Trailer Blogger

Old School: It’s That Time of Year Again

Posted in Comedy by Adam on August 29, 2008
Click to watch the Old School trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Old School trailer at Zuguide.com

If you were born sometime before the release of Kindergarten Cop but after the opening night of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, chances are that you will be heading off to college in the next week or two. On the flipside, if you were born back in the days when Animal House and American Graffiti were showing on screens across the country, it’s more than likely that you’re beginning to forget what it’s like to arrange your class schedule so you can party all night and sleep all day. As it turns out, the boys from Old School fall into the latter category, and they might just serve as an example for those of you who think that your glory days have passed you by.

After walking in on his wife (Juliette Lewis) with another man and another woman, Luke Wilson picks up the pieces of his life by starting a renegade fraternity with his pals Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn. Together, they set out to get all of the benefits of college without being bothered with attending a single class. After recruiting a group of less than popular pledges, the house defies the odds to become the epicenter of the university’s late-night party scene

The Old School trailer starts with Wilson making a drunken toast at a friend’s wedding where he details his wife’s exceptional infidelity. It then transitions to Vaughn planting the seed of starting a fraternity as Ferrell swings a hockey stick in the kitchen of Wilson’s new bachelor pad. After the success of their first all-night bash, the boys are shown cruising for pledges in their A-Team van and officiating a K-Y Jelly wrestling match between two coeds and what might be the world’s oldest living man. From their high points, the trailer then turns to the brothers’ difficulties. Wilson wakes up in bed with an underage Elisha Cuthbert, Ferrell succumbs to the alcohol-obsessed beast that rules over his soul, and Jeremy Piven, the dean, sets out to put an end to their debauchery once and for all. During the remainder of the trailer, we get to see the frat’s hazing ritual, which involves a cinder block tied to the pledges’ junk, while Wilson tries to convince Ellen Pompeo that his crew’s exploits have been blown out of proportion. My favorite part of the trailer comes at the end when Ferrell shoots himself in the neck with a tranquilizer gun seconds after it’s handed to him by a severely mulleted Seann William Scott.  Old School opened February 21, 2003. Check out the Old School trailer at Zuguide.com.

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Choke: A New Way to Make Friends

Posted in Comedy, Dark Comedy, Drama by Adam on August 27, 2008
Click to watch the Choke trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Choke trailer at Zuguide.com

In Choke, the second of Chuck Palahniuk’s novels to be adapted into a film (the first was Fight Club), Sam Rockwell plays Victor, a sex addict who works as a re-enactor at a colonial theme park.  After a long day at ye olde office, Sam likes to cut off his oxygen supply by shoving huge chunks of steak down his throat, partly for the attention and partly to leech cash off the men and women who save his life. Besides covering the tab for his own deviant interests, Sam also has to pay for Anjelica Houston’s hospital care because she’s his mother and she has Alzheimer’s. Given the going rate for a mediocre, unmotivated, partially historically accurate colonial townsperson, it’s reasonable to assume that Rockwell has preparing for the Heimlich Maneuver down pat.

Rockwell kicks off the Choke trailer by advising a stripper that she should have a mole on her thigh looked at by a doctor. After learning the stripper’s stage name (Cherry Daiquiri), we see that Rockwell likes to attend sex addiction support groups more for the social aspects than for receiving any type of help. There are a few random hookups, and then Rockwell goes to the hospital where he meets Kelly Macdonald, his mother’s new doctor. Even though Houston doesn’t recognize him (she calls him Frank), the visit to the hospital proves to be an important one for Rockwell. After demonstrating his technique for eating a porterhouse in a single bite for his friend Brad William Henke, Rockwell realizes that he’s attracted to Macdonald on a deeper level than he’s used to and can’t jump straight to sex like usual. Forced out of his comfort zone, Rockwell and Henke head back to the strip club, where they find Cherry Daiquiri has changed her hair color in order to stave off skin cancer.  My favorite part of the trailer comes when Rockwell is cheered on by a bunch of senior citizens as he bashes a walker against a set of lockers in a hospital locker room. Choke opens September 26, 2008. Check out the Choke trailer at Zuguide.com.

