Trailer Blogger

Terminator Salvation: Nick Stahl Is No Edward Furlong

Posted in Action, Adventure, Sci Fi, Thriller by Adam on December 17, 2008
Click to watch the Terminator Salvation trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Terminator Salvation trailer at Zuguide.com

First, we were supposed to believe Edward Furlong grew up to become Nick Stahl (maybe). Now, we’re supposed to believe that Nick Stahl magically transformed into Christian Bale (I don’t see it). The Terminator franchise may center on time traveling cyborgs and an artificially intelligent computer ushering in the apocalypse so machines can rule the planet, but they could have paid a little more attention to the continuity of their heroes.

I’m all for Batman taking over as John Connor in the upcoming Terminator Salvation, and obviously Furlong reached the apex of his career as a whiny juvenile delinquent who fell in love with Arnold Schwarzenegger in T2, so the weak link here has to be Stahl. Without Stahl’s stint in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, it’s not hard to imagine the Furlong Connor embracing his destiny, working out a little bit, and becoming the machine-killing machine that the Bale Connor appears to be in the new film. But, the Stahl Connor was such a clumsy, uninspiring wimp that he made Claire Danes look tough by comparison. I’d feel much better about the whole thing if they had simply cast someone like Chris Evans in T3. He might not be Laurence Olivier, but at least he would have been the toughest cast member on My So-Called Life.

As it stands, we’ll just have to pretend that the Stahl Connor somehow grew a pair, went through Dark Knight training camp, and came out the other side as the convincing, battle-tested leader of the human resistance. Or, maybe we could just forget about T3 all together.

Highlights of the Terminator Salvation trailer include: 1) A machine grabbing a human out of warehouse like the claw game at the grocery store. 2) Bale shooting a Terminator in the head after landing on it with a helicopter. 3) Robot motorcycles tearing down the highway. 4) Bale striking the “Charlie Sheen in Platoon” pose, while screaming in the rain. And, 5) Bale getting in Sam Worthington’s face and saying, “We’ve been at war since before either of us even existed.” My favorite parts of the trailer are the eerie shots of a lone Terminator standing menacingly in the rain. Terminator Salvation opens May 22, 2009. Check out the Terminator Salvation trailer at Zuguide.com.

The Day the Earth Stood Still: Keanu Takes the Planet Hostage

Posted in Action, Drama, Sci Fi, Thriller by Adam on December 2, 2008
Click to watch The Day the Earth Stood Still trailer

Click to watch The Day the Earth Stood Still trailer

After portraying a kind-hearted, time-traveling dimwit whose rock music leads to the creation of a Utopian society (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey) and a messianic computer hacker who frees the human race from unconscious slavery using kung fu (The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions), Keanu Reeves decided to stretch his bones and accept a role that would allow him to approach saving the world from a slightly different angle: threatening to eradicate the human race. In the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, Reeves plays Klaatu, an alien messenger sent to Earth to assess humankind’s ability to peaceably coexist and reverse the environmental damage they’ve inflicted on the planet. Rather than saving humanity with power chords or martial arts techniques, Reeves must decide whether the earthlings deserve to live, or if their existence poses too great a threat to their planet’s rare ability to sustain complex life.

Not surprisingly, Reeves’ alien impression basically consists of his patented vacant stare combined with his naturally emotionless speaking voice. For someone who grew up listening to Robert Stack narrate thousands of alien abductions on Unsolved Mysteries, this doesn’t exactly strike fear in my heart. Compared to the countless nights I spent dreading the thought of waking up in a distant galaxy strapped to an ice-cold metal table in a room filled with light, doomed to spend the final terrifying hours of my life in intense anguish, listening to Reeves calmly forewarn his human captors that their time is running out has little effect. I mean, the mere fact that he’s willing to sit down and talk means that there’s still a chance for salvation, and, even if things don’t work out, I’m pretty sure there won’t be any probing involved.

Highlights of The Day the Earth Stood Still trailer include: 1) Jennifer Connelly hiding a cell phone in her cleavage. 2) Don Draper (Jon Hamm) pretending to be a NASA scientist. 3) Reeves dryly answering a couple questions while hooked up to a polygraph before telling the man administering the test that he should let him go.  And, 4) Reeves telling Connelly and Jaden Smith (the future Next Karate Kid), “If the Earth dies, you die. If you die, the Earth survives.” My favorite part of the trailer comes near the end when Gort, Reeves’ menacing robot enforcer, is shown for a brief moment with a beam of light coming out of his cyclops-like eye. The Day the Earth Stood Still opens December 12, 2008. Check out The Day the Earth Stood Still trailer at Zuguide.com.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bangkok Dangerous: Nicolas Cage’s Creepy Assassin Hair

Posted in Action, Crime, Thriller by Adam on September 9, 2008
Click to watch the Bangkok Dangerous trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Bangkok Dangerous trailer at Zuguide.com

For an actor with a history of bizarre and unsettling movie hairstyles, from the see-through fluff of Adaptation to the greasy, balding lion’s mane of Con Air to the spiky helmet head of Ghost Rider, Nicolas Cage has really outdone himself with the shoe polish on corn silk do he sports in his new film Bangkok Dangerous. As a top international assassin, I suppose Cage could have to change his identity and appearance from time to time, but to achieve the level of crispiness Cage has attained requires a dedication that extends beyond the parameters of a movie role. I believe Cage has chosen to draw emphasis away from his ever-expanding forehead by punishing the hair that remains with a rigorous and painful regimen of dyeing, blow drying, long soaks in paint thinner, and controlled burns using a creme brulee torch.

The Bangkok Dangerous trailer opens with Cage confessing that, because of the travel required by his job, he feels isolated and alone in the world. After admitting that what he really wants is to meet someone special, Cage reveals that he is an assassin hired to kill the enemies of the most powerful and dangerous men in the world. His most recent assignment leads him to Bangkok, where he recruits a young local to run errands and pick up a case from a dancer at a nightclub. All seems to be going according to plan until Cage learns the truth behind his newest employer’s business dealings and falls for a local shop girl. As Cage’s detatched, remorseless facade begins to crack, he decides to use his deadly talents to fight the bad guys for a change. After telling his former boss to shove it, Cage can be seen running, jumping, and diving through the streets and alleys of Bangkok as he engages in a series of high intensity gun fights. My favorite part of the trailer comes at the end when Cage and an enemy fire at one another through a stack of exploding water jugs. Bangkok Dangerous opened September 5, 2008.  Check out the Bangkok Dangerous 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.