try will be a pleasure in itself.
–D. S. W.