Trailer Blogger

Reservation Road: The Film Before the Film that Made Joaquin Phoenix Quit Acting

Posted in Drama, Thriller by Adam on October 31, 2008
Click to watch the Reservation Road trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Reservation Road trailer at Zuguide.com

In case you hadn’t heard, Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Signs, Walk the Line, We Own the Night) has decided to retire from acting and focus his talents on music. Apparently, after finishing filming on his latest picture, Two Lovers, a romantic drama with Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, and Isabella Rossellini, Commodus decided that he’s grown weary of pretending to be other people and would rather pretend to be a rock star. No word yet on upcoming tour dates, but Two Lovers is set to be released February 13, 2009, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

As a way of bidding a premature farewell to the most famous actor to ever rock an upper lip birthmark scar, I thought I’d offer up the trailer for Reservation Road, Phoenix’s second to last film. In Reservation Road, Phoenix plays a father whose son in struck and killed by Mark Ruffalo in a hit and run accident. Rushing to get his own son home to ex-wife Mira Sorvino, Ruffalo changes the lives of Phoenix, his wife, Jennifer Connelly, and his daughter, Elle Fanning, forever. But, while Connelly eventually tries to move on from the tragedy, Phoenix becomes obsessed with tracking down his son’s killer. And, in one of the most uncomfortable situations of all-time (not to mention the most obvious case of conflict of interest in human history), Phoenix ends up hiring Ruffalo as his lawyer to make sure the police are actively pursuing the case.

Highlights of the Reservation Road trailer include: 1) Ruffalo debating whether or not to turn himself in to the police, then deciding to cover up his crime. 2) Ruffalo walking into his office and seeing Phoenix sitting on the couch.  3) Phoenix asking Ruffalo what he would want to have happen if someone killed his son. And, 4) Phoenix getting a gun and deciding to take matters into his own hands. My favorite part of the Reservation Road trailer is the beginning, which shows Phoenix and Ruffalo spending quality time with their respective families before everything goes to hell. Reservation Road opened October 19, 2007. Check out the Reservation Road trailer at Zuguide.com.

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W., or Lame Duck: The Movie

Posted in Biography, Comedy, Drama by Adam on October 24, 2008
Click to watch the W. trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the W. trailer at Zuguide.com

In the trailer for W., director Oliver Stone’s third film inspired by a US president (the others being Nixon and JFK) and first inspired by Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, the story of George W. Bush’s rise to power and the missteps that led to him becoming the least popular president in modern American history are portrayed with all the subtlety you’d expect from the man behind Natural Born Killers. There’s hard drinking, fights with dad, and more than a few hints indicating a severe inferiority complex. Since the film is a satire, imagining Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, American Gangster), a non-comedian, playing Bush might initially seem like a stretch, but watching him deliver his first line in the trailer (“In history, we’ll all be dead.”) immediately validates the casting decision. If nothing else, the film seems to have a solid set of well-known actors, including Elizabeth Banks as Laura Bush, James Cromwell as Big George Bush, Ellen Burstyn as Barbara Bush, Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney, and Toby Jones as Karl Rove. The biggest surprise is seeing how much they made Thandie Newton look like Condoleezza Rice.

Highlights of the W. trailer include: 1) Brolin dancing on a bar with a classy young lady.  2) Brolin running into some trash cans while drunk driving. 3) Brolin chuckling when Dreyfuss describes the use of torture techniques, or “fear scenarios.” And, 4) Brolin sitting on the john talking to Banks about the difficulty of getting out of his father’s shadow. My favorite part of the trailer is when Brolin recreates the moment when W. got a brush burn on the side of his face after choking on a pretzel and passing out.  W. opened October 17, 2008. Check out the W. trailer at Zuguide.com.

The Secret Life of Bees: Dakota Fanning’s Parents Are Horrible Human Beings

Posted in Drama by Adam on October 23, 2008
Click to watch The Secret Life of Bees trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch The Secret Life of Bees trailer at Zuguide.com

With the release of The Secret Life of Bees, Dakota Fanning’s parents continue to hold their breath to see if their daughter, and the family’s primary source of income, can begin to make the transition from precocious child star to respectable teen actress. This is a delicate time in the career of any stage parent because so much can go wrong. Besides acne, gawkiness, rebellion, and drug use, there’s the chance that what worked for your little cash cow as a 6-year-old will be totally worthless in the cutthroat realm of adolescent cinema. For every Drew Barrymore, there’s a Haley Joel Osment.  For every Christina Ricci, there’s a Macaulay Culkin. And, for every Elijah Wood, there sure as hell is a Jonathan Lipnicki. The trick is to choose the right roles, wait out the downturns, and never give up hope that your ungrateful offspring will remain cute, popular, and lucrative up until their 18th birthday. After that, who cares? And, as always, have an insurance policy (Elle Fanning).

