Saturday, August 6, 2011

Movie News- New Trailer Reviews (From Comic-Con to August 5th)

Time again for the newest trailers straight out of San Diego Comic-Con and beyond.

It's been almost two weeks since the last trailer review post and TONS has happened in those short 14 days. Arguably, the most important recent entertainment story is Comic-Con. Dozens and dozens of movies and TV shows made their way to San Diego to try and impress fanboys and girls alike (and yes, there are fangirls. I am in fact one of them.) While I was not able to make the long and arduous trek from New York City to Southern California, I watched minute by minute coverage of San Diego Comic-Con (or SDCC), courtesy of Entertainment Weekly online and TV Line. Why did I do this and waste precious social time you might ask? For you. It was all for you.

Here's what I found. Trailers and Posters and Comic-Con Panels Oh my! Movies that showed material at SDCC included: The Amazing Spiderman, the remake of Total Recall (with Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale), Edgar Allen Poe murder mystery flick The Raven, Immortals (starring the new Superman, Henry Cavill), the fourth Underworld flick, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Francis Ford Coppola's second foray into vampiredom- Twixt.

But enough about Comic-Con. The number of trailers this past week have been overwhelming. We have 18 trailers in every film genre from horror to sex comedy. I have rated these movies based on what they've shown us on video (and in some posters) from least interesting (1) to "I can't function until this movie comes out." (20) Enjoy!

1. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (December 16, 2011)

            -Another one? I believe that's what most people are thinking when they hear this title. But believe or not, the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise has grossed almost a billion dollars worldwide. Why wouldn't the studio make another one? But, obviously, I won't be seeing this film anytime soon. Mostly because it features yet another heinous title. "Chipwrecked"? Really? And I thought "The Squeakuel was bad enough...

2. Paranormal Activity 3 (October 21, 2011)

            -To some of you, it might be blasphemous that this film isn't further down on my list. But this series died for me halfway through the second film. Sure it had some scares, but the story was too tidy and fit too perfectly with the first film. This film looks like it'll fit too perfectly to the other two movies as well but maybe the completely new cast will be a breathe of fresh air.

3. New Year's Eve (December 9, 2011)

            -My reason for not wanting to see this movie starts and ends with two words: Valentine's Day. If this movie is anything like that one (and judging by the trailer, it most certainly will be), this is yet another misstep in the rapidly deteriorating repertoire of romantic comedy director Gary Marshall. Just like Valentine's Day, some of the cast here reads like a list of attendees at the Oscars- Hilary Swank, Halle Berry, Robert De Niro- but there are also some TV greats like Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), Sarah Jessica Parker, Alyssa Milano, Lea Michele, and Josh Duhamel.

Judge for yourselves, will this movie work better than it's holiday predecessor?

4. The Sitter (December 9th, 2011) 

             -Before seeing any clip of this movie, I read the cast list and the director's name and put it at number 12. After watching the trailer, it gets demoted to number 4. (Remember, on this list, a higher number means a better film). The cast, which includes Jonah Hill (Superbad), Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2), and Ari Graynor (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) is hilarious and David Gordon Green is an indie-film master (Snow Angels) as well as a pretty good comedy director (Eastbound & Down). But this trailer makes me think Green is headed for another misstep like Your Highness instead of a hilarious hit like Pineapple Express. We'll see what happens when the film comes out.

5. Battleship (May 18, 2012)

             -Yes. This is a film based on the Hasbro game. I know, it makes no sense to make a movie from a children's activity that's usually saved for a rainy day, but look at this cast: Taylor Kitsch (NBC's Friday Night Lights), Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood), Rihanna, and Brooklyn Decker (Just Go With It). Who needs a reasonable plot when every frame is filled with beautiful people. And with the addition of director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Hancock), the action is sure to be first-rate.

Plus, another Hasbro game made billions of dollars, spawned two sequels and launched the profile of a former Disney channel star. Can anyone guess what that might be?

6. Red Tails (January 20, 2012)

             -Produced by George Lucas, this is a film about a group of African American pilots fighting for their country during World War II while also facing heavy racism. The premise is based on the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen. This film probably should be much higher on my list but I'm worried that producer George Lucas will ruin its chances of being good. Lucas has produced some amazing films like the first three Star Wars films and the first three Indiana Jones films. But lately, he's had a terrible record with the last three awful Star Wars film, the last Indiana Jones film and Beverly Hills Cop III. But hopefully, this story will be triumphant over everything else and more hopefully, the film will be recognized for being respectful and inspirational.

