THIS JUST IN! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – Trailer 2

Apparently the trailer is up already, and by golly does it look epic! And the scene of the fashion-challenged Harry septuplet is in there, too :D

Voldemort’s power is growing stronger. He now has control over the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts. Harry, Ron, and Hermione decide to finish Dumbledore’s work and find the rest of the Horcruxes to defeat the Dark Lord. But little hope remains for them, so everything they do must go as planned.

I’m a relatively new HP fan, and this trailer looks incredibly exciting and making me giddy with anticipation. Voldemort is like the Darth Vader of the new millennium and he doesn’t hold back his desire to finally finish off ‘the boy who lived.’ I get goosebumps every time I hear him hiss, “I’ve seen your heart… and it is mine.”

Though I can hardly wait to watch the conclusion of the series, I’m glad they decided to split this into two parts. The movies are kind of a summary of the books, according to a friend of mine who’ve read them all, so naturally they try to jam pack as much material into a 2-hour feature film. Hopefully they won’t feel so rushed this time, and the series will end on a high note!

The ubiquitous Bill Nighy joins the already awesome ensemble of British cast: Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Nighy, Tom Felton, Michael Gambon and David Thewlis. It’s also amusing to see the trio of young lead actors Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson all grown up now, I mean they all literally grew up on the set of these HP films since it started a decade ago!

What do you think, all? Anybody else as excited as I am to see this one?

Conspicuous trailer of the week: The Fighter

Well, well, well, when it rains it pours I guess. Within hours of each other, the trailers of two of my highly anticipated movies–which opens on the same day on December 10–are released! You’ve probably see The Tourist by now, and now check out this intense boxing drama The Fighter starring Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg:

Back last September, I posted a photo of a skinny Christian Bale on the set of the movie. In this David O. Russell movie, Mark Wahlberg plays the boxer “Irish” Micky Ward and Bale plays his half-brother Dicky Eklund, Ward’s sometime trainer and small-time criminal. It’s a real life ‘Rocky’ story that makes it all the more heart-wrenching. Eklund was featured in the 1995 documentary High on Crack Street and has battled drug addiction for years, hence Bale’s crackhead, balding look.

Now, check out this stark teaser poster. What is wrong with this picture??

Now, before you start analyzing the ‘look’ of the poster, which is meh I agree, but what I’m trying to get at is WHY in the world is Bale the ONLY one without Academy Award Nominee on top of it?! The only thing it would be ok is if it’s got ‘Winner’ instead of ‘Nominee’ as he surely deserved at least a couple for his past work!

Bale the shape shifter

I’ve said before that he’s sort of been playing second fiddle to his co-stars in a lot of movies, and technically he is in this one as Wahlberg got the title role. But second banana no more! Looks like he’ll be the one stealing scenes in this movie. Not knocking Wahlberg as he looks good here, too, I mean this is the type of roles that suits him, intense and brooding, and of course he gets to show off that Calvin Klein buff torso of his. But Bale’s character is the one that grabs me, and talk about a chameleon, WOW! He’s no stranger to altering his look and yo-yoing with his weight drastically, but I’m still amazed by his skin and bones look! Hard to fathom he is Bruce Wayne!! And within a year or so he will once again be the caped crusader, which means he’d have to gain weight all over again. But look altering per se doesn’t make a good actor, but pair that with his formidable acting chops, it’s a force to be reckoned with. I do hope that dedication won’t go unnoticed and that he’ll FINALLY get his dues come award season!

Besides Amy Adams, another Oscar nominee Melissa River (for Frozen River) rounds up the cast. Just a bit of trivia courtesy of IMDb, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt were once attached for this film with Darren Aronofsky to direct, not long after Aronofsky directed the highly-acclaimed The Wrestler. I don’t know about you, but I think I prefer this cast.

The Fighter will open in limited release on December 10th 2010 before opening nationwide a week later. I’m usually not a boxing movie fan, I’m not too good dealing with all that blood, but I’ll make an exception for this one.

So, what say you? Are you excited for this film?

THIS JUST IN: The Tourist trailer

Fresh from the oven! As ET has revealed a few days ago, The Tourist trailer is finally here. It wasn’t available on YouTube earlier, but it is now, so see it below:

This movie is one of my highly-anticipated movies this year, and I’ve blogged extensively a few months ago here.

