Saturday, March 29, 2008

Trailer Curmudgeons: Earth Hour edition

The lights are out, and we're running on battery power. Let's watch some trailers!

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (April 18)



Quicktime.

Todd: I'm always grateful to producer Judd Apatow (one of my favorite people in the universe) for putting lots of my favorite people in the universe in his movies, ranging here from Jason Segel, making the leap to leading man status and screenwriter, to Kristen Bell, who is clearly just waiting for me to get famous enough for the two of us to wed (I hope she Googles herself and finds this). Sadly, Mila Kunis is in this as well, though she acquits herself better in the red-band trailer (don't watch this, Mom!). Still, they couldn't have found some other waif-ish brunette? Shiri Appleby's not doing anything, no? Or they could have gone for the Todd trifecta and thrown JAYMA MAYS in there!

Libby: I love naked Jason Segel! I make Todd cry when he's naked all the time.

Baby Mama (April 25)



Quicktime.

Todd: Look out, Liz Lemon! Scott Templeton can offer you NOTHING BUT LIES! This sort of looks funny, but I also don't like how every joke is underlined and bolded like they aren't on 30 Rock. When Lisa Miller stoops down to lick could-be-chocolate-could-be-poop off of her kid's arm, do we REALLY need Liz Lemon to say, "What if it had been poop?" The relief on Lisa Miller's face is really all we need for the joke to work. Also, Gob Bluth's wife looks like a feral child while crouched over the sink with her hair all done up as one of the Goonies or something.

Libby: I love Tina Fey, and I like Amy Poehler, but this does not look good.

Standard Operating Procedure (April 25)



Quicktime.

Todd: MY summer movie season begins when documentarian Errol Morris' latest sure-to-be blockbuster hits theaters in late April. After all, who WOULDN'T want to check out a searing examination of just what went wrong in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, complete with ruminations on the nature of truth, what we accept as reality and why Americans just didn't really give a crap. Some reviews don't like the film because it doesn't indict Donald Rumsfeld or some such, but at this point, do you even really need to? Morris just might be my favorite living American filmmaker, so I will be FIRST IN LINE to snarf down some popcorn at this one!

Libby: I'm scared and reticent, but I'll be right beside you.

(Morris is the cinematic genius behind THIS.)



Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (April 25)



Quicktime.

Todd: The good folks at New Line, obviously realizing the sheer excitement surrounding the release of Standard Operating Procedure, have scheduled this more politically pointed (if you can call George W. Bush toking up and laughing at dirty jokes "politically pointed") sequel to the surprisingly subversive 2004 Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (well, surprisingly subversive when it wasn't dealing in pretty stupid dirty jokes). If you watch the red-band trailer, you will see this looks simultaneously awesomer and worser than the 2004 film, but it really could go either way when you have Neil Patrick Harris in your movie and he apparently rides a unicorn or something.

Libby: Legendary!

Iron Man (May 2)



Quicktime.

Todd: Ambivalence about America's role as sole remaining superpower? Outright sneering at the military-industrial complex? Boots that can fly? Has there ever been a summer popcorn extravaganza more tuned in to the zeitgeist than "The Adventures of the Man Who Is Iron"? If so, I do not want to see it. The trailer leads me to believe that director Jon Favreau has followed up his underrated Zathura with some cool action and stunts, that Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard and Jeff Bridges ARE all that and a bag of chips and that the soundtrack will consist entirely of hard rock, preferably from the late-'70s/early '80s. I say, more power to you, Iron Fellow.

Libby: More Robert Downey, Jr., less clothes!

Speed Racer (May 9)



Quicktime.

Todd: I, honestly, am kind of at a loss as to what to say about this, since it sort of looks like a combination of F-Zero, Osmosis Jones and those Dominos Pizza Noid commercials from way back when (or, at least, how my brain remembers the Noid commercials). John Goodman stars as Mario, and Matthew Fox is, apparently, doing an impersonation of Christian Bale as Batman. The weirdest thing, though, is that Emile Hirsch is in this, considering he must have immediately gone to this after Into the Wild. This is almost certainly exactly what Christopher McCandless had in mind. Men in fast cars racing each other with spike wheels. And, also, monkeys.

Libby: And boy, I thought I hated Into the Wild.



The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (May 16)



Quicktime.

