Movie Trailers

Listen Up Philip

“I’m told to expect big things out there.” Imagine what it would look like — what he would look like — if Rushmore‘s Max Fischer grew up without adhering to any of the lessons he learned in Wes Anderson‘s high school-set charmer. All that youthful striving, the gung-ho attitude, the self-involvement, well, that’s just not a good look for a grown-up, which is kind of the point of Alex Ross Perry‘s Jason Schwartzman-starring Listen Up Philip, an indie outing that looks to be taking Schwartzman’s Fischer in a terrible — and hilarious — new direction. In the feature, Schwartzman plays the eponymous Philip (who, yes, definitely looks like he needs to “listen up” to just about everyone else in his life), a self-obsessed novelist on the cusp of delivering his second book. That may sound promising, but things are not going so well for Philip, and his bad attitude and latent anger issues aren’t helping matters. See? He’s an adult-sized monster Max Fischer. Get to know Philip after the break, thanks to the first Listen Up Philip trailer.

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The Hunger Games Mockingjay

Near the opening of the trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss points out that she didn’t set out to cause massive social disruption; she only wanted to protect her little sister from certain death at the hand’s of an oppressive regime. It’s an excellent thematic introduction to a penultimate series entry that should radically change what the franchise is all about. What she did by volunteering was intimate and fiercely personal, but it resonated in a way that opened everyone else’s eyes. When one person stands up, the question is why everyone else isn’t on their feet. Donald Sutherland’s President Snow responds with a poetic zen koan about the things we love killing us. Undoubtedly, he loves power, so we’ll see how that all works out for him. Before you watch the trailer, a fair warning: it shows how one character has significantly changed — altering the lines in the sand and blurring what everyone is fighting for. For some, it’ll be more interesting to watch the transition in the film itself, but, if you need a shot of confident adrenaline to get you going and don’t mind the information, this should do it.

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ABCs of Death 2

Promising 26 new ways to die, the red band trailer for The ABCs of Death 2 is another hodgepodge of violent imagery and delightful snacking options. It lives up to its NSFW coloration, too. People are shot, stabbed and axed, cheeks are bitten clean through, and one woman performs an homage to either Clockwork Orange or penises in general. It’s another trailer to press play on just as your boss walks by your office/cubicle/fry station.

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Carla Juri in Wetlands

Never in my life have I been so engrossed in that which is gross. That’s perhaps my second thought after seeing David Wnendt’s Wetlands at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival. My first thought: “Ewww…” I wasn’t alone: Nothing at SXSW has topped Wetlands, aka Ewww Is the Warmest Color. — Britt Hayes, Esq. (@MissBrittHayes) March 13, 2014 According to the PR email accompanying this new “pink band” trailer for the film’s theatrical release, Wetlands is “an unapologetically vulgar coming-of-age tale about divorce, first love and anal fissures.” That pretty much sums it up. The story of an eighteen year-old girl named Helen (Carla Juri) who is into skateboarding and rebelling against the tenets of personal hygiene. As she explains in the film’s opening monologue, she’s decided to treat her body like an active science experiment. She’s out to break the glass ceilings of society’s taboos and we’re along for the ride. Just bring your dramamine.

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Pixar Lava

It’s still nearly a year away, but Pixar wants you to meet the smiling earth pimple who will sing his way into your heart. Lava will play in front of Inside Out in June 2015, and it features two volcanoes in love. If IMDB is to be trusted, it also takes place over millions of years (most likely lived in land-bound, cloud-envying frustration). On its own, the teaser trailer is sweet and lightweight with some excellent time-lapse-aping visuals, but as yet another sign of Pixar’s return to originality and experimentation, it’s also a mountain-sized sigh of relief. Uku (singing in Kuana Torres Kahele‘s unmistakable voice) sings a song that’s essentially “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with different lyrics that still have the same wishful meaning. He wants someone to wrap his foliage-covered arms around. Check it out for yourself:

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Open Road Films

When Jon Stewart first announced he was taking time off to write and direct a feature film the expectation was for some kind of comedy. Sure it would probably be smart and most likely woven through with political or social commentary, but the main narrative would surely be something goofy. Happily that wasn’t what Stewart was interested in pursuing though and instead took up a far greater challenge. Maziar Bahari is an Iranian-born journalist who was arrested in Tehran while covering the elections and subsequent riots for Newsweek. His jail time lasted several months and included both physical and emotional torture, and the story Stewart wanted to tell on film is the one Bahari told in his memoir, “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival.” It’s an alternately engaging, terrifying and inspiring story, and while that’s enough of a reason to bring it to the screen Stewart had another motive as well. Clips of Bahari being interviewed on The Daily Show were used as evidence against him during his “trial” in Iran. Check out the first trailer for Rosewater below.

