Trailer Blogger

Milk: Sean Penn Wants Another Oscar

Posted in Drama by Adam on November 25, 2008
Click to watch the Milk trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Milk trailer at Zuguide.com

Harvey Milk was an influential gay rights leader and the first openly gay elected government official in the US. Though his work for the gay community stands on its own merit, Milk’s murder at the hands of a fellow San Francisco Supervisor makes his story as tragic as it is noteworthy. Fresh on the heels of the passing of California’s Proposition 8, a controversial ballot measure that restricts the definition of marriage in the state to the union of a man and a woman, director Gus Van Sant has cast Sean Penn to portray Milk in a promising biopic that will likely place Penn among the early front runners for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Penn, who has a history of selecting strong, charismatic roles, is no stranger to Oscar nominations, having earned the honor for his work in Dead Man Walking, Sweet and Lowdown, I am Sam, and Mystic River (for which he won the award). The seriousness of Milk’s subject matter should shield Penn from the criticism he faced after I am Sam (a melodramatic Forrest Gump 2, without all the lofty accomplishments and catch phrases) was released, but you have to think that Penn knew that the film would garner the Academy’s consideration when he took the role. I wish him luck, as long as he keeps the Beatles references to a minimum.

Highlights of the Milk trailer include: 1) Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild, Speed Racer) telling Penn that he doesn’t “do losing” when Penn suggests they start a revolution in San Francisco. 2) All the men in Penn’s office showing their surprise when he introduces a woman (Alison Pill) as his campaign manager. 3) Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, W., American Gangster) condescendingly asking Penn if two men can reproduce and Penn responding, “No, but God knows we keep trying.”  And, 4) Penn giving an emphatic speech in front of a large crowd right after receiving a death threat. My favorite part of the Milk trailer is watching James Franco attempt to morph Saul Silver (Pineapple Express) into a gay man living in the 1970s. Milk opens December 5, 2008. Check out the Milk trailer at Zuguide.com.

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Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood’s Amazing, Grizzled Face

Posted in Action, Drama, Thriller by Adam on November 21, 2008
Click to watch the Gran Torino trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Gran Torino trailer at Zuguide.com

Clint Eastwood has said that his turn in Gran Torino will be he last as an actor so that he can devote all his time to directing. Knowing that the film would be his last in front of the camera, Eastwood apparently decided to unleash a heightened form of facial acting that is the exact polar opposite of Ben Stiller’s portrayal of Derek Zoolander. In the Gran Torino trailer, Eastwood makes a variety of faces that come within seconds of tearing through the fabric of space time, instantaneously creating a black hole, and ending the universe. There simply has never been a man capable of making a face that shows so much displeasure. It’s really amazing.

In Gran Torino, Eastwood plays an intense, curmudgeonly widower who can’t get along with what’s left of his family and despises the wave of immigrants that has begun to settle in his neighborhood. Eastwood basically hates everyone and everything until he catches his young Hmong neighbor trying to steal his car for a gang initiation. After reluctantly taking the boy under his wing, Eastwood eventually comes out of his shell of hate, connecting with the rest of the boy’s family and protecting them from the gang. I imagine that the some of the most difficult scenes for Eastwood come near the end of the film, where he has to coax some type of smile from his weathered face after spending most of the movie pushing the limits of a soon-to-be legendary hyper-contorted grimace.

Highlights of the Gran Torino trailer include: 1) Eastwood confronting some troublemakers on the street with a voice that sounds like he snacks on gravel. 2) Eastwood looking like he’s going to implode just before kicking his children out of his house for suggesting he move into a retirement home. 3) Eastwood’s elderly, female Hmong neighbor spitting a quart of tobacco juice on the ground in response to Eastwood complaining about all the foreigners moving into the neighborhood. And, 4) Eastwood pulling a rifle on a bunch of gang members and telling them to get off his lawn. My favorite part of the trailer comes near the end when Eastwood beats up a gang member with his bare fists, even though he’s at least 70 years his elder. Gran Torino opens January 16, 2009. Check out the Gran Torino trailer at Zuguide.com.

Role Models: Bad Big Brothers in a Red Band Trailer

Posted in Comedy by Adam on November 18, 2008
Click to check out the Role Models red band trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to check out the Role Models red band trailer at Zuguide.com

After a hiatus of nearly a decade following the release of American Pie, the red band trailer has made a triumphant return in recent years. With R-rated previews for Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Pineapple Express, Burn After Reading, Tropic Thunder, Knocked Up, etc. becoming hits both in theaters and online, moviegoers are finally getting a more accurate idea of the levels of cursing, nudity, violence, and drug use that the most highly anticipated upcoming movies promise to deliver. Where the red band designation was initally intended to be a deterant and a warning to parents, it has recently become an effective marketing tool – exuding a sense of exclusivity and the forbidden. The red band trailer seems to lend itself particularly well to the comedy, where raunchy, offensive adlibs have become the norm. A couple of memorably objectionable lines from a good red band trailer are usually enough to sell fans on a flick’s potential.