Burn After Reading: Sweaty Secrets

Posted in Comedy, Crime, Dark Comedy by Adam on August 21, 2008
Click to watch the Burn After Reading trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Burn After Reading trailer at Zuguide.com

Even though there might be a few random chuckles to be had in No Country for Old Men, no one would go so far as to call it a comedy. But, for the most part, that’s what the Coen brothers are known for: dark, quirky laugh-out-loud funny movies. Putting aside a few forays into the world of mostly serious, nostalgic crime thrillers (Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, The Man Who Wasn’t There) and a couple of forgettable missteps (The Ladykillers, Intolerable Cruelty), the Coen brothers have made a name for themselves with a string of unusual and beloved films that get their laughs more from situations and characters than from point blank jokes (Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?).

Hoping to add to that list, the Coen brothers have written and directed Burn After Reading. The story revolves around a CD containing John Malkovich’s CIA memoirs. After Brad Pitt finds the disc in a locker room, he and fellow gym employee Frances McDormand set out to use their newfound leverage to lighten Malkovich’s wallet. The trailer begins with Pitt explaining what he’s found to a few skeptical coworkers. He then sets up a meeting with Malkovich over the phone, and it’s obvious that in the early going both Pitt and McDormand are treating their caper more like a game than an actual crime. When Pitt finally comes face-to-face with Malkovich, he gets a dose of reality and realizes that his plan might not go as smoothly as he once thought. From then on, it’s an all-out battle between the bitter, condescending Malkovich and the flighty, misguided Pitt. Also, somewhere along the way, McDormand gets romantically involved with George Clooney. While it’s not abundantly clear from the trailer what part he plays in the story, apparently Clooney is also sleeping with Tilda Swinton, Malkovich’s ex-wife.

My favorite part of the trailer comes when Pitt meets with Malkovich for the first time. Sitting in Malkovich’s car, Pitt tries to explain that he is merely a “good Samaritan.” But, Malkovich instantly sees through his load of crap and punches Pitt square in the nose to make it perfectly clear that the gym rat is messing with the wrong dude. Burn After Reading opens September 12, 2008. Check out the Burn After Reading trailer at Zuguide.com.

Pride: Pimp in the Water

Posted in Drama, Sports by Adam on August 19, 2008
Click to watch the Pride trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Pride trailer at Zuguide.com

In honor of US swimmer Michael Phelps’ historic run of eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, I thought I’d seek out one of the few movies to feature the sport of swimming as its primary focus. In Pride, Terrance Howard makes the unlikely transition from a rapping pimp from Memphis (Hustle & Flow) to a community center swimming coach in inner city Philadelphia. Howard is tasked with teaching an undisciplined group of black high schoolers to swim and believe in themselves, despite having to face off against all-white teams with much more experience. If Michael Phelps was in the film, he probably would have been on one of the all-white teams (unless he decided to pull a Robert Downey Jr. and risk all of his endorsements), but I like think he would have been a good sport and offered his rivals some words of encouragement.

The Pride trailer begins with Howard interviewing at an employment office. After accepting the only job they have available, Howard heads to a local community center, where he approaches some kids who have lost their basketball privileges and offers to let them swim. After a few rough patches, including being made fun of for his skimpy swimsuit, Howard wins the boys over and begins to mold them into a swim team. Acting as Howard’s assistant and the film’s comic relief is the recently deceased Bernie Mac. Together, they instill the team with a sense of purpose and teach them the value of self respect. My favorite part of the trailer is when Bernie Mac says that he swims naked and doesn’t want to embarrass anyone by getting in the pool. Pride opened March 23, 2007. Check out the Pride trailer at Zuguide.com.

