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.

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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.

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.

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.

Equilibrium: 1984 and The Matrix Have a Baby

Posted in Action, Sci Fi by Adam on July 24, 2008
Click to watch the Equilibrium trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Equilibrium trailer at Zuguide.com

With The Dark Knight fresh in everyone’s mind, I thought I’d go back to one of Christian Bale’s lesser known works: Equilibrium. The film is pretty much The Matrix set in 1984. Bale plays Keanu Reeves and the Matrix is played by a Fascist regime that seeks to eradicate human emotion with a powerful drug called Prozium. While Equilibrium does have it’s strong points, such as Gun Kata (a fictional close-range, gun-fighting martial art created for the film in which combatants predict bullet trajectories in real time without the help of a computer program), the similarities it shared with other dystopian films and a poor marketing campaign ultimately crushed the film at the box office.

The trailer shows Bale as Grammaton Cleric John Preston, tracking down sense-offenders and members of an underground revolution who traffic outlawed books, music and works of art. Carrying out his orders with two automatic handguns, a samurai sword and a unrelenting devotion to the state, Bale is the most skilled/feared enforcer the system has at its disposal. But, when his wife is arrested for not taking her meds, the Batman decides to change into his best white suit and put his employers out of business.

While the martial arts scenes are impressive, the best sequence in the trailer is when Bale watches as his buddies verify the authenticity of the Mona Lisa, then gives the order to torch it with a couple flame throwers. Equilibrium opened December 6, 2002. Check out the Equilibrium trailer at Zuguide.com.