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Terminator Salvation: Nick Stahl Is No Edward Furlong

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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.

Yes Man, AKA Liar Liar Part II

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Click to watch the Yes Man trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Yes Man trailer at Zuguide.com

In honor of Jim Carrey completing the long awaited second installment of his forced behavior modification trilogy with Yes Man (the first being 1997’s Liar Liar), I’ve decided to put forth a few ideas for the final, closure-bringing film that should hit theaters towards the end of 2017. But, before we get to the possible plots, let’s do a little recap.

In Liar Liar, Carrey was a lawyer magically forced to tell the truth for 24 hours after his son made a birthday wish. The experience had him saying and doing things that put a major cramp in his scumball lawyer day, like admitting to farting in an elevator and pronouncing himself to be in contempt of court .  In Yes Man, Carrey is a perpetual naysayer challenged to say yes to every opportunity that comes his way for an entire year after attending a self-help seminar. As a result, Carrey drinks too much Red Bull, takes up guitar and Korean, and orders a Persian bride on the internet.

For the third film, I imagine Carrey will start out as some type of jerkhole and, through an outlandish set of circumstances, discover that his anti-social behavior has been holding him back from realizing true happiness.

On to the scenarios:

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The Day the Earth Stood Still: Keanu Takes the Planet Hostage

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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.

Milk: Sean Penn Wants Another Oscar

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Click to watch the Milk trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Milk trailer at Zuguide.com

Harvey Milk was an influential gay rights leader and the first openly gay elected government official in the US. Though his work for the gay community stands on its own merit, Milk’s murder at the hands of a fellow San Francisco Supervisor makes his story as tragic as it is noteworthy. Fresh on the heels of the passing of California’s Proposition 8, a controversial ballot measure that restricts the definition of marriage in the state to the union of a man and a woman, director Gus Van Sant has cast Sean Penn to portray Milk in a promising biopic that will likely place Penn among the early front runners for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Penn, who has a history of selecting strong, charismatic roles, is no stranger to Oscar nominations, having earned the honor for his work in Dead Man Walking, Sweet and Lowdown, I am Sam, and Mystic River (for which he won the award). The seriousness of Milk’s subject matter should shield Penn from the criticism he faced after I am Sam (a melodramatic Forrest Gump 2, without all the lofty accomplishments and catch phrases) was released, but you have to think that Penn knew that the film would garner the Academy’s consideration when he took the role. I wish him luck, as long as he keeps the Beatles references to a minimum.

Highlights of the Milk trailer include: 1) Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild, Speed Racer) telling Penn that he doesn’t “do losing” when Penn suggests they start a revolution in San Francisco. 2) All the men in Penn’s office showing their surprise when he introduces a woman (Alison Pill) as his campaign manager. 3) Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, W., American Gangster) condescendingly asking Penn if two men can reproduce and Penn responding, “No, but God knows we keep trying.”  And, 4) Penn giving an emphatic speech in front of a large crowd right after receiving a death threat. My favorite part of the Milk trailer is watching James Franco attempt to morph Saul Silver (Pineapple Express) into a gay man living in the 1970s. Milk opens December 5, 2008. Check out the Milk trailer at Zuguide.com.

Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood's Amazing, Grizzled Face

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Click to watch the Gran Torino trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Gran Torino trailer at Zuguide.com

Clint Eastwood has said that his turn in Gran Torino will be he last as an actor so that he can devote all his time to directing. Knowing that the film would be his last in front of the camera, Eastwood apparently decided to unleash a heightened form of facial acting that is the exact polar opposite of Ben Stiller’s portrayal of Derek Zoolander. In the Gran Torino trailer, Eastwood makes a variety of faces that come within seconds of tearing through the fabric of space time, instantaneously creating a black hole, and ending the universe. There simply has never been a man capable of making a face that shows so much displeasure. It’s really amazing.

In Gran Torino, Eastwood plays an intense, curmudgeonly widower who can’t get along with what’s left of his family and despises the wave of immigrants that has begun to settle in his neighborhood. Eastwood basically hates everyone and everything until he catches his young Hmong neighbor trying to steal his car for a gang initiation. After reluctantly taking the boy under his wing, Eastwood eventually comes out of his shell of hate, connecting with the rest of the boy’s family and protecting them from the gang. I imagine that the some of the most difficult scenes for Eastwood come near the end of the film, where he has to coax some type of smile from his weathered face after spending most of the movie pushing the limits of a soon-to-be legendary hyper-contorted grimace.

Highlights of the Gran Torino trailer include: 1) Eastwood confronting some troublemakers on the street with a voice that sounds like he snacks on gravel. 2) Eastwood looking like he’s going to implode just before kicking his children out of his house for suggesting he move into a retirement home. 3) Eastwood’s elderly, female Hmong neighbor spitting a quart of tobacco juice on the ground in response to Eastwood complaining about all the foreigners moving into the neighborhood. And, 4) Eastwood pulling a rifle on a bunch of gang members and telling them to get off his lawn. My favorite part of the trailer comes near the end when Eastwood beats up a gang member with his bare fists, even though he’s at least 70 years his elder. Gran Torino opens January 16, 2009. Check out the Gran Torino trailer at Zuguide.com.

