Movie Trailers

The Maze Runner Movie

Hey, look! It’s a YA movie! Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland! Where a special/chosen boy and girl arrive on the scene in order to save the day! How unusual. And, yes, that picture from the movie makes it feel a lot like the second coming of “Lord of the Flies.” On the other hand, this trailer for The Maze Runner has a lot going for it. At least as a question mark pulsing with action.

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Peanuts Movie 2015

Pushing the cynicism way, way down, there’s a sweet promise in the Peanuts teaser trailer. First of all, the look of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Woodstock isn’t atrocious — evoking a classic feel even with the CGI paintbrush (no Pixarification!). Second of all, director Steve Martino has done honest service by a bygone children’s story with Horton Hears a Who! and a modern tale with the not-terrible Ice Age: Continental Drift. That’s not a rousing endorsement, and it’s unclear how Charles Schulz‘s dynasty will be honored in the hands of Bryan and Craig Shulz, but there’s also producer Paul Feig’s involvement to keep in mind. With any luck, Feig will be more than an In Name Only producer. At the very least, the movie will probably be more like children’s Tylenol then an all-out assault on peoples’ childhoods. That is, if a million MetLife commercials haven’t done the trick already. There’s not a story to be found in the teaser trailer, but it is an excellent first look at the CGI characters in motion:

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Get On Up Trailer

Awwww yeah, things are about to get a little more funky up in here, everybody. The trailer for the long-gestating James Brown biopic, Get On Up (Can we be honest with each other, here? Maybe there could have been a better title besides reaching for a familiar song title), has landed and it’s exceedingly catchy. The story of the Godfather of Soul is apparently a comprehensive look at the legendary singer’s formative years up until the height of his success, and it’s not skimping out on any of the music that made the man so famous. The film, directed by The Help‘s Tate Taylor, stars Chadwick Boseman (42) as the titular soul man as he maneuvers through a rough childhood, time spent in jail and through all that fame business. Being a superstar is kind of a big part of this story, if you didn’t gather that on your own. The trailer touches on a part of the singer’s life that you might not have heard about: his volatile relationship with his mother (Viola Davis), who abandoned him at age six to leave him to be raised in a brothel with his aunt, played by Octavia Spencer.

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13 Sins Movie

Back in the 2000s, a few years apart from one another, there were two breakouts in the niche cinema world that finally came together this year. The first was the Thai thriller 13: Game of Death. The second was A Necessary Death, or more specifically its director Daniel Stamm. The “death” in both titles was a nice tie-in, but it’s been dropped for 13 Sins, Stamm’s remake of the Thai hit. Worlds collide. It hit SXSW, and Rob found it underwhelming, but the movie has a lot going for it. Ron Perlman, for one. Mark Webber, for two. Stamm for three. Plus, it seems faithful to the concept of putting a man on his last leg through a mysterious game show of violence and degradation. So that’s four. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Grand Budapest Hotel

What is it about Wes Anderson’s latest film that requires a red band trailer, the equivalent of R-rated marketing? Some language, for sure. A bit of nudity, though not the kind you are expecting. And a certain dash of violence. In fact, The Grand Budapest Hotel has more violence than we’re prone to expect from Mr. Anderson, whose last two movies were about a stop-motion animated fox and a couple of kids traversing the wilderness for love. It’s a welcomed change of pace from the man whose style is so unmistakable. A kitschy murder mystery with all the rhythm and wit that fits so well in his filmography that you’d expect Royal Tenenbaum to be checked in to the titular vacation spot. But enough about that, let’s watch this red band trailer and enjoy the splendor of some vulgarity, shall we?

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Colin Firth in Devil

Devil’s Knot is in a bit of a pickle. A new trailer for the film just debuted online, tempting audiences with two minutes’ worth of Colin Firth speaking in a Southern twang. But two hours’ worth of the same premiered at last fall’s Toronto International Film Festival, and the results were… well, less than stellar. So director Atom Egoyan and Devil’s Knot must peddle their wares, knowing all too well that the typing of a mere two words — “Rotten Tomatoes” — can all but obliterate the goodwill generated from Colin Firth saying “y’all.”