The plot revolves around Frank Taylor (Johnny Depp), an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. Cara Mason (Angelina Jolie) is an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path and throws him into a whirlwind of intrigue and danger.

As you can clearly see from the trailer, it’s more of a spy thriller/comedy. My pal Vince just watched it minutes after I did and his first reaction was how similar it is to Cary Grant’s North by Northwest. In fact, he said that Depp’s character’s mannerism and behavior almost mimic Grant’s character. Maybe that’s the intention?? It’s possible that the director (The Lives of Others), purposely wants this movie to have the same vibe, who knows. As for Jolie, well, she’s playing the same character she’s known for, nothing new there. She’s almost the same as her character in Wanted (or Lara Croft), just with more dainty clothes.

The trailer looks fine I guess, it’s got the potential to be fun and action-packed, and the two leads have a decent chemistry (I guess it’s not hard with Jolie ;)). BUT, I’m disappointed. WHERE IS Rufus Sewell and Timothy Dalton??? We see Steven Berkoff & Paul Bettany here and there, but Sewell and Dalton are really the major factor why I’m excited for this movie, and they’re NOWHERE to be found in the trailer. Trust me, I’ve even watched VERY closely and even paused the video a few times to make sure I didn’t miss it. But still, no sight of either of them :(

Vince and I theorized that Dalton could be the head honcho of the mobster who’s after Jolie’s character, and Sewell is one of the killers sent to go after her?? I really don’t care what they’re playing at this point, I just want to see them, period! Oh well, my excitement for this movie just went down a few notches. Hopefully the next trailer they’d show those two and maybe then, this movie will be back in my good graces ;)

Well, what do you all think? Will you be seeing this movie come December 10?

Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: Soul Kitchen

I caught a glimpse of Gordon Ramsay’s cooking reality show Master Chef and it inspired me to pick this movie for my weekly trailer post. Soul Kitchen is a German independent ensemble comedy from German-Turkish director Faith Akin.

Here’s a brief description from TIFFreviews.com: From the director of Head-on comes the story of a young restaurant owner Zinos is down on his luck. His girlfriend Nadine has moved to Shanghai, his Soul Kitchen customers are boycotting the new gourmet chef, and he’s having back trouble. Things start looking up when the hip crowd embraces his revamped culinary concept, but that doesn’t mend Zinos’ broken heart. He decides to fly to China for Nadine, leaving the restaurant in the hands of his unreliable ex-con brother Illias.

At the top of the poster, sits the John Lennon quote “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans” in German, and as you can see in the trailer below, it looks like an engaging urban comedy full of quirky people and life’s little eccentricities.

The 37-year-old Akin actually won Special Jury Prize at the Venice Festival last September, and the movie was nominated for the Golden Lion Award. The Huffington Post has much great things to say about the film, “…Soul Kitchen is not a standard Hollywood-type romantic comedy; the story is much grittier, the passions are earthier, and the people are much rougher around the edges.” Kind of what you expect from most foreign films. The reviewer even compared Akin to Hitchcock in terms of how he uses his camera to frame a scene. I’m not familiar with any of the actors, I only notice this guy Moritz Bleibtreu from Munich and Run Lola Run, if you haven’t seen the latter, I highly recommend the excellent thriller.

Soul Kitchen will be screened at this year’s Toronto Film Festival in mid September, but the movie should be available on dvd by the end of August. Speaking of TIFF, the lineup has just been announced recently, so my top-picks post like the one I did last year is forthcoming.

What do you think folks? Any thoughts about this movie?

