Every once in a while, a trailer comes along that makes me giddy with delight. A huge grin spreads across my face as I clap like a four-year-old on Christmas morning. The trailer for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is one of these trailers, a trailer that reminds me why I love going to the movies.
Prince Caspian, like its predecessor The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, is a faithful adaptation of the saga written by C.S. Lewis. I read The Chronicles of Narnia annually during my dorky childhood, and so far the movies are even better than I had ever imagined in the books. In this installment, the Pevensie kids return to Narnia one year later to find that an eon has passed and their kingdom is in turmoil. The battle scenes alone will be worth my $11.
Prince Caspian is unmissable. For everyone who loves an epic adventure on the big screen, SEE IT. For everyone who wishes there could be another installment of Lord of the Rings, SEE IT. For all you Harry Potter fans in withdrawal, SEE IT. For all the fellow dweebs who still hope to find Narnia waiting behind the next door, SEE IT.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is not yet rated and opens May 16. (official site)
For me, National Treasure was a pleasant surprise. Despite my reservations that it would be two hours of Nicolas Cage’s typical shlock, one night it was the best choice at our local cinema, so I saw it. National Treasure was total brain candy: action with a good dose of comedy. I loved every second of it.
Disney smells a franchise. Ed Harris and Helen Mirren join Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, and Harvey Keitel for the sequel. (This is Mirren‘s first post-Oscar role, and why not? At this point in her career, she can do whatever she wants.) The stakes are greater this time around; Cage must clear allegations that his ancestor was involved in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. My only gripe about this trailer is that it doesn’t show enough of the hilarious one-liners that made the first movie so enjoyable. Still, I am going to SEE IT with a big bucket of popcorn.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets is not yet rated and opens on December 21. (official site)
One of my favorite things about writing on TrailerSpy is the opportunity to give more attention to small but deserving movies that might otherwise pass you by. Charlie Bartlett is one of those movies, and I hope it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of the summer blockbusters.
In the dog days of summer, I long for a movie with three-dimensional characters, witty dialogue, and an intelligent story. From the trailer, it looks like Charlie Bartlett will more than fill the void left by spiders, pirates, and robots.
See it for Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis, and Anton Yelchin holding his own in the title role. See it for all the small, smart movies that fade into the background. SEE IT so that studios will realize that we’re still aching for good movies.
Charlie Bartlett is rated R and opens on August 3. (official site)
Did you look really closely at the end credits of the trailer for Gone, Baby, Gone? Blink and you’ll miss it, but the end screen says “directed by Ben Affleck.” Though Affleck is making his directorial debut, I’m pleasantly surprised by how good Gone, Baby, Gone looks.
Gone, Baby, Gone certainly has a great pedigree. It’s based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, who also wrote Mystic River. Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris consistently do good work, though it is strange to see Harris with hair. Casey Affleck may be benefiting from being the director’s brother, but it looks like he can carry this film.
I’m rooting for Ben Affleck to surprise everybody with rave reviews. I certainly can’t wait to SEE IT.
Gone, Baby, Gone is rated R and opens on October 19 in limited release. (IMDb page)
Here at TrailerSpy, we generally write about movies, but if there is a good trailer for a TV show, then we’ll post it. And the trailer for the ESPN miniseries The Bronx is Burning definitely qualifies.
Back in 1977, New York City was not quite the nice, safe place it is now. The city was battling a serial killer, bankruptcy, and mass looting during a summer blackout. The New York Yankees were one of the few bright spots that summer, but the team was in turmoil too. New owner George Steinbrenner had gotten to the World Series and lost, so he went out and did what he does best–he bought a star in Reggie Jackson. In addition to Jackson, the ’77 Yankees boasted Thurman Munson, Bucky F’in Dent, and managers Yogi Berra and Billy Martin. Together, their challenge was to bring the championship back to the Bronx for the first time in 16 years.
For every baseball fan, The Bronx is Burning is one big SEE IT. This bit of Yankee history happened before I was born, and I can’t wait to catch up. The Bronx is Burning is an eight-week miniseries starting July 9 on ESPN. (official site)
Russell Crowe + Denzel Washington + Ridley Scott = Oscar Bait. Like The Departed, American Gangster is a gritty mob movie with a shot at Oscar gold and big bucks at the box office. This trailer was just released, and boy am I excited.
Denzel Washington has made a career playing good guys, but as the trailer proves, he’s at his best when he’s playing the bad guy. Washington and Russell Crowe are working together for the first time since Virtuosity in 1995, when Crowe was a virtual unknown in the States. Crowe is reuniting with Gladiator director Ridley Scott. Throw in Brian Grazer, who produced A Beautiful Mind among others, and it’s one big happy Oscar-winning family.
Sometimes Oscar bait can be horribly disappointing, but if this trailer is any indication, we’re in for one damn good movie. The song at the end is a perfect example of how much music can add to a trailer. (See the comments for details about the song in the trailer for American Gangster. I asked, and you answered. )
SEE IT because American Gangster could go down as one of the great crime dramas.
American Gangster is rated R and opens on November 2. Thanks to Ben for the tip. (official site)
This weekend, we’re going to do a slightly different Weekend Roundup. For those of you who are already in blockbuster sequel fatigue, we’ll tell you what else is in theaters this weekend, if you look carefully.
