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Trailer Thursday (04-14-11)

April 14, 2011

There’s a wide variety of trailers  to flip through this week, so let’s get started….


Senseless campus shooting sprees are unfortunately not an uncommon occurence today. Once the 24/7 news circuits relentlessly cover every angle of the event, we are inundated with countless accounts, opinions, and examinations. But most of all, we’re left with unanswered questions. But what about the parents of the shooter who committed such an act and then taking his own life? Shawn Ku’s new film focuses on parents (Michael Sheen and Maria Bello) who are left in the wake of their son’s seemingly random murder spree/suicide. It’s one of the first times I can remember where the focus is on what the parents are going through and how they are perceived/treated by friends, family, and the media. The film played at last year’s Toronto Film Festival and will get a limited release in the States on May 20th.
Now this is the kind of movie I’d prefer Will Ferrell gravitate to. In this indie comedy, Ferrell plays a man who’s been laid off and kicked out of his home after his wife separates from him. he hasn’t left though, deciding to hang out on his front lawn and sell all of his material possessions.  I heard some good buzz about this after the Toronto Film Festival and then I heard nothing. Now, we have a release date of May 13th, and what looks like a solid supporting cast in Rebecca Hall, Michael Peña, Laura Dern, Stephen Root, and Christopher Jordan Wallace. If Ferrell can deliver more work along the lines of “Stranger than Fiction” it could help his consecutive downward spiral of comedic big studio flops.
On the flipside, this looks awful but Jim Carrey has to go back to the material he’s known for. He stars as a divorced New York real estate developer who has left him with a wild inheritance: penguins. That’s right, no childhood classic is safe and neither is Richard & Florence Atwater’s 1938 book. Get ready for an update that no one has asked for that also stars: Carla Gugino, Angela Lansbury, and Madeline Carroll. Directed by 
Mark Waters (“Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”), the movie is set to open on June 17th. I suppose it’s a right of passage for any actor known for comedic slapstick over 40 to work with animals.
Did you ever think that you’d be longing for an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas classic swashbuckling tale starring Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris O’Donnell and Oliver Platt, would be preferable to the latest cinematic update? Well, you may just find yourself in such a state, when director Paul W.S. Anderson (responsible for such duds as “Event Horizon” and “Aliens vs. Predator”) drops his version of “The Three Musketeers” come October 14th, in 3D no less! This trailer makes this movie look like a deplorable mess. Another notch in Christoph Waltz’s Oscar curse, I suppose. The movie stars Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich (the director’s wife), Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, Mads Mikkelson, Gabriella Wilde, Juno Temple, and Orlando Bloom.
It’s time for your yearly dose of Woody Allen and his new film finds him still in love with Europe, particularly Paris. As usual with his rom-coms, he replaces himself with a younger actor in the inevitable neurotic role, this time it’s Owen Wilson’s turn. He and his wife (Rachel McAdams) are an American couple in Paris. She is enamored by cultured man (Michael Sheen) who seems to know something about everything, while he develops a habit of going off into the night after midnight. You really have to be a die-hard Woody Allen fan to get into the subpar films he’s generated over the years. While I respect the fact that he’s still cranking them out each year, the quality of his work is often in question. This film will open the Cannes Film festival in May and also stars Kathy Bates, Carla Bruni, Marion Cotillard, and Adrien Brody. It should open in theaters on May 20th. 
From Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the directing team that brought us “I Love you, Phillip Morris” comes a new comedy headlined by Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. I like this trailer. The film doesn’t look just another comedy and it seems to have some realistic themes and drama added as well. Carell stars as a man struggling with his divorce and finding guidance from a ladies man played by Ryan Gosling. Look at this cast: Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei, and Kevin Bacon. I’m hoping there’s a good balance of comedy and drama here for it to something unique. Look for the film to compete with a certain Star-Spangled superhero on July 29th.

We’ve heard of the rumors for years now, apparently William Shakespeare didn’t write a lick of those classics. Sorry, did that just blow your mind or ruin your lunch? Didn’t think so. Whether he did or did not hardly matters to most people, but director Roland Emmerich and Warner Bros. are hoping it does. The film focuses on the controversy of it all, and the trailer, with its endless sweeping aerial shots, seems to go for a romance and intrigue type vibe. I dunno if this bodes well from a director who is known for “Independence Day” and “Godzilla”, but I’m open to it. The film stars Jamie Campbell Bower, Rhys Ifans, David Thewlis, Joely Richardson, and Vanessa Redgrave, and it’s set to be released on September 30th.





Now here’s something no one has asked for, more Johnny English! Played by love-him-or-loathe-him Rowan Atkinson as a James Bond-type caricature, what we have here it seems is more slapstick. Not being a huge fan of Atkinson, I never saw the first film, so I dunno if I’ll be checking this one out, but based on how stupid this trailer is (and the fact that they use “The Eye of the Tiger”), I can see steering clear of this one. It also stars Rosamund Pike, Dominic West, and Gillian Anderson, and opens in the UK on October 7th. 




If you wanted to see what actor Tom Hardy may look like as Bane, the villain in Christopher Nolan’s next Batman film, then look no further. Hardy gained almost 30 lbs. of muscle for his role in director Gavin O’ Connor’s (“Miracle”) new film. Hardy (last seen in “Inception”) plays Joel Edgerton’s (“Animal Kingdom”) brother and both are fighting in the mixed martial arts championship. Based on the trailer, which combines family and post-war drama with a solid (albeit familiar) underdog sports story. The trailer may be a bit excessive in length, it still has my interest. The film also stars Nick Nolte, William Mapother, Jennifer Morrison and Frank Grillo, and should open come September 9th.




Actor Charles Martin Smith directs an inspirational tale (yeah, I know) from the studio who brought us “The Blind Side”. It’s the story of a dolphin named Winter who lost its tale in a trap and gets a second chance with the help of a prosthetic doctor (Morgan Freeman) and a caring family. Ashley Judd and Harry Connick, Jr. are the parents and Nathan Gamble plays the boy who builds a close relationship with the creature. Currently filming, it looks like it aims to be an inspirational family-friendly film for all ages. The 3D film also stars Kris Kristofferson and is set to be released on September 23rd. 




Who is Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and what is he all about? That’s what the characters played by Devin Brochu, Rainn Wilson, and Natalie Portman, want to know and we just may find out with them. This film is so indie that director Spencer Susser wound up cutting and releasing his own trailer. That’s something usually done by studios in order to compile a trailer that will appeal to the widest audience possible (regardless of whether or not that trailer is an accurate representation of the movie). What I like about the trailer is that it has my interest without telling me everything. The film also is set to open on May 13th. 




Get ready for some depressing self-examination, life realization and personal soul-searching, when the new Lars Von Trier film is released. That’s about the expectations you can count on in his films. It looks like we start at a wedding and then some family dysfunction rears its inevitable head and then we see brief shots of inevitable nudity, Kirsten Dunst with superpowers, and possibly the end of the world. I’ll say this much, you can never figure out his films by his trailers. Charlotte Gainsbourg rejoins Von Trier, along with Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgård, Udo Kier and Jesper Christensen. As for release dates, all that is know so far is that it will hit Scandanavia in May and that Magnolia Pictures will distribute the film in the USA and Canada.




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