Upcoming Flix Spotlight » TRON: Legacy

I wish I could be in San Diego this week, ComicCon sounds like a lot of fun, and it’s increasingly becoming as much for movie lovers as comic book fans. One of the most buzzed about upcoming movie this year is Disney’s Tron: Legacy. I’ve become increasingly intrigued by this movie, and the new trailer just shot my excitement up through the roof. Check it out:

As I said in my previous post, this is the sequel to the 1982 sci-fi film Tron, starring a much younger Jeff Bridges. Instead of a dream world a la Inception, this time much of the movie takes place in a digital world created by Bridges character Kevin Flynn, a former premier video-game developer. Flynn’s been missing for 25 years and his estranged son is pulled into the virtual game world as he searches for him, a mesmerizing cyber universe full of neon lights and shiny objects! LOVE that Lightcycle, forget Batpod, I want one of those! According to the Collider, this movie’s broken a record for being present at the conference three years in a row! But this year’s the first time Con-goers are shown actual footage from the film (the previous two years they were presented with only the 2D and 3D test footage, probably to test people’s interest?). The cast and crew were present in the film’s panel Q&A session, including Joseph Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, TRON creator Steven Lisberger, and stars Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen, and the dude himself, Jeff Bridges! I’ve never heard of Kosinski before, but according to this FastCompany article, sounds like he knows what he’s doing despite his lack of filmmaking experience. He apparently has a master in architecture design from Columbia and also founded a Web-design firm where he created short-films made entirely on the computer.

Kosinski directing his cast on set

As for casting, Bridges actually plays the same role twice, well, kind of. When I saw the trailer, there’s a guy who bears an uncanny resemblance to him but looks half his age of 61, and I wondered who the actor is. Well, guess what, Matt Goldberg at Collider is saying that character is actually CGI, “…I don’t want to jump the gun, but from what I saw today, it looks like they’ve cracked the technology to de-age actors digitally.” THR HeatVision also mentioned about the ‘de-aging’ technology, here’s what Bridges himself thought about it: “One of the things that always bothered me as an actor was when you have to play your self at different ages is that you have an other actor playing you. Now that’s no longer the case. You can play yourself at any age. To be in this groundbreaking movie, where it’s done for the first time, is cool.”

I’m not sure the story will be a compelling one, but visually speaking I’m hooked. I was practically ooh-aah-ing as I’m watching this trailer, like a fly mesmerized by bright lights :D Now this is one that’s meant to be seen in 3D come December 17th.

How about you, is this one in your must-see list?

Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: The Debt

Seems like every trailer I’ve posted has Helen Mirren in it, the dame is one versatile actress! But this movie’s actually been on my radar for a while, but then the whole Disney vs. Miramax debacle threatened to send this straight to dvd. So I was tickled pink when I saw the trailer and the release date listed on IMDb is August 11 (US release). The trailer looks pretty intense, and so is the plot:

In 1965, three young Israeli Mossad agents on a secret mission capture and kill a notorious Nazi war criminal. Now, thirty years later, a man claiming to be the Nazi has surfaced in the Ukraine and one of the former agents must go back undercover to seek out the truth. (IMDb plot summary)

This has a Munich vibe to it, the Steven Spielberg movie about the aftermath of what’s called Black September of 1972, when 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at the Munich Olympics. Well, that one starred one of my fave actors from Down Under Eric Bana, and now we’ve got another Aussie Sam Worthington in the lead. We’ll see if he can hold his own against thespians like Mirren, Tom Wilkinson and Ciaran Hinds. As I said in my post yesterday, I’d love to see more of his dramatic side. Getthebigpicture.net thinks this is more of a Helen Mirren vehicle though, she plays Rachel Singer, an ex-Mossad agent in charge of tracking down the Nazi war criminal known as The Surgeon of Birkenau, whom everyone thought was dead but suddenly turned up in Ukraine. Jesper Christensen (Mr. White in Casino Royale) plays the hunted criminal, Jessica Chastain (who’s been doing mostly TV work) plays Mirren’s character’s younger self, while the older character of Worthington is played by Hinds. Huh? I don’t see any resemblance at all between these two, but whatever.

The movie is directed by John Madden (Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown; Shakespeare in Love), with Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn (who penned the script for Kick-Ass) as two of the team of writers. I wonder how complex is the story that it needs five writers? Well at least the trailer keeps it under wraps enough and didn’t reveal way too much.

What do you think folks, would you see this one?

Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: RANGO

A bug-eyed green lizard wearing a red Hawaiian shirt is bound to be um, conspicuous looking. Especially when the words JOHNNY DEPP is emblazoned above it. One commenter suggested in youtube, the shirt seems to be an homage to his role in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. The Kentucky-born mega star is no stranger to doing VO work for animated feature (his last major VO work was for Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride). This time he plays a chameleon with an identity crisis. Ha! That alone sounds amusing. The plot per IMDb:

A chameleon that aspires to be a swashbuckling hero finds himself in a Western town plagued by bandits and is forced to literally play the role in order to protect it.

The chameleon-like actor is definitely a fitting choice to ‘play’ a chameleon. He re-teams with his Pirates of the Carribean‘s director, Gore Verbinski, and is surrounded by an eclectic cast: Bill Nighy, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ray Winstone, Ned Beatty, Harry Dean Stanton, and Alfred Molina. Acclaimed screenwriter John Logan, who’s also just recently wrapped Coriolanus co-wrote the script.

According to EW’s Popwatch, Verbinski also used a novelty process of ‘shooting’ a CG-animated feature. So instead of having the actors ‘act out’ their lines in a recording studio, the director had the entire cast gather in a studio stage during the course of the 20-day shoot. They even use a limited amount of props, sets and costumes, and video cameras recorded their performances as they performed their scenes. “It’s not motion capture — we call it emotion-capture,” says Verbinski. “I didn’t want to give up the techniques that were developed in shooting live action, where you try to optimize the possibility of capturing the awkward moment — the moment where things aren’t cerebral or manufactured.” The animation itself is done by George Lucas’ Industrial Light Magic (ILM), which also supplied the CGI effects for the Pirates movies.

Anyway, I think the trailer looks funny. Weird of course, but hey, it’s Johnny Depp’s, peculiarity is his specialty. I LOVE the scene where the big rock creature tells Rango “try not to look conspicuous” in the vast Mojave desert, and the dazed & confused lizard pretends to be a cactus with all the cactus needles sticking out of him.

I’m up for this one. Too bad it won’t be released until next year: March 4, 2011.

Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: RED

I normally post this on a Friday, but you know what, I can’t wait for y’all to see it (if you haven’t already). Whaddayaknow, another flick about spies? Seems like this is an endless recurring theme, but it’s not like Hollywood to pump out a working formula until there’s nothing left. But with a cast of Helen Mirren, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Brian Cox, and John Malkovich, I’m so there!

I first heard about this movie back in January when it was reported that Willis and Mirren are playing former black ops agent who discovers that a group of younger, better-equipped assassins are out to off them both. Now we’ve got the official plot:

RED tells the story of Frank Moses (Willis), a former CIA assassin who has been doing nothing in an attempt to fit into the very real, very boring world that lurked beyond his days at the Agency. That is until his painfully peaceful retirement is interrupted by an Agency hit squad. With a target on his back and everyone he ever cared about in danger, Frank must take to the road and fight back against the Company that made him what he is. (FilmSchoolRejects)

The trailer also reveal that Mary Louise-Parker and Karl Urban are on board as well. Man, these are some real thespians we’re talking about here, but looks like they’re having fun playing these bad-ass roles. Dame Helen goes from a Martha Stewart-like persona who makes tea and floral arrangements to drilling holes into a bunch of cars with her huge machine gun, and Willis pretty much reprises his wisecracking tough guy John McClane role which he can do in his sleep by now. Morgan Freeman proves he’s got comedic chops in stuff like The Bucket List and Maiden Heist, so I always welcome his wacky side. And who can play an endearing loony better than John Malkovich? He’s kinda scary-looking anyway even without a bomb strapped to his chest!

FSR posted an in-depth comparison between the comic and this movie, which basically says that while the DC comic it’s based on is dark and violent, the tone of the movie is much lighter. It’s definitely in the action/comedy genre, pretty much like The A-Team. The movie will also expand the focus from solely on Frank (or Paul in the comic) to include Freeman’s, Mirren’s and Malkovich’s characters.

The movie opens October 15. Well, who says Fall movies are supposed to be ‘quieter’ than Summer flicks? Just because they’ve got their AARP cards doesn’t mean they can’t have some fun, right? And DC must be hoping it would amend the abominable failure that was Jonah Hex!