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Rhymes for Young Ghouls

It’s easy enough to pinpoint when Jennifer Lawrence broke out. Long before American Hustle or the X-Men films or even the Hunger Games series, there was Winter’s Bone. At some point in January of 2010, Lawrence became a bonafide star — or, at least, a star-in-the-making, one to watch — thanks to Debra Granik’s acute study of the kind of hard knock life that few people ever even have a basic awareness of. Lawrence was eventually nominated for an Oscar for her part in the film — her first — and the film picked up nods for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (the phenomenal John Hawkes). It was a small-scale indie juggernaut, and it made it clear that Lawrence was someone to watch. We suspect something similar is about to happen to Devery Jacobs after her turn in Jeff Barnaby‘s Rhymes for Young Ghouls. Did you miss the Lawrence bust-out? Don’t make that same mistake twice.

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Michael Shannon in Young Ones

There wasn’t much hype surrounding Young Ones at Sundance. It was a movie on people’s radar, but after it screened, it didn’t generate much buzz. That’s a shame, because Jake Paltrow‘s second directorial effort is an excellent film. It’s a western with a twist of science-fiction. The sci-fi elements are mostly left in the background, though. Young Ones is a movie that could mostly do without all the futuristic machinery, it’s just an immensely cool cherry on the top. That CGI tech, by the way, is seamlessly rendered into these beautiful desert landscapes. They have a worn down, used quality that suits this old-fashioned story. Young Ones is about a family. At the beginning we see a father, played with charm and warmth by Michael Shannon, protecting his land from thieves. They’re there to steal his water supply. In this future — what year isn’t stated and doesn’t matter — there’s a serious drought going on. The father and his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) hope one day to get some of the water that’s left to run through their land. Their journey leans more heavily on drama than genre thrills, but the trailer would lead us to believe otherwise.

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Ben Affleck in GONE GIRL

We already know that David Fincher‘s Gone Girl will be slightly different than author Gillian Flynn‘s original novel — at least, different when it comes to some third act tweaks — but that doesn’t mean that the filmmaker and writer have abandoned all the stuff that made the bestelling tale of a missing wife (Rosamund Pike) and her maybe-guilty husband (Ben Affleck) so good. That would be, in simple terms, really stupid. Most of our looks at the film so far — and there have been plenty, thanks to two juicy trailers — have focused on the film’s basic premise, which sounds like an obvious thing to do, but one that doesn’t exactly reflect the twisting and twisted nature of Flynn’s book. Yes, Amy Elliott Dunne (Pike) is missing, but no, this isn’t a film about a husband (Affleck) who offs his wife and tries to get away with it (and, no, that’s really not a spoiler). The latest trailer for the film finally starts layering on the creepy, weird mystery that starts to seep through in Flynn’s novel somewhere around the hundred page mark, and it just doesn’t let up. Basically, for people who loved the book, this is catnip (and assurance that the final film won’t be too far off the mark from the original). Let’s break it down.

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Sin City 2

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Kink Movie

Out this weekend in New York City, Kink seeks to tell the behind-the-scenes story of Kink.com, a successful fetish website that trades in pornography where people let themselves go by being tied up. If the little hairs are starting to stand up, just wait until you get a load of a trailer filled with super sexy talking heads speaking with dry maturity about orgasmic necessities and liking what they do. Also, there’s going to be a lot of moaning. They really, really like what they do. The film comes from director Christina Voros, who has done a large amount of camera and cinematography work in only a little under a decade. She’s now a go-to DP for James Franco’s projects (As I Lay Dying, Child of God, Maladies), and he’s also a producer on her sexploratory project here. Check out the trailer for yourself, and make sure your office door is closed.

