What a Tease!

Before we get into trailers this week I thought I would include some internet exclusive stuff for those who enjoy a peek at what goes on behind the camera. First up KongisKing.net created by Peter Jackson following what he did with all of the Lord of the Rings movies, making the fans feel like a part of the movies production. As far as I know they’re just about finished updating it but there are hours upon hours of material you won’t find anywhere else there. Next is Bryan Singer’s BlueTights.net who I believe is the first director after Jackson to give fans constant updates on the production of his movie Superman Returns. So if your like me and you love special features on DVD’s check out those two sites for some juicy info.

It’s good to see director’s and studios are utilizing the internet as another medium of interacting with fans.

Now to the trailers.

Coming Soon:

The Legend of Zorro

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rufus Sewell, Anthony Hopkins, Nick Chinlund
Release Date: September 23rd, 2005
Plot: The sequel to the 1998 film “The Mask of Zorro,” once again starring Antonio Banderas as the swashbuckling hero in black and Catherine Zeta-Jones as a woman who is quite the swordwielder herself.

Spoilers: 6
Analysis: The original Zorro was a very commendable adaptation that stayed true to it’s source while still making the characters and story its own. Why they need to revisit everything seven years later is beyond me. From the looks of things they haven’t missed a beat, and Banderas still seems to know how to wield a mighty sword. The trailer gives away what seem like key story details, even what looks to be the final moments of the climax. So be careful if you want to be surprised with the movie.
Overall Rating: 6.5

Just Like Heaven

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, Donal Logue, Dina Spybey, Ben Shenkman
Release Date: September 16th, 2005
Plot: When David sublet his quaint San Francisco apartment, the last thing he expected was a roommate. He had only begun to make a complete mess of the place when a pretty young woman named Elizabeth suddenly shows up, adamantly insisting the apartment is hers. David assumes there’s been a giant misunderstanding…until Elizabeth disappears as mysteriously as she appeared. Changing the locks does nothing to deter Elizabeth, who begins to appear and disappear at will. Convinced that she is a ghost, David tries to help Elizabeth cross over to the “other side.” But while Elizabeth has discovered she can walk through walls, she is convinced that she is still alive and isn’t crossing over anywhere. As Elizabeth and David search for the truth about who Elizabeth is and how she came to be in her present state, their relationship deepens into love. Unfortunately, they have very little time before their prospects for a future together permanently fade away.

Spoilers: 7.5
Analysis: A part of me see’s this and immediately brushes it off as a re-imagining of Ghost, but something about it seems so fun and light hearted that I just can’t turn away. It looks like it’ll be a great project to help push Ruffalo into the public eye, and that’s a plus. The trailer definitely could have lightened up on the spoilers however, it’s filled with them and this is a movie that could have probably been better off holding back a few. Overall it looks to be a fresh spin in a stale genre.
Overall rating: 6.5

Rent

Starring: Rosario Dawson, Taye Diggs, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel
Release Date: November 11th, 2005
Plot: A group of young East Villagers in New York City cope with such harsh urban realities as AIDS, homelessness and paying the rent.

Spoilers: 2
Analysis: WOW! Just… wow! Now THAT’S how you turn a Broadway play into a movie. It just looks incredible, I can’t wait for this comes out. I hadn’t even heard that Rent was being adapted to the big screen until I saw the trailer. It could certainly have focused more on the story but the way it’s done with only that song playing over the clips works wonders too. This Fall is lining up to be one of the best in years.
Overall rating: 8

Pride & Prejudice

Starring: Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone, Donald Sutherland
Release Date: September 23rd, 2005
Plot: An opinionated young woman and an arrogant, aristocrat overcome their initial antipathy and various other social obstacles to fall in love.

Spoilers: 6
Analysis: Focus Features has yet to let me down when it comes to their releases, from the obvious Lost in Translation and Eternal Sunshine to the lesser known Ned Kelly, 21 Grams and Swimming Pool, quality across the board. So knowing they’re releasing this lets me know the movie will be worth the time to at least check out. Had I not known they were attached to this film after watching the trailer, I’d still be looking forward to it simply for what look to be some great acting performances. The trailer will do it’s job at bringing in couples to see it opening weekend.
Overall rating: 7

Barnyard

Starring: Kevin James, Courteney Cox-Arquette, Andie MacDowell, Danny Glover, Wanda Sykes
Release Date: January 13th, 2006
Plot: When the farmer’s away, all the animals play … and sing, and dance. Eventually, though, someone has to step in and run things, a responsibility that ends up going to Otis (James), a carefree cow.