Conspicuous Trailers of the Week: Animal Kingdom + Adjustment Bureau

I’m playing catch-up with the latest trailers after weeks of not posting a single one. So here are a couple that piqued my interest (oddly enough, both names starts with the first letter of the alphabet):

Animal Kingdom

Parents better not be confusing this with a Disney flick or any other animated feature with cute, cuddly animals. In fact, there’s nothing cuddly about this Jury Prize winner from Sundance. It’s a gripping gangster flick set in the underworld of Melbourne, Australia. It centers on a seventeen year-old J (Josh) as he navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him. The always terrific Guy Pearce plays the detective amongst a cast of mostly unknowns (to us in the US anyway).

I was startled, and puzzled, when the cheesy 80s Air Supply song comes on. Boy, I remember my brother playing All Out of Love over and over again in his car to my deafening ear. It’s so bizarre, but maybe that’s the point? CinemaBlend says “… its use in the film is perfect and spooky” and “… in one of the most awkward of places… it gets stuck in your head after watching the film” says GeekTyrant. Hmm, I’m even more intrigued now. Kinda reminds me of Somewhere over the Rainbow playing in contrast to the brutal gunfight scene in Face/Off, I always think of that scene every time that song comes on ever since.

A lot of the stuff I’ve read about this film seems to echo the blurb written in the Sundance site:
Wielding a formidable cinematic lexicon, writer/director David Michôd shows complete command of every frame as he shifts between simmering intensity and gut-wrenching drama. There isn’t a false note in the film as it follows through on the tantalizing promise displayed in his short films and unleashes a fierce new voice in Australian cinema.

The movie is released in the US August 13th.

Adjustment Bureau

An affair between a politician and a ballerina is affected by “mysterious forces” keeping the lovers apart.

Cast: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Terrence Stamp

Based on a Philip K. Dick‘s short story Adjustment Team, this movie is a directorial debut of screenwriter George Nolfi, whose work include Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly and Minority Report. It’s a familiar, tried-and-true story – heh, what isn’t in Hollywood these days – but at least it’s one I’m tend to be drawn into. It reminds me a bit of the Rufus Sewell movie Dark City and Christian Bale’s Equilibrium which deal with an authoritarian government/elite group run amok and the heroes must fight for their freedom.

As for the cast, Damon is quickly growing on me. I haven’t seen him as a romantic leading man very often though, but I think he can pull off the tough-guy-with-heart quite well. I’m a big fan of Emily Blunt and the chemistry looks pretty convincing between these two, which is crucial in the plot as Damon’s character risks everything to be with her. And the cold stare of General Zod (whom Mr. Stamp will always be to me) is pretty much synonymous with ‘sinister villain.’

The movie’s release has been pushed back to September 17 (from the Blockbuster calendar of July 30), which means it’ll open the same day as his best buddy Ben Affleck’s crime thriller The Town (which is one of FC’s most anticipated flicks of this year).

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So folks, does either one of these flicks appeal to you?

Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: The Switch

I first heard about this flick when I blogged about Jason Bateman last September when it was still called The Baster. Yeah, no doubt they went with a ‘safer’ title though it sounds so generic now (there are eight other movies with that exact title on IMDb!).
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The plot: An unmarried 40-year-old woman (Kassie) turns to a turkey baster in order to become pregnant. Seven years later, she reunites with her best friend (Wally), who has been living with a secret: he replaced her preferred sperm sample with his own.
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Hmmm, is it just me or this could very well be Jen’s own life story? It’s a terrible thing to say I know, but then again she looks like she’s playing herself here (what else is new). What is it about Jen that she keeps snatching my fave leading men: Clive Owen (
Derailed), Gerry Butler (The Bounty Hunter out tomorrow) and now Bateman. But you know what, the trailer made me laugh, mostly because of Bateman though, who’s probably the saving grace of the movie. In fact it looks more like his movie than Aniston’s.
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The most amusing scenes are between Wally and Kassie’s cute munchkin (Thomas Robinson) who bears an uncanny resemblance to him – and perhaps share his neurotic problems. And check out the supporting cast: Jeff Goldblum (in a Judy Greer-type role as the ‘best friend’), Juliette Lewis, and Patrick Wilson.
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The Switch
is released in theaters on August 20th. What do you think folks? Does this appeal to you in any way, shape or form?