Synopsis: When a structural-security authority finds himself incarcerated in a prison he designed, he has to put his skills to escape and find out who framed him. (Courtesy IMDB)
Writer: Miles Chapman
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vincent D’Onofrio
So the Expendables sort of continues with the arguably it`s two biggest stars sharing screen time. A lot of studios would have killed for this combo two decades ago when they were at the height of their box office prowess, but I guess better late than never. Also, all the men in tights have relegated most straight action flicks to pre or post summer as these what could now best be described as B action films don`t have the drawing power to command the big audiences anymore.
The counter to the above is that now I look forward to these B action films as if done well they can represent a very fond era of my movie going years, particularly the 80`s when Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Commando, First Blood, Terminator, Robocop and Predator ruled the roost.
Escape Plan, formally known as The Tomb, which is a much more interesting name than the generic Escape Plan, does not look like anything special however and is more about its two aged action stars more than the story itself. It’s the promise rather than the premise that this movie relies on. The older they get, the less believable they are in these roles, and if it was not for them, this movie may not have been on my radar. Stallone and Schwarzenegger turn 67 and 68 respectively this year, so they are as long toothed as they can be in these action roles. Plus who really believes Stallone does not have grey hair by now.
The premise is set up pretty well but it also reveals the double cross by Sly Stallone’s employers so hopefully there is a good third act where the action is a great pay off.
The trailer is a solid, if not predictable one, and a glimpse of rapper 50 Cent in a non-gangster role are the types of things I like to see. Also, Vincent D’Onofrio is always good in anything that he does.
Trailer Score: 7 Pucks out of 10. Agree? Disagree? Comment here. http://goodpuckingmovie.com/Guestbook.php
White House Down Trailer Review. Opens June 28th.
Synopsis: Capitol Policeman John Cale has just been denied his dream job with the Secret Service of protecting President James Sawyer. Not wanting to let down his little girl with the news, he takes her on a tour of the White House, when the complex is overtaken by a heavily armed paramilitary group. Now, with the nation's government falling into chaos and time running out, it's up to Cale to save the president, his daughter, and the country. (Courtesy IMDB)
Director: Roland Emmerich: Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012.
Writer: James Vanderbilt: The Rundown, Zodiac, The Amazing Spider Man
Stars: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods
So the director who is arguably the best at destroying the world now sets his target on the White House. The Tea Party would be proud. (Just kidding.)
White House Down is the 2nd of the two White House takeover movies this year, the 1st being Olympus Has Fallen with Gerald Butler and Aaron Eckhart in the roles now being played by Tatum and Foxx. So the challenge here is to differentiate from Olympus and this trailer successfully does that as it gives you a great teaser that there is more to this than some guy just trying to take over 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue. And that’s what a trailer is supposed to do, tease, not give away the whole farm.
It’s Roland Emmerich so we know he does explosions better than anybody, but this is effectively his version of Die Hard with Tatum being the perennial ordinary guy caught in a bad situation who has to struggle against great odds to make it out alive. Die Hard was a movie that inspires movies to this day on how to structure a great action flick, and not many have come close to replicating its greatness.
I am looking forward to this however as I am interested in the hint at something larger and the appearance of James Woods who is always a shadowy figure. The action looks well done and I guess the one minor flaw is that Jamie Foxx does not look presidential, but I guess Dennis Haysbert already covered that ground in the TV series 24.
Trailer Score: 8 Pucks out of 10. Agree? Disagree? Post your comments here. http://goodpuckingmovie.com/Guestbook.php
The Heat Red Band Trailer Review: Opens June 28th.
Synopsis: Uptight FBI special agent Sarah Ashburn is paired with testy Boston cop Shannon Mullins in order to take down a ruthless drug lord. The hitch: neither woman has ever had a partner -- or a friend for that matter. (Courtesy IMDB)
Director: Paul Feig: Bridesmaids, The Office (TV), Nurse Jackie (TV)
Writer: Kate Dippold: Parks & Recreation (TV), MadTV (TV)
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy
With all the superhero action this summer, there is little in the way of female driven fare to balance out all that testosterone. So what we have here is a heartwarming tale of female empowerment set against the backdrop of the racially divided 60’s era....sorry wrong female empowerment movie. This type of empowerment is about proving that you can be as raucous and abusive as the guys as we take two very likeable actresses and give them the 48 Hours body cop treatment.
