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Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

As You Wish

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Watch The Princess Bride trailer at!

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 (No.)  Perhaps the choice of soundtrack is merely an outdated marketing ploy to attract the “whole family” target group, or perhaps it is a ballsy and avante-garde artistic choice that I, personally, don’t understand at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

Max Payne: Mark Wahlberg Takes a Dive

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Click to watch the Max Payne trailer at

Click to watch the Max Payne trailer at

Fresh off leading M. Night Shyamalan’s latest stinker, The Happening, and recently taking exception to Andy Samberg’s impression of him on SNL, Mark Wahlberg has decided to silence the critics by appearing as Max Payne in the upcoming film Max Payne, based on the video game Max Payne. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this might not be the remedy Wahlberg was looking for. While Max Payne was popular in its day, that day was seven years ago, and the era of the video game adaptation has, thankfully, given way to the era of the graphic novel adaptation. With Wahlberg admitting in an interview that he’s never even played the game, it appears as though they’re not going to play up the gamer angle and instead market it like any other fantasy crime drama. Downplaying the video game connection might not be a bad idea, but that doesn’t change the fact that no one cares about this movie. Let’s hope for Wahlberg’s sake that Max Payne goes away quietly and The Lovely Bones, his upcoming collaboration with director Peter Jackson, helps him get back some credibility. If all else fails, he can always ask himself to make a permanent cameo on Entourage.

Highlights of the Max Payne trailer include: 1) Wahlberg’s opening voiceover, especially if you watch the trailer right after the SNL clip. 2) Wahlberg running, diving, and shooting his gun, just like in the Max Payne video game.  3) Mila Kunis (That ’70s Show, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) shooting a machine gun. And, 4) A large, winged demon (a drug induced hallucination?) dragging a man out of a window by his shoulders. My favorite part of the trailer is seeing Jamie Hector, and hearing his fake Caribbean accent, because it reminds me how much I’m going to miss Marlo Stanfield (The Wire). Max Payne opens October 17, 2008. Check out the Max Payne trailer at

Watchmen: Russell Hammond Becomes a Superhero

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Click to watch the Watchmen trailer at

Click to watch the Watchmen trailer at

Hollywood has been turning comic books into movies for years, but more recently, with the success of Sin City, V for Vendetta and 300, there has been an overwhelming rush to seek out the darker material offered by graphic novels. The latest addition to this burgeoning subgenre is Watchmen. Apparently, it’s the most celebrated graphic novel of all-time, but I had no idea until I went to the theaters to watch The Dark Knight and saw the trailer. Like many of the other films based on graphic novels, it looks like Watchmen is banking on legions of longtime fans to create online buzz after viewing its visually stunning teaser trailer. So far, it seems to be working, but I’m not sure how much longer this tactic will hold up, especially for the films based on lesser known graphic novels that are still in the works.

The Watchmen trailer starts out by showing Billy Crudup trapped in some kind of chamber. When the machine turns on, the former lead guitarist of Stillwater begins to disintegrate, atom by atom, before turning into pure energy. The next sequence shows a dark, grim world where superheroes and villains are commonplace. Apparently, there’s a little backlash against the masked vigilante population, which has embittered the heroes, who were likely only trying to help the only way they knew how. The rest of the trailer shows the heroes in action, but reveals very little of the film’s plot.

From what I’ve read, Watchmen takes place in an alternate 1985, where tensions between the US and the Soviet Union have pushed the arms race to another level. The main story revolves around Rorschach, a washed-up crime-fighter who wears a mask that has ink blots for eyes, reuniting with a group of retired heroes in order to diffuse a plot intended to kill and discredit their kind. The biggest surprise I came across is that, despite appearances, it turns out that only Crudup has what can actually be called superpowers, while the others are merely determined, highly skilled humans. My favorite part of the trailer is when a glowing, blue Crudup appears in the middle of a cafeteria surrounded by bolts of electricity, mainly because it reminded me of the scene in Powder when Sean Patrick Flanery makes his classmates’ silverware magnetize into a giant, floating ball. Watchmen opens March 6, 2009. Check out the Watchmen trailer at

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: Oh No, Not Again

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Tomb of the Dragon Emperor trailer at

Click to watch The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor trailer at

With all of the hullabaloo surrounding Christian Bale and The Dark Knight, some people might be surprised to learn that Brendan Fraser beat both Bale and The Dark Knight at the box office this past weekend. Of course it took him two movies to do it, but that’s beside the point. Dollars are dollars and, at least for this week, Fraser is the most bankable star in Hollywood. The man responsible for bringing live action versions of both Dudley Do-Right and George of the Jungle to the big screen can currently be seen in Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

While Fraser seems to have transitioned into the passable fantasy-action movie stage of his career, I can’t help but see him as the reanimated caveman from Encino Man every time he steps on screen. In fact, Fraser’s caveman would actually make a good villain for the fourth Mummy movie. All they would need to do is figure out a way for the Encino Man to resurrect a horde of his bloodthirsty brethren, have them realize that there’s no more woolly mammoths or saber-toothed tigers left to chase around and let the culture clash begin. Fraser would pull double duty as both the newly evil Encino Man and intrepid explorer Rick O’Connell. Thankfully, that’s probably not an option. But, at least we have the third Mummy movie to tide us over in the mean time.

