Trailer Blogger

Milk: Sean Penn Wants Another Oscar

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

Click to watch the Milk trailer at

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


W., or Lame Duck: The Movie

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

Click to watch the W. trailer at

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

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

Click to watch the Body of Lies trailer at

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