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tracks-mia-driver

Director John Curran’s Tracks had solid showings at both Telluride and Venice film festivals, and with The Weinstein Company having snagged the epic Aussie adventure for US distribution rights, a theatrical drop date should be forthcoming. For now, we at least get our first look in a new trailer. The movie is adapted from Robyn Davidson’s autobiography of the same name, telling the story of her solo trek through almost two thousand miles of Australian desert, from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. With only the companionship of four camels and her dog, Diggity, during her adventure she met the unique folk you’d only find making a home of the desert and also, eventually, National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan, who documented her journey. Screenwriter Marion Nelson handled screen adaptation duties.

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frank-movie

Sundance 2014 had a loaded schedule of top notch films, Lenny Abrahamson’s pleasantly weird dark comedy Frank, among them. Frank is the story of Jon, played by Harry Potter alumn Domhnall Gleeson, a young songwriter brought into the fold of a quirky noise rock band called Soronprfbs, led by singer Frank (Michael Fassbender), who perpetually wears a giant papier-mâché head. Quirky and whimsical as he is, the talented Frank is saddled with some pretty heavy issues. Jon moves to Ireland to record an album with the band, posting rehearsal videos on social media, with the aim of getting Frank and his musical cohorts a spot at Austin’s South by Southwest. Check out the trailer below.

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GRace of Monaco

Way back in September, our own Samantha Wilson quite sagely compared the first teaser for Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco to “the world’s most expensive perfume commercial,” a little slice of action that is “what you expect a princess’ world to look like — rich and opulent.” The Nicole Kidman-starring Grace Kelly biopic was presented as an opera-infused tale of, well, just like a lot of sparkles and shine and fuzzy filming, sort of as if Dahan is someone who really likes watching that Charlize Theron commercial for Dior in slow motion but then wanted to spice that look up by filming stuff his own production through six layers of cellophane. In short, not great. But after some behind the scenes drama involving Dahan’s final cut, the apparent demands of Harvey Weinstein, and a release date shove, Grace of Monaco is finally set to hit theaters with a possibly tweaked look and feel. But does that translate to this new full-length trailer? Let’s find out.

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Captain America

Lookout Agent Coulson, it looks like someone is out there to take down some SHIELD agents. That person appears — based on this new Captain America: The Winter Soldier TV commercial — to be the Winter Soldier himself. Will the forces of the world’s greatest intelligence organization, led by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Captain Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) be able to thwart the attacks of a man with super strength and a sweet robotic arm? We don’t yet know, but if they’re going to make it to Avengers: Age of Ultron, they are going to have to. Either way, so far this thing looks great.

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paddington_poster

“If you see something, say something.” It’s a simple rule. Unattended packages are a matter for the authorities — they could be stuffed full of explosives, chemical weaponry, or even vicious Peruvian wildlife intent on draining Great Britain’s marmalade reserves dry. Yet the first teaser for Paddington flies in the face of public transportation’s basic safety procedures. There’s London’s Paddington Railway Station, and right smack in the middle of the platform is an unattended package. One large enough to comfortably fit an adorable stuffed bear. Clearly, multiple passersby must have seen something. Yet not a single one said something. Shameful. Paddington is a cautionary tale of Britain’s undocumented immigrant bears, and the damage they’ve been doing to the nation’s economy. Or, if the film’s synopsis can be believed, it’s the tale of a wayward stuffed bear who’s taken in by a kind family, all while being stalked by an evil taxidermist (Nicole Kidman). Presumably, she’s after the secret of how a stuffed animal can walk and talk and consume so much marmalade without being beset upon by ants.