Watchmen: Russell Hammond Becomes a Superhero

Posted in Action, Fantasy, Sci Fi by Adam on August 16, 2008
Click to watch the Watchmen trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Watchmen trailer at Zuguide.com

Hollywood has been turning comic books into movies for years, but more recently, with the success of Sin City, V for Vendetta and 300, there has been an overwhelming rush to seek out the darker material offered by graphic novels. The latest addition to this burgeoning subgenre is Watchmen. Apparently, it’s the most celebrated graphic novel of all-time, but I had no idea until I went to the theaters to watch The Dark Knight and saw the trailer. Like many of the other films based on graphic novels, it looks like Watchmen is banking on legions of longtime fans to create online buzz after viewing its visually stunning teaser trailer. So far, it seems to be working, but I’m not sure how much longer this tactic will hold up, especially for the films based on lesser known graphic novels that are still in the works.

The Watchmen trailer starts out by showing Billy Crudup trapped in some kind of chamber. When the machine turns on, the former lead guitarist of Stillwater begins to disintegrate, atom by atom, before turning into pure energy. The next sequence shows a dark, grim world where superheroes and villains are commonplace. Apparently, there’s a little backlash against the masked vigilante population, which has embittered the heroes, who were likely only trying to help the only way they knew how. The rest of the trailer shows the heroes in action, but reveals very little of the film’s plot.

From what I’ve read, Watchmen takes place in an alternate 1985, where tensions between the US and the Soviet Union have pushed the arms race to another level. The main story revolves around Rorschach, a washed-up crime-fighter who wears a mask that has ink blots for eyes, reuniting with a group of retired heroes in order to diffuse a plot intended to kill and discredit their kind. The biggest surprise I came across is that, despite appearances, it turns out that only Crudup has what can actually be called superpowers, while the others are merely determined, highly skilled humans. My favorite part of the trailer is when a glowing, blue Crudup appears in the middle of a cafeteria surrounded by bolts of electricity, mainly because it reminded me of the scene in Powder when Sean Patrick Flanery makes his classmates’ silverware magnetize into a giant, floating ball. Watchmen opens March 6, 2009. Check out the Watchmen trailer at Zuguide.com.

Tropic Thunder: Zoolander Goes to Nam

Posted in Action, Comedy by Adam on August 14, 2008
Click to watch the Tropic Thunder trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Tropic Thunder trailer at Zuguide.com

After trying his hand at kid-friendly comedy in Night at the Museum and working with the Farrelly brothers for the first time since There’s Something About Mary in The Heartbreak Kid, Ben Stiller decided to return to the role of writer/director/actor in his new movie Tropic Thunder. At this point, some people might be feeling that Stiller has become a little overexposed, but Tropic Thunder marks only the second screenplay he has made into a feature film (the first was Zoolander) and only his fourth time directing (the others were Reality Bites, The Cable Guy and Zoolander again). I was actually surprised when I looked up those facts on IMDB, considering for awhile there it seemed like Stiller had a new movie coming out every few months and was having great difficulty dealing with his over-the-top cameo addiction. The fact that Tropic Thunder is only the second movie he’s written makes it likely that this will be the first time I’ve gone to the theater to see Stiller in a film since The Royal Tenenbaums.

The Tropic Thunder trailer starts of like an Apocalypse Now/Platoon ripoff with helicopters flying over explosions and palm trees and soldiers crying out in agony for their fallen comrades. But, when Stiller asks if they can stop filming, even though his hands have been blown off, it becomes clear that Tropic Thunder is a movie about making another movie. We’re then introduced to the lead actors: Ben Stiller is Derek Zoolander as an action star, Robert Downey Jr. is an Australian method actor who undergoes a controversial operation to play a black man in the film and Jack Black is a foul-mouthed comedian with a drinking/drug problem. Next, following a suggestion from an extra-grizzled Nick Nolte, director Steve Coogan decides to abandon Stiller and company in the jungle to make their performances more authentic and to teach them a lesson for being such crybabies. Of course, everything goes wrong and the actors end up in a real war with a rural Vietnamese militia. The best part of the trailer is watching Robert Downey Jr. try to be funny without seriously offending millions of people. Tropic Thunder opens August 13, 2008. Check out the Tropic Thunder trailer at Zuguide.com.

