Only about a month before its official wide-release in the US and Australia (mainly through home release formats… more on that shortly), we’re finally getting a look at The Mule’s official trailer. NineMSN’s Movie Fix got the “exclusive” bragging rights, though nothing is ever exclusive on the internet for more than 30 seconds or so. I’m going to try a straight embed here and hope it works, because the video won’t stream on all browsers at the site of origin… Google Chrome and Firefox in particular have issues, though it will play via IE and RealPlayer.
I do have to say I’m relieved, and that it’s very hard not making juvenile puns involving the words “release”, “streaming” and “relief” with the content on hand… I doubt many media sites will be able to resist the obvious jokes either. Fortunately the film doesn’t look least-common-denominator at all, and the quease-making plot elements seem to be dealt with in a sly, more subtle manner than might be expected. I have no doubt the film will be more graphic in places, but I’ve always thought any film more effectively ratchets up the tension by showing less and implying more. (Nicely creepy sound effects, by the way.) One can already tell Hugo Weaving’s character will be a lot of fun to watch… I hope he isn’t the sort of cartoon-villain-who’ll-get-a-messy-and/or-humiliating-comeuppance that we’ve seen in The Tender Hook, Reckless Kelly or any of Hugo’s American films. I suspect that’s exactly what we’ll get, but one can still hope. 😉 But the film looks like it balances comedic and tense elements effectively and without being too broad. Not crazy about the cut-and-paste poster or the snarky use of Hugo in it (that’s very least-common-denominator) but marketing is often like that… even some great dramatic films have lousy posters. I’ll embed it below anyhow, so people can decide for themselves, followed by a selection of screencaps I took of Hugo’s best moments in the trailer. Already finding the balloon bit a highlight and expect Tumblr to be awash in animated GIFs of that shortly. 😉
No, this is NOT what it looks like. If find out anyone has used these to illustrate slashfic… ;P
“I swear, all of these poo jokes are driving me to drink!”
As I mentioned earlier, The Mule’s makers and distributors have elected to focus on an immediate VOD release (including iTunes, not that that’s how I’ll be seeing it) with DVD/Blu-Ray to follow shortly thereafter. The film will likely be available for paid on-demand streaming via US cable a well. There will be cinema screenings in Sydney and Melbourne featuring Hugo Weaving with Leigh Whannell and Angus Samson (the co-writers, co-stars and in Sampson’s case co-director). Hugo has been very enthusiastic about the film (without giving away too much about it) in promoting his other work, and did a prominent photo session in a Mule t-shirt last fall. So it’ll be fun to see him participate in the promotion. No word yet on any US or other international cinema distribution… the filmmakers have been pretty blunt about not wanting to take the risk of a wide opening that loses money, which seems to be the fate of too many promising Australian films lately, even in their home country. US distributors have similarly resigned themselves to releasing most low-budget indie or foreign films direct to DVD/VOD/OnDemand. While this does make the films much more widely available than any arthouse release– and I think simultaneous releases across countries and formats is a great idea– I always want the option of seeing films in a cinema. I know not everyone would want to see someone in intestinal distress– and the attendant consequences of that distress- blown up on an IMAX screen, but this would be a great film to see in a crowded theatre, if only to hear the reactions of one’s fellow patrons. It might be a potential midnight movie option, though I sometimes get annoyed with the “stoner” reputation such films draw. (For the record, I saw 2001, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Big Lebowski and the complete oeuvre of David Lynch without needing any alcohol or other mind-altering substances, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. GOOD movies don’t need chemical assistance. Only bad ones.) 😉
Anyhow… you can read more details about The Mule’s projected distribution at Inside Film, Spotlight Report, Cinema Australia and The Sydney Morning Herald. Of course, the film’s Facebook and Twitter accounts remain your best sources. (They also have an Instagram account, which shared hilariously unrevealing images during the film’s production.) No official website yet, but they’ll probably have one up soon. I sort of like the delayed-gratification of waiting this long for the trailer, and knowing I’ll have the option of seeing the film before every single plot detail has been divulged by reviewers or online in every country that got distribution before mine did. Australians routinely complain about having to wait a month or more for prominent Hollywood films (like The Hobbit)… well, I hated waiting two years to see Last Ride and another year after THAT for it to get minuscule US distribution. Films should be available to anyone willing to pay to see them, anywhere. That’ll cut down on piracy and increase the bottom line. ideally, one should be able to see films in a cinema, but I know in this era where Marvel, Disney and supernatural tween romance films seem to have most American screens locked up, this is a tall order. [Insert shameless plug for supporting one’s local arthouse, college theater, library and whoever the hell else plays films the MallPlexes shun.] The Mule opens/begins explosive streaming (sorry again) 21 November in Australia with those special Q&A’s in Sydney and Melbourne beforehand… I’ll share specifics as soon as I know any. The Australian DVD follows in early December. The US release (probably mostly via streaming) is slated for 30 October.
You can read reviews of The Mule’s recent Fantasy Film Fest screenings (some in German) at Leinwandreporter.com, and BFI’s Festival page. The Mule screens at BFI next month, along with Tim Winton’s The Turning… though not at the same time. (Wouldn’t that be a double feature…) Tickets are still available for both films.
In Other Hugo Weaving News:
There’s an interview with Mystery Road‘s production designer Matt Putland at Junsui Films Limited. Yes, there was actually one aspect of that film’s production NOT undertaken by multihyphenate wonder Ivan Sen. 😉
Campaign Brief explores the Sydney Theatre Co’s marketing campaign and promotional brochure for their 2015 season, which will feature Hugo Weaving in Beckett’s Endgame, Roxburgh and Blanchett in Chekhov’s The Present (Platonov) and Geoffrey Rush as King Lear. STC themselves have added a few new and vintage articles to their Endgame page.
Harry Greenwood adds another impressive credit to his resume by appearing as the Gentleman Caller in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie at Bevoir this month. The production features Hugo Weaving’s frequent costar Pamela Rabe (Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Much Ado About Nothing, God of Carnage) as Amanda and Luke Mullins (who’s had a career-breakthrough year on Sydney stage over the past year, including in STC’s Waiting For Godot) as Tom. For more, including Rabe’s impression on meeting Williams as a young actress, go to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Things have been pretty quiet on the Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies front since the release of their promo banner earlier this month. Stephen Fry (The Master of Laketown) noted that VO work/dubbing is ongoing on Twitter last week.
New Photobucket Hugonuts Archive Additions:
Finally, a selection of new fan photos taken during the run of STC’s Macbeth, complete with original captions:
“#HugoWeaving ” Photo: JakeTGNTEL via Twitter, along with next photo)
“The man himself!!! Wow! #stc #macbeth #hugoweaving” Photo: Daniel Yaxley via Instagram
“I’ve never seen this girl so excited. just gave her the best bridesmaid gift ever. #hugoweaving #starstruck #speechless” Photo: mel_erin via Instagram
“nice to see u again#hugoweaving #macbeth see u next year:)if there is any possibility I will definitely go there to see u and Rox~love #waitingforgodot soooo much~”
Photo: Joyce Ruan via Instagram
“No words could describe my ecstasy right now. Thank you for the confirmation!!! See you next June! #holidaymode #HugoWeaving #Macbeth”
Photo: Our very own Sydney correspondent Yvette, via Instagram