Spoilers: 2
Analysis: Two words, not Pixar. The plot description above and the trailer I just watched are as opposite as night and day. When I read that plot I think maybe the animals have a big party and then some problem occurs and then someone needs to step up to solve said problem before the farmer comes home. But what we get in the trailer is a bunch of cows running wild by stealing cars, breaking and entering a house to go “boy tipping” and driving around drinking milk. What kind of cow drinks milk?
Overall rating: 4

Lord of War

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan, Ethan Hawke, Ian Holm
Release Date: September 16th, 2005
Plot: A wily arms dealer dodges bullets and betrayal as he schemes his way to the top of his profession, only to come face to face with his conscience. But it’s not easy to leave a life of girls, guns and glamour when nobody wants you to stop, not even your enemies.

Spoilers: 5
Analysis: Nicholas Cage has had a rough few years with his movies, they’ve just never been able to satisfy both critics and movie goers alike. He’s had critics say how great he was in Ridley Scott’s Matchstick Men but it got little mass appeal. Then while his box office smash was raking money in, critics were brushing it off as simply The Da Vinci Code-light. Now it seems he has found a project that will please both parties. This movie looks sweet!
Overall Rating: 6.5

Opening this Week :

Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo

Starring: Rob Schneider, Eddie Griffin, Edwin Alofs, Til Schweiger, Jean Reno
Release Date: August 12th, 2005
Plot: Deuce Bigalow is seduced back to his unlikely pleasure-for-pay profession, when his former pimp T.J. Hicks (Eddie Griffin) is implicated in the murders of Europe’s greatest gigolos. Deuce must go back to work in order to clear his good friend’s name. Along the way, he must compete against the powerful European Union of prosti-dudes and court another bevy of abnormal female clients including the beautiful Eva, who suffers from acute obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Spoilers: 7
Analysis: Well this trailer officially joins my list of things I wish I had never seen, right above Tom Green swinging a baby by the umbilical cord in Freddy Got Fingered but still far below Kathy Bates nude scene in About Schmidt. The only things this trailer has (and the movie in general) is Schneider, Griffin and way too much gross out humor. None of which have been marketable since the dawn of the new millennium. I’d warn you of spoilers but it contains about the same running jokes they have been airing in TV spots. I’m begging you people not to make this the number one movie in America next week.
Overall Rating 1.5

Four Brothers

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Andre Benjamin, Tyrese Gibson, Garrett Hedlund, Sofía Vergara
Release Date: August 12th, 2005
Plot: Four adopted brothers come together to bury the woman who raised them. At the funeral, the brothers discover that their mother may have been murdered and they want revenge.

Spoilers: 5
Analysis: Last week I brought you guys the trailer for 50 Cents new movie, this week we have Andre Benjamin and Tyrese Gibson showing that they’re having an easy time transitioning from music to film. The casting on the surface looks like a bit of a mismatch, but watching the trailer it’s easier to notice the actors involved have great chemistry together. There aren’t many things in the trailer that could be classified as spoilers. With such an original story Four Brothers will certainly be another worthy addition to John Singleton’s filmography.
Overall Rating: 6.5

The Great Raid

Starring: Benjamin Bratt, James Franco, Connie Nielsen, Joseph Fiennes, Mark Consuelos
Release Date: August 12th, 2005
Plot: Set in the Philippines in 1945, “The Great Raid” tells the true story of the 6th Ranger Battalion, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Mucci (Benjamin Bratt) who undertake a daring rescue mission against all odds. Traveling thirty miles behind enemy lines, the 6th Ranger Battalion aims to liberate over 500 American prisoners-of-war from the notorious Cabanatuan Japanese POW camp in the most audacious rescue ever.

