Saturday, October 9, 2010

"The Next Three Days" - A Lady's Perspective

A week or so ago, I sat in the movie theater and watched, for the first time, the trailer for upcoming film "The Next Three Days." Behold:

I was excited! The first 40 seconds of the trailer indicates to us that this movie is about a wife and mother (Elizabeth Banks) who goes to jail for a crime she may or may not have committed. Cool, right? I thought, "What an interesting role for Elizabeth Banks! I'm intrigued!"

Then, as the trailer wore on, I realized that this movie is not her story. It's Russell Crowe's story, her husband's story - the story of the man who works tirelessly to spring her from the clink.

Now, I'm not going to say that the movie won't be good in this incarnation, but I will definitely admit to feeling a twinge of disappointment at the notion that it wasn't actually an action/thriller/suspense movie with an ambiguously moral female lead. Because that could have been interesting, especially in the hands of an actress who hasn't quite had a breakout lead role on the big screen.

But no, the story seems to be about a loyal family man who needs to nut up and bust his maybe-guilty wife out of jail. He is the active character in the plot, she, the passive - what is her character going to do? She's literally imprisoned. She is the cause for the story, but he is the one that carries out the decisions and propels the plot. She is the one that already is, he is the one that has to become. Sigh.

What's worse is this character is played by Russell Crowe, who is already an established lead actor, and, between this and that Robin Hood reboot with Cate Blanchett, seems to be recycling character types. I'm not saying it'll be uninteresting, just... less interesting.

Although I will reward endless more points to this film if the response to "Show me where the bullets go," is "in the motherfucker's body." Or something comparably badass.


  1. My reaction to this trailer was similar, though I can't recall what movie it was in front of...maybe "The Town" (which, HAVE YOU SEEN THAT YET??).

    I think it will be a good thriller, and I like Russell Crowe, but once again Hollywood is failing to push the envelope. I am a sucker for a morally-ambiguous main character, and all the better if that person is a woman, but the closest we've got lately is Salt. Which was actually good, but the only reason it even got made is because Angelina Jolie is solid gold.

    Did you see "A History of Violence"? I really liked that movie, but the whole time I kept thinking, What if it was Maria Bello whose past was in question, not Viggo Mortensen? It's the same with this movie--from the trailer, it seems that Elizabeth Banks' character doesn't WANT to be sprung, that it's all Russell Crowe's idea. What if it HAD been her idea? What if the entire plot revolved around her in-prison machinations to get herself free?

    Come on, Hollywood. That would be BAD ASS.

  2. This is why we should write all stories, ever.

    And no, I haven't seen "The Town," or "A History of Violence," keeping in my pattern of watch-all-the-trailers-and-don't-see-the-movies. ;D

    You're right in that Angelina Jolie is the only actress currently working that can pull off non-comic-book female action heroes, so more power to her for that. It'd be nice to see somebody else crack that ring though. The reason Jolie is allowed to do it is because she's done it before, and well. But you have to take a chance that first time around with anybody. TAKE A CHANCE, HOLLYWOOD!

  3. You must MUST see "The Town". It was really excellent. You saw "The Departed" right? I was afraid I'd be comparing them, but they're very different films despite having some surface similarities.


    Yeah, Hollywood only seems willing to give actresses action-oriented roles if they're in a sci-fi capacity--Milla Jovovich, Kate Beckinsale, Charlize Theron. Speaking of Theron, I suppose "Monster" counts as the best example of our time of a mainstream(ish) movie with an ambiguous female protagonist.

    I think Elizabeth Banks could do far more than what she's currently being given. I love her in comedy roles, but I'd like to see what she can do with a drama. OR BETTER YET A THRILLER. Well, maybe, like most trailers, this one will not be much of a reflection on the movie itself.


    What is the craziest thing you ever did to get a guy to notice you?
    I had no idea how to get guys to notice me. I still don't. Who cares?

    And this is the movie where Russell Crowe bought Elizabeth Banks a fancy bicycle which she had to look at youtube videos to figure out how to operate (in the middle of the night) and then practiced riding it up and down the halls of the hotel. I would rather watch that movie, I think.

  5. I love Amy Poehler. I have a secret desire to play the drums toooooo.

    ... and also I think I'd rather watch that movie too.


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