Trailer Blogger

Adaptation: Before Meryl Streep Moved to Greece and Started Singing All the Time

Posted in Action, Comedy, Drama by Adam on July 30, 2008
Click to watch the Adaptation trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Adaptation trailer at Zuguide.com

Usually, I find reading a book or watching a movie in which writing by one or more of the characters is central to the plot to be some of the most narrow, least inspired forms of entertainment imaginable. It’s as though the author or screenwriter has spent so much time writing that they have forgotten what normal people do. But, in Adaptation, Charlie Kaufman succeeds in blowing that convention to little bits even though he names his main character after himself and obsesses over the difficulties of writing a screenplay from start to finish.

The story features three writers: Nicolas Cage as Charlie, a sweaty, nervous, balding writer tasked with adapting a novel into a screenplay, Nicolas Cage again as Donald, Charlie’s moronic twin brother who takes screenwriting classes and personifies every Hollywood cliché in the process, and Meryl Streep, as Susan Orlean, the novelist whose work Charlie is meant to turn into a movie script. Even though Adaptation is overflowing with writers, it overcomes the pitfalls other works about writing succumb to by wholeheartedly embracing the ridiculousness of its subject matter and having the three writers (and their writing styles) converge and collapse on one another in a dark bayou.

The trailer begins with Cage (as Charlie) reciting a self-conscious inner monologue as he meets with Tilda Swinton for a business lunch. It goes on to chronicle all the other difficulties Cage faces in his horribly stressful life: writer’s block, rejection by waitresses of the opposite sex and an annoyingly enthusiastic twin brother. After giving you an idea of Cage’s state of mind, the trailer turns its attention to Streep (currently starring in Mamma Mia) and her novel about orchids and an orchid thief named John Laroche, played by Chris Cooper. For a film with a potentially confusing premise, the Adaptation trailer actually does a great job in laying out the plot, and even ends by showing how Cage (as both Charlie and Donald) eventually tracks down Streep and Cooper to better understand their characters, leading to the convergence of their worlds and stories. My favorite section of the trailer comes when Donald is telling Charlie about his new action movie screenplay and explains that a chase scene he’s written symbolizes the battle between technology and horses. Adaptation opened January 10, 2003. Check out the Adaptation trailer at Zuguide.com.

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The Last King of Scotland: Agent Scully in Africa

Posted in Drama by Adam on July 26, 2008
Click to watch The Last King of Scotland trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch The Last King of Scotland trailer at Zuguide.com

With The X-Files: I Want to Believe new in theaters, I’ve chosen to highlight one of the most successful projects that Gillian Anderson was a part of before returning to the role she is best known for. In The Last King of Scotland, James McAvoy of Wanted fame travels to a Ugandan medical mission run by Gillian’s British doctor husband to do good deeds and make a difference in the world. Before completely sacrificing his morals to become President Forest Whitaker’s personal physician, McAvoy sacrifices them just a smidgen in order to put the moves on his boss’s wife.

In the trailer, McAvoy is shown deciding to go to Uganda by placing his finger on a spinning globe. Once there, he helps a few sick Ugandans and meets Ms. Anderson before being taken in by President Whitaker’s magnetic personality. After he’s welcomed into Whitaker’s inner circle, it’s not long before McAvoy learns of the President’s true, ruthless nature, and realizes that his head will probably be on the chopping block before too long. Whitaker, who won the Academy Award for his portrayal of Idi Amin, stands out even in the trailer. My favorite part is when he admits to eating his enemies…if they are chickens! The Last King of Scotland opened on September 27, 2006. Check out The Last King of Scotland trailer at Zuguide.com.

Equilibrium: 1984 and The Matrix Have a Baby

Posted in Action, Sci Fi by Adam on July 24, 2008
Click to watch the Equilibrium trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Equilibrium trailer at Zuguide.com

With The Dark Knight fresh in everyone’s mind, I thought I’d go back to one of Christian Bale’s lesser known works: Equilibrium. The film is pretty much The Matrix set in 1984. Bale plays Keanu Reeves and the Matrix is played by a Fascist regime that seeks to eradicate human emotion with a powerful drug called Prozium. While Equilibrium does have it’s strong points, such as Gun Kata (a fictional close-range, gun-fighting martial art created for the film in which combatants predict bullet trajectories in real time without the help of a computer program), the similarities it shared with other dystopian films and a poor marketing campaign ultimately crushed the film at the box office.

The trailer shows Bale as Grammaton Cleric John Preston, tracking down sense-offenders and members of an underground revolution who traffic outlawed books, music and works of art. Carrying out his orders with two automatic handguns, a samurai sword and a unrelenting devotion to the state, Bale is the most skilled/feared enforcer the system has at its disposal. But, when his wife is arrested for not taking her meds, the Batman decides to change into his best white suit and put his employers out of business.