Todd: This is one of those series I always underestimate the popularity of, so I may be overthinking this, but I think Disney should have held this until Christmas. For one thing, Prince Caspian is definitely one of the most boring of the Narnia books, being as it is about the Reformation or Martin Luther or something, except there's a giant dude made out of water instead of 95 Theses. What's more, they have to go up against INDIANA JONES, who's totally down with the family-friendly fantastical. And then he PUNCHES YOU IN THE FACE. I mean, how much better does it get than that? Who knows, though? Aslan's back, and there will probably be inappropriate sexual tension between the two oldest kids again, and Tilda Swinton's in a mirror or something (hopefully holding her Oscar). Maybe that will be enough to drag everyone back into the theater.

Libby: Enjoy your last trip to Narnia, Susan, before you end up liking makeup like a whore!

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (May 22)



Quicktime.

Todd: Dude. Dude. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude. Actually, there's this guy at work who constantly tells me how this is going to be the biggest movie of all time, because everybody will want to see it. I wasn't sure that was the case, but then I saw this trailer. This looks like fun on a stick!

Libby: I still don't buy into Shia LeBeouf being an action star, but darn if I won't be there opening day.

Sex and the City (May 30)



Quicktime.

Todd: I was surprised at how I didn't completely loathe Sex and the City when I finally sat down and watched most of the episodes, but this just looks like a bunch of women who work at an undervisited Great Clips sat down and wrote up some fan fiction about what happened to all of the characters after the show ended, all the while looking to their latest US Weekly for casting suggestions. "That Jennifer Hudson girl won an Oscar!" they would say. "Let's put her in the movie!" If Miranda and Charlotte start to make out, I'll have my suspicions that my hypothesis is correct. *sigh* No Deadwood movies, then?

Libby: I own the complete series of Sex and the City, and there's no way I'm spending one red cent on that pretty pile of shit.

Kung Fu Panda (June 6)



Quicktime.

Todd: Do you suppose Dreamworks Animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg has a big wall covered in note cards that have various vague descriptors on them and then another wall covered in note cards that have the names of animals on them and when he's feeling bored he just starts throwing darts and sees what he comes up with? I'm looking forward to 2009's "Firefighter Pig" and 2010's "Rex Rexworthy: The Squid Who Was Afraid of Clowns."

Libby: That trailer was all build-up for so, so little payoff. I can only imagine the movie is the same.

The Incredible Hulk (June 13)



Quicktime.

Todd: Have you ever noticed that Liv Tyler always seems sort of surprised to find herself on camera, as though she's a cat you've disturbed from its slumber by obnoxiously pushing your foot in its face? Check her out here, where all she does is turn in shock toward the camera, as if to say, "Oh, hi! I didn't see you there!" Anyway, other than that, I have virtually nothing to say about this. If this isn't the worst of this summer's comic book movies, I'll eat my hat (like Werner Herzog ate his shoe after Errol Morris finally finished Gates of Heaven)! The Hulk looks like plasticine, and there's nothing here that's going to be as batshit insane as whatever Ang Lee was doing back in 2003.

Libby: I honestly never thought there would ever be a film to make me think, "Man, I really miss Ang Lee's Hulk movie."

The Happening (June 13)



Quicktime.

Todd: Look, I hate to give away the twist ending of two properties here, but don't you think M. Night Shyamalan and the folks behind The Ruins could have gotten together and realized their completely implausible villains were EXACTLY THE SAME? Bah. I'll probably still see this. Zooey Deschanel's eyes are so pretty!

Libby: Any society that allows Mark Wahlberg to be a teacher of schoolchildren deserves to be exterminated.

(No, seriously. Check out that long shot where he just stares at the camera and looks frightened and befuddled, like my friend DJ when he listens to Coast to Coast AM. I know he's an Oscar nominee and all, but he should really stick to being the wisecracking pal.)



Get Smart (June 20)



Quicktime.

Todd: Movies adapted from TV shows are almost never good (aside from the greatest movie of all time, The Brady Bunch Movie), but this looks entertaining enough. It's never a good sign when the best joke belongs to tertiary characters who probably only exist to deliver that one specific joke, but the joke, at least, IS pretty amusing. It's just nice to see all of the cool and funny actors filling out the cast here from the blink-and-you'll-miss-him Terry Crews to David Koechner to Masi Oka. Also, Anne Hathaway, who's no Barbara Feldon, but is about as close as we're going to get nowadays. Steve Carell also doesn't try too hard to impersonate Don Adams, which is nice.

