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All the movie trailers that matter

Not-So Grown Ups

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Remember when Mary Kate and Ashley were cute? Yes, those were the good ol’ days… I recently found myself watching Holiday in the Sun (watch it if you want to see a prissy, preteen Megan Fox) on Netflix instant play one night when I was struck with insomnia. It occurred to me that these movies were clearly just documentaries of the twins’ vacations with a little plot shoved awkwardly in like raisins in banana bread.

Yes, the brilliant plots of the MK&A movies have been fabulous cinematic triumphs: “Let’s put our dad’s face on a billboard,” “Let’s stop a hilariously inept criminal from ruining our mom’s business,” and, the ever-present “You be the edgy one and I’ll be the pretty one, and let’s get into comical misadventures” sub-plot.

But why am I talking about these once great youthful wonderwomen? Because they knew when to quit.

Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and Rob Schneider clearly don’t. Perhaps they should take heed of the title of their newest film: Grown Ups. Do they think we want to see a comedy wrought with immature, slapstick comedy that we’re just so used to seeing from them?

Now, I’ve seen some really, really bad movies (The Love Guru and Year One, to name a couple), but I just can’t stomach the thought of going to see one that actually has some once great actors in it! Well… just one great actor—Adam Sandler. I was a huge fan of his until Don’t Mess with the Zohan—the first raindrop in a veritable downpour of career-ending movies to come—and now he does Grown Ups? Sigh.

Of course, I haven’t seen this movie so I can’t judge it too harshly, but from what I can tell, it’s a sad notch on these men’s respective career tally tables.

Written by Sally

July 28th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Salt: Just What Angelina Needs

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All right, you caught me– this title is a double entendre.

First, let’s take “Salt” to refer to the movie:

You know, Angelina Jolie is a great actress. I really do enjoy her movies. The thing is though, I’m tiring a little of her perpetual foray into the action movie scene. I mean, she’s no Michael Cera– she has more than one character– but I would love to see her shake it up a little more.  I swear, if I see her do one more “hot woman who looks maternal and innocent but is secretly really bad ass” film (ahem, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), I might just give up on her.

Apparently though, that’s exactly what she’s doing with acting– retiring. And if that rumor holds true, then I’m shocked that she chose Salt to be her final film. First of all, as I mentioned earlier, it’s nothing new. We’ve seen this side of her in everything from Lara Croft: Tomb Raider to The Fast and the Furious. We really need to see some sort of character from her besides “sexy, mysterious, and  hard.”

Now, let’s think about that plucky little dinner accoutrement: actual salt

Angelina has six children. Yes, most of them are adopted, but as far as I know, her body physically birthed a few of those kids. How is she a bag of bones already? It doesn’t seem  healthy. Furthermore, it’s a little difficult to believe that someone with her build could pull of those stunts in the movie. I know for certain that if I jumped off of a bride onto a moving vehicle, I would splat like a plastic bag of vegetable soup dropped from a ninth  story window.

So how about Angelina eats some food and does some exercise? Or, you could just CGI her into another action movie like in Beowulf– that uncanny valley horror of a film.

I have to admit, I haven’t seen this movie yet, but judging by the trailer, I feel like doing so would be unnecessary. I could just pop in ANY OTHER Angelina Jolie movie and be equally as entertained. Then again, the trailer did make me want to watch it for two reasons:

1) The trailer did do an excellent job of keeping things under wraps. Every time I watch it, I’m highly confused: is she actually innocent? Because honestly, anyone who’s innocent and looks like a 30 year old PTA teacher couldn’t possibly shank someone in an elevator with her shoe.

2) Angelina’s part was actually written for a man. I’m just… I’m just curious how that will affect her portrayal of the part.

So maybe she’ll pull out something special… though I doubt it.

Written by Sally

July 26th, 2010 at 10:46 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The Girlfriend Experience

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You know, I was all prepared to write something terrible about this trailer, but I can’t: it represents the movie with stunning accuracy. The trailer is boring, literal, and sans any sort of dialogue. The best part was the end. Touche, trailer: all of these qualities mirror those of The Girlfriend Experience. And again, kudos to the trailer-maker: he made the fantastic decision of cutting out all the poorly delivered dialogue (which was all of it) out of the the trailer.

It’s not really the movie’s fault, I suppose. I’m sure the makers were thinking, “Hey, Sasha Grey is a great porn star. I bet that talent carries over to legitimate acting!” Poor, poor decision. What’s sad is that this could have been a great movie. A call girl’s personal life is a really interesting concept. It’s actually shocking that the makers of this movie took sex, intrigue, money, and a gorgeous woman, and created something boring.

Really,

Really

Boring.

