Monday, March 17, 2008

Summer Movie Trailers!!

So, we're just starting to get hit with all the trailers for the big (and not-so-big summer movies). Surprisingly, some of the biggest look like some of the best. Anyway, I'm more of a four-star guy, but for trailers, I'm going to utilize a five-star system. Anyway, please comment and let me know if you agree, disagree, or what you think about any of these releases based on the trailers:

IRON MAN trailer #2 (* * * * *)

I was fairly excited about this purely by the presence of Downey, but this looks really, really awesome. Very well-cut, excellent choice of music, and, well: the action looks cool, the jokes looks funny, everyone seems to be well-cast. Expectations are officially high.


Yeah, this looks really lame, generic and dull. And a homophobic joke tacked on the end just for good measure! Patrick Dempsey has evolved into a really, really boring actor (not that he was the most charismatic before), and this looks like a slog to sit through for anyone but the "27 Dresses" crowd.

REDBELT (* * *)

I can't exactly follow the storyline in this trailer-- not a good sign for the movie-- but I'll follow David Mamet anywhere (despite his recent case of the Conservative crazies), and put Chiwetel Ejiofor in a martial arts movie with Tim Allen, and I'm there.

SON OF RAMBOW (* * * 1/2)

This movie really looks really endearing, if a bit more "adorable" than the "hilarious" we were hearing when it first started screening at festivals. The trailer may focus a bit more on kiddie-targetting 'zaniness' in the second half (particularly with the music) but it looks really funny, cute, entertaining. Setting itself up as "Be Kind Rewind" meets "Millions," this seems to be the type of movie that will be up my alley, even if the trailer is selling it a bit younger.


Yeah, this looks pretty shitty. High-concept bullshit with two people who are really not very funny (Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher). It also looks like it cribs a bulk of its premise from the underseen gem "Sour Grapes." Anyway, what do you guys think? Me thinky lame.

SPEED RACER trailer #2 (* * * 1/2)

I have a feeling this one is going to be a huge bomb at the box office (though my sentiments could change), but it looks like it's going to be a candy-coated ton of fun. Granted, I'd sleep a little easier if there wasn't a laugh-baiting monkey in the trailer (more than once!), but of now, I'm looking forward to this.


I admit, I don't like the first film, but even the images in this trailer weren't nearly enough to make me care about seeing the follow-up, or get my pulse quickened. I'll see it (and may even give the first segment a re-watch beforehand), but I don't really give a shit about this one. Tilda Swinton appears to be back again as the White Witch, but is that enough?


At the least, this is my favorite TITLE of the summer. The movie itself could go either way, but it looks like it has potential to be a fun, clever horror flick to serve as some nice counter-programming. We'll see. (update 3/27/08 5:45pm) I've just received word Lionsgate has pulled this from the summer and is currently seeking a new release date


Yeah, hearing the music again is enough to put a smile on my face, but no matter how I try, I can't build any excitement up for this. At age 65, shouldn't they be giving Harrison Ford easier shit to do, not bigger, more ridiculous stunts? It only makes it clearer how old he is. The jokes don't really work, the laughable shot of the American flag makes me cring, and I don't like Shia Labeouf's presence. Meh, it could be fun, but I can't get excited for it like some are. The one thing that's making me mildly anticipate it: Cate Blanchett as an over-the-top, mop-topped villainess.

WAR, INC. (* * * * 1/2)

While it may contain the most music changes in a two-minute span I've ever seen, I'm very excited for this. When I asked John Cusack a question about a "Grosse Pointe Blank" sequel in an "Ice Harvest" press conference, he elusively said him and his writing friends were working on a non-sequel sequel that wouldn't have the same characters, but was very much in the same vein. It would appear this is that movie. As someone who considers "Grosse" one of his all-time favorite movies, I can't help but be very jazzed for "War, Inc.," and this trailer looks very funny to boot.


I've been hearing for what seems like years how hilarious this movie is, and this trailer is, well... kinda funny. It looks like it's baiting the dumber crowd, and I guess there's nothing wrong with that. I chuckled a couple times, but it looks more indicative of a very funny movie rather than being a funny trailer itself. Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to the actual movie. Ferrell and McKay know funny, and McBride has been hilarious in supporting roles, so I'm sure this is the great showcase for him the buzz promises.

THE STRANGERS (* * * 1/2)

I've actually heard from people that have seen this, and almost to a person, they've relayed that it's a piece of shit. Nonetheless, I think the trailer is very effective, particularly the shot of the masked person creeping into frame with the wide shot of Liv Tyler. We'll see.


I'm not a massive fan of the show, but I enjoy it enough to look forward slightly to the movie. That said, this trailer's pretty awful. I don't know if it's representative of the movie itself, but it makes it look like a PG-rated version of the show's raunch, and has subverted its semi-edginess into a lame, sentimental romantic comedy with almost no humor, let alone laughs. I think the studio needs to release a red-band trailer A.S.A.P.


This trailer barely had me at first, looking like yet another mediocre CG-animated film. It may, in fact, still be that. But the "Kill Bill"-referencing second half kinda sold me on it, and it looks like it might at (at the least) slightly better than the norm of this type o' flick.