Role Models, the new comedy from director David Wain (“Stella,” “The State,” Wet Hot American Summer) and co-writer/star Paul Rudd (Clueless, Anchorman, The 40 Year Old Virgin), is one of the latest films to jump in on the red band trailer trend. After wrecking the truck they use to promote Minotaur Energy Drink on a school campus, Elizabeth Banks tells Rudd, the cynical pitch man, and Seann William Scott, the womanizing mascot, that they have been sentenced to perform 150 hours of community service at a Big Brothers Big Sisters-type program. Rudd is paired with Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), a renaissance fair loving dork, and Scott is stuck with Bobb’e J. Thompson (“Human Giant,” Fred Claus), a little, foul-mouthed troublemaker. In the trailer, both Rudd and Scott make ample use of the film’s R-rating, but I’m pretty sure it’s Bobb’e J. Thompson who will have the most quotable lines in the movie.

Highlights of the Role Models red band trailer include: 1)  Rudd and Scott telling a smart ass middle school student that Scott got the Minotaur costume out of the boy’s mother’s closet after he f-ed her. 2)  Jane Lynch telling Rudd and Scott that she used to eat cocaine for breakfast and lunch. 3) Thompson shouting that he doesn’t want to take his pants off right after Scott introduces himself. And, 4) Mintz-Plasse asking Thompson if he means that the medieval themed game he plays is “gay” in the Old English sense of the word. My favorite part of the trailer is when they show a shot of Thompson’s drawing depicting a meeting between Beyoncé, himself, and some sugar. Role Models opened November 7, 2008. Check out the Role Models red band trailer at Zuguide.com.

Karate Kid: Revenge of the Cobra Kai

Posted in Action, Cult Classic, Drama, Remake, Sports by Adam on November 12, 2008
Click to watch The Karate Kid trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch The Karate Kid trailer at Zuguide.com

With Variety confirming that Jaden Smith, Will Smith’s youngest son, will be reviving the Karate Kid franchise, Ralph Macchio must be thanking the ghost of Pat Morita for his good fortune. If Daniel-san plays his cards right, he should be able to line up a few talk show appearances, sign on for a couple more episodes of Ugly Betty, and maybe even make a cameo in the film itself. At the very least, I imagine he’d be happy just to get some easy publicity for his chain of laundromats (things have been pretty quiet for old Ralph since My Cousin Vinny).

But, as the real-life Daniel Larusso celebrates, fans of the original film weep at the thought of another vain attempt to turn a profit by desecrating the Karate Kid legacy. While Karate Kid Part II and Part III fell short of the perfection attained by the first movie, the affront to fans really began when Hilary Swank gave birth to the abomination known as The Next Karate Kid. Now, after 14 years of extensive psychotherapy and steadfast denial, fans will once again be forced to deal with the reality of a world where Ralph Macchio is no longer the only Karate Kid.

So, with time running out, I’ve decided to bust out my plot for the ultimate Karate Kid reboot with the hope that the idea will inspire the legions of Karate Kid fans around world to demand that Hollywood ditch Jaden Smith and finally produce a decent 80s movie remake, while simultaneously ushering in a new era in cinema. Here’s the deal: The basic story stays about the same except the entire chain of events is seen from another point of view; the point of view of Johnny Lawrence and the Cobra Kai. When the movie begins, life is great. The Cobra Kai are the kings of SoCal and Johnny and Ali are in love. Then, Daniel, an annoying jerk from New Jersey, moves into town and makes everyone’s life miserable. Not only is Daniel incredibly irritating and obnoxious, but he also decides to make a move on Ali and picks up karate as a joke. To defend his girl and show Daniel that karate should be practiced with honor, Johnny and the Cobra Kai make an example of him at the All Valley Karate Championship. Basically, I want to preserve the memory of the original Karate Kid by creating its opposite.

Until Revenge of the Cobra Kai becomes a reality, you’ll just have to make due with the The Karate Kid trailer. Highlights include: 1) Macchio seeing his new apartment complex’s stagnant pool for the first time. 2) Zabka slapping Macchio around on the beach while wearing a Michael Jackson jacket and a headband. 3) Morita karate chopping the tops off of four beer bottles. And, 4) Macchio finishing off Zapka with his world-famous crane kick. My favorite part of the trailer comes at the end when Macchio asks Morita what kind of belt he has and Morita replies, “J.C. Penney. 3.98.” The Karate Kid opened June 22, 1984. Check out The Karate Kid trailer at Zuguide.com.

