Saturday, April 30, 2011

Trailers! Trailers!

It's been a while since I've had a trailer post, and as we move into the big summer movie season, some of the most anticipated (and not-so anticipated) titles are finally putting out their promos. Here's a quick rundown of some of the highlights. As always, all links lead to Trailer Addict:

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" - Things are looking so grim for Harry and his friends, even the familiar orchestral theme has taken a hit. As a fan of the books who was a little worried that too much of the action was being held back in "Part 1," the trailer offers reassurances of thrills in abundance. Get a load of that dragon! And the confrontation with Voldemort! Like the previous installment, this one will probably be a little too dark for the youngest fans, but it has plenty of the older ones buzzing. Here's hoping the filmmakers can stick the landing to one of the biggest franchises in modern movie history. No pressure, David Yates.

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" - This is the film previously know as "Rise of the Apes," but the FOX execs were worried that audiences wouldn't realize it was a prequel to "Planet of the Apes," as if anyone in their primary target audience even remembers the franchise. The concepts in the "Rise" trailer sell themselves, though. There's a certain campy charm to the idea of a killer animal film that will end with the animals in question defeating humanity and taking over the world - like if "Jurassic Park" had ended with the velociraptors becoming our overlords. And after Tim Burton's disastrous attempt to reboot "Planet" a few years back, the series really has nowhere to go but up.

"Immortals" - I've always liked director Tarsem Singh's ornate visuals in his previous projects like "The Cell" and "The Fall," but the stories never connected very well. For a souped up take on Greek mythology in the vein of "300," however, he seems like a good fit. Our newly anointed "Superman," Henry Cavill, will star as the classic hero Theseus, charged by the gods to fight the Titans, led by a mean-looking Mickey Rourke. Lots of flashy CGI battles will ensue. My hope is that this can be a challenger to the grimy "Clash of the Titans" franchise, which is getting a sequel next year. "Immortals" will be hitting screens in November.

"Another Earth" - I was expecting a hard science-fiction picture when I first read up about this film from festival reports, but the trailer suggests that it's going to be a much quieter, more existential affair. A young woman with a past gets the chance to visit a mirror version of Earth, which has appeared in the sky without warning or explanation. The visuals are lovely, with all the shots of the other Earth (ooh, maybe it's Gaea!) and the concept is intriguing. On the other hand, this could turn out to be one of those unbearably melancholy indie films just borrowing the sci-fi conceit for some easy allegory. Also see Lars von Trier's latest, "Melancholia."

"Anonymous" - Roland Emmerich, king of disaster films, is making a movie about Shakespeare. Uh... okay.

"Mr. Popper's Penguins" - I wasn't a fan of "Happy Feet" or "March of the Penguins," but for some reason I'm curious about "Mr. Popper's Penguins." Maybe it's the sight of Jim Carrey subjecting himself to certain humiliation again, after so many years off chasing more adult material, and only loaning his voice out occasionally to animated films. Or maybe it's because these penguins, despite having picked up some fancy dance moves, are not nearly as anthropomorphized as we usually see in most cute animal movies. I don't have to worry about them breaking into song or telling off-color jokes. Maybe I just feel sorry for the little guys, because they're probably going to be creamed by "The Green Lantern," which is opening on the same day.

"The Hangover: Part II" - The action is being moved to Singapore, but this looks like pretty much the same film as the first "Hangover," except with different cameos and more screen time for Ken Jeong. That's a good thing, I think? And there's a monkey! Monkey's are funny! Random thought - is this the same monkey who gave Ken Jeong a pummeling on last week's episode of "Community"? Is another TV star breaking into the movies? Let me get back to you guys on that one.

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