Movie Trailers

Hits

Back in 2006, David Cross was the first investor in Kickstarter. Almost a decade later, he’s gone to the crowdsourcing service for what is apparently his first project on the site (he also seems to have only just recently backed another project for the first time, too). The comedian and actor and now filmmaker is seeking money for his directorial debut, Hits. The movie premiered a year ago at the Sundance Film Festival and will finally hit theaters next month. While normally a little indie comedy like his would only have a dinky release in New York and Los Angeles followed by digital distribution after a few months, he’s attempting to get a wider presence around the country so his fans all over have a chance to watch it on the big screen. The Kickstarter goal is $100k and that’s to cover for bookings in about 50 markets in a way that allows you and me to choose our price for the ticket. Inspired by past strategies of Radiohead and Louis C.K. in putting out their works, Cross has teamed with BitTorrent for this experiment, and the pay what you wish option will also be available through their BitTorrent Bundle file-sharing site. He says that Hits will also be on iTunes and other traditional platforms but those will be at the normal cost for movie rental and purchase. Of course, there is the matter of Cross depending on the fans to pay now and then also later, but there’s no requirement […]

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Ant-Man-poster-550x814

The first true teaser trailer for Marvel’s Ant-Man debuted this evening during the premiere of the same studio’s own Agent Carter TV series. In the days ahead, many of us will be poring over each frame to know exactly what we’re looking at, but for now it’s time to just watch. And listen to Michael Douglas slowly explain to Paul Rudd why he needs to take over the role of a superhero called “the Ant-Man.” Is it too late to change the name, indeed? Just kidding, I like the name and just how faux-serious this movie is sold as right up until that little joke. After that, we can re-watch and appreciate how silly it actually all is (in a good way), especially Ant-Man riding on the back of a flying ant. Watch the Ant-Man teaser after the jump.

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IFC Films

In Andrew Niccol‘s Gattaca, Ethan Hawke plays a guy who just wants to travel into the sky and beyond. Now the filmmaker and actor are reunited for a third outing (Hawke is also in Niccol’s Lord of War) and this time the latter plays a guy who just wants to get back to the sky. In the new movie, titled Good Kill, he’s not going for the beyond, just wishing to return to a physical bomber jet and actual combat. In a way, that seems like beyond compared to what he’s been doing: getting “good kills” via drone with a joystick in the comfort of an air force base many miles away, on American soil. And everyday he finishes up his shift remotely blowing up stuff and people and goes home to his wife (January Jones) and kids in the Vegas suburbs. Anything but a normal mix. The premise is a worthy idea for a movie in these times, especially for how new military operations are changing what a war movie looks like, but it also seems a little simple. Enough that the new international trailer for Good Kill is already sufficiently on point in less than three minutes. There’s even an implication that Hawke’s character needs more physicality of a sexual nature than he’s getting in his domestic life, too. It could still be very interesting, though, given Niccol’s past dealings with sci-fi situations that relate to our current technologies or scientific pursuits. Drone warfare has been going on for a while yet still […]

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Accidental Love

Isn’t it so nice to see troubled productions finally come into existence? Whether it’s hearing about Terry Gilliam getting another chance with one of his projects or gazing at promotional images from a Natalie Portman Western following a cast and crew shakeup, such second chances are like hearing that a friend cleaned up and found religion. Of course, that friend seems like a whole other person now, and that can be a bit problematic for your friendship if you can’t get past that. But if you’re willing to open your mind and heart to them, everything will be hunky dory in no time. With that in mind, I invite you to attempt to go into the upcoming movie Accidental Love without prejudice. Pretend you don’t know anything about it. It looks like a lot of fun. The ensemble cast — consisting of Jessica Biel, Jake Gyllenhaal, James Marsden, Paul Reubens, Catherine Keener, James Brolin, Tracy Morgan, Bill Hader, Kirstie Alley and Beverly D’Angelo — is outstanding and its director, David O. Russell, is one of the most important American filmmakers working right now. Not that Russell’s name is anywhere to be found in the marketing of the movie. He directed a movie titled Nailed, which fell apart in the middle of production six years ago. This is what that movie, which he disowned, has become. 