In the trailer for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Fraser and his son accidentally awaken Jet Li, the Dragon Emperor himself, who can control the five elements with his bare hands. As if battling a second living mummy bent on world domination wasn’t enough, this time Fraser also has to deal with Li’s fully-armed terra cotta army. Joining Fraser and his son are Michele Yeoh, as a kung fu sorceress, Maria Bello, as Fraser’s wife, and John Hannah, reprising his role as Fraser’s whiny brother-in-law. As Fraser and company battle Li and his army across China and through the Himalayas, they’re aided by the dead enemies Li buried beneath the Great Wall and a pack of abominable snowmen. Although Fraser now has some pretty serious magic on his side, it might not be enough to match up against Li’s three-headed dragon. My favorite sections of the trailer are the parts that show the abominable snowmen. Mostly, because they remind me of Looney Tunes. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor opened August 1, 2008. Check out The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor trailer at

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, or Mork and Mindy: The Movie

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Click to watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button trailer at

Click to watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button trailer at

Besides the fact that Brad Pitt doesn’t play an alien, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is pretty much a straight rip off of the popular 1970s television show Mork and Mindy. Mork, played by Robin Williams, was a reverse-aging alien who came to earth, fell in love with a woman and pretty much made her life a nightmare with his bizarre behavior, zany voices and innumerable misunderstandings. Benjamin, in comparison, is a reverse-aging man who’s born on earth, falls in love with a woman and complicates the crap out of her life with his bizarre behavior and a fair share of misunderstandings (and I’m sure his voice changes at some point, too). Now, I don’t know if Benjamin Button can drink through his finger or imitate Richard Nixon, but the fact that he ages backwards and creates problems for his lady friend makes him very Mork-ish. I’m sure there’s more to Benjamin’s story, but there’s no denying the facts.

In the trailer, Benjamin begins his life looking like a wrinkly, hairless baby mouse. He gets slightly less hideous as the years go by and eventually turns into Brad Pitt. Along the way he sails the high seas, dates ballerinas and cruises around on his motorcycle. After getting over the difficulties of being an 80-year-old toddler, it seems as though Benjamin’s affliction actually works in his favor. As the years go by, he gets younger and stronger while gaining life experience. The major conflict comes into play when Benjamin falls in love with Cate Blanchett. Though their ages match up for a time, eventually they become a May-December romance the likes of which has never been seen before. My favorite part of the trailer comes at the end when Blanchett, as an elderly old woman, walks baby Benjamin down the sidewalk and pauses for a moment to give him a little kiss. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button opens on December 19, 2008. Check out The Curious Case of Benjamin Button trailer at

Written by Adam

July 21st, 2008 at 9:10 pm

Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Ron Perlman's Giant Head

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The Golden Army trailer at

Click to watch the Hellboy II: The Golden Army trailer at

Some people might say that Guillermo del Toro chose Ron Perlman to play Hellboy based on them having worked together on Blade II. Others might say that Perlman was cast because of his extensive voice work in other comic book-inspired projects. What I say is that Perlman was destined to be Hellboy from the moment his galactic melon began taking shape in the early 1950s.

The trailer begins by showing how Hellboy was discovered by the US Army during WWII. The miniature, prepubescent CGI Hellboy’s noggin is actually quite small and round, with only the demon’s strong jaw line hinting at the colossal visage destined to emerge years later. When Perlman’s giant head finally appears, he’s threatening a monster thrice his size, in his signature sarcastic tone, while getting ready to light up a stogy. In a film full of intricate, highly-stylized creatures, it must have been nice for the makeup artists and costume designers to throw some red paint on Perlman’s big face, glue a couple dixie cups to his forehead, hand him a trench coat and send him on his way.

The rest of the trailer basically sets up the plot, detailing how an evil prince has returned from exile to wage war on human kind with the help of a horde of ghastly nonhumans and an immense clockwork army. Barely a second goes by without one of del Toro’s crazy, Pan’s Labyrinth-esque creatures getting up in Hellboy’s face, usually followed by Hellboy spitting out some dry wit before smashing his point home with his stone fist. My favorite part of the trailer is when Hellboy is being chased by a huge octopus-like creature as he leaps from car roof to car roof with a baby cradled in his arms. Hellboy II: The Golden Army opens on July 11, 2008. Check out the Hellboy II: The Golden Army trailer at

Written by Adam

July 18th, 2008 at 1:20 pm