I sat down to watch this movie a few weeks ago a gaggle of my man friends, all prepared to pant at the screen at the first sign of Sasha Grey’s inevitable nudity. I was fairly interested myself, not in a naked porn star, but in the movie—I figured it would be fun, or at the very least, hilariously bad like Grandma’s Boy or the English-dubbed version of Police Story. Like my friends, who only got to see a brief shot of blurry Sasha Grey body, I was left thoroughly disappointed. The thing was, I couldn’t bring myself to stop watching it. It wasn’t that it was some sort of masochistic, morbid fascination like when people in the Middle Ages used to watch tooth extractions on the street, it was that I kept thinking: “Man… this HAS to get better. SOMETHING has to happen!” But don’t be fooled, folks. NOTHING EVER DOES. There isn’t even a cheap plot twist. There just is no plot.

Of course, it’s possible for this movie to make a positive mark on the world: it would be a great advertisement for why girls shouldn’t become sex workers. “Don’t join the escort industry! Your life will be THIS BORING.”

So please, spare yourself what would be the emptiest 77 minutes (really? Because it felt longer than the extended version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy) of your life, and never watch this movie. Do, however, appreciate how accurate this trailer is. And also appreciate the drummer at the end, who is awesome, and clearly the most talented person in the movie.

Written by Sally

July 21st, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

[Little Miss] Sunshine Cleaning

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Watch the trailer for Sunshine Cleaning here

So after ripping the living (or I guess, undead, in some cases) crap out of the actors in Twilight, I felt like I needed to write about a good trailer. Sunshine Cleaning is a great one—it describes what the movie is about, it’s got a great song, and it manages to show Emily Blunt vomiting without making her the least bit unattractive. Then again, I’m fairly sure that Emily Blunt would look attractive covered in a pile of moldy marshmallow fluff (if marshmallow fluff weren’t 100% plastic and could actually mold).

And speaking of attractive actresses (attract-resses?), this movie’s even got Amy Adams, who has been on my “Women I’d totally go out with if I liked women that way” list for years. Not only is she gorgeous, but she’s extremely talented; what’s great about Sunshine Cleaning is that it gives us a chance to see her in a serious role, giving her a break from the peppy, super-naïve roles she previously played in Enchanted and Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Most importantly, this movie has Alan Arkin in it, and anything with Alan Arkin in it is fantastic. He doesn’t even try to be funny. He just is.

And how cute is that little kid? Where did he come from? I want one!

I also have to give Sunshine Cleaning kudos for a creative and original plot—there aren’t too many out there these days. I can’t stand how many crappy book-based movies have been made. I couldn’t even sit through Ella Enchanted—a butchered version of my favorite children’s book. And don’t even get me started on The Owls of Ga’Hoole.

Sunshine Cleaning is wrought with some witty dark humor and some great twists that leave you alarmed and delighted. The dialogue is surprising and well-written, the soundtrack is great, and the acting is fantastic. This movie is so great that I’m even willing to forgive the makers for creating two movies with the word “sunshine” in the title (the other being Little Miss Sunshine). I can even almost forgive them for including the token “female protagonist talks to herself in a mirror because she needs to boost her self-confidence” scene. Almost.

Seriously though, go watch this. I mean, well, see it, but be prepared to cry a lot (but then again, I cried in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls because there was a raccoon stuck on a log).

Written by Sally

July 21st, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Posted in Dark Comedy,Drama

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

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"Edward, I've never seen you so positively gleeful!"

All right, so we all know it’s the “in thing” (along with, unfortunately, ironic mustaches and unwashed “my clothes are a sustainable resource” overalls) to make fun of Twilight right now, so before I jump on the “Twilight is so 2008” bandwagon, let me be the first to admit that I liked the books. That’s right. I went there. Of course, I’m a girl, and reading them to me was basically like eating a bowl full of M&Ms—I feel sickened and horribly embarrassed when I’m finished (because, let’s face it, even though Stephanie Meyer fancies herself as some sort of Anne Rice/Jane Austen hybrid, she’s far from it), but during my feeding frenzy, I’m hooked and overjoyed. I therefore expected the movies to be equally as addictive.

Before I went to go see the movie, I couldn’t help but dip my hand into the candy bag and get a glimpse of what I was about to watch. Turns out, it wasn’t a bad trailer: it got me really excited. Of course, since the movies are, aside from being entertaining to laugh AT, horrible, it got me excited for rather unconventional reasons:

1)      I suspected that Kristen Stewart would go blind

Now that would be a great subplot. Besides, how could she not? Apparently all she does with her boyfriend is spend days lying out in absurdly beautiful fields surrounded by perfect purple flowers while he glows. And if his diamond skin doesn’t burn off her retinas, what about Taylor Lautner’s abs? Jesus! Evidently his contract includes the phrase, “with each movie, you will be hooked into increasing amounts of nudity.” What did that kid do to get that stomach?! (…his stomach: secretly my greatest impetus to go see this movie)

2)      I wanted to see if Robert Pattinson would have another expression besides “incredible concern”

I’m sorry, I stand corrected. Robert Pattinson has at least two expressions: squinty and aggressively squintier. Of course, in his defense, that’s one more look than Jackson Rathbone has—not once is Jasper shown without the challenging facial expression of “really, really intense.”