Jurassic Park: Will Michael Crichton be Preserved in Amber?

Posted in Action, Adventure, Sci Fi, Thriller by Adam on November 5, 2008
Click to watch the Jurassic Park trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Jurassic Park trailer at Zuguide.com

With the recent passing of author Michael Crichton, my thoughts immediately turned to whether or not he’d want to be cloned and brought back to life like the dinosaurs in his most famous novel/film, Jurassic Park. Now, more than likely, no one will try to replicate his DNA in order to build an extravagant theme park on a tropical island populated with hundreds of Michael Crichtons. But, if the guy spent so much time figuring out how to grow a velociraptor from a couple drops of prehistoric blood locked inside a mosquito’s belly in a piece of amber, you have to think he at least thought about doing the same thing for himself, right? I guess we’ll never know, unless he starts releasing posthumous novels like a sci-fi Tupac.

In honor of Crichton’s numerous contributions to popular literature and entertainment (ER, Congo, Twister, Disclosure, Rising Sun, Sphere, The Lost World), I’ve gone with the obvious choice and selected the Jurassic Park trailer because, more than any of his other works, the novel and the film it inspired are a permanent part of American pop culture. Sure, ER’s been on the air for 14 years, but Jurassic Park is the definitive dinosaur movie and the first film to feature photorealistic CG creatures. So, remember, the next time you’re cursing at some talking chihuahuas under your breath, you can thank Crichton and director Steven Speilberg for starting the trend.

Highlights of the Jurassic Park trailer include: 1) Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum watching a dinosaur hatch from an egg. 2) Neill and Dern seeing living dinosaurs in the wild for the first time. 3) The classic scene where Neill, Joseph Mazzello, and Ariana Richards are trapped in a Ford Explorer and an approaching Tyrannosaurus Rex causes ripples to form on the surface of some cups of water.  And, 4) A terrified Richards looking straight into a T-Rex’s eye, while the flashlight she’s holding causes its pupil to contract. My favorite part of the trailer comes when Samuel L. Jackson prepares to restart Jurassic Park’s security system and tells everyone to “hold onto your butts.” Jurassic Park opened June 11, 1993. Check out the Jurassic Park trailer at Zuguide.com.

Frost/Nixon: Choose or Lose!

Posted in Based on a True Story, Biography, Drama, History by Adam on November 3, 2008
Click to watch the Frost/Nixon trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Frost/Nixon trailer at Zuguide.com

With the 2008 U.S. presidential election less than 24 hours away, I’d like to take a moment and remind everyone that Barack Obama and John McCain aren’t going to elect themselves. Oh, they’ll try, but the whole thing would end in a tie without a little help from us, the informed citizens of America. So, on Tuesday November 4th, go fulfill your patriotic duty by standing in line for three hours and being ordered around by a bunch of gray-hairs addicted to the adrenaline rush of overseeing an orderly, fraud-free voting process. Or, if you’re like me, go vote early at your local supermarket and stock up on tortilla chips and Monterey Jack cheese while you’re at it.

In keeping with the presidential theme, I’ve chosen Frost/Nixon as the the trailer of the day. Directed by Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code), the film details a series of interviews held in 1977 between British talk show host David Frost (Michael Sheen) and former president Richard Nixon (Frank Langella). After three years of silence following the Watergate scandal, Nixon, the only president to ever resign from office, unexpectedly agrees to sit down with Frost in an attempt to clear his name and bank a healthy appearance fee. Initially, Frost is intimidated and overwhelmed by Nixon’s domineering, self-satisfied personality, but, when the gravity of the situation finally takes hold, Frost rises to the occasion and succeeds in obtaining a tacit admission of guilt.

Highlights of the Frost/Nixon trailer include: 1) Kevin Bacon watching Langella resign the presidency. 2) Toby Jones convincing Langella to do the interviews with an offer of a half million dollars. 3) Sam Rockwell talking smack before meeting Langella, then freezing in his presence. 4) Bacon threatening to ruin Sheen’s career. And, 5) Langella explaining to Sheen that the president is above the law. My favorite part of the Frost/Nixon trailer comes just before the start of the first interview when Langella asks Sheen if he did any “fornicating” the night before. Frost/Nixon opens December 6, 2008. Check out the Frost/Nixon trailer at Zuguide.com.