Movie Trailers

In Your Eyes at Tribeca

Joss Whedon was a busy man with The Avengers. But in between the writing and the shooting and the wrangling of a real, live Hulk (I’m assuming that was the real Hulk, right?), he also shot Much Ado About Nothing on his days off. Apparently Much Ado wasn’t enough, because Whedon actually had a third project in the works at the same time. In the early months of 2012, Whedon’s screenplay for In Your Eyes was being shot in New Hampshire. Not by Whedon, mind you, but by Brin Hill – and before you say, “Who?” Hill is known mostly for writing the competitive b-boy flick Battle of the Year. Somehow, Whedon found a way to oversee the production anyway, even if it was just through a tenuous psychic connection. Which, conveniently enough, is the very same plot device at the center of In Your Eyes. Starring Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) and Michael Stahl-David (the lead in Cloverfield), it’s a love story touched by a vague kind of movie mysticism. Kazan and Stahl-David fall in love despite the fact that they’ve never met and live on opposite sides of the country. Somehow, a metaphysical, psychic-ish connection is to blame. The film premieres this Sunday at the Tribeca Film Festival, and Entertainment Weekly has shared the first three minutes in case you won’t be in NYC but would still like to take a look. And why wouldn’t you?

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A24

As it turns out, you can take the vampire out of Twilight and find some pretty unexpected results. With The Rover, the new film from director and writer David Michôd (Animal Kingdom), Robert Pattinson sheds his sparkly teen vampire image yet again to take part in a dark and dreary drama devoid of all supernatural intervention. Pack all your girlish screams away somewhere, because this isn’t the time or place. “Anarchy is loosed upon the world,” and it’s up to Eric (Guy Pearce) to dig through that chaos as “things fall apart” in the Australian outback (things are really bleak out there). His quest: to hunt down a strange band of criminals who have taken hold of his last possession as he attempts to stay alive and keep his head above water in the process. In his journey, he meets Rey (Pattinson), one of the members of the gang who have messed with his life. Rey is injured and alone, no longer the menacing threat he used to pose to Eric when he and his gang stormed into his life long before. But now Eric recognizes that Rey can no longer hurt him, and scoops him up along for the ride. With Rey’s gang leaving him in the dust by himself at the beginning of the trailer, he doesn’t have much of a choice, now does he? Check out the trailer for The Rover below.

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The Immigrant

For some reason, James Gray‘s The Immigrant didn’t get released last fall as an awards contender. Like Snowpiercer, The Immigrant was far better than pretty much everything else Harvey Weinstein decided to release in 2013. Both movies sat on the shelf for a little bit, but thankfully for not too long. Snowpiercer and The Immigrant will have limited releases this summer, and it’s highly recommended to seek out the theaters that will show Gray and Bong Joon-ho‘s films. Both movies were made for the big screen. Bong Joon-ho’s exceptional control over tension makes for a true theatrical experience, while Gray’s new movie features gorgeous cinematography and another superb performance from Joaquin Phoenix that shouldn’t be first seen on your television set. Following up his best film, Two Lovers, Gray tells the story of an immigrant, played by Marion Cottillard, hoping to make it in America with her sister. It’s an often moving, refreshingly funny, and smartly structured drama.

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Orange Is The New Black Season 2

Ahhh, prison. Orange is the New Black makes it seem so appealing. You and a bunch of your buddies (divvied up exclusively by race, of course) hanging out, rewiring lamps and only occasionally fighting off a potential stabbing. The second season of Netflix’s simultaneously-upbeat-and-disturbing series debuts on June 6th. And to ring in the new, they’ve released a shiny new trailer, a full-length one that finally gives us all a clue to what we’ll be binge-watching a month and a half from now (beforehand, all we had were these particularly ominous seventeen seconds). This full-on, “Official” trailer actually has a little story to it. Looks like Season 2 will start with Piper (Taylor Schilling) released from solitary (probably something to do with that potential stabbing) and Lorraine Toussaint showing up as a new (and from the looks of it, extremely villainous) resident of Litchfield Correctional. Cue the montage of characters becoming alternately enraged and sassy.

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Jersey Boys 1

I can understand the appeal of a jukebox musical on Broadway. In a way, it’s just a concert, albeit for cover artists, with a little bit of story thrown in for fun — like skits on a rap record. On the big screen, though, they just can’t be as enjoyable. There’s no live performance and, unless you find just the right movie theater or wait a number of years for a Drafthouse sing-a-long screening, there’s none of the same audience vibe you get with the real deal. I’m sure the stage incarnation of Jersey Boys is a really good time. The movie version, on the other hand, looks like a real bore of a biopic with an imitation soundtrack. It seems so generic that they’ve probably even thrown in a token sibling death for Frankie Valli. This evening we got our best look yet at the adaptation, directed by none other than Clint Eastwood. And by the look of this new trailer, Jersey Boys looks like a cheap TV series knocking off the period-set popularity of Mad Men. That is especially disappointing, because Eastwood and cinematographer Tom Stern have made some great historical dramas together, including Letters From Iwo Jima and Changeling, for which Stern received an Oscar nomination. In fact, Eastwood’s usual visuals team is here — costume designer Deborah Hopper, art director Patrick M. Sullivan Jr., effects supervisor Steve Riley — so why doesn’t this look like it fits with the rest? Why does it look like something made for cable? At […]