At this point, you’ve already decided whether you’re going to see Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. But be warned. THIS MOVIE IS THREE HOURS LONG. That’s right, not including trailers and seat-saving time, Pirates 3 is 167 whopping minutes.
Bug is the only other major release opening this weekend. Since horror films really aren’t my thing, here’s the summary from Fandango: At a rundown desert motel, Agnes (Ashley Judd) begins a tentative relationship with a newcomer named Peter (Michael Shannon). He has a strange charisma, one that offers fearful and unstable Agnes a flicker of hope. When Peter reveals that the military deliberately infected him with a bug and that he has tiny insects crawling under his skin, paranoia begins to envelope the desperate pair. Early reviews have been good. Horror fans, SEE IT.
Away From Her: Oscar season starts now. Critics are salivating over this atypical love story from writer and director Sarah Polley. Away From Her is the story of Fiona (Oscar-winner Julie Christie) and Grant, whose 45-year marriage is being torn apart by Fiona’s Alzheimer’s. After Fiona moves into a nursing home, she falls for another patient. Grant seeks out the other man’s wife, played by Olympia Dukakis. It’s much more complex than my summary, of course. Even the trailer is haunting. SEE IT.
Don’t forget about those films that have been out for a few weeks. Disturbia, aka Rear Window for teenagers, was number one for two weeks. Fracture fizzled at the box office, but it is still a cat-and-mouse thriller starring Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins. The Namesake is my favorite film so far this year–you’ll love seeing Kumar in moving a story of Indian-American identity. Finally, Waitress deserves to be seen, not just because it’s Adrienne Shelley’s farewell. See it for Keri Russell’s performance and for the take-charge ending. SEE THEM!
Everybody has one summer blockbuster they can not wait to see. For some, it is The Simpsons. For others, it is Pirates of the Caribbean. For me, there is only one must-SEE IT movie this summer: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I just finished re-reading all the books in time for the July 21 release of the final book, and in the meantime I can’t wait to see the next movie. I am a total dweeb, and that’s ok.
This is the second trailer released by Warner Brothers. (For the first trailer, click here.) I continue to be amazed at how this franchise just continues to get better and better. The story is becoming more layered and the younger actors have become so skilled that they can go toe to toe against their Oscar-winning co-stars. Judging by both trailers, Order of the Phoenix looks like a suspense-filled movie that can stand on its own and entertain even non-Potter fans (such people exist?) who find themselves in the cinema. (How scary is that shot of Voldemort in a three-piece suit?)
And now, a casting question. The sixth Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is in pre-production and there is one small but juicy role to be cast. Narcissa Malfoy, mother of Draco and wife of evil Lucius, makes her first appearance in a pivotal scene at the start of the story. Narcissa is described as having blonde hair, blue eyes, and “a look on her face as if there were something smelly under her nose.” She has a sixteen-year-old son, so she would be at least 36 years old. Like the rest of the cast, the actress that plays her must be British. Naomi Watts’ name has been bandied about (she grew up in the UK), but she looks a little young and is identified as Australian. So who should play icy Narcissa Malfoy?
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is rated PG-13 and opens on July 13. I can’t wait! (Official site)
2007 is the year of the sequel, but The Golden Age is not your typical sequel. It is the follow-up to Elizabeth, which, despite the title and the period dress, has more in common with Braveheart than with Shakespeare in Love. (If you haven’t seen Elizabeth yet, run and rent it right now. You can watch the trailer here. Cate Blanchett was robbed and should have won a Best Actress Oscar for Elizabeth, but Gwyneth Paltrow won that year.)
In The Golden Age, Cate Blanchett (she who can do no wrong) reprises her role as Queen Elizabeth I. She is rejoined by Geoffrey Rush as a trusted adviser and new additions Clive Owen as Sir Walter Raleigh and Samantha Morton as Mary Queen of Scots. The Golden Age depicts England’s battle against the Spanish Armada. Once again, Queen Elizabeth shows who’s boss, fights off threats to her reign, and enjoys the company of dashing men. Despite the petticoats, The Golden Age looks like it will have tons of battle action and double-crossing. Though The Golden Age is a sequel, it looks like a movie that can stand on its own. It’s total Oscar bait, and I’m drooling.
The Golden Age is the sequel to one of my favorite movies, so naturally I can’t wait to SEE IT. Don’t forget about Elizabeth–RENT IT immediately if you haven’t seen it. The Golden Age is not yet rated and opens on October 12.
Spring has finally arrived in New York City, which means that it’s time for the Tribeca Film Festival! If you live in or around NYC, this two-week event is not to be missed. Neighborhood movie theatres open their doors to big, blockbuster premieres (such as Spider-Man 3) and indies hoping to find a distributor. (Transamerica and Air Guitar Nation both found audiences at past TFFs.) Best of all, most events are open to the public for an $18 ticket.
Two years ago, Jen and I saw a live-action version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that was originally shot in German but had been dubbed in English. The movie was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, and the entire cast had flown from Germany for the screening. You just don’t get that in Iowa.