7. Tower Heist- (November 4, 2011)

             -I'm going to be honest. I had no idea what this movie was about nor did I care. But several feelings went through my head during my screening of the trailer. Plus points: 1) Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller together for the first time. 2) The trailer was actually pretty funny. 3) The trailer seems to hint at a possibly hilarious romance between Precious star Gabourey Sidibe and Eddie Murphy. 4) Alan Alda as the bad guy. 5) The movie looks to be a fun take on the old heist movie plot. Minus Points: 1) Brett Ratner as director. You know what? This might actually count as 4 minus points... at least.

Hopefully, that big negative won't cancel out the potential this movie seems to have. See for yourselves.

8. Dream House (September 30, 2011)

             -There's not much to say about this trailer. It looks like a standard haunted house flick. What this film has going for it however, are the people involved. Dream House stars real-life newlyweds Daniel Craig (Casino Royale) and Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardner), as well as Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts (The Ring) as the neighbor of Craig and Weisz. The film is directed by the legendary Jim Sheridan (Brothers, My Left Foot). Basically, think The Others instead of The Haunting in Connecticut.

9. Happy Feet Two (November 18, 2011)

            -My first thought when I heard about this trailer was "Why?" The last Happy Feet film wasn't an amazing piece of animated art but it wrapped up the storyline in a very neat way and there seems to be no need to make a sequel. But considering how well animated movies do and the fact that Hollywood has barely any original ideas left (i.e. TWO Snow White remakes), it was inevitable that this cute and odd little film would turn into a franchise. At least the cast is still decent, Elijah Wood is back as Mumble, the penguin who dances into hearts rather than sing. Joining him are singer P!ink (who's taken over the late Brittany Murphy's character), Robin Williams, Sofia Vergara and heavyweights Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. And I have to admit, the animated baby penguins are just too cute to resist.

10. A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy (September 2, 2011 limited)

            -In a season full of comedies that rehash old plotlines (The Change-Up anyone?), a film about a large group of friends who want to throw an orgy as their last big party ever may be surprisingly fun. It could also end up being a total disaster, but I put my faith in the hilarious cast: Jason Sudeikis (SNL), Will Forte (SNL), Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks, Party Down), David Koechner (Anchorman), Rhys Coiro (Entourage), and Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher, Dinner for Schmucks) just to name a few. The trailer's not so bad either.

11. Twixt (TBA)

            -I have placed this movie so far down my list because of the movie's director: the one and only Francis Ford Coppola. Coppola has made three of the best films of all time: The Godfather, The Godfather Part II and Apocalypse Now. Some of his recent movies have been forgettable so I'm desperately hoping this new film will bring the director some glory again. Now to be fair, the film is already starting out with some worrisome plot points. For example, vampires are integral to the film. The trailer has no coherent structure to it. There's a lot of talking and a lot of strange transitions from scene to scene. But nonetheless, I'm putting this on my must-see list while I try to patiently wait for new information. It's definitely a very polarizing trailer; you'll either love the weird, artsy quality, or you'll hate it for being a pretentious attempt to provide viewers with something different. Let me know in the comments!

12. Knights of Badassdom (TBA)

            -This film looks hilarious and mind-boggling all at the same. Let me give you all the synopsis and you'll get what I mean: a group of live action role players accidentally conjure up a succubus-style demon from hell during a fake battle and must defeat her as she goes on a rampage at the battle. There's a great cast of comic-book friendly actors that would make any nerd's dream come true. And by nerd, I include myself. Knights of Badassdom (aptly named) stars Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Summer Glau (Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles), Steve Zahn (Joy Ride), and Danny Pudi (Community). Be wary folks, this trailer is slightly NSFW.

13. Haywire (January 20, 2012)

             -Four reasons to see this film.
                        1. The main character is a female who kicks butt onscreen and the actress does it in real life (mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano).
                        2. The director is Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Ocean's Eleven, etc.)
                        3. The rest of the cast is pretty fantastic: Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, Bill Paxton (Big Love), Ewan McGregor (Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace), Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class),  and Channing Tatum (Step Up).
                        4. The main character is a female who kicks butt onscreen and the actress does it in real life- Yes, it needed to be repeated.

