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Better Dead than Red: Lawless Redband Trailer

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | August 22, 2012 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | August 22, 2012 |

TK posted the first trailer for Lawless back in April, noting that Shia LaBeouf was being surprisingly unLaBeoushy, and Guy Pearce seemed to be playing against type. From this new trailer at least, Pearce seems like he’s teetering on a toned down version of the characters that Christopher Walken has played for the last few decades.

Here’s the red band trailer, which is just red band enough that you shouldn’t watch it at work, and just not deserving enough of it to disappoint you if that’s what you really came to watch.

It’s funny because we’ve seen this movie a dozen times before. We have a basic idea of the plot, of the emotional beats it will go through. It might go back to that old adage about how there are only really seven stories (or however many it is, I recall that it varies), that we just tell over and over again. When a mediocre storyteller tells the same story, we feel like we’ve seen it before and are bored. But when a great one dabbles, we still feel like we’ve seen it before, but there’s a familiarity to the experience, like running your hands over the baseball glove you’ve had since t-ball. This movie feels more like the second case so far.

The other good thing about the film is that when I searched for “Lawless” on Google images in order to find a header picture for this post, the third result was a still of Xena photoshopped so she was holding a lightsaber. So you know, it’s got that going for it.

Here’s the obligatory plot summary:

LAWLESS is the true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia. In this epic outlaw tale, inspired by true-life tales of author Matt Bondurant’s family in his novel “The Wettest County in the World”, the loyalty of three brothers is put to the test against the backdrop of the nation’s most notorious crime wave.

I want to live in a world where instead of every movie trailer printing the words “based on a true story” they print “based on a novel.” If a film is based on a novel, I automatically bump it up 3.7 points on my mental anticipation. And I want the world to be a place where everyone puts that sort of weight on the written word.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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