The trailer for Branded is madder than a kettle full of armadillos

 

When you see a film is called Branded, your instinctive first reaction is that this is another one of those anti-capitalist polemics about how the evil corporations are controlling your lives, maaaan, the kind with admirably noble intentions but nonetheless preaching to the converted and the too-stoned-to-do-anything-about-it.

But watching the trailer, it seems Branded is combining well-trodden fuck-the-system ethics with a truly bonkers sci-fi hook, in which an evil Max Von Sydow cackles in a boardroom as trademarked products are implanted into people’s minds and float about and stuff. It looks positively Gilliamesque, and by the power of Baron Munchausen, the world needs more stuff like that. File under ‘one to watch’ (if you’re the kind of person who has a filing system for forthcoming movies).

Trailer review: Horrible Bosses

Imagine the scene.  You’re a big Hollywood executive.  As you sit resplendent on your golden reclining office chair, face buried in a desk of cocaine that would make Scarface blush, you ponder quietly to yourself: what will make me more money?  You’re running out of ideas for sequels, comic book adaptations and remakes.  I mean, you’ve already run out of good films to remake, so you’re forced to remake crap ones (I’m talking about you here, unnecessary Conan the Barbarian remake).  And you’ve already rebooted Spiderman about six times this morning!  What other established, guaranteed, investor-pleasing markets are there?

Bingo!  Hating your boss.  That’s a surefire demo, right there. Everyone hates their boss, right?

Thus probably went the genesis for Horrible Bosses, the latest mega-blokey, high-concept, sex-heavy summer comedy coming to a multiplex near you.  In fairness, the trailer does provide a few chuckles, and they have assembled an impressive cast – alongside these-sorts-of-comedies staples Bateman, Sudeikis and Aniston, they have Kevin Spacey and an almost-unrecognisable Colin Farrell as two of the eponymous bosses, in some rather neat casting.  And they’ve got Bunk from The Wire!  OMFG!

But it’s hard to avoid the impossible feeling that this is another high concept pitch tied precariously together with some wacky set pieces (look! Jen is simulating oral sex with various bits of food which looks like willies!), the funniest of which are already seen in the trailer.  It doesn’t look that horrible, but do we really need all our funnies in the Todd Phillips mould?  Horrible Bosses is released July 8th.   Expect a sequel before Christmas.

Music preview: The Bad Shepherds

Adrian Edmondson made his name as the psychopathic punk student Vivyan in classic eighties sitcom The Young Ones.  These days, in a neatly cyclical turn of events, Edmondson is touring with his band The Bad Shepherds to perform energetic folk covers of classic punk songs, with a date this evening in W12 – proving, if nothing else, that even violent maniacs like Vivyan can mellow in their old age.

What does seem like a somewhat gimmicky premise actually works pretty well – the translation from angry electric guitars to spirited acoustic ones is fairly effective.  Edmonson suggests that punk “was the folk music of its day” and it’s hard to argue when you can expect cheerful acoustic versions of ‘Teenage Kicks’, ‘Anarchy in the UK’ and a Ramones medley.  Edmondson’s roles are listed as ‘Vocals/Thrash Mandolin’.

As you might imagine, it’s all tinged with a layer of irony, but unlike other actors recently foraying into music (hello Tim Robbins) this particular foray boasts a real musicianship, solidified by established folk musicians Troy Donockley, Andy Dinan and Ella Edmondson joining Ade on stage, and a heavy touring schedule behind them, including a well-received Glastonbury appearance last summer.

Tickets are just about still available for the gig tonight at the Bush Hall; expect to stand shoulder to shoulder with a mix of ageing punks, real ale fans and curious musos in what promises to a be a quirky and different way to spend your Friday evening.

A version of this article originally appeared on Londonist.com

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