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Meat Loaf in STAGE FRIGHT

One of the best aspects of SXSW is its dedication to the finding exciting titles for its Midnighters section. These are the genre movies, usually horror, frequently violent, and almost always a refreshing change of pace from the usual festival film. This year looks to be no different with a particularly stellar-looking lineup of ten films from around the world. They also offer up a fine mix of genre veterans, including Daniel Stamm, Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo, Eduardo Sanchez, and Adam Wingard, and newcomers hoping to make a splash with festival goers. One of the newcomers is writer/director Jerome Sable who’s making his feature debut with the slasher/comedy/musical, Stage Fright. It’s a cross-genre mashup, but while horror comedies too frequently skimp on the red stuff Sable’s film gleefully promises otherwise. Check out the gloriously bloody and tantalizingly funny trailer for Stage Fright below.

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Transformers 4: Optimus Prime

“A new era has begun. The day of the Transformers is over.” It’s not so much a reboot, this Transformers: Age of Extinction. It’s definitely the fourth film in a franchise closely watched by its shepherd Michael Bay. But in the first teaser and now this first full trailer, the minds of marketing at Paramount want fans to know that this time around is different. It’s darker, more serious, less Shia. It’s grown up and picked Pain & Gain star Mark Wahlberg as its very manly lead. It touts the fact that the rules have changed, the era of the Transformers is over. “We don’t need you,” explains newcomer Stanley Tucci to an off-screen robot. And for a moment — two minutes, to be exact — it’s easy to believe them. Because this time around we get some giant dinosaur robots (Dinobots to their friends). Things may just be different, after all.

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blue-ruin-05

There are few things to watch that are as satisfying as a good old fashioned revenge story, and if the new trailerfor Jeremy Saulnier‘s Blue Ruin is any indication, we’ve got another excellent case of death-bringing on our hands. The trailer begins with a man named Dwight (Macon Blair) awakened from his apparent home, a car resting on the coastline near the beach. He’s looking worse for the wear, as those living in their cars are wont to do. A kind police officer spells it out in soothing voiceover that he’s had his reasons for living his life in hiding. With that gentle rap on the car window, though, the officer is unleashing a whole new can of worms for Dwight to devour: the man who killed Dwight’s parents when he was a child has been released from prison. While the officer seems to think that this news will shock and terrify Dwight, it appears the opposite is going to happen. This is a revenge flick, and Dwight is going to hit the road to track that son of a bitch down. “What he did to them was awful,” the officer coos about halfway through the trailer as images of Dwight’s childhood play, juxtaposed with blood-soaked rooms and gun barrels. Well, what Dwight’s about to do to him is probably going to be even worse. If the quiet, maybe too eerily mellow trailer is any indication of the film’s tone, then we’re in for something disturbing.

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Will Ferrell and friends in ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

“It’s done. I think that’s it. It was great to do it, and it was so fun to work with those guys again, but I think that’s it for Ron Burgundy.” So says Adam McKay, director, co-writer and producer of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and 2004′s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, when asked about a potential third installment. Will Ferrell, along with castmates Christina Applegate, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, and David Koechner will make their final run together on the big screen starting today, with an R-rated, extended cut of the most recent theatrical release, with over seven hundred new jokes, which essentially turns this version of the film into a massive comedy stew of scenes that didn’t make the final cut, and a whole lot of improvisational comedy. It’s a seven day run in theaters, and according to McKay, that’s the last new Burgundy you’ll be getting from the Gary Sanchez Productions crew. Though it made $169,268,368 USD total gross worldwide, McKay appears content to move on to new projects, additionally shooting down another prospective sequel in Step Brothers 2 with some finality whilst discussing an Anchorman trilogy.

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Muppets in MUPPETS MOST WANTED

Listen, I know that people are frustrated over the constant barrage of sequels, remakes and adaptations in popular film. And yes, Muppets Most Wanted does technically count as a sequel. But sometimes harsh criticisms can get a little too harsh, like the latest claim that the next Muppets film won’t be nearly as good as 2011′s The Muppets, that the Muppets have no real fans, and that Disney is just killing time with this one “while they wait for Tom Hanks to make Toy Story 4.” Ouch. You might be wondering who would level such a complaint against a near-universally beloved group of terrifying puppet creatures, and… ok, it’s the Muppets that have picked a fight with Muppets Most Wanted. It seems many a Muppet is upset at being drafted into another unnecessary sequel, and the group has decided to air its complaints with the public at large. But they’ve done so by breaking out into joyous song and dance (the way all sequel grief should be expressed from now on), and their list of grievances is also Muppets Most Wanted‘s opening number, which has just debuted online.

