Trailer: The Gunman

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Damn. The studio might have considered titling this movie Knights of Badassdom were it not already used. Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Ray Winstone, and Idris Elba all in the same action flick? That’s too much manliness for even the manliest of men to handle.

Well, all right… maybe Sean Penn isn’t synonymous with badass – intense, sure, but badass, eh. Still, since The Gunman is basically just a lovechild of a Bourne movie and Taken (it’s even directed by Taken helmer Pierre Morel), it’s safe to say that Penn really just might reinvent himself with this badass action star persona after all.

I mean, do you remember Liam Neeson’s career before Taken? He was always intense and definitely cool, but that flick transformed him from Qui-Gon Schindler to Hollywood’s go-to old man action thespian.

Anyway, back to the The Gunman. The movie follows an international operative who just wants to retire peacefully with a beautiful woman young enough to be his daughter, but then things happen and people want to kill him and his lady is kidnapped so he has to go, like, get her back and kill people and stuff. With a specific set of skills that only he possesses. And a really groovy Hawaiian shirt.

Check out the trailer for The Gunman below. The movie drops on March 20, 2015.

Teaser Trailer: The Walk

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If you saw 2008’s masterpiece of documentary filmmaking Man on Wire, you’re likely in one of two camps when it comes to the upcoming Robert Zemeckis film: you’re eager to see such an awesome story adapted into a feature or you’re left wondering what in the hell is the point when we already have the brilliant Oscar-winning documentary.

Despite my initial hesitation, I’m placing myself solely in the former camp. After all, Zemeckis does a hell of a job at taking an idea that sounds on paper like it might not work and making it spectacular (see: Cast Away, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Back to the Future, etc.).

In The Walk, Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play French high-wire artist Philiipe Petit. In true Zemeckis form, the movie is going to utilize the latest technology to re-create the infamous 1974 World Trade Center walk with what will unquestionably be some breathtaking 3D.

The rest of the cast includes Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz, Steve Valentine and Charlotte Le Bon. It hits theaters on October 2nd, 2015.

Trailer: Pan

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There are quite a few fans of Joe Wright here in the third row. Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Hanna – for all his flaws as a storyteller, he sure can shoot a hell of a pretty film. His latest, a origin story for Peter Pan titled simply Pan, looks to be no exception.

Unlike some other recent blockbuster movies capitalizing on already established classic and beloved lore (the dreadful Oz prequel comes to mind or last year’s painful Jack the Giant Slayer from Bryan Singer), Wright’s film looks to have plenty of soul. With a cast that includes Hugh Jackman as an eccentric Blackbeard, Garrett Hedlund as a younger James Hook, and Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, I’m fairly confident that this one will be smash at the box office. Hell, this could be a hell of an unofficial beginning to a trilogy viewing including2003’s decent Peter Pan and Spielberg’s ridiculous, yet still awesome Hook.

Pan drops into theaters on June 26, 2015.

What are your thoughts on the trailer? Simply more mediocrity from the Hollywood machine or does it seem promising?

Trailer: Selma

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2012’s excellent Middle of Nowhere was made on a $200,000 budget and snagged director Ava DuVernay a Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Flash forward two years and with her latest feature Selma, she now she has a bigger budget ($22 million) and bigger star power backing her project (Oprah Winfrey, Brad Pitt) and, who knows, there may even be some more awards in her future.

Selma, fortunately, doesn’t go the traditional biopic route of following a historical figure from birth to death. Instead, as the title suggests, the film focuses on Martin Luther King, Jr. during a three-month stretch in 1965, with a focus on the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, climaxing with the singing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

It looks like DuVernay has lived up to the high expectations of her producers. The film looks stylish, the acting looks superb (a guaranteed Oscar nod for David Oyelowo who, by the looks of the trailer, has nailed the performance), and oh yeah… it’s a really fucking important story in the history of the United States that, upon inspection of the trailer, seems to have really captured the essence of the era.

The rest of the cast includes DCarmen Ejogo, Tim Roth, Lorraine Toussaint, Common, Giovanni Ribisi, Omar Dorsey, Andre Holland, Colman Domingo, Wendell Pierce, Keith Stanfield, Stephan James, Alessandro Nivola, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tom Wilkinson, and Oprah Winfrey. Selma hits theaters on Christmas Day.

Check out the trailer. Leave your thoughts below.