3)      I was certain that Dakota Fanning would do something impressive

I mean, she has to. Why else would she be there? You know what’s ridiculous? Dakota Fanning requested to be in this movie. Really, Dakota Fanning? You were quite a good little actress, even in that awful movie Uptown Girls. And now you’re older (yet still in that age where we all remember you as an eight year old and guys can’t think you’re hot because that’s creepy) and you request to do Twilight? You can do better than that.

4)      …was that just who I thought it was?

Good job, trailer, wayta include a glimpse of Bryce Dallas Howard, who, as we saw in M. Night Shymalan’s last decent movie (nothing was worse than Avatar: The Last Airbender), The Village, is also a decent actress! Touche, Twilight franchise: switching it up by including a couple of legitimately talented people to balance out Kristen Stewart’s perpetually bored-looking “I’m so over this whole being famous thing” persona.

So I guess what this means is the Twilight Saga is finally trying attract the non-freshly pubescent girl population with some attempts at good acting. Hmm…

Written by Sally

July 19th, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

As You Wish

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Watch The Princess Bride trailer at Zuguide.com!

Peter Falk and lil' Savage

Feeling a little under the weather today.  If only Peter Falk could come to my bedside and read me a Fairy Tale…  But, sadly, since the Make a Wish Foundation stopped taking my calls (eczema won’t grant you many wishes these days), the chances of bedtime stories from Lt. Colombo are slim to none.  Instead, I’ll have to pass the time and ignore the sniffles with the  internet and watch some movie trailers online.

As any movie-goer knows, trailers today can be long and tedious affairs that use over-zealous graphics, exceedingly epic soundtracks, and Speedy Gonzales editing.  But after rewatching the teaser for The Princess Bride, I will say that trailers have come a long way since 1987–  at least in terms of focus groups and playing to your demographic.  Even if cinema has not really advanced much in artistry, the industry has seen remarkable grown in its ability to advertise.

You gotta love the ‘80s.  What can only be described as infomercial (or possibly elevator) music underscores the teaser for this fantastical and medieval love story.   Was this music ever cool? (No.)  Perhaps the choice of soundtrack is merely an outdated marketing ploy to attract the “whole family” target group, or perhaps it is a ballsy and avante-garde artistic choice that I, personally, don’t understand at all.

The Rob Reiner classic is filled with more wit and wizardry than any other filmed fairy tale to date (okay, Hook comes close, but you have to deal with Julia Roberts, and there’s no replacement for Billy Crystal).  It has set the standard for modern swashbucklers.  As the film’s tag-line suggests, it certainly is not just your basic, average, everyday, ordinary, run of the mill, ho-hum fairy tale.

But I’d use many of those adjectives for the trailer.

Go watch the movie!

Written by sam

June 29th, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Jaws: Trailer from a Different Era

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Click here to watch the trailer

There is a creature alive today who has survived millions of years of evolution without change, without passion, and without logic. It lives to kill. A mindless eating machine, it will attack and devour anything. It is as though God created the devil and gave him – JAWS.

It’s hard to imagine a movie trailer today starting with such a long quote.  Maybe it’s the MTV generation, Movies are like trailers today, quickly jerking from one scene to another.  But the JAWS trailers is different than today’s trailers, it starts with long quote, the words and video sound like something out of a National Geographic special, until we hear the word – JAWS.   The trailer is not campy, as many horror-movie trailers today are – sometimes it is hard to tell the horror-movie trailers from the spoof-horror-movie trailers.    But it’s not bloody either, at the end of the first scene we only see a girl is who is being nudged from below, until she is pulled into the water below.

Except for some great scenes of two of my favorite actors Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss, the trailer doesn’t really tell us much about the movie, it certainly doesn’t tell us the entire plot, as some recent trailers do (some of them are in fact, better than the movies themselves).

Even the final words,

See it, before you go swimming

are totally understated.

Truthfully, I’m not sure that as a result of watching the trailer I want to go out and rent the  DVD, though I do want to watch the trailer again.

Read more about Panic on the Fourth of July.