While the martial arts scenes are impressive, the best sequence in the trailer is when Bale watches as his buddies verify the authenticity of the Mona Lisa, then gives the order to torch it with a couple flame throwers. Equilibrium opened December 6, 2002. Check out the Equilibrium trailer at Zuguide.com.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, or Mork and Mindy: The Movie

Posted in Drama, Fantasy, Romance by Adam on July 21, 2008
Click to watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button trailer at Zuguide.com

Besides the fact that Brad Pitt doesn’t play an alien, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is pretty much a straight rip off of the popular 1970s television show Mork and Mindy. Mork, played by Robin Williams, was a reverse-aging alien who came to earth, fell in love with a woman and pretty much made her life a nightmare with his bizarre behavior, zany voices and innumerable misunderstandings. Benjamin, in comparison, is a reverse-aging man who’s born on earth, falls in love with a woman and complicates the crap out of her life with his bizarre behavior and a fair share of misunderstandings (and I’m sure his voice changes at some point, too). Now, I don’t know if Benjamin Button can drink through his finger or imitate Richard Nixon, but the fact that he ages backwards and creates problems for his lady friend makes him very Mork-ish. I’m sure there’s more to Benjamin’s story, but there’s no denying the facts.

In the trailer, Benjamin begins his life looking like a wrinkly, hairless baby mouse. He gets slightly less hideous as the years go by and eventually turns into Brad Pitt. Along the way he sails the high seas, dates ballerinas and cruises around on his motorcycle. After getting over the difficulties of being an 80-year-old toddler, it seems as though Benjamin’s affliction actually works in his favor. As the years go by, he gets younger and stronger while gaining life experience. The major conflict comes into play when Benjamin falls in love with Cate Blanchett. Though their ages match up for a time, eventually they become a May-December romance the likes of which has never been seen before. My favorite part of the trailer comes at the end when Blanchett, as an elderly old woman, walks baby Benjamin down the sidewalk and pauses for a moment to give him a little kiss. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button opens on December 19, 2008. Check out The Curious Case of Benjamin Button trailer at Zuguide.com.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Ron Perlman’s Giant Head

Posted in Action, Fantasy by Adam on July 18, 2008
The Golden Army trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Hellboy II: The Golden Army trailer at Zuguide.com

Some people might say that Guillermo del Toro chose Ron Perlman to play Hellboy based on them having worked together on Blade II. Others might say that Perlman was cast because of his extensive voice work in other comic book-inspired projects. What I say is that Perlman was destined to be Hellboy from the moment his galactic melon began taking shape in the early 1950s.

The trailer begins by showing how Hellboy was discovered by the US Army during WWII. The miniature, prepubescent CGI Hellboy’s noggin is actually quite small and round, with only the demon’s strong jaw line hinting at the colossal visage destined to emerge years later. When Perlman’s giant head finally appears, he’s threatening a monster thrice his size, in his signature sarcastic tone, while getting ready to light up a stogy. In a film full of intricate, highly-stylized creatures, it must have been nice for the makeup artists and costume designers to throw some red paint on Perlman’s big face, glue a couple dixie cups to his forehead, hand him a trench coat and send him on his way.

The rest of the trailer basically sets up the plot, detailing how an evil prince has returned from exile to wage war on human kind with the help of a horde of ghastly nonhumans and an immense clockwork army. Barely a second goes by without one of del Toro’s crazy, Pan’s Labyrinth-esque creatures getting up in Hellboy’s face, usually followed by Hellboy spitting out some dry wit before smashing his point home with his stone fist. My favorite part of the trailer is when Hellboy is being chased by a huge octopus-like creature as he leaps from car roof to car roof with a baby cradled in his arms. Hellboy II: The Golden Army opens on July 11, 2008. Check out the Hellboy II: The Golden Army trailer at Zuguide.com.

Pineapple Express and the Mini-Soundtrack

Posted in Comedy, Crime by Adam on July 16, 2008
Click to watch the Pineapple Express trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Pineapple Express trailer at Zuguide.com

While it starts a little slowly, peeping in on Seth Rogen and James Franco as they begin another smoke-filled day, what really draws you into the Pineapple Express trailer is the song that kicks in about midway through (M.I.A.’s Paper Planes). Just as with feature films, a trailer’s soundtrack is vital to creating a mood and providing emphasis during the memorable scenes and Paper Planes happens to fit perfectly with this trailer. By jumping back and forth between nuggets of dialogue and action sequences with Paper Planes playing in the background, the trailer lets you know that Pineapple Express is a comedy about two incompetent stoners, while at the same time pointing out that there are drug lords, crooked cops, car chases and large firearms.

The best sequence in the trailer is when Franco is driving a stolen cop car with a windshield covered in muck and Rogen tells him to try kicking out the glass. Instead of shattering the windshield in typical action movie style, Franco instead lodges his leg in the glass above the steering wheel right before the car jumps over an embankment. Pineapple Express opens on August 6, 2008. Check out the Pineapple Express trailer at Zuguide.com.

Step Brothers: A Family Feud

Posted in Comedy by Adam on July 15, 2008
Click to watch the Step Brothers trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Step Brothers trailer at Zuguide.com

After an absence of nearly two years, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly have at last reunited to ad lib their way through another buddy comedy. The trailer for Step Brothers shows Ferrell and Reilly overcoming an initial cold-blooded hatred for one another by bonding over dinosaurs and a shared affection for John Stamos. My favorite snippet is when Reilly asks Ferrell if he likes guacamole before jumping on top of their makeshift bunk beds, crushing Ferrell in the process. I’m hoping that the trailer is just a taste and doesn’t reveal all the best parts of the movie. Step Brothers opens on July 25, 2008. Check out the Step Brothers trailer at Zuguide.com.