Written by Adam

November 21st, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Role Models: Bad Big Brothers in a Red Band Trailer

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Click to check out the Role Models red band trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to check out the Role Models red band trailer at Zuguide.com

After a hiatus of nearly a decade following the release of American Pie, the red band trailer has made a triumphant return in recent years. With R-rated previews for Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Pineapple Express, Burn After Reading, Tropic Thunder, Knocked Up, etc. becoming hits both in theaters and online, moviegoers are finally getting a more accurate idea of the levels of cursing, nudity, violence, and drug use that the most highly anticipated upcoming movies promise to deliver. Where the red band designation was initally intended to be a deterant and a warning to parents, it has recently become an effective marketing tool – exuding a sense of exclusivity and the forbidden. The red band trailer seems to lend itself particularly well to the comedy, where raunchy, offensive adlibs have become the norm. A couple of memorably objectionable lines from a good red band trailer are usually enough to sell fans on a flick’s potential.

Role Models, the new comedy from director David Wain (“Stella,” “The State,” Wet Hot American Summer) and co-writer/star Paul Rudd (Clueless, Anchorman, The 40 Year Old Virgin), is one of the latest films to jump in on the red band trailer trend. After wrecking the truck they use to promote Minotaur Energy Drink on a school campus, Elizabeth Banks tells Rudd, the cynical pitch man, and Seann William Scott, the womanizing mascot, that they have been sentenced to perform 150 hours of community service at a Big Brothers Big Sisters-type program. Rudd is paired with Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), a renaissance fair loving dork, and Scott is stuck with Bobb’e J. Thompson (“Human Giant,” Fred Claus), a little, foul-mouthed troublemaker. In the trailer, both Rudd and Scott make ample use of the film’s R-rating, but I’m pretty sure it’s Bobb’e J. Thompson who will have the most quotable lines in the movie.

Highlights of the Role Models red band trailer include: 1)  Rudd and Scott telling a smart ass middle school student that Scott got the Minotaur costume out of the boy’s mother’s closet after he f-ed her. 2)  Jane Lynch telling Rudd and Scott that she used to eat cocaine for breakfast and lunch. 3) Thompson shouting that he doesn’t want to take his pants off right after Scott introduces himself. And, 4) Mintz-Plasse asking Thompson if he means that the medieval themed game he plays is “gay” in the Old English sense of the word. My favorite part of the trailer is when they show a shot of Thompson’s drawing depicting a meeting between Beyoncé, himself, and some sugar. Role Models opened November 7, 2008. Check out the Role Models red band trailer at Zuguide.com.

Karate Kid: Revenge of the Cobra Kai

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Click to watch The Karate Kid trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch The Karate Kid trailer at Zuguide.com

With Variety confirming that Jaden Smith, Will Smith’s youngest son, will be reviving the Karate Kid franchise, Ralph Macchio must be thanking the ghost of Pat Morita for his good fortune. If Daniel-san plays his cards right, he should be able to line up a few talk show appearances, sign on for a couple more episodes of Ugly Betty, and maybe even make a cameo in the film itself. At the very least, I imagine he’d be happy just to get some easy publicity for his chain of laundromats (things have been pretty quiet for old Ralph since My Cousin Vinny).

But, as the real-life Daniel Larusso celebrates, fans of the original film weep at the thought of another vain attempt to turn a profit by desecrating the Karate Kid legacy. While Karate Kid Part II and Part III fell short of the perfection attained by the first movie, the affront to fans really began when Hilary Swank gave birth to the abomination known as The Next Karate Kid. Now, after 14 years of extensive psychotherapy and steadfast denial, fans will once again be forced to deal with the reality of a world where Ralph Macchio is no longer the only Karate Kid.

So, with time running out, I’ve decided to bust out my plot for the ultimate Karate Kid reboot with the hope that the idea will inspire the legions of Karate Kid fans around world to demand that Hollywood ditch Jaden Smith and finally produce a decent 80s movie remake, while simultaneously ushering in a new era in cinema. Here’s the deal: The basic story stays about the same except the entire chain of events is seen from another point of view; the point of view of Johnny Lawrence and the Cobra Kai. When the movie begins, life is great. The Cobra Kai are the kings of SoCal and Johnny and Ali are in love. Then, Daniel, an annoying jerk from New Jersey, moves into town and makes everyone’s life miserable. Not only is Daniel incredibly irritating and obnoxious, but he also decides to make a move on Ali and picks up karate as a joke. To defend his girl and show Daniel that karate should be practiced with honor, Johnny and the Cobra Kai make an example of him at the All Valley Karate Championship. Basically, I want to preserve the memory of the original Karate Kid by creating its opposite.