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Big Game

Try to pick out the single most ridiculous thing about Big Game after watching its trailer. Is it that Samuel L. Jackson plays the President of the United States? Or that he’s thrown into some kind of crazy “Most Dangerous Game” style human-hunting contest for terrorists? Is it that he’s paired up with a kid (Onni Tommila)? Is it that this kid is Finnish and much of this action movie is in Finnish but that won’t stop American audiences who don’t normally watch foreign films to check out Samuel L. Jackson in a movie that’s basically a mix of Air Force One, Die Hard, White House Down/Olympus Has Fallen and Escape from New York, except where the main hero is a kid? (Also some might go see it thinking it’s about a big sports game.) My pick is Jim Broadbent seemingly phoning it in as a spy who himself is seemingly phoning it in. Good for that guy, getting another well-deserved paycheck. Joining Jackson and Broadbent on the more familiar side are Ted Levine, Felicity Huffman and Victor Garber, who plays the Veep to Samuel L.’s POTUS, and the movie is written and directed by Jalmari Helander, who made the ridiculous evil Santa Claus movie Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. Those of you who’ve seen that will also be recognize Tommila as one of its stars. You also might not be surprised to see that Helander is continuing to make more absurdly awesome movies obviously inspired by plots of John Carpenter movies (with […]

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Peanuts Movie

How many of you watched the Peanuts holiday specials over the last few months? For many of us, it’s an annual tradition of viewing the classic Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas shorts starring Charlie Brown and friends, but this was my first time introducing them to my son. Briefly, anyway. I quickly realized that they’re pretty damn depressing cartoons and not always entertaining for little kids. How have they been such a staple for almost half a century? At least my son liked the Snoopy and Woodstock bits in each. Maybe it’s for similar reason that Fox has been focusing on the little beagle and bird duo in their promotions for their upcoming The Peanuts Movie, which is due in November. Then again, there’s not much that’s more depressing than World War I, and so far the primary sequence shown to us in teaser trailers is Snoopy as ace pilot of his doghouse — flying in the style of a Sopwith Camel — over Paris. Sure, it’s as light a tone as Snoopy fighter plane scenes ever are without evoking any reminders of the reality of the Great War. We’ll leave it to good ol’ Charlie Brown to make his most Charlie Brown-est entrance yet in the computer-animated feature talking of how he’s not happy or in the holiday spirit because of Ebola, terrorism, war and other suffering in the world. Chuck and the other human Peanuts characters do show up in the latest teaser, Mr. Brown once again being laughed at cruelly for being […]

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Entourage Movie

As with most of my perception of the eight season run of the HBO show Entourage, I’m now convinced that its movie spin-off is going to be primarily about Ari Gold, the angry agent played by Jeremy Piven. In between sequences of bikini-littered parties and driving in expensive SUVs, there will be plenty of Ari. Also, series creator Doug Ellin (who returns to write and direct the movie) has also brought back the usual bros: Vince, Turtle, E and Drama. Yes, they weren’t kidding. The first Entourage trailer has arrived. Soak it up, bros.

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Will Smith and Margot Robbie in Focus

Is Will Smith still a national treasure? That’s what the second trailer for Focus has me considering. Years ago it was impossible to find someone who hadn’t succumbed to the charms of Big Willie. Not only did he give us “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It”, but he quickly proved himself as a hugely bankable and likable movie star. Smith was a charismatic star, but not exactly an actor with massive range. Great actors have the capability of surprising audiences, but Smith, by and large, gave his fans what they wanted. Every once in a while he’d change things up, but we’d usually end up with the same wisecracking presence onscreen, and there’s nothing entirely wrong with that. There was a demand for his easygoing charm, at least until recently. His last starring role was in After Earth – a major critical and box-office failure and all around bad movie. This year he did his buddy, Akiva Goldsman, a solid by appearing in Winter’s Tale and, boy, he must be one helluva friend, because he did Goldsman more than a favor by showing his face in that movie. Now, more than a year and a half after After Earth, Will Smith is back in a starring role with Focus, a film from Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. The con film, which co-stars Margot Robbie, looks real slick, pretty and charming.

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Warner Bros.

Ron Howard doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He’s seen as a journeyman, and while maybe that’s a fair label, it’s often used to dismiss his work. It’s understandable some people undervalue the guy who directed The Dilemma, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, but Howard is also responsible for Apollo 13, Parenthood, freaking Night Shift, The Paper, Frost/Nixon and A Beautiful Mind. What’s respectable about Howard as a filmmaker is that, even this far into his career, he’s trying new things and pushing himself. Sometimes the result doesn’t always work, but a journeyman isn’t the kind of director that takes the occasional risk like Howard does. Last year a huge gamble of his paid off: Howard made one of his best films with Rush – a movie filled with energy, passion and excitement. The movie wasn’t a hit at the box-office or at awards ceremonies, but it’s a film from last year people actually continue to talk about. Since the filmmaker doesn’t have a signature style, it’s hard to say a movie doesn’t feel like a “Ron Howard movie,” but Rush really doesn’t feel like a Ron Howard movie. The cinematography, editing choices and camera moves were like nothing he’s ever done before. It looks like the same guy who made Rush has returned for In The Heart of the Sea, an adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick‘s novel, which follows the crew of the Essex and its beefy captain (Chris Hemsworth) as they face off against Moby Dick. Take a look at the latest trailer for In the Heart of the Sea:

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The Longest Ride

Way back in August, we gleefully/somewhat confusedly broke down a then-new trailer for The Best of Me, this year’s single Nicholas Sparks offering, to determine just how “Nicholas Sparks” it actually was. Verdict: very Nicholas Sparks! So it wasn’t entirely shocking when the finished product, a sappy and soppy love story starring James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan, proved to be just as Sparksian in its delivery. Sparks is back again with yet another feature film (since 2012, the author has averaged one film based on his novels per year, so no one should ever be surprised when a new one crops up, which is terrifying but true), one that just might mix up the brand. Kidding! It looks extremely Sparksian, but perhaps The Longest Ride will at least benefit from a slightly new-sounding backdrop: bull riding. Starring Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood, The Longest Ride explores the fated love between an artsy young lass and a bucky young stud (who, yes, likes bull riding). Will true love find a way? Will all the bulls be okay? Who will randomly die of cancer first? Let’s take a look at the first trailer to lay some guesses.

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True Story

James Franco makes a lot of movies, many of which aren’t released for a very long time. See his 2010 documentary Saturday Night, for instance — and now you actually can, thanks to Hulu, six years after it was shot and four after it had its premiere at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. I’d like to assume The Interview will also eventually see the light of day, despite Sony’s current plans to shelve the movie entirely, without any kind of theatrical or home video release, due to the threat against any venue willing to show the comedy. A big studio feature is different than a nonfiction pet project like Saturday Night, of course, as is the reason for its deference. I’ve seen industry experts speculate that Sony will write-off The Interview as a total loss to collect on their insurance, and that would mean the movie couldn’t ever be released down the road after this all blows over. We’ll just have to move on to what’s next from Franco, then. While I’m not sure what will be released first, the actor has two new features debuting next month at the Sundance Film Festival. One is I Am Michael, which has Franco starring as the real-life Michael Glatze, a former gay rights activist who later denounced his homosexuality. The other is True Story, in which he plays another real person, Christian Longo, who murdered his wife and three small children in 2001. We can say it in those terms rather than having to write “he […]

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2014review_trailers

Movie trailers have become an odd business unto themselves. As the promotional budgets for blockbusters spiral upwards to ridiculous heights, we’ve recently seen the introduction of things like trailer teasers (ultra-brief trailers for trailers). Studios now want to build anticipation for things meant to build anticipation for other things. Where will it end? It won’t. Things will only get more ridiculous from here — just wait and see. Still, on their own, trailers make for addictive viewing. I reinforced that for myself in perusing every notable trailer that came out this year in order to make this list. They are made to suck you in, to be watched over and over; the hope is to create a void in the viewer that can only be satisfied by seeing the film proper. Taken independently of their films, trailers are curious beings. They are all potential, all speculation generators, even after their movies come out and we know whether their promise ends up fulfilled. Even though I didn’t end up enjoying the films that each trailer here promoted, I still come back to those trailers. They still stand alone as works of … perhaps not art, but something artistic, at least. So without further ado, here are 14 of the trailers I just couldn’t shake from 2014.

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Open Road

The Gunman. Call it a prestige version of Taken. It even has the same director. The difference? In the place of Liam Neeson, The Gunman stars multiple Academy Award winner and very serious actor Sean Penn. Based on the first trailer, released today and presented for your viewing pleasure below, the story seems pretty similar. Penn plays a former killer whose past comes back to haunt him, leaving him with his back to the wall and a gun in his hand. Hard Cut to: he shoots his way out.

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Warner Bros.

You really don’t need to watch this second trailer for next year’s Mad Max: Fury Road. You’ll want too of course, especially after the magnificence of the first trailer that premiered this past summer, and we honestly can’t blame you. But you still don’t need to watch this new one. The problem isn’t that this latest trailer underwhelms — on the contrary as it’s loaded with awesomeness that makes the wait for the film’s release next May even more of a struggle. And it’s not like the trailer spoils any plot points or character reveals either. No, our suggestion here is simply that you save the epic action-beats on display here for the big screen. Wait until you’re actually seated for the movie itself so your first time viewing of the orgasmic mayhem is in context and projected at bigger than life size. But, if you can’t resist another glimpse at the explosive siren call of director George Miller‘s long-awaited return to the dusty and deadly future, if you definitely can’t wait another five months, then check out the new trailer below.