14. The Darkest Hour (December 23, 2011)

            -It's hard to find a fresh way to tell stories about alien attacks. Throughout the years, we've seen films about aliens who can shape shift into anything (The Thing); we've seen weird Mars aliens that like to fuse human heads with dog bodies (Mars Attacks). We've even seen stories about aliens being mistreated by humans (District 9) and worst of all, we've seen aliens who can kill humans the way humans kill bugs with a bug-zapper (Skyline). This new film is about alien life-forms that feed off energy and disintegrate everything in its path. The Darkest Hour peaks my interest because the premise has just the right balance of smart and ridiculous to be something. And it gets points on this list for being produced by Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov and for its stellar young cast including Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild, Milk), Olivia Thirlby (Juno), and Max Minghella (The Social Network).

15. Like Crazy (October 28, 2011 limited)

            -Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film and Best Actress at Sundance Film Festival, this movie looks like a poignant, emotional tale about an American boy and a British girl who fall desperately in love in college only to be torn apart when the girl is banned from the U.S. after staying past her visa's expiration date. They try to maintain a long-distance relationship, but obviously, there are problems. Like many of the other films above, this premise has been used several times. The difference seems to be the honesty of the actors and script. We'll see if it lives up to its hype. I truly believe it will.

16. In Time (October 28, 2011)

            -I'm actually pretty intrigued by this movie. A film about how time becomes currency in the future, this seems to be director Andrew Niccol's followup to his 1997 film Gattaca. I loved Gattaca; it was an interesting story, had great actors and the execution was refreshingly new and incredibly intelligent. In Time (which used to be called Now and before that, I'm.mortal), has a talented cast lead by Justin Timberlake who is starting to make some smart movie choices from The Social Network to Friends with Benefits. Timberlake is joined by Amanda Seyfried (Mean Girls), Olivia Wilde (House), Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins, Inception), Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) and Matt Bomer (White Collar).

17. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (November 18, 2011)

            -Well what do you know, another British spy film. There's a good reason we see so many every year: the British do spy films so well. This is no exception I'm sure. Based on the 1974 best-selling book of the same title, this film has an outstanding cast of British actors. It stars Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight), Colin Firth (The King's Speech), Tom Hardy (Inception), Mark Strong (Kick-Ass), CiarĂ¡n Hinds (There Will Be Blood), Toby Jones (W.), John Hurt (Alien) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock: A Study in Pink). The trailer doesn't explain too much about the plot, but with a cast like that, I'm already interested.

18. Drive (September 16, 2011)

             -This is the first of two Ryan Gosling films on my list and both are highly anticipated. This film won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival and even received a standing ovation at the screening. Ryan Gosling plays a movie stunt driver who is forced to drive the getaway car in a heist that somehow goes terribly awry. Carey Mulligan (An Education), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) co-star. Comedy legend Albert Brooks (Broadcast News, Finding Nemo) takes on a villainous role. Another film that better live up to the recognition it has already received. This red-band trailer is NSFW.

19. The Avengers (May 4, 2012)

            -One of the most anticipated films worldwide, this trailer is not the clip that premiered after the credits of Captain America: The First Avenger. This one is a teaser that was released two days ago. Reprising their Marvel identities, Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) will be joined by Mark Ruffalo as the new Hulk and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johanssen are also returning as Nick Fury and Black Widow. The movie's villain is set to be Loki from Thor (Scott Hiddleston) but there may be more baddies in store for our heroes. The trailer is quick, choppy and gives absolutely nothing away but it doesn't matter because everyone and their mothers (and their mailmen and dogs and dentists) will see this film.

20. The Ides of March (October 7, 2011)

             -We have finally come to the end. The most exciting trailer (and film) for me is the second Ryan Gosling movie on the list. Directed by the smoothest man in Hollywood, George Clooney, and based on a critically-acclaimed play (Farragut North), The Ides of March is a story about the controversies and mysteries surrounding a presidential campaign. Gosling plays the campaign manager for George Clooney's character and rounding out the cast are Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Capote), Paul Giamatti (Sideways), Evan Rachel Wood (Across the Universe) and Marissa Tomei (The Wrestler). Clooney has had ups and downs in his short directing career and it looks as though his directing gems all have to do with something political or government related (Good Night and Good Luck). If that's the case, this should have Oscar gold written all over it. For your viewing pleasure, I present a trailer AND the movie's new poster.

So what do you all think? Did I miss any new trailers? Did I put movies in the wrong order? Tell me in the comments section! I think 2011 and 2012 have so much potential for great film, but you never know what Hollywood will come up with next.

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