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If I Stay Movie

In If I Stay, Chloe Moretz plays a talented musician on the cusp of auditioning for The Juilliard School. She’s got all the happiness that being 17 can afford, but it’s all taken away by a severe car accident that leaves her in a coma. While she hangs on the edge of death, she has an out of body experience that allows her present life (with all the threat and promise of its future) to flash literally in front of her eyes. It shares a surface-level spiritual connection to the recent Heaven is For Real, but it more obviously resembles The Lovely Bones. Hopefully that won’t hold it back. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

If the main creative issue with superhero movies is figuring out how to make them bigger and more bombastic, Bryan Singer and his mutant friends seem to have found solutions for X-Men: Days of Future Past. At the very least they’ve given sufficient ammo to the trailer editors, because the world they’re portraying is a massive one. Sentinel armies, time travelling jumps, Magneto’s famous hatred of baseball stadiums. Everything is offered a chance to be pumped full of BGH. Check it out for yourself:

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Korengal Mountains

Filmmaker Sebastian Junger launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier today for a follow-up to his Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo. And it’s already about a third of the way funded. The new film, titled Korengal: This Is What War Feels Like, is basically a sequel to that 2010 effort, for which he and co-director Tim Hetherington were embedded with a U.S. platoon in Afghanistan for a look at a year on the front lines of the war. Hetherington later died covering another dangerous conflict, the Libyan civil war, and became the subject of Junger’s subsequent film, Which Way Is the Front Line From Here. Korengal takes us back with the duo to the titular valley for events that happened either following or alongside those in Restrepo. Junger says in his campaign statement that it had been an idea during the editing of the earlier film that they’d come back and make another doc out of the unused footage. That makes it sound almost like what they did with the Anchorman movies, but of course this is reality and also this second film is said to pick up where the other one left off, not be merely a collection of deleted scenes.

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Obvious Child trailer

One of the breakout hits from this year’s Sundance Film Festival was a film that has romance, yes, and is definitely a comedy, but perhaps not exactly a typical rom-com. At least, nothing you’ve probably seen starring Kate Hudson and a nondescript white bachelor suitor probably involves a plotline centered upon abortion. As it turns out, Obvious Child maybe just isn’t that obvious of a choice. The film, directed by Gillian Robespierre, focuses on a down on her luck comedian named Donna, played by real life comedian and former Saturday Night Live member Jenny Slate. After a particularly heinous breakup, Donna downspirals, losing her job and sending her already shaking existence as an unambitious twenty-something into overdrive. Even something good, like a silly one night stand with a new guy who seems to share her proclivities for farts and fun, leads to an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy.

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Maps to the Stars trailer

Although you won’t see her in the first promotional trailer for David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, it appears (at least according to the film’s IMDb page) that Carrie Fisher is co-starring in the auteur’s latest film as herself (or, perhaps more accurately, as a version of herself). Whereas the rest of the star-studded cast is saddled with hilariously fake-sounding names (John Cusack is “Dr. Stafford Weiss,” with Julianne Moore set to play “Havana Segrand” and Robert Pattinson rounding things out as “Jerome Fontana”) that make everyone seem like they’ve been picked to play characters in a high-minded pornographic film, Fisher apparently gets to keep her own. It’s a fitting choice for Cronenberg to file in a “Fisher” amongst other roles that are stuck with names like “Azita Wachtel” and “Sterl Carruth,” because at the very least it adds a touch of actual veracity to his latest feature – which is about Hollywood itself. Even in a city steeped in stage names, there has to be at least one “Carrie” to normalize things a bit (and this Carrie is a real one!), though Maps to the Stars looks as if it’s gloriously unbound to the normal.