Spoilers: 5
Analysis: I had previously written up a paragraph on this trailer but once I read Scott’s review I had to come back and re think what I wrote. From a trailer stand point it’s a very intense and emotional that pulls you in. It reminds me of the We Were Soldiers trailer a few years back. But according to Scott, the movie drags for 90 minutes only to be carried by the final 45 to redeem it. After you watch the trailer be sure to check out Sawitz’ review of the movie after. My score is on the trailer as it presents itself.
Overall Rating: 7.5

The Skeleton Key

Starring: Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands, Peter Sarsgaard, John Hurt, Joy Bryant
Release Date: August 12th, 2005
Plot: Set largely in the dark backwoods just outside of New Orleans, The Skeleton Key stars Hudson as Caroline, a live-in nurse hired to care for an elderly woman’s (Rowlands) ailing husband (Hurt) in their home…a foreboding and decrepit mansion in the Louisiana delta. Intrigued by the enigmatic couple and their rambling house, Caroline beings to explore the old mansion. Armed with a skeleton key that unlocks every door, she discovers a hidden attic room that holds a deadly and terrifying secret.

Spoilers: 7
Analysis: When I first saw this trailer it got me anticipated to see it, but after the fifth time the novelty of the trailer wore off. Remember how old horror movie never used to give away anything big in their trailers? how they would only give the audience the essentials to make them want to see the movie. Why don’t studio’s use that same logic today? They keep taking horror movies and just start throwing plot points and movie twists at the audience in trailers. What happened to their mystique? …Any ways as you can tell by my mini-rant there this trailer gives more spoilers away than it creates interest. I’m sure it’s still a worthy movie to check out, only I wish they had treated the trailer better.
Overall Score: 6

Grizzly Man

Starring: Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog, Warren Queeney, William Fulton
Release Date: August 12th, 2005 (LA/NY)
Plot: This documentary centers on amateur grizzly bear expert Timothy Treadwell, who periodically journeyed to Alaska to study and live with the bears. The outdoorsman and author — along with his partner, Amie Huguenard — was eventually killed and devoured by one of the very animals to whom he had devoted years of study.

Spoilers: 4
Analysis: When it comes to documentaries sometimes it’s hard to make a trailer that best represents the facts and opinions presented in the feature itself. Sometimes to overcome that and to spark audience interest some editors may try to paint a different picture than what will actually be seen. Luckily Grizzly Man is not one of those. This could very well be the best documentary to be released so far this year. And how could it not be when it was put together by renowned film maker Werner Herzog (Nosferatu). Definitely check out the trailer, and the feature itself if you get the chance.
Overall Rating: 8

Pretty Persuasion

Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Ron Livingston, James Woods, Jane Krakowski, Elisabeth Harnois
Release Date: August 12th, 2005 (LA/NY)
Plot: Kimberly Joyce is an insanely intelligent, wildly funny, shockingly cruel and sexy-beyond-her-years Beverly Hills teenager who will stop at nothing to become famous. Believing the world is an orchestra and she is the conductor, Kimberly masterfully manipulates all those around her. She convinces her two best friends to join her in a campaign against their befuddled teacher, Mr. Anderson. Kimberly entangles the entire Beverly Hills community in her carefully woven web of seduction and deceit.

Spoilers: 6
Analysis: The casting of Wood, Livingston and Woods alone makes me want to see this, but add on that the entire movie seems to be focusing on such risque subjects and it peaks my interest even more. Trailer wise this one gives away a bit too much information and I wish it hadn’t because I’m really looking forward to seeing it. Pretty Persuasions looks to be this years American Beauty, if only it got the wide release Beauty had. Oh well there’s always the DVD when it comes out.
Overall Rating: 6

Number One Movie At the Box Office:

The Dukes of Hazzard

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Jessica Simpson, Burt Reynolds, Willie Nelson

Plot: Set in present day, the story follows the adventures of “good old boy” cousins, Bo (Seann William Scott) and Luke (Johnny Knoxville) Duke, who with the help of their eye-catching cousin Daisy (Jessica Simpson) and moonshine running Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson), try and save the family farm from being destroyed by Hazzard County’s corrupt commissioner Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds). Their efforts constantly find the “Duke Boys” eluding authorities in “The General Lee,” their famed 1969 orange Dodge Charger that keeps them one step ahead of the dimwitted antics of the small southern town’s Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane (M.C. Gainey).

Spoilers: 6.5
Analysis: With no real competition it comes to no surprise that The Duke boys would reign supreme at the box office. But since it made $30 million opening weekend I’d imagine that 15 more 1970’s TV Shows have been green lit because if it. This is the same internet trailer as last week so I’ll just add what I thought on the matter from the last column, “Some of the trailer looks good most looks bad, it’s pretty clear that this was only made because movies like Starsky & Hutch and Charlies Angles were proven to make money”.
Overall Rating: 5.5

And that wraps up this week.

All images courtesy of IMPawards.com.

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