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Miss Meadows Movie

Earlier this week, we presented a list of actors and actresses who have failed miserably in their attempts at a comeback. For his #1, writer Ashe Cantrell named Katie Holmes, whose latest movie is the critical and box office disappointment The Giver. Maybe we spoke too soon, though; or, maybe we should recognize that all the names on that list still have the potential to eventually find their footing again. The former Mrs. Tom Cruise is only in her late ’30s, and nowadays that doesn’t have to mean anything. We can be reminded of that when Holmes co-stars alongside Helen Mirren in next year’s Woman in Gold. Plus, there’s always the chance that a career-resurrector like Quentin Tarantino will find a special role just for her. He could turn her image upside down by turning her into a gun-toting vigilante. Oh, wait, someone else has already beat QT to the punch there. Filmmaker Karen Leigh Hopkins cast the perky actress as the lead in her new movie Miss Meadows, which has all the makings of cult hit if not a mainstream one. Holmes plays the title character, a small town elementary school teacher who moonlights as a killer of murderers and rapists. She’s Disneyishly sweet, even to the point that she talks to computer-animated birds and squirrels, except of course when she’s packing heat. Going by reviews from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, the movie may be even weirder than that sounds, but some critics have also sold it as something special. At The […]

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Screen Media Films

It’s only been ten months since a Stephen King film was playing in theaters, but we’re already just two months away from the next. Once upon a time that year-long wait between adaptations would have seemed crazy– back in the ’80s and early ’90s there were frequently two or three of them in the multiplexes simultaneously — but he hasn’t been nearly as ubiquitous onscreen in the 21st century. There have only been nine feature films based on his work since 2000, and pretty much only one of them is worth a damn. His latest stab at the box-office is A Good Marriage, a film written by King from his own short story. The always fantastic Joan Allen plays a woman who discovers her loving husband (Anthony LaPaglia) may just be a serial killer. There’s no shortage of movies about couples, secrets and the possibility that one of them might be a murderer, but the ones that work best (Presumed Innocent, Jagged Edge) succeed in part because of the mystery and suspense as to whether the person is guilty. The first trailer for A Good Marriage seems uninterested in taking that route. Check out the uninspired trailer below and keep reading to see what other films King has in the adaptation pipeline.

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Men Women and Children

Does Jason Reitman hate texting? From the looks of the first trailer for his Men, Women & Children, that definitely seems to be the case. Reitman’s latest is all about the secrets we keep online and that threaten to leak into the real world — which makes it kind of weird that the film’s marketing is encouraging fans to use the Whisper app to share their secrets, because that sure seems like something that’s pushing precisely what the film is against — with everyone constantly staring at their phones and looking shocked. Not a fan of films that use cute graphics to share texts, emails and pix on the big screen? Oh, you’re going to hate this one. Reitman’s film centers on a loosely connected group of students and their families, though it appears that they are all linked by their mutual sadness and disconnection. Put down your phones. Start living your lives. The Internet is bad. You are watching this trailer on the Internet, which is weird, right? Hmm. Watch the first trailer for Men, Women & Children after the break. You can probably do it on your phone.

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The Frame Movie

A few years ago I was astonished by an indie trailer that showed up in my inbox like a doorstep orphan with cool visual effects. The movie was Ink from Jamin Winans, and it turned out to be a rough around the edges, modern fairytale with a fascinating palette (and, yes, cool visual effects). Winans has continued to impress with short films, but even though he had open channels into Hollywood after Ink, he decided to stick with financing projects on his own. Why? To retain final cut. And because he loves working 120-hour weeks. His style sometimes feels like a mainstream adventurer by way of Shane Carruth, but this trailer for his latest film, The Frame, looks like something David Fincher slashed together. Dark, percussive and angry, it shows off microseconds of intriguing shots without giving us the first idea of what the story is. A perfect teaser trailer. Absolutely thrilling and interest-tugging. But I don’t think Winans will even give a clear plot synopsis until after he’s released the movie. Presumably, a full trailer for the film will be just as enigmatic. Check out the trailer for The Frame:

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Johnny Depp in Mortdecai

Is Johnny Depp a movie star anymore? He is certainly famous, but he doesn’t have the box office clout he used to. The actor consistently does well internationally, but in the States, he hasn’t opened a major release in years, at least one that wasn’t already an established brand. Transcendence, The Lone Ranger, The Tourist, Dark Shadows and The Rum Diary all bombed here. Of course, the quality of those titles aren’t up there with his finer films, so that’s a slight hindrance. Maybe all Depp needs is simply a really good movie to win back moviegoers. Reuniting with writer/director David Koepp is a step in the right direction. The two collaborated on 2004’s Secret Window, which is an especially good Stephen King adaptation. It’s also one of the last times Depp pulled off playing an average joe. For some reason he couldn’t do the same in The Tourist and Transcendence. There’s something very off about those performances. Maybe he’s been playing so many larger-than-life characters lately that an everyman no longer comes naturally to him. Whatever the case, Mortdecai may be a return to form for the actor. Depp is once again playing a heightened character, but the difference this time is he looks genuinely funny as the oblivious art dealer Charles Mortdecai, a man in search of a stolen painting connected to a lost bank account full of Nazi gold. If you want to see Depp playing a “bit of a moron,” watch the teaser trailer for the film below.