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Joseph Gordon Levitt in The Walk

Many remakes of documentaries are announced but very few wind up being made. The Walk is the latest exception, as we at least got sight this week of some footage in a teaser trailer for the Robert Zemeckis film, which is basically a redo of James Marsh‘s Oscar-winning 2008 doc Man on Wire. Both are based on Philippe Petit‘s autobiographical book about his famous tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City. Man on Wire is told by Petit and others with archival and reenactment material thrillingly illustrating the unbelievable story. The Walk stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the French funambulist, and this new fully dramatized version is going to play in IMAX 3D. Maybe it will play like an acted-out rehash what we’ve already seen done quite well in the doc, but from the teaser it looks like Sony (via TriStar Pictures) is selling this more for the spectacle. The two-minute spot features only one scene, of Gordon-Levitt (looking nothing like Petit, I have to say) arriving on the roof of one of the buildings of the World Trade Center (looking quite incredible in its reproduction, I have to say) and then balancing on a girder while triumphant music lets us know there’s something magical or magnificent going on. If you don’t know what it’s all about, you might think this was a superhero movie teaser about a guy who can fly, until he doesn’t jump off the tower and start soaring and the words “based on a […]

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Disney/Pixar

Here’s what’s great about the trailer for Pixar’s Inside Out: it’s adorable realism. Yes, the dinner conversation where mom is prying, dad is tuned out (or tuned into sports) and young daughter is lashing out can be a cliche, but this is an excellent look at what it means to twist convention enough to make it work wonders. Instead of three personalities at a table, we get 15. We’ve known for a long time that the film would focus on the different emotions inside a little girl’s head, and we found out recently that we’d see other characters’ emotions as well, but the command center they’ve got set up is a smart touch. It’s not that these emotions live in the same space, but that they are meant to work together 24/7 even if they don’t always work well as a team. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Magnolia Pictures

New trailers drop every day. Here are three recent ones. There’s no overriding theme between these three aside from their 2015 release dates and ability to capture our attention and leave us wanting to see more. San Andreas is a disaster picture featuring Dwayne Johnson as the head of an ensemble struggling to survive a massively devastating earthquake in California. Still Alive focuses on another tragedy, but this one is far more personal as Julianne Moore plays a woman diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Lastly, White God is a Hungarian film featuring an uprising by the abused and downtrodden who just happen to be canines.

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It Follows Movie

It makes an insane amount of sense that on the 10th anniversary of Saw‘s release, the most hyped horror film has a stripped down concept that produces tense magic with nothing up its sleeve. There are no intricate traps, just raw fear. Rob reviewed It Follows at Fantastic Fest, and I can echo every word of his review. David Robert Mitchell’s sophomore feature has teenage touches of his Myth of the American Sleepover, but it uses a simple mistrust of connection (specifically sexual) to create a monster with a billion faces whose real power comes from persistence. I’ve always thought of zombies working as villains because, despite moving like molasses, there are enough of them to make the attack overwhelming. In It Follows, there’s only one thing coming (slowly) for the young woman unlucky enough to bed down the guy cursed with murderous baggage, but somehow it’s abjectly terrifying. It’s a horror film that explores what happens after “just run away!” fails miserably. Now there’s a teaser trailer for it, complete with French review quotations. Classy. Check it out for yourself and start looking over your shoulder for the rest of the day. Oh, and being careful who you have sex with.

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Paramount Pictures

It’s been a long past few weeks for movie fans who aren’t into remakes, sequels or reboots. In fact, the dodging of nostalgia has been at an all-time high with trailers for a new Jurassic Park film, a new Star Wars film and a few films featuring characters we’ve heard of before (Cinderella, Pan). It would be easy to be burned out at this point. The timing for a film like Terminator Genisys — a reboot of sorts that recasts all the original Terminator roles (save for that main guy) and breaks the timeline into something vastly different — couldn’t be worse. Despite poor timing and the still looming shadow of the Star Wars trailer, Paramount has released the first trailer of the film from Game of Thrones and Thor: The Dark World helmer Alan Taylor. And guess what? It’s a lot of fun.

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Star Wars

If you’ve so far avoided checking out the first trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens because you don’t consider yourself a fan of one of the most famous, popular and profitable film franchises in cinematic history, well, that’s kind of weird. On the other hand, it’s not too late to get on board with the series, especially since we have an entire year to go until J.J. Abrams’ entry in the franchise zips into a theater near you. That’s plenty of time to catch up on six three films! Not sold on the idea? That’s okay, because we’ve picked out six elements from the first teaser trailer — which is only 88 seconds long — that just might enthrall even the biggest Star Wars novice. Come on, give it a try.

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published: 02.01.2015
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published: 01.31.2015
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published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015
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