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Archive for December, 2011


Trailer Watch: Ridley Scott’s Prometheus

Yesterday, a trailer for Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel that doesn’t have the Aliens (a.k.a. Xenomorphs) in it hit the internet, and here it is. It’s a tease, to be sure, but the footage we see is pretty damned awesome. Consider my appetite whetted.

Interestingly, Charlize Theron is billed last here, not first, despite her prominence in the trailer. I’ll let others speculate as to why…

Prometheus was written by Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaihts and stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, and Charlize Theron — the YouTube page lists Ben Foster, as well — and it hits theaters on June 8, 2012.

Trailer Watch: The Hobbit teaser

In December 2012, Peter Jackson goes back to well with the first of the two-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit.

As trailers go, it isn’t terribly exciting, although there’s a healthy amount of footage, a song, a whole bunch of dwarves, Gollum, and even Frodo (in a framing sequence, of course). It all looks and sounds pretty much like Lord of the Rings all over again, but with somewhat smaller stakes — at least in this first part. And while that’s sure to please the most ardent fans of the trilogy, as someone who enjoyed but never really fell in love with them, it didn’t really stir up any strong impressions in me. (I was one of the few who’d hoped Guillermo del Toro would direct these, as he’d have brought something new to the equation, but alas.)

But… I’m sure the faithful will love it, and I’m happy for them.

So… what did you think?

Trailer Watch: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Based on an acclaimed novel, adapted by Oscar-winning screenwriter, solid cast, strong use of music, whole plot broadcast in the trailer so the risk-averse masses are reassured that everything works out alright in the end before walking into the theater… Check, check, check, check, and check. Director Lasse Hallström has been honing his Oscar-ready craft for years and has, perhaps, become a little too slick for his own good. (To my mind, he peaked with his debut, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, while film geeks would likely cite the Criterion-approved My Life as a Dog, made in his native Sweden.)

And yet… as a trailer, at least, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen works, but even so, I’m kind of surprised this is being pushed out in March, 2012, then, rather than this month — basically a no-confidence vote from the studio as far as awards go, as the Academy voters have a notoriously short memory.

Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, and Kristin Scott Thomas star.

Trailer Watch: Act of Valor trailer #3

A new trailer for Act of Valor has hit the interwebs — and there’s not much more to add, really, since the trailer itself doesn’t add much to the earlier trailer I posted a while back. Viewed solely as an action movie, it looks pretty awesome, with the only major wildcard being whether or not the story can string together the action sequences well enough and the actors can be convincing enough in the quiet scenes.

There’s the obvious (and tiresome) criticism that this is nothing more than propaganda, since it was created with the approval of the Navy. But really, how are films like The Kingdom or… well, anything Michael Bay does… and video games like Call of Duty or Battlefield not the same this way? Are we so stupid that we can’t enjoy it on its own merits, divorced from who gave it the green light? I don’t think we are.

Act of Valor stars Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez and Nestor Serrano. The film was directed by Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh and hits theaters on February 17, 2012.