Is July 10th National Theatrical Trailer Day or something? First, we get In the Valley of Elah. Then Get Smart. Now Jerry Seinfeld’s perilously hyped (see the photo to your right) Bee Story and Kenneth Branagh’s Harold Pinter-scripted remake of Sleuth!
Which looks better? As Harold Pinter is one of the greatest dramatists on the planet and a Nobel Prize winner, I’m a tad biased toward Sleuth. Though spiritedly performed by Lawrence Olivier and Caine, the 1972 Joseph L. Mankiewicz-directed original is an excruciatingly stagey adaptation of Anthony Shaffer’s coldly clever play; I’ve never been able to derive much enjoyment from it. So I was pleased to hear about Branagh’s plans to update the twisty little thriller with an assist from Pinter. As for the idea of pitting Caine in role of the mystery novelist who invites his wife’s lover over for a spot of deadly gamesmanship, why not? Jude Law may have been the obvious choice for Caine’s younger adversary, but the Alfie v. Alfie side story is irresistible (while giving viewers of the Charles Shyer remake of definite rooting interest).
Maybe the graininess of the format is the culprit. Or maybe it’s just that what promises to make Bee Movie such a great time at the movies is more easily condensed into two minutes. Though I haven’t paid too much attention to Jerry Seinfeld’s maiden foray into animation, the fact that he was co-writing the script with two former Seinfeld staffers was reason enough to be cautiously upbeat. I really wasn’t expecting much from the trailer, but "Ray Liotta: Private Select Honey?" C’mon! Bee Movie is now a must-see. (I also love that double-take reaction to the Bumble Bee Tuna logo.)
Sleuth will be the first to hit theaters on October 12th, while Bee Movie turns up on November 2nd.