In The Secret Life of Bees, Fanning (I Am Sam, Uptown Girls, Man on Fire, War of the Worlds, Charlotte’s Web) runs away from home with her caregiver, Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls, Sex and the City), to escape a troubled relationship with her father, Paul Bettany (A Beautful Mind, Wimbledon, The Da Vinci Code), and learn more about her late mother’s past. Fanning and Hudson are soon welcomed by the Boatwright sisters, played by Queen Latifah (Chicago, Barbershop 2, Last Holiday), Alicia Keys (The Nanny Diaries), and Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda, Aeon Flux), whose intelligence and independent nature (and bees) help Fanning overcome the difficult memories that have been haunting her. Highlights of the Secret Life of Bees trailer include: 1) Fanning rambling through a cockamamie set of circumstances trying to explain to Queen Latifah why she and Hudson need a place to stay. 2) Tristan Wilds (Michael Lee from The Wire) getting caught singing to jars of honey. And, 3) Fanning spraying Keys with a garden hose. My favorite part of the trailer comes near the end when Fanning heaves a jar of honey against a wall in anger. The Secret Life of Bees opened October 17, 2008. Check out The Secret Life of Bees trailer at Zuguide.com.

Max Payne: Mark Wahlberg Takes a Dive

Posted in Action, Based on a Video Game, Crime, Drama, Fantasy, Thriller by Adam on October 17, 2008
Click to watch the Max Payne trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Max Payne trailer at Zuguide.com

Fresh off leading M. Night Shyamalan’s latest stinker, The Happening, and recently taking exception to Andy Samberg’s impression of him on SNL, Mark Wahlberg has decided to silence the critics by appearing as Max Payne in the upcoming film Max Payne, based on the video game Max Payne. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this might not be the remedy Wahlberg was looking for. While Max Payne was popular in its day, that day was seven years ago, and the era of the video game adaptation has, thankfully, given way to the era of the graphic novel adaptation. With Wahlberg admitting in an interview that he’s never even played the game, it appears as though they’re not going to play up the gamer angle and instead market it like any other fantasy crime drama. Downplaying the video game connection might not be a bad idea, but that doesn’t change the fact that no one cares about this movie. Let’s hope for Wahlberg’s sake that Max Payne goes away quietly and The Lovely Bones, his upcoming collaboration with director Peter Jackson, helps him get back some credibility. If all else fails, he can always ask himself to make a permanent cameo on Entourage.

Highlights of the Max Payne trailer include: 1) Wahlberg’s opening voiceover, especially if you watch the trailer right after the SNL clip. 2) Wahlberg running, diving, and shooting his gun, just like in the Max Payne video game.  3) Mila Kunis (That ’70s Show, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) shooting a machine gun. And, 4) A large, winged demon (a drug induced hallucination?) dragging a man out of a window by his shoulders. My favorite part of the trailer is seeing Jamie Hector, and hearing his fake Caribbean accent, because it reminds me how much I’m going to miss Marlo Stanfield (The Wire). Max Payne opens October 17, 2008. Check out the Max Payne trailer at Zuguide.com.

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People: Megan Fox Lowers Her Standards

Posted in Comedy by Adam on October 14, 2008
Click to watch the How to Lose Friends & Alienate People at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the How to Lose Friends & Alienate People trailer at Zuguide.com

Most people know Megan Fox from her role in the 2007 summer blockbuster Transformers. Despite all the photo shoots and articles written about her in the last year, there are quite a few details about Ms. Fox’s life that may surprise even her most loyal fans. Here’s a list of facts that I have repeatedly added to Wikipedia, only to find them deleted moments later:

  1. For a three month period during 4th grade, Fox had absolutely no teeth. After losing her baby teeth the old fashioned way (driving a small dirt bike into a pickup truck’s lowered tailgate), Fox survived on a diet of consisting of Dr. Pepper/Slim Jim smoothies, melted ice cream sandwiches, and spaghetti sauce.
  2. During a rebellious phase in high school, Fox joined a band of jet ski pirates who terrorized the coastal waters surrounding her hometown. It was not until she decapitated a manatee while trying to make off with a waterproof boombox that she finally saw the error of her ways, saying, “I don’t know if it was the sound of cracking vertebrae or the sight of all that blood, but either way my pirating days were over when I sliced off that sea cow’s head.”
  3. She once grew a 1,167 lb. pumpkin.
  4. In her free time, Fox is a volunteer smoke jumper, logging over 40 jumps in seven Western states.
  5. After numerous failed attempts to control her dibilitating OCD using techniques offered by conventional psychology, Fox finally freed herself from her mental prison when she had small amethyst geodes surgically impanted in the soles of each of her feet.

Anyway, now that the truth is finally out there, let’s turn to Fox’s upcoming film How to Lose Friends & Alienate People. In the comedy, Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Run Fatboy Run) stars as a British celebrity journalist hired by editor Jeff Bridges to write for an upscale magazine in New York City. Once he makes his way to the US, Pegg proceeds to annoy and offend everyone he meets, including publicist Gillian Anderson and fellow writer Kirsten Dunst. Despite his awkward, ill-mannered ways, Pegg makes a connection with Fox, who steps out of her comfort zone to play a sexy starlet with questionable acting skills, and eventually finds a reluctant ally in Dunst.

Highlights of the How to Lose Friends & Alienate People trailer include: 1) Pegg trying to pick up a woman at a bar and Dunst pointing out that his business card is actually a library card. 2) Pegg interviewing an actor and asking him if the “hamster-thing” he plays in a movie is gay. 3) Pegg ordering a stripper for Danny Huston, his boss, only to have Huston’s wife and children walk in mid-strip.  And, 4) Dunst asking Pegg which leg he’d previously hurt and then kicking him in said leg. My favorite part of the trailer comes when Pegg coughs up a mouthful of sandwich onto a woman’s back while riding in an elevator. How to Lose Friends & Alienate People opened October 3, 2008. Check out the How to Lose Friends & Alienate People trailer at Zuguide.com.

Quantum of Solace: James Bond Grieves by Playing the Field

Posted in Action, Adventure, Thriller by Adam on October 9, 2008
Click to watch the Quantum of Solace trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Quantum of Solace trailer at Zuguide.com

The new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, begins right after Daniel Craig watches Eva Green drown in an elevator at the end of Casino Royale. Rather than take the time to adequately process his loss, Craig immediately sets out on a revenge mission to vanquish the man (Jesper Christensen) and the organization (Quantum) responsible for Green’s death. While his investigation eventually leads him to discover that Mathieu Amalric (Munich, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) is planning to help overthrow the Bolivian government and gain control of the country’s water supply, Craig’s main objective seems to be honoring his lost love by bedding both Olga Kurylenko and Gemma Arterton within a 24 hour period. Though this effort may be heartless and cold, Craig’s ability to put his fidelity behind him while still remaining hellbent on vengeance shows a mastery of emotional compartmentalization that proves that, although he may be blond, Craig is a true Bond, through and through.

Highlights of the Quantum of Solace trailer include: 1) Craig wryly suggesting that someone wants Kurylenko dead and then using his lightning-fast reflexes to prevent her from shooting him in the head. 2) Craig checking out Arterton as he walks down a set of stairs with Kurylenko (pictured above). 3) Craig and an attacker falling out a window, through a glass roof, and onto a set of scaffolding, with Craig barely catching himself before falling to his doom. 4) Craig once again using his parkour skills to jump over cars, across rooftops, and through a skylight at full speed. And, 5) Craig executing death-defying stunts on land (Aston Martin and motorcycle), in the air (WWII-era Douglas DC-3 airplane), and at sea (speedboat). My favorite part of the trailer comes near the end when Craig can briefly be seen fighting for his life by swinging a shoe at an opponent. Quantum of Solace opens November 14, 2008. Check out the Quantum of Solace trailer at Zuguide.com.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall: The Naked Breakup

Posted in Comedy, Romance by Adam on October 7, 2008
Click to watch the Forgetting Sarah Marshall trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Forgetting Sarah Marshall trailer at Zuguide.com