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The Canal 01

Maybe you recall a time circa 2002 when you watched The Ring and learned that you should never, under any circumstances, watch an unmarked videotape or any sketchy footage that might concern murders or mysterious deaths that have occurred on or near your property. Clearly, the poor, sweet, misguided protagonist from Ivan Kavanagh‘s The Canal never learned this valuable advice. It could have saved him a lot of heartache and misery — and money for therapy. In the first trailer for the film, it’s apparent things aren’t going so well for David (Rupert Evans). He’s having a little trouble sleeping, if you count waking up completely upright in a cold sweat, fresh from a bout of night terrors as a minor problem. This is even before he heads to his job as a film archivist and learns, as one does, from footage unearthed from the turn of the 20th century, that his house was the site of a grisly murder. It all makes sense now, the nightmares, his steady and reliable descent into madness and the spooky ghosts that seem to be hanging out in the dark corners of the house. Why can’t things just be nice for once?

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Atlas Distribution Company

Unless you’re a diehard Libertarian or the ghost of Ayn Rand herself back from the great beyond come to haunt us all in the spookiest of fashions, you probably haven’t spent that much time paying attention to the Atlas Shrugged film trilogy. If you’re suddenly inspired to trek to the theater and explore the role of man’s mind in existence, the third and final installment of the series — which attempts to answer the all-important question of “Who is John Galt?” — has arrived. The first trailer for the aptly titled Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?, directed by James Manera and written by Manera and Harmon Kaslow, promises epic romance, war and all the Ron Paul the silver screen can handle. It’s somewhat of a miracle that the film even exists. After Atlas Shrugged: Part I was a bonafide flop, only managing to bring in lukewarm $4.6 million at the box office, its sequel, Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike managed to perform even worse, grossing a meager $3.3 million. In a move that would definitely make Ayn Rand spin in her grave, a kickstarter campaign was started in order to secure funding for this third film. The Kickstarter aimed for a goal of $250,000 and surpassed with with the help of  3,554 backers to the tune of $446,907. Check out the new trailer below.

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The Best of Me

Author Nicholas Sparks knows what he’s doing. The bestselling scribe has penned seventeen novels, ten of which have been turned into films, two of which will arrive in theaters within the next year. Sparks’ films have pulled in nearly half a billion dollars in just domestic box office returns, making a hell of a bankable brand that appeals to all sorts of studios (Sparks’ films have been produced by a variety of movie studios, from Warner Bros. to Relativity to Sony’s Screen Gems label). Sparks know what’s up. The people who make films based on his novel know what’s up. And, if you’ve ever read even one Sparks book or seen one Sparks movie, you also know what’s up, because these productions tend to look pretty damn similar. There are plenty of hallmarks of Sparks’ work, from a Southern setting to imminent death scenes to lots of yelling in the rain, and it appears that the majority of them are on full display in his latest film, The Best of Me. Starring James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan, the autumn offering smacks of Sparks, and its latest trailer proves it. Just how “Nicholas Sparks” is our latest Nicholas Sparks film? Oh, it’s extremely Sparks-y. After the break, let’s all enjoy a second-by-second breakdown of all the most Sparksian elements this new trailer has to offer.

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Two Night Stand duo

Relationships are hard, and they’re even harder when your well-meaning coupled-up friends are pushing you to get back out there again and try to join the world of the loving and living after a particularly harsh breakup. Such is the case with Megan (Analeigh Tipton) whose failed engagement a year prior has her imposing a self-isolation policy that consists of slouching around her apartment in her undies, much to the chagrin of her two roommates (Jessica Szohr and Kid Cudi), and lamenting about her former party and love-filled life. Since she’s “Benjamin Button-ing,” as she calls it, her roommate Faiza (Szohr) suggests that she returns to the swing of things with a good ol’ fashioned one-night stand. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or special, just join a dating site, bang a rando’ and get out of her funk so she can move on with her life. Thusly, Two Night Stand is born. Of course, since this is magical romantic comedy land, the first trailer for the film, which is directed by Max Nichols and written by Mark Hammer, has Megan wake up in the arms of a cutie pie named Alec (Miles Teller) instead of someone from the usual wretched hive of scum and villainy that 20-something women encounter on OKCupid and the like.

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