Written by marc

June 27th, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Dedication: Dr. Manhattan Has a Major Case of OCD

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Click to watch the Dedication trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Dedication trailer at Zuguide.com

In case you hadn’t heard, Watchmen comes out on Friday. Given the level of anticipation this film has produced in die hard fans of the graphic novel and the general public alike, it’s quite possible that Billy Crudup will go from being that rock star guy who called himself a golden god and jumped off a roof into a swimming pool (Russell Hammond in Almost Famous) to that scientist who accidentally disintegrated himself and came back as that blue guy who can control matter and energy at will (Dr. Manhattan in the aforementioned Watchmen). I’d call that a slight upgrade. But, before Friday rolls around and Crudup becomes known as the most powerful Smurf ever, I thought I’d take a moment and offer up the trailer for Crudup’s last, less than widely released film, Dedication.

In Dedication, Crudup plays an obsessive compulsive man who hates people but writes children’s books. When Tom Wilkinson, Crudup’s only friend and the illustrator of his hit “Marty the Beaver” series, dies, Crudup is forced to share a beach house with Wilkinson’s replacement, Mandy Moore, in order to finish up the latest Marty installment. Take a wild guess what happens next.

Highlights of the Dedication trailer include: 1) Crudup rattling off all his OCD symptoms the first time he meets Moore. 2) Crudup telling a little girl girl at a book signing that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. 3) Wilkinson describing Moore as being “lovely like an antelope in a junkyard.” 4) Crudup wearing a yellow football helmet to overcome his fear of riding in a car. And, 5) Crudup pretending to be upset when Moore falls asleep next to him on the couch.  My favorite part of the trailer is when Crudup vaporizes Mandy Moore and uses her atomic material to annihilate a squadron of attack helicopters and over forty tanks (not really). Dedication opened August 24, 2007. Check of the Dedication trailer at Zuguide.com.

Written by Adam

March 3rd, 2009 at 8:53 pm

The Wrestler: A Macho Man with a Heart on Steroids

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Click to watch The Wrestler trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch The Wrester trailer at Zuguide.com

If The Wrestler lives up to the lofty expectations of its overwhelming critical acclaim, we’ll all need to take a moment to thank Nicolas Cage for passing on the lead role and allowing director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain) to tap Mickey Rourke as the washed-up, broken-down grappler Randy “The Ram” Robinson. It’s no overstatement to insist that the film’s believability hinges on this crucial casting choice, and when the alternative was a creepy, awkward over-actor with bad hair that is the stuff of legend, Mickey Rourke, and his perfect combination of Macho Man Randy Savage hair, Hulk Hogan physique, and Mickey Rourke face, seems like the only way to go.

The Wrestler trailer shows off the film’s documentary-like style and provides a few tender moments where Rourke reveals that, although his personal life and health have been torn apart by his career as a sports entertainer, he loves performing for his fans. Highlights of The Wrestler trailer include: 1) Rourke preparing for a match. 2) Rourke’s boss putting him down after he asks for more hours by saying, “All I got is weekends. Isn’t that when you sit on other dudes’ faces?” 3) Rourke convincing Marisa Tomei to have a beer with him. 4) Rourke trying to make amends with Evan Rachel Wood, his estranged daughter. And, 5) Rourke putting forth the theory that Kurt Cobain ruined music and contributed to the suckiness of the 90s. My favorite part of the trailer comes when Rourke is shown shaving his armpits while wearing a shower cap. The Wrestler opened December 17, 2008. Check out The Wrestler trailer at Zuguide.com.

A Christmas Story: You'll Shoot Your Eye Out

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Click to watch the A Christmas Story trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the A Christmas Story trailer at Zuguide.com

With Christmas just a day away, I thought I’d offer up the trailer for the quintessential basic cable holiday movie, A Christmas Story. Shown no fewer than 300 times each December, A Christmas Story is basically an honest, if slightly exaggerated, view of the holiday season as seen through the eyes of a young boy growing up in the 1940s. All Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun, but his pleas are ignored by his parents and even the mall Santa Claus shuts him down. With Ralphie’s overwhelming desire for a BB gun at its center, the rest of the film revolves around his dysfunctional family and their various failures at achieving the perfect American Christmas.

Highlights of the A Christmas Story trailer include: 1) Mrs. Parker dropping a wrapped present that is obviously a bowling ball into Mr. Parker’s unsuspecting lap. 2) Ralphie and Randy throwing the socks they just unwrapped over their shoulders. 3) Randy eating his dinner like a little pig. 4) The Parker’s house being overrun by hound dogs and Mr. Parker shouting at them from his porch. And, 5) The mall Santa Claus sending Ralphie down a slide by pushing him in the forehead with his foot. My favorite part of the trailer is when Mr. Parker points out that the Peking duck they are about to eat is smiling at them just before their server chops its head off with a butcher knife. Check out the A Christmas Story trailer at Zuguide.com.

Written by Adam

December 24th, 2008 at 1:00 pm