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Godzilla

How do Americans always lose track of Godzilla? Back in ’98, the big guy could slip behind a couple skyscrapers and the entire military would just stand around scratching their heads, despite the existence of planes and satellites and so, so much equipment that is perfectly useful for keeping tabs of a giant green dinosaur. Well, he’s slipped out of our fingers again. Judging from Bryan Cranston‘s powerful, shouty voiceover at the start of this new Godzilla trailer, it sounds like the government had themselves a slight Godzilla problem back in 1954, but they were able to sweep all that nonsense under the rug. From the looks of it, it somehow involved reducing him to a skeleton, which make the modern day monster Godzilla #2. And the American people never had a clue. Unlikely as it may be, it’s a neat conceit for a Godzilla movie and a clever little way of paying homage to Ishiro Honda‘s original film. It’s also an excuse to see a skyscraper-sized lizard stomp across human civilization, which is really all anyone cares about.

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Gina Carano in In The Blood

Ex-MMA fighter Gina Carano had dabbled in acting a bit before 2011, but it was Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire that really made her name in the world of action cinema. The director wasn’t the only recognizable name on the picture as he made sure to surround his star in the making with a cast that included Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, and Michael Fassbender. It wasn’t a big hit by any means, and no one was impressed with Carano’s acting abilities, but action fans took note and looked forward to whatever Hollywood would offer her next. That whatever turned out to be a supporting role in Fast & Furious 6 and a guest spot on Fox’s Almost Human. If you saw Haywire then you know that’s a bullshit waste of an impressive talent right there. Fortunately, that dry-spell is coming to an end this year as Carano finally gets a second crack at a leading role filled with ass-kickery. Unfortunately, it’s in a movie that looks to be heading to VOD and/or the direct-to-DVD market. Check out the trailer for In the Blood below.

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Gene Jones in

In recent years dramatic features like Martha Marcy May Marlene and Kill List, and even documentaries like The Source Family, have seemed to have started a movement that has brought the subject of cult to the forefront of movie thrillers. Perhaps the zombie craze and the vampire craze are finally over, and the next big thing is going to be films of all sorts that tap into the fringe groups of the late 60s and early 70s for inspiration. If we get a misguided movie aimed at tweens where a bookish young girl comes out of her shell after starting an unlikely romance with her school’s dreamy Charles Manson-type, we’ll know we’ve stumbled into a full-on trend. Before the movement can reach its mainstream peak, however, we’ve probably still got some room for a couple more artistically-driven filmmakers to make a couple more legitimately creepy movies about cults, and to that end modern horror master Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers) is getting ready to release his next feature, The Sacrament. It’s a found-footage affair about a group of documentarians visiting a cult called Eden Parish, and getting more than they bargained for. Click through to get a glimpse of the carnage, but be warned, the red-band before this trailer only seems to be there because of a little bit of blood and destruction, so don’t expect anything too gruesome to be given away.

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NCP0010_B_comp_v018.1418

So what have you all been up to today? It’s raining something fierce here in Portland, so today was a three movie day for me. First up was Jason Bateman’s directorial debut, Bad Words, and happily it was pretty fantastic. Few actors play malicious, foul-mouthed pricks as well as Bateman. After that I watched the new Criterion Blu-ray of Michael Mann’s debut, Thief. I’d never seen it before, but it should surprise no one when I say I loved it. The visual stylings, themes, and preferred pacing that would go on to mark his career are all present in his first film. Amazing stuff. Finally, I watched one from way back in Brian De Palma’s career with Arrow’s new Blu-ray of Phantom of the Paradise. It’s an interesting and somewhat fun watch, but it’s easy to see why it hasn’t caught on as anything more than a cult classic. Anyway. Here’s that trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy that you’ve all been waiting for.

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published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.17.2014
D+
published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.16.2014
B+

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