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Phillip Seymour Hoffman in A MOST WANTED MAN

When he passed away this past February, Phillip Seymour Hoffman left a lot of work behind. Specifically, there are four films — God’s Pocket, A Most Wanted Man and the last two Hunger Gameses — plus the pilot for a Showtime series called Happyish. This is good news (as good as good could be under the circumstances, anyway) if you’re a fan of Hoffman’s work, because 2014  is overstuffed with remembrances of the actor and his abilities. Now, the trailers for Hoffman’s many posthumous performances are rolling out online. Newest among the bunch is God’s Pocket, a crime drama directed by Mad Men‘s John Slattery from a novel by Pete Dexter. Here, Hoffman is Mickey Scarpato, a working-class dude from the working-class Philadelphia neighborhood of God’s Pocket. His stepson is found dead under questionable circumstances, so naturally the rough-edged bastard with a heart of gold must crack the case, please the grieving dame (Christina Hendricks) and witness the beatings of various mooks. The whole thing seems more than a little film noirish. This being Slattery’s feature debut, he’s used every ounce of his “remember me from Mad Men?” pull to attract the ideal indie cast. Along with Hoffman and Hendricks, this trailer shows off John Turturro, Richard Jenkins and Eddie Marsan. Keep a careful eye peeled and you’ll also spot Domenick Lombardozzi (Herc from The Wire) and Glenn Fleshler (True Detective‘s hulking lawnmower gentleman). Looks like True Detective might keep Fleshler in the impossibly huge man-mountain business for a long time. Also, […]

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Ben Affleck in GONE GIRL

You can have your Paul Thomas Andersons and Terrence Malicks, your Richard Linklaters and Friedberg/Seltzers. For my money the most consistently fantastic and exciting director working today is David Fincher. Even perceived “bottom tier” Fincher thrillers (Panic Room, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) are better than a large percentage of other suspense films out there, and it’s his work that I most look forward to every couple years. His latest is once again an adaptation of an immensely popular novel, but unlike Stieg Larsson’s Nordic thriller Gillian Flynn‘s book lacks a distinct visual style that plays so well into Fincher’s wheelhouse. The film, scripted by Flynn herself, is a mystery set in suburban America that follows a man’s (Ben Affleck) attempt to find his missing wife (Rosamund Pike) and convince the world that he’s not somehow responsible. Check out the first trailer for Gone Girl below.

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Michael Pitt and Britt Marling in I Origins

[Rob's note: Fair warning, this trailer and post contain 2nd/3rd act spoilers that Fox Searchlight should have known better than to include in their marketing.] There’s a point that we get to in movie trailers where fantastical and awe-inspiring story becomes maybe a little too hokey and we’re left with the cheesy pieces. It’s hard to say if there’s one singular problem causing this phenomenon to happen or if attempting to cram every crazy event that happens in the film into a little over two minutes just makes it seem extra ridiculous. Such is the case with the trailer for I Origins, a film that will probably be perfectly enjoyable once it hits theaters. But packed in pint-sized form, things seem to be getting out of hand for this team of scientists and their host of crazed ideas. The story follows Michael Pitt as a biologist who spends his time studying the function and mapping of the human eye. In his time outside the lab, he’s falling deeply in love with Sofi (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), a girl with beautiful, mesmerizing eyes — “the eyes that changed this world.” After some sort of tragedy befalls the couple, Sofi is out of the picture, but her eyes are still the focus of his strange life, especially when his pretty lab assistant (Brit Marling) points out that a child in India has the exact same eye mapping as his beloved. What that means is beyond me (and hopefully you; I don’t like feeling dumb), but it’s […]

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chubby feet in FED UP

One of the bigger documentary sub-genre booms in recent years has been in the area of food docs exploring and/or decrying what we eat, the way we eat and why we probably shouldn’t be eating it. Films like Food, Inc., Diet for a New America, Forks Over Knives, King Corn, and Super Size Me have all taken a stab at educating Americans on what we put in our mouths. More importantly, they’ve tried to educate us on what we’re putting in our children’s mouths. But if there’s been one constant through the years it’s this: America just doesn’t give a shit. The latest film hoping against hope to change the nation’s lethargic stupidity and penchant for slowburn child abuse is Fed Up from director Stephanie Soechtig and producer Katie Couric. The film addresses the already established problem — Americans are getting fatter and sicker — but instead of simply saying we need to exercise more and eat more fruits & vegetables the film points an accusatory finger at big business and the government that’s supporting them. Check out the depressing trailer for Fed Up below.

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Eric Bana in DELIVER US FROM EVIL

With horror movies hitting theaters left and right, it’s often hard to tell new releases apart. After all, it’s easy to stick with a tried and true formula if it’s guaranteed to get the maximum amount of scares and screams. Take some nice, normal people, for example, and have them get plagued by a demon or a malevolent poltergeist. It’s been working for the last 30 or so years, hasn’t it? Have their plight be viewed through the grainy green haze of found footage and there’s an even bigger chance that it’s going to be a hit. Or stick that nice family in an even worse situation — maybe it’s some facet of the house itself that’s turning on them, like a cursed mirror or family heirloom. It’s the “call is coming from inside the house” of ghosts. While these methods of spookiness are effective and often masterful, they’re also becoming another thing — expected. There can only be so many Paranormal Activity sequels before Paranormal Activity: Maybe We Should Just Move makes it into the mix. That’s why the trailer for Deliver Us From Evil, the new horror from Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) looks so refreshing. While Derrickson is guilty of a few genre sins in his last couple films — that nice family plagued by demons, getting a pretty Catholic girl mixed up with Satan — Evil appears to be unlike what the genre’s been churning out for the last few years. Check out […]

