Thursday, March 28, 2013


A second trailer for "Star Trek Into Darkness" arrived earlier this month giving us more glimpses of Benedict Cumberbatch in the still unconfirmed (though rumored to be Kahn) villain role. This one's going to be big flick. I just hope to partially understand what all is going down on May 17th.

A word of caution for the first trailer of "Kick Ass 2," firstly, it has some significant spoilers of the first film, secondly, it's a red band trailer (apparently only so they can get a couple F-words in there). Kick Ass and Hit Girl join forces with more costume-donning crime-fighting citizens including Stars and Stripes, an unrecognizable Jim Carrey - and not just because of his mask. The face off against Red Mist with a worthy gang of his own all while our hero struggles through high school. Even though it's a different and much lesser known director (Jeff Wadlow, whose "Cry_Wolf" is worth checking out) it looks like a faithful sequel. "Kick Ass 2" jazzes up this summer, arriving on August 16th.

The first full trailer for "Despicable Me 2" has arrived. Remember that "Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-na-na" teaser we got nearly a year ago?  Steve Carrell is reprising his role as Gru, a hapless super villain who (spoiler alert!) let three orphaned girls steal his heart in the first movie. Other adult roles are voiced by Kristin Wiig, Al Pacino, Steve Coogan and Jason Segal and Russell Brand (who previously lent his voice in "Hop," a previous film from Illumination Entertainment). Gru and a couple of the iconic minions are kidnapped by the Anti-Villain Agency who wants to know how villains think and act in hopes to catch a new rival. Interesting use of Eminem's "Without Me" in this trailer, but somehow it fits the juvenile delinquency of the minions. Set your lipstick phasers to stun come July 3, 2013.

The trailer for "White House Down" promises to remove the bad taste left in our mouths from "Olympus Has Fallen." Strange how similar ideas always seem to arrive in pairs, though perhaps it isn't strange at all and is just the nature of a competitive industry. In "White House Down" Channing Tatum plays John Cale, a police officer on a tour of the White House who must protect his son and his President (played by Jamie Foxx) from paramilitary invaders. It's more "Die Hard"-esque than even "Olympus Has Fallen" struggled so desperately to be. Also, the visuals (including Washington D.C. itself) look refreshingly well conceived. It's back to the 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. on June 18th.

While significantly overshadowed by the likes of "Iron Man 3" and "Man of Steel" comic book fans lest not forget this summer also brings "The Wolverine." Hugh Jackman reprises his role as the blade-handed force last scene in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," not to be confused with the way Jean Valjean looked in the last scene from "Les Miserables." Logan/Wolverine winds up in modern-day Japan (which looks distinctively like Old Japan) where deception and violence ensue. Will you be seeing this one on July 26th?

Jason Statham is on the run with a nun in "Hummingbird." He's ex-special forces (of course he is!) and assumes the roles of another man to infiltrate the London underground in order to avenge _____. Steven Knight who wrote "Eastern Promises," "Dirty Pretty Things," and "Amazing Grace" (?!) sits in the director seat for his first feature film. All I ask is that this is better than the last Statham vehicle, "Parker," which should not be the least bit difficult. We actually get to see Statham with long hair, an unsettling sight, before he cuts it. No release date for the U.S. yet.

We now have a full trailer for "Turbo" that explains how a snail with speedy aspirations got zapped by nitros and is now the swiftest bug around. Dreamworks Animation is on a roll, even stepping up to Pixar levels as of late with "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Kung Fu Panda 2," but the characters and subject matter of "Turbo" just aren't as compelling to me. Still, it looks entertaining enough. Put the pedal to the snail on July 17th!

Writer/director Noah Baumbach returns with "Frances Ha." The result is "Girls" by way of "Manhattan" as seen from a unique view of life that only Baumbach offers (have you seen "The Squid and the Whale" yet?).  Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote the script, takes a turn as the leading lady. She's a New Yorker who doesn't have her own apartment and works at a dance company... but doesn't dance. Go figure. I never tire of black and white photography done well and the story looks strangely deadpan enough to be a riot. The film gets a limited release in the states on May 17th.

Hold on to your shotgun Annie, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


"We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" has an incredibly low rating on IMDb, which can only mean some people (who likely haven't even seen the film) are not pleased with its depiction of the controversial website and its ringleader, Julian Assange. This documentary comes from Alex Gibney who has previously granted us access to people and places in "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" and "Taxi to the Dark Side." Gibney's latest arrives in select theaters of May 24th.


Luciano tries out for the Italian version of "Big Brother" at the request of his children and inadvertently becomes infatuated with the idea of the reality show and paranoid of his own identity. "Reality" strikes at an ever-present idea of what, if anything, is real on television and the implications it has on our world outlook and relationships with others - all while being a complete acceptance of lunacy. "Reality" is currently playing in select cities.

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