Trailer Blogger

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.

Advertisements

Adaptation: Before Meryl Streep Moved to Greece and Started Singing All the Time

Posted in Action, Comedy, Drama by Adam on July 30, 2008
Click to watch the Adaptation trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Adaptation trailer at Zuguide.com

Usually, I find reading a book or watching a movie in which writing by one or more of the characters is central to the plot to be some of the most narrow, least inspired forms of entertainment imaginable. It’s as though the author or screenwriter has spent so much time writing that they have forgotten what normal people do. But, in Adaptation, Charlie Kaufman succeeds in blowing that convention to little bits even though he names his main character after himself and obsesses over the difficulties of writing a screenplay from start to finish.

The story features three writers: Nicolas Cage as Charlie, a sweaty, nervous, balding writer tasked with adapting a novel into a screenplay, Nicolas Cage again as Donald, Charlie’s moronic twin brother who takes screenwriting classes and personifies every Hollywood cliché in the process, and Meryl Streep, as Susan Orlean, the novelist whose work Charlie is meant to turn into a movie script. Even though Adaptation is overflowing with writers, it overcomes the pitfalls other works about writing succumb to by wholeheartedly embracing the ridiculousness of its subject matter and having the three writers (and their writing styles) converge and collapse on one another in a dark bayou.

The trailer begins with Cage (as Charlie) reciting a self-conscious inner monologue as he meets with Tilda Swinton for a business lunch. It goes on to chronicle all the other difficulties Cage faces in his horribly stressful life: writer’s block, rejection by waitresses of the opposite sex and an annoyingly enthusiastic twin brother. After giving you an idea of Cage’s state of mind, the trailer turns its attention to Streep (currently starring in Mamma Mia) and her novel about orchids and an orchid thief named John Laroche, played by Chris Cooper. For a film with a potentially confusing premise, the Adaptation trailer actually does a great job in laying out the plot, and even ends by showing how Cage (as both Charlie and Donald) eventually tracks down Streep and Cooper to better understand their characters, leading to the convergence of their worlds and stories. My favorite section of the trailer comes when Donald is telling Charlie about his new action movie screenplay and explains that a chase scene he’s written symbolizes the battle between technology and horses. Adaptation opened January 10, 2003. Check out the Adaptation trailer at Zuguide.com.