Sure "Chuck and Larry" may be evil, and the Sand-man may make his occasional piece of shit, but I've been a defender of his in years past, and this looks like it might be a return to insanely stupid, absurd form. I laughed more than a few times here, and it looks just batshit odd enough to have potential. I know I'm in the minority here, but I hope this is good.


Sure, the American trailer may play like a parody of an M. Night Shymalan film rather than the genuine article, but this International teaser looks genuinely unsettling, and provokes just enough to make you (or at least me) interested.


Meh. I'm looking forward to this re-do on Ang Lee's film with Edward Norton in Eric Bana's place, but I was kind of underwhelmed by the trailer in almost all respects. It looks fine, but there's no real "hooked me" moment, via the acting, storytelling or the special effects, to get me excited.

GET SMART (* * * *)

Even with the utmost potential for conventional middle-of-the-road blandness, this actually looks like it has the chance to be very, very good at what it's supposed to be. Though, honestly, I'm biased whenever Carell's in anything-- I love him-- I laughed out loud about a half dozen times while watching this trailer. I'm surprised how funny it looks, and it seems they're going to actually nail both the action elements and the tone of the show it's based on. I make no guarantees, but this one just shot higher up my list of anticipated high-profile summer movies.


I laughed aloud at the "Then my mom got a job line," but I'm a little disheartened by how lame this looks. It looks like a re-tread of all of Myers' trademark Austin Powers jokes and not even the funniest ones at that. Most of the stuff included here left me staring vacantly. Alba's presence doesn't help matters, and Timberlake looks WAY off with his comic attempts. As with anything Myers touches, this totally has potential to be unexpectedly hilarious, but things aren't looking good based on this.

WALL*E (* * * * *)

I'll always anticipate anything Pixar creates, but this looks particularly wonderful. It looks like a mixture of the wit that made "Ratatouille" so terrific and the broader, more accessible charm that made "Finding Nemo" and "Monsters Inc." all-encompassing crowd-plowers. I'm very excited.

WANTED (* *)

There's a lot of effort made here to show "cool" images/sequences, but despite some hip/fast music, I don't really care, and can't muster up any capacity for caring. Even with the presence of the delicious McAvoy, this doesn't look like there's a ton to distinguish it. My audience went "dayum" a few times during it, but I'm waiting for SOMETHING about it to surface to get me even a little bit pumped.

HANCOCK (* * *)

Friends of mine have read the script for this and swear it's very, very funny. I don't know. I laughed at Bateman's "Greenpeace does" line at the end, but that's it. It looks like there's potential here, I will say that. Smith is capable of being a funny dude, and this is genuinely a funny concept. And with Peter Berg (who some don't like, but I do) at the helm, I'd bet on the side of this one being good.


I was a sincere fan of the first "Hellboy," so was looking forward to this one purely on principle, but it actually does look pretty damn cool. I think it's interesting that the first half of this trailer makes the film look like "Pan's Labyrinth 2" rather than "Hellboy 2" but I guess that's to be expected after "Pan's" recent success. Either way, Del Toro's boundless visual flair and creativity seems to be strongly utilized here yet again. It'll probably be one of the most weakly-performing "blockbusters" this summer, but who cares?

THE DARK KNIGHT (* * * * *)

Yeah, yeah, we've all watched this trailer two dozen times by now. We're all excited. That doesn't lessen the fact that it looks like Nolan has fucking slammed it out of the park again. I will say, I'm trying to keep my expectations in check, and I'd advise everyone else to do the same. Does anyone else remember a little thing called "Spider-Man 3" that everyone was sure was a "can't miss" thing? Also, with Nolan's interviews revealing that the movie's more about Harvey Dent than The Joker, I'm already having previsions of people complaining "there wasn't enough Joker." Still, yet again, this trailer is fucking phenomenal.

MAMMA MIA! (* * *)

"Mamma Mia" may be the worst Broadway musical I've ever had the cringe-inducing displeasure of watching, and this movie looks like it's EXTREMELY faithful. That said, I have a morbid curiosity of watching the greatest actress of the last 25 years sashay her way through it and come out of it intact. Seriously, this is cheesy trash to the highest degree, but in a weird way I'm looking forward to the experience of watching it, if only to laugh AT it. And there's no denying *grumble* they're assembled a pretty splendid cast to enact it (Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard, Colin Firth, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski).

STEP BROTHERS (* * * * 1/2)

Like I said, the real Will Ferrell movies to look forward to are the ones he collaborates on with Adam McKay. Sure enough, this trailer seems to further illustrate that. I laughed at least a dozen times in a two minute span, more than I did in the entire 90 minutes of "Semi-Pro." The gags looks alternately creepy/weird and over-the-top wacky, butalways absurd and silly. From the use of Hall and Oates to just enough injection of Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins as the parents, this is probably my most anticipated comedy of the summer (followed closely by "Tropic Thunder").


This looks lame, and isn't very enticing to anyone out of the first movie/book's fan base. Then again, the first one looked lame also and I was surprised how much I liked it. This teaser, as lazy as it is, seems to indicate that the sequel offers everything the first one did and more, so I'll still be there (if not with bells on).


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