After making a name for himself playing the clingy, obsessive, overly-emotional boyfriend to a T (see Nick Andopolis on Freaks and Geeks and Eric on Undeclared), Jason Segel decided to take the logical next step and translate his signature character to the big screen in last spring’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Released this past week on DVD, the romantic comedy from the team behind Knocked Up and the 40-Year-Old Virgin stars Segel as Kristen Bell’s doting, TV theme song-writing boyfriend, whom she dumps once her acting career takes off. Where Nick would have reacted by reciting Styx lyrics to her in a candle-covered basement and Eric by crafting a multimedia presentation of their most intimate moments, the Forgetting Sarah Marshall Segel responds by trying to convince Bell of his commitment to her while sitting bareass on a leather couch. Regardless of the response, all three characters suffer from the same compulsive, pitiful, foredoomed devotion that drives away the women they love and leaves them heartbroken and alone. While both Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared ended before we could see what ultimately became of Nick and Eric, Forgetting Sarah Marshall follows Segel as he tries to piece his life back together by taking a Hawaiian vacation — only to discover that Bell is in the room next door with Russell Brand, the most lecherous man on the face of the earth.

Highlights of the Forgetting Sarah Marshall trailer include: 1) The aforementioned breakup scene where Segel lets his towel drop when he realizes he’s getting dumped. 2) Segel drinking chianti from an orange juice glass while watching Bell and Brand on Access Hollywood. 3) Segel crying after sleeping with another woman. 4) Jonah Hill making a pass at Brand after giving him his demo CD. 5) Segel falling off a cliff while trying to impress Mila Kunis. And, 6) Segel tricking Bill Hader’s wife into mimicking a sex act while speaking to the two of them on a webcam. My favorite line in the trailer comes when Bell asks Segel what he’s doing at the resort and he jokingly replies, “Came here to murder you.” Forgetting Sarah Marshall opened April 18, 2008 and the DVD was released September 30, 2008. Check out the Forgetting Sarah Marshall trailer at Zuguide.com.

Body of Lies: Leonardo and the Fat Man

Posted in Action, Drama, Thriller by Adam on October 3, 2008
Click to watch the Body of Lies trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Body of Lies trailer at Zuguide.com

Even though they’re both working for the CIA, Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe find themselves at odds in their upcoming film Body of Lies. While DiCaprio is out risking his neck trying to infiltrate a major terrorist network in Jordan, Crowe, his superior, is safely out of harm’s way, taking credit for all the hard work. And, to make matters worse, besides being a manipulative, power-hungry bastard, Crowe is a fat tub (he reportedly gained 63 pounds for the role). I imagine that going into Body of Lies, Crowe lobbied pretty hard to convince director Ridley Scott, whom he’s working with for the fourth time (Gladiator, A Good Year, American Gangster), that his character needed to be on the large side to be a convincing jerk. Even though I don’t see this as a Raging Bull type situation and believe Crowe mostly wanted to stuff his face for six months, I have to admit that Crowe’s distended belly and bad wig make the idea of an even confrontation with DiCaprio a little more believable — because, even with his fancy handgun, there’s no way Romeo could take out Maximus in his prime.

The Body of Lies trailer begins with Crowe talking about the realities of a global war, while satellite images and wide-angle shots of an unnamed Middle Eastern city are shown. We then see a special forces unit moving into position just before a man sets of a bomb with a cell phone in a busy shopping area. Shifting to Washington, D.C., Crowe offers a bleak warning about the end our way of life, while, elsewhere, DiCaprio calls out Crowe for being worthless without the work he does on the ground. After a quick shot of a car bomb exploding, the trailer transitions to DiCaprio preparing for a mission and then engaging in a gun battle while hanging from the side of an SUV. In the next scene, we see the CIA tracking DiCaprio with a satellite, as Crowe sits on a sailboat docked next to his house and shovels cereal into his mouth.  In the remainder of the trailer, we’re introduced to Mark Strong, the shady head of Jordan’s covert operations, and watch as DiCaprio’s cover is blown and Crowe does nothing to help him, setting up a final confrontation. My favorite part of the trailer comes when Crowe’s wife finds him talking on the phone outside his home at 6am and Crowe, who’s wearing a bathrobe, explains that he’s “saving civilization.” Body of Lies opens October 10, 2008. Check out the Body of Lies trailer at Zuguide.com.