Good morning, everyone. One of the goals I had in mind in creating this blog is to continue doing something I did for a short time a few years ago- review trailers and talk about upcoming films in general. I’m one of those oddballs that loves the trailers almost as much as the films themselves. There’s a specific art form to it, and both wonderful and terrible trailers exist. Therefore, each week I’d like to go through the trailers I choose to see, and those I was forced to watch in the theater. I’d love to hear what you think about any trailers you’ve seen as well. Here goes!
“Frozen”: Here we are with the latest non-Pixar Disney CGI-animated feature, which has been adapted (loosely) from a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. Disney’s track record over the past few years is good for these, with enjoyable fare like “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Bolt”. This trailer reminded me quite a bit of the first trailer for “Ice Age”, in that it was a character struggling to acquire something necessary to it, with craziness ensuing. I’ll accept Disney’s track record for reasonable non-Pixar output and likely take my son to see this when it comes out, even if Kristen Bell is the lead voice talent. The moose that behaved like a dog in the trailer was a real benefit. I admittedly laughed out loud twice. “Frozen” is in theaters November 27, 2013.
“The Lego Movie”: When I first heard about this, I figured it must be another cash grab from Lego, whose direct-to-video submissions have become increasingly more tiresome and less inventive. However, this trailer brings some hope back into the equation. Not only was the trailer funny, but they’ve actually lined up huge names to provide the voices, from Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson to Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Charlie Day, and Elizabeth Banks. There’s also some ‘branded’ Legos in the trailer, like Batman (Arnett),which should add to the fun. The only beef I have with the trailer is that the animation is terribly choppy. This isn’t the case with other ‘Lego’ films, so why here? “The Lego Movie” arrives on February 7, 2014.
“Turbo”: A snail that dreams of going faster than, well, snails, is in an ‘accident’, and absorbs what appears to be nitrous oxide. Can you guess what happens next? The idea is absurd, and even more so that Turbo the snail starts competing in human races. Correct. Human races. Ok, well, at least the voice cast is fun, and I laughed a few times during the trailer, especially when the ‘White Shadow’ appeared. Ryan Reynolds voices Turbo, and other voice talents include Paul Giamatti, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Snoop Dogg, Michael Pena, Ken Jeong, and Samuel L. Jackson. “Turbo” will be released July 17.
“Adore”: Does anyone remember the SNL digital short from a few years ago with Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg singing about their respective mothers? As funny as that was, I never thought of that on a ‘meta’ level and wondered if that idea should become dramatized some day. If you thought the idea should be turned into a full-length movie starring Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, and two Abercrombie & Fitch models as their sons, then this one’s for you. I’m certain there are deeper ideas here about trust, friendship, parenting, love, sex, etcetera, but on the surface (which is what a trailer is), all I can think of is a dramatic, Australian rendition of ‘Mother Lover’. This movie has been released in Australia already, but there is no release date listed for it in the U.S.
“Price Avalanche”: Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch star in what appears to be your standard indie movie about quirky loners trying to find peace in their self-inflicted isolations. This isn’t a new storyline, but I’m intrigued to see what else Rudd can do. He’s great in comedies, even terrible ones, because of his inherent ‘watchability’. This is a Magnolia films release, and usually those films wind up straight on the video shelf or on IFC. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad by any means, but they don’t gain a lot of traction. I’d see this for Rudd alone, but the back and forth of two road workers figuring out life doesn’t quite get my attention. This releases August 9th, 2013 (presumably a limited release).
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”: The first teaser trailer for the second ‘Hobbit’ film has arrived, and to be honest, I’m underwhelmed. I enjoy the theatrical Middle-Earth world quite a bit, but at this point, I need something new, otherwise it’s just a rehash of things previously seen. We do get our first look at Tauriel, an elf played by Evangeline Lilly, and the return of Legolas. We also get our first look at the character in the title– a dragon, that if I’m honest with myself, looked far too much like the lady dragon from “Shrek”. Perhaps the look will be more impressive on a bigger screen than my computer. This one hits theaters December 13, 2013.
“Despicable Me 2”: Sometimes (often these days), the excerpts from a film that make it into the trailer are the funniest, best scenes in the film, and nothing is left to the imagination. I’m worried about that for “Despicable Me 2”, because this trailer is hilarious from start to finish. The minions are funny, Gru is funny, the Eminem song fits perfectly, and even a couple of great stereotypical ‘parenting’ moments are thrown in. I’m not sure what the plot is, exactly, but what I saw was funny, and I think that’s the point. The first film was good, but not great, more hyper than comedic. The hyperactivity is still present, and expected, but hopefully we all laugh more than the first. The entire setup is ripe for comedic greatness, both for adults and youngsters. “Despicable Me 2” opens July 3rd.
“Free Birds”: This is a very high concept for an animated children’s film- altering the fate of turkeys forever by changing the first Thanksgiving meal centerpiece. Clearly, it wouldn’t be humans doing the time traveling in a kid’s movie, but turkeys instead. So, wayward turkeys (who, according to the narrator aren’t very smart) need to work together to figure it all out. The trailer works, and my child belly laughed throughout, but I’m inclined to give pause once I see who the director is. Jimmy Hayward is responsible for both “Jonah Hex” (terrible), and “Horton Hears a Who” (underwhelming), and therefore I can’t get too excited. We’ll see this on November 1st of this year.
Next week I’ll review another batch of trailers, and discuss a report I read about how and why trailers have changed over time. Thanks everyone!