Trailer Stash: Inglourious Basterds, Tokyo!, Terminator Salvation, more
And now, a look at some notable trailers lighting up the blogs and message boards:
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Mike Myers, Samuel L. Jackson, Maggie Cheung
Release Date: August 21
Some people are going to say this doesn't look or sound Tarantino. Of course, we've been hearing this since Kill Bill, arguably since Jackie Brown. It's kind of like that NBA commercial with the tiny-bus tour, where they find Lebron James in the locker room singing Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" before the game. "Unexpected," says the tour guide with a hint of disgust on his face. But the trailer for Inglourious Basterds (yes, that's the new correct spelling), specifically, does exactly what a good trailer should: It teases us. Brad Pitt is a hillbilly lieutenant giving a badass speech about scalping Nazis in occupied France to a small band of soldiers. Spliced within the speech are mouthwatering scenes of...what else? Nazis being exterminated. Like Kill Bill, the scope of the film looks both grand and vintage low-budget, all at the same time, a technique Tarantino has made his signature.
Directors: Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Joon-ho Bong
Starring: Julie Dreyfus, Denis Lavant, Ayako Fujitani
Release Date: March 6
"Do we shape cities...or do cities shape us?" asks the colorful, playful text in the trailer for Tokyo!. Three directors (Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Joon-ho Bong) each handle a segment of the movie. The trailer features quick, subtle shots of fantasy and creepy imagery coming to life via the music of, perhaps fittingly, Tokyo Police Club.
Starring: Christian Bale, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common
Release Date: May 21
Having seen the other three Terminator films, especially the first two, will make it impossible to watch this trailer without a certain bias. On the one hand, you have Christian Bale taking the lead, who's partially responsible for reviving the Batman franchise. Still, there's no huge "wow" moment here, unless you take into consideration the segment toward the end where John Connor (Bale) is talking to the T-800 (a digitized Governator?). Pretty cool, but while the trailer showcases some of the film's undeniably wicked special effects, it doesn't show much of the character and heart that made those first two installments more than mere action flicks. If nothing else, we finally get to see the war between humans and the machines.
Angels & Demons
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer
Release Date: May 15
Funny how critical failure can score a sequel. Guess that's what happens when you have Ron Howard, Tom Hanks, a mega-best-selling book series and a $200-million domestic gross to work with. Make a sequel to The Da Vinci Code, which scored 25 percent on Rotten Tomatoes? It's a no-brainer. But some parts of the Angels & Demons trailer just makes the forthcoming film look cheesy. Like when Ewan McGregor is addressing an army of cardinals about an old enemy, the Illuminati. It looks as if they're literally about to go to war. But despite some of the general goofiness, if you liked the first one, you'll probably enjoy the second one.
Taking of Pelham 123
Director: Tony Scott
Starring: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzman
Release Date: June 12
The trailer for the remake of 1974's The Taking of Pelham One Two Three begins in an all-too-familiar fashion. First, a lighthearted look at the good guy, then the unfolding of a crisis situation, and finally, the good guy stepping up and dealing with the crisis head-on. And you know what else? It's brilliant. When you have strong characters played by veteran talents, you don't need to be creative with the advertising. Let them do their thing, and the rest will fall into place. That being said, Taking of Pelham 123 looks like a solid thriller by the guy who brought us Man on Fire. Unfortunately, he (along with Richard Kelly as screenwriter) also brought us Domino.
Director: Jennifer Lynch
Starring: Julia Ormond, Bill Pullman, Pell James
Release Date: June 26
Yes, Jennifer is the daughter of David Lynch, and she's back with her first film since her 1993 debut, Boxing Helena. This international trailer for Surveillance does draw similarities to dad's work in some regards: bright, stunning photography, dark, horrific images, the is-it-possible-this-make-any-sense puzzle. Beginning with quick, horrific flashes and a girl's scream unnervingly extending into digital distortion, the trailer makes good use of its time, creating a good deal of suspense and tension in two minutes without showing too much.
Observe and Report
Director: Jody Hill
Starring: Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, Ray Liotta
Release Date: April 10
Be warned: This is a red band trailer, which means it's not safe for work.
There's something both gratifying and hugely disappointing about the red-band trailer for Observe and Report. Seth Rogen's non-chalant, straight-faced humor can't not generate laughs, but like the movie will probably be, the trailer too is like a machine gun in the hands of a six-year-old: If you keep firing, you're bound to hit something. Some parts are genuinely, laugh-out-loud hilarious, like when Rogen, who plays a mall cop hunting a terrorist streaker (move over, Kevin James), uses a .357 magnum to erradicate the unmentionables of a paper target. Still, with the freedom of an anything-goes trailer, if the movie was good, shouldn't it be more hit than miss?