Until Revenge of the Cobra Kai becomes a reality, you’ll just have to make due with the The Karate Kid trailer. Highlights include: 1) Macchio seeing his new apartment complex’s stagnant pool for the first time. 2) Zabka slapping Macchio around on the beach while wearing a Michael Jackson jacket and a headband. 3) Morita karate chopping the tops off of four beer bottles. And, 4) Macchio finishing off Zapka with his world-famous crane kick. My favorite part of the trailer comes at the end when Macchio asks Morita what kind of belt he has and Morita replies, “J.C. Penney. 3.98.” The Karate Kid opened June 22, 1984. Check out The Karate Kid trailer at Zuguide.com.

Jurassic Park: Will Michael Crichton be Preserved in Amber?

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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.

Frost/Nixon: Choose or Lose!

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Click to watch the Frost/Nixon trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Frost/Nixon trailer at Zuguide.com

With the 2008 U.S. presidential election less than 24 hours away, I’d like to take a moment and remind everyone that Barack Obama and John McCain aren’t going to elect themselves. Oh, they’ll try, but the whole thing would end in a tie without a little help from us, the informed citizens of America. So, on Tuesday November 4th, go fulfill your patriotic duty by standing in line for three hours and being ordered around by a bunch of gray-hairs addicted to the adrenaline rush of overseeing an orderly, fraud-free voting process. Or, if you’re like me, go vote early at your local supermarket and stock up on tortilla chips and Monterey Jack cheese while you’re at it.

In keeping with the presidential theme, I’ve chosen Frost/Nixon as the the trailer of the day. Directed by Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code), the film details a series of interviews held in 1977 between British talk show host David Frost (Michael Sheen) and former president Richard Nixon (Frank Langella). After three years of silence following the Watergate scandal, Nixon, the only president to ever resign from office, unexpectedly agrees to sit down with Frost in an attempt to clear his name and bank a healthy appearance fee. Initially, Frost is intimidated and overwhelmed by Nixon’s domineering, self-satisfied personality, but, when the gravity of the situation finally takes hold, Frost rises to the occasion and succeeds in obtaining a tacit admission of guilt.

Highlights of the Frost/Nixon trailer include: 1) Kevin Bacon watching Langella resign the presidency. 2) Toby Jones convincing Langella to do the interviews with an offer of a half million dollars. 3) Sam Rockwell talking smack before meeting Langella, then freezing in his presence. 4) Bacon threatening to ruin Sheen’s career. And, 5) Langella explaining to Sheen that the president is above the law. My favorite part of the Frost/Nixon trailer comes just before the start of the first interview when Langella asks Sheen if he did any “fornicating” the night before. Frost/Nixon opens December 6, 2008. Check out the Frost/Nixon trailer at Zuguide.com.

Reservation Road: The Film Before the Film that Made Joaquin Phoenix Quit Acting

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Click to watch the Reservation Road trailer at Zuguide.com

Click to watch the Reservation Road trailer at Zuguide.com

In case you hadn’t heard, Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Signs, Walk the Line, We Own the Night) has decided to retire from acting and focus his talents on music. Apparently, after finishing filming on his latest picture, Two Lovers, a romantic drama with Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, and Isabella Rossellini, Commodus decided that he’s grown weary of pretending to be other people and would rather pretend to be a rock star. No word yet on upcoming tour dates, but Two Lovers is set to be released February 13, 2009, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

As a way of bidding a premature farewell to the most famous actor to ever rock an upper lip birthmark scar, I thought I’d offer up the trailer for Reservation Road, Phoenix’s second to last film. In Reservation Road, Phoenix plays a father whose son in struck and killed by Mark Ruffalo in a hit and run accident. Rushing to get his own son home to ex-wife Mira Sorvino, Ruffalo changes the lives of Phoenix, his wife, Jennifer Connelly, and his daughter, Elle Fanning, forever. But, while Connelly eventually tries to move on from the tragedy, Phoenix becomes obsessed with tracking down his son’s killer. And, in one of the most uncomfortable situations of all-time (not to mention the most obvious case of conflict of interest in human history), Phoenix ends up hiring Ruffalo as his lawyer to make sure the police are actively pursuing the case.

Highlights of the Reservation Road trailer include: 1) Ruffalo debating whether or not to turn himself in to the police, then deciding to cover up his crime. 2) Ruffalo walking into his office and seeing Phoenix sitting on the couch.  3) Phoenix asking Ruffalo what he would want to have happen if someone killed his son. And, 4) Phoenix getting a gun and deciding to take matters into his own hands. My favorite part of the Reservation Road trailer is the beginning, which shows Phoenix and Ruffalo spending quality time with their respective families before everything goes to hell. Reservation Road opened October 19, 2007. Check out the Reservation Road trailer at Zuguide.com.