Donnie Darko: Seth Rogen’s Big Screen Debut

Posted in Dark Comedy, Drama, Sci Fi by Adam on August 7, 2008
Click to watch the Donnie Darko trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Donnie Darko trailer at Zuguide.com

Before appearing in The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up or Superbad, or even showing up as Eager Cameraman in Anchorman, Pineapple Express star Seth Rogen played bully Ricky Danforth in director Richard Kelly’s 2001 cult classic Donnie Darko. While Rogen didn’t get too much screen time, he was present the first time Donnie and Gretchen spoke, delivering the classy line, “I like your boobs,” and was also responsible for throwing Gretchen to the ground moments before she was hit by a car. Not exactly the funniest role ever, but at least it served as a stepping stone for Rogen from his TV roles in “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared” to his current streak of feature film success.

The Donnie Darko trailer begins with Drew Barrymore reciting a melodramatic passage from a novel to her English class, which includes Jake Gyllenhaal, or Donnie, and Seth Rogen. From there, it transitions to explaining Jake’s fragile mental state and his frequent conversations with a giant, sinister bunny rabbit. After Patrick Swayze makes a brief appearance as a motivational speaker, Jake begins talking about time travel and predestination with Noah Wyle, his science teacher. All in all, the trailer has a very bleak, creepy feel to it, and it’s clear that they decided to try to market it as a kind of horror film, even though it’s really not. I think it would have helped if they incorporated some clips that show the dark humor that runs throughout the film, and played up the fact that it takes place in the 80s by including some music from the soundtrack. My favorite part of the trailer is when Jake looks into a mirror and sees Frank, the giant rabbit, and creates a ripple in the spacetime continuum when he tries to touch the image. Donnie Darko opened October 28, 2001. Check out the Donnie Darko trailer at Zuguide.com.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: Oh No, Not Again

Posted in Action, Fantasy by Adam on August 5, 2008
Tomb of the Dragon Emperor trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor trailer at Zuguide.com

With all of the hullabaloo surrounding Christian Bale and The Dark Knight, some people might be surprised to learn that Brendan Fraser beat both Bale and The Dark Knight at the box office this past weekend. Of course it took him two movies to do it, but that’s beside the point. Dollars are dollars and, at least for this week, Fraser is the most bankable star in Hollywood. The man responsible for bringing live action versions of both Dudley Do-Right and George of the Jungle to the big screen can currently be seen in Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

While Fraser seems to have transitioned into the passable fantasy-action movie stage of his career, I can’t help but see him as the reanimated caveman from Encino Man every time he steps on screen. In fact, Fraser’s caveman would actually make a good villain for the fourth Mummy movie. All they would need to do is figure out a way for the Encino Man to resurrect a horde of his bloodthirsty brethren, have them realize that there’s no more woolly mammoths or saber-toothed tigers left to chase around and let the culture clash begin. Fraser would pull double duty as both the newly evil Encino Man and intrepid explorer Rick O’Connell. Thankfully, that’s probably not an option. But, at least we have the third Mummy movie to tide us over in the mean time.

In the trailer for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Fraser and his son accidentally awaken Jet Li, the Dragon Emperor himself, who can control the five elements with his bare hands. As if battling a second living mummy bent on world domination wasn’t enough, this time Fraser also has to deal with Li’s fully-armed terra cotta army. Joining Fraser and his son are Michele Yeoh, as a kung fu sorceress, Maria Bello, as Fraser’s wife, and John Hannah, reprising his role as Fraser’s whiny brother-in-law. As Fraser and company battle Li and his army across China and through the Himalayas, they’re aided by the dead enemies Li buried beneath the Great Wall and a pack of abominable snowmen. Although Fraser now has some pretty serious magic on his side, it might not be enough to match up against Li’s three-headed dragon. My favorite sections of the trailer are the parts that show the abominable snowmen. Mostly, because they remind me of Looney Tunes. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor opened August 1, 2008. Check out The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor trailer at Zuguide.com.