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Disney Monkey Kingdom 1

Who else is excited about Bears, the latest Disneynature documentary, which arrives in theaters next Friday? After taking last year off, the Mouse House is back for another Earth Day release, and sure it’ll feature a lot of anthropomorphizing narration but at least that narration is being spoken by John C. Reilly. And with it also comes the first trailer for next year’s feature (yay, they’re back on an annual track), which is titled Monkey Kingdom. Disney has already gone ahead and debuted the spot a week early, though, and while it doesn’t have any celebrity voiceover (I don’t think this one’s has been revealed yet), it is entirely soundtracked with the singing voice of Lorde. Of course it is. After all, she has a song called “Royals,” perfect for a movie with the word “kingdom” in the title, though the tune in this trailer is “Team,” which also fits because of the lyric “living in ruins of a palace within my dreams.” And the movie is about macaque monkeys who are living in ruins of a former Buddhist palace (well, temple), not in their dreams but in, I believe, Sri Lanka. At one point in the video they kind of sing along, as do a deer and a lizard, while a tiger looks on at them like they’re a bunch of lame pop music lovers. Or does he just want to eat them? 

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Wish I Was Here

First of all, you won’t be surprised by the band included in the trailer for Wish I Was Here. Second of all, you won’t be surprised by the raw quirkiness at work. It’s very Braffian. Which is remarkable considering that Zach Braff has only directed two features. He’s already nailed down a signature style as a sophomore. Here he follows up Garden State with the next step in adult existential crisis and a hint of Walter Mitty. Braff plays Aidan Bloom, an unsuccessful actor who ends up having to home school his children. It’s an even money guess on who learns the most out of the deal.

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AMERICAN BLOGGER

First things first. Kudos to Chris Wiegand on the completion of his first feature film. It’s a big accomplishment, and no one can take that away from him…  no matter what I say after this point. Think about the best documentaries you’ve seen, the ones that tell an unexpected story about people and events you’ve never heard of or the people and places you already thought you knew. Films that reveal truths behind big history or insight into individuals previously lost in time. Now watch and listen as a narrator, a man clearly being blackmailed over the safety of his family or compromising pictures of him with a donkey, tells us about Wiegand’s “beautifully filmed and artistically crafted” documentary, an important and possibly life-changing film. It’s a movie about bloggers. Enjoy the comedic genius of the American Blogger trailer below.

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Kurt Cobain Death Scene in Soaked in Bleach

We’ve already had one great documentary spinning theories about Kurt Cobain‘s death (Nick Broomfield’s Kurt & Courtney) and one great dramatization of the last days of the Nirvana frontman (Gus Van Sant’s Last Days), but now there’s a (possibly great?) movie coming out that combines both approaches. Today is the 20th anniversary of when Cobain’s body was found dead, so of course the first trailer for this new docudrama has just arrived online. Titled Soaked in Bleach, it combines interviews with people associated with the case, including private detective Tom Grant, with reenactments featuring actors such as Lost‘s Daniel Roebuck as private detective Tom Grant. Others in the drama side’s cast play Cobain (Tyler Brian), Courtney Love (Sarah Scott), Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson (Kale Clauson), Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan (Tor Brown), Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes (David Daskal), Earth front man Dylan Carlson (August Emerson) and a character named Kat, who I assume is Babes in Toyland’s Kat Bjelland (Alyssa Suede). The talking head interviewees include forensic pathologist (and JFK assassination conspiracy theory fueler) Cyril Wecht and former Seattle Chief of Police Norm Stamper. Not surprisingly, Love herself did not participate. 

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Neighbors

Wholesomeness does not last forever, especially the kind seemingly cooked up in a Disney or Nickelodeon lab somewhere. Plenty of child stars – squeaky clean in their tween years – have fallen from grace in some way or another. Naked pictures! Rehab! Drugs! (Maybe that last one before rehab! Maybe also after, though!) Indie movies! It’s a rough world out there, and it’s hard to stay on the straight and narrow (or the at least overly family-friendly) path for too long. Such is the case with young Zac Efron. The three-time star of the Disney Channel’s hugely popular High School Musical series (a gem of modern kiddie fare, and don’t you ever forget it) has had some, well, troubles. There’s been some drugs. Some rehab. Some getting peed on by Nicole Kidman on screen. There’s been some oat-sowing, okay? But although Efron has made some missteps and mistakes in both his personal and professional lives, but it looks like he might have finally found a way to marry his panache for the bad boy stuff with something that might actually make some damn money. It’s called Neighbors, and you’re not going to be able escape it this time next month. 

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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