Trailer: The Cobbler

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The upcoming movie The Cobbler sounds like your typical high-concept, low-brow Adam Sandler comedy (think Click or Jack & Jill) until you realize that it’s directed by Thomas McCarthy, best known for the indie darling The Station Agent and the equally captivating The Visitor, which snagged Richard Jenkins an Oscar nomination. McCarthy has a knack for low-key dramas that don’t shy away from the darkly humorous aspects of our life.

So, the run down here: A non-screaming Sandler plays a cobbler who stumbles upon a magical machine that, when used on shoes, let’s Sandler’s character become the owner of the shoe whenever he tries the shoe on.

Yeah, I don’t know either. It’s something like that.

Anyway, the trailer plays up a few cheap laughs, but definitely has the somber (but not cynical) tone we’ve come to know from McCarthy when he’s behind the camera. Will this be more Punch Drunk Love or more Click? More The Station Agent or more Grown Ups? A supporting cast that includes Dustin Hoffman, Steve Buscemi, Dan Stevens, Ellen Barkin, and Method Man inspires a bit of confidence, but the premise? Eh, not so much.

Trailer: Focus

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If it seems like Will Smith has fallen off the face of the earth, well… you wouldn’t be too far off.

Other than an abysmal third Men in Black flick in 2012 and 2013’s After Earth, a vehicle for Smith’s son Jaden, we haven’t seen Will Smith lead a film since his duo of 2008 movies, Seven Pounds and Hancock. Considering it’s almost 2015, that’s a long time to go without Smith’s undeniable charisma gracing the big screen.

Directed by Glenn Ficcarra and John Requa (I Love You Phillip Morris, Bad Santa), Smith’s next film is titled Focus. While the plot itself doesn’t seem particularly original – the smooth-talking conman, the big heist, the femme fatale of questionable motives – I can’t help but be pleased to see Smith doing what he does best: making us wish we were as cool as him.

The movie looks slick and fun and maybe a bit mindless… which is all right by me if Smith can carry it.

Focus has a stateside release date of February 27, 2015.

Trailer: Dear White People (Red Band)

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Back in July, Kurt posted the first trailer for Dear White People, an amusing indie directed by Justin Simien from his own screenplay that was inspired by his own experiences at college. The film won the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at Sundance and still is sitting at a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes after 10 reviews.

The film follows four black students at an Ivy League college as they prepare to deal with an upcoming off-campus party thrown by white students… in which the theme is blatantly mocking aspects of African American culture.

The original trailer for Dear White People was solid. This red band trailer is great. The film is sure to highlight the privilege and less overt 21st century racism of which most of white America is completely oblivious (or unconcerned).

The film hits theaters in a limited run on Oct 17, 2014.

Would you like to know more…?

Trailer: Listen Up Philip

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There has been a void in my life HBO criminally and unexpectedly axed Bored to Death after three seasons. While I could suffer through one of those dreadful criminal investigation shows if I wanted more Ten Danson in my life (I do, but not that badly), Jason Schwartzman has only been popping up here and there, mostly in supporting or bit roles. There has been a seriously lack of Schwartzman in my life.

Later this year though, that changes with. With the release of Listen Up Philip, we get Schwartzman in a starring role as an author named Philip (very clearly based on Philip Roth, though nobody seems to be mentioning this) who tries to balance the publication of his second novel with his girlfriend (played by Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss) and his budding relationship with his idol, a writer named Ike Zimmerman (also clearly based on Philip Roth’s alter ago, Nate Zuckerman) who has offered him a chance to stay at his summer home.

It looks good and interestingly, even has a bit role for Ernest Hemingway’s great granddaughter, Dree Hemingway, perhaps an intentional nod to the film’s literary inspirations.

Check out the trailer below. Listen Up Philip hits theaters stateside on October 17, 2014.

Trailer: The Homesman

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If you never saw Tommy Lee Jones’s 2005 directorial debut The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, do yourself a favor and get a copy of it. If you never watched his follow up feature, an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited (my review), then you’ve missed out on a masterpiece.

Needless to say, I’m eager to watch his next feature, The Homesman, which is his take on a classic western tale. He’ll also be starring in the film alongside Hilary Swank, who plays a woman who recruits Jones’s character to help her escort three mentally unstable women from Nebraska to Iowa.

If the plot doesn’t do much for you, maybe the rest of the cast will: Meryl Streep, Hailee Steinfeld, William Fichtner, James Spader, John Lithgow, Tim Blake Nelson, Miranda Otto, Grace Gummer (Streep’s daughter), and Jesse Plemons round out the cast.

While the film premieres at Cannes back in May, it hits theaters stateside on November 7, 2014.