Libby: Actually, the greatest movie of all time is Maverick.

Wall-E (June 27)



Quicktime.

Todd: I don't care that there's a cheeky British guy who's saying droll things about how the robot has developed a personality. I don't care that some people at test screenings have been surprised at how dark and occasionally depressing this is. I DON'T CARE THAT MY WIFE DOESN'T LIKE ROBOTS. This is going to be the greatest movie of all time, and if you don't think so, you can go to Hell.

Libby: I don't like TRANSFORMING robots, Captain Poopypants. I wanna see this right nowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Hancock (July 2)



Quicktime.

Todd: Peter Berg directed this, which is just sort of sad, since I like him. That said, this movie features Will Smith and comedy and superheroes, so I can only conclude that it will make $50 bajillion. That's the state of affairs in this great nation of ours. Despite the involvement of, like, 50 people I love in this, I don't predict great things. Get out the way.

Libby: If I'm gonna watch a Will Smith movie on the 4th of July, there better at least be a damn talking dog.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (July 11)



Quicktime.

Todd: I'm one of those people who tries to separate what I'm watching from what what I'm watching is about. But, still, with the first Hellboy, I had trouble just relaxing and enjoying how beautiful the movie was and the stunning direction because I couldn't set aside that it was a pseudo-Lovecraftian movie about a giant red man who fights tentacle thingies. I'm sure that this will be similarly impressive (go, go, Guillermo del Toro!), but I just wonder about anyone handed a blank check by Hollywood after their biggest critical triumph who says, "I WISH TO MAKE HELLBOY II!" "OK," say the studio execs. "AND THEN I WILL MAKE A LOVECRAFT FILM!" Actually, that will probably be pretty cool.

Libby: Oh, son of a bitch.

The Dark Knight (July 18)



Quicktime.

Todd: I guess Warner Brothers is kind of sad they decided to center their entire advertising campaign around the late, lamented Heath Ledger and his apparent decision to play the Joker as an insane wino, but I'm guessing the goodwill toward the project from the first film and the early buzz about Ledger's performance being absolutely terrific should help them out. It helps that they took the first installment's sterling cast and creative team and replaced the one thing that didn't work (Katie Holmes) with something that almost certainly will (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Or, if nothing else, it will be good to see Adam West back up on the big screen.

Libby: More Christian Bale, less clothes!

Mamma Mia (July 18)



Quicktime.

Todd: Things I learned on a recent trip home to visit my family: My straitlaced, conservative, salt-o-the-earth father? Big ABBA fan. Seriously. I was playing music for the fam from my iPod, and I put on "Take a Chance on Me," and he started humming along and patting his hand rhythmically. It's people like him that have made this musical a huge hit. "I don't want to see a musical!" he might say. "But it has songs by ABBA!" my mom might say. "ABBA?! Well why didn't you say so?!"

Libby: Amanda Seyfried has three dads in this? Shouldn't she be used to that sort of living arrangement by now?

Pineapple Express (August 8)



Quicktime-ish.

Todd: Everyone's surprised at James Franco's work as a pot dealer in this, but anyone who's seen Freaks and Geeks knows the kid's got a knack for comedy that somehow was subsumed in the Spider-Man movies. I'm more impressed that David Gordon Green directed this and even managed to work in some of his trademark Terrence Malick-aping shots in between all the people getting their feet stuck through windshields and marijuana gags. This looks like the greatest movie of all time. It's down to this and Wall-E!

Libby: I dunno. He was pretty funny in Annapolis.

Tropic Thunder (August 15)



Quicktime-ish.

Todd: Someday, I'm going to have to tell my kids about a long, national nightmare of a time when you would go to the movies in the summer and see NO Robert Downey, Jr. performances, much less performances where he played a black man. Tropic Thunder looks like one of those movies that will either be incredible or awful. There's really no middle ground, like with the previous Ben Stiller writing and directing project, Zoolander, where the film really only took off because it played so well on video.

Libby: So many nights, I've dreamt of Ben Stiller getting his hands blown off, and finally, I get a chance to see it on the big screen.

1 comment:

oakling said...

Earth Hour was Saturday? Crap. Wait! We were out of the house driving around! Using biodiesel! I win!