McCarthy is on a hot streak right now since ger successful Mike & Molly series has afforded her the visibility to land some plum and Academy Award nominated roles in Bridesmaids, and this years surprisingly successful Identity Thief. She was also in a very small but memorable role in Hangover 3. Bullock is always near or at the top of the list of America’s favorite actress so she can bring them in.
The strength of this trailer however lies with McCarthy, as she’s the one bringing the intensity and comedic weight (no pun intended) to this movie. Her character, much like the ones she has played in Bridesmaids and Identity Thief seems capable of doing anything and the others are just along for the ride. The trailer is not selling the crime story or any discernible plot, but is totally reliant on the personality clashes between its two main stars to rope you in.
There are some funny beats and based upon the talents of the Director and Writer, comedy is what they do best. I do hope however, that like 48 Hours, the action is realistic. If the world in which you place your comedy isn’t believable, then it all falls apart.
Trailer Score 7.5 Pucks out of 10. Agree? Disagree? Comment here. http://goodpuckingmovie.com/Guestbook.php
Captain Phillips Trailer Review: Opens October 11th.
Synopsis: The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years. (Courtesy IMDB)
Director: Paul Greengrass: The Bourne Supremacy/Ultimatum, United 93, Green Zone
Screenplay: Billy Ray: Flightplan, State of Play, The Hunger Games. (Based on the book ‘A Captain’s Duty by Cpt Richard Phillips)
Stars; Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener,
Tom Hanks has long been arguably one of the most consistently great actors for the past three decades. His roles are diverse and never boring, so any project he’s in would have my interest. What is interesting about this movie is the directorial choice in Paul Greengrass who helmed what I thought was a very solid effort and controversial subject matter in United 93, the movie which gave a mostly true to life account of the events aboard the hijacked flight that was presumed destined for the White House but brought down by the heroic efforts of the passengers, tragically killing everyone on board. So similar story, different vessel, and this time with a major actor on board.
The trailer does an effective job of catching your attention without over selling it. It just lets the events play out and trusts that you will get the gravity of the situation as it unfolds, from the moment those on board realize something may not be right, through the time they recognize that they may be on their own and water hoses are their only recommended line of defense against automatic weapons, to being actually boarded by what is realistically one of the greatest fears of a seaman’s life, pirates. And not the Johnny Depp variety.
I like the trailer and the talent involved so I’ll be there come October.
Trailer Score 8.5 Pucks out of 10.
Riddick Trailer Review: Opens September 6th.
Synopsis: Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, Riddick finds himself up against an alien race of predators. Activating an emergency beacon alerts two ships: one carrying a new breed of mercenary, the other captained by a man from Riddick's past. (Courtesy IMDB)
Director: David Twohy: The Arrival, Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick
Writer: David Twohy
Stars: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban
After the box office disappointment that was The Chronicles of Riddick, it seems the creators are getting back to something more akin to the original Pitch Black, that was a small budgeted movie that relied more on it’s creepy creatures than fisticuffs. You have to admire the makers for trying to go in a different direction with the series, but I think it was too much of a departure from why people liked Pitch Black in the first place.
That being said, this trailer looks like a virtual carbon copy of the original Pitch Black, pitting an unwanted Riddick among a band of space travellers and they happen to encounter creatures that Riddick, due to special eyes, can provide some much needed able bodied assistance.
The creatures seem larger and more menacing this time around
I’m surprised that the trailer did not feature Karl Urban who is listed among the actors, and has a fan base all his own. And since it seems that Urban’s character may be the one chasing him through space, it could be like a Fast & Furious 5, just swap the Rock for Urban and change the earthbound setting to a more outer worldly location.
This trailer will not bring in any new fans in my opinion, but those who liked the original Pitch Black, may welcome the attempt to get back to the well liked original.
Trailer Score: 7 Pucks out of 10. Agree? Disagree? Post your comments here. http://goodpuckingmovie.com/Guestbook.php
The Wolf of Wall Street Trailer Review. Opens November 15th.
Synopsis: A New York stockbroker refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street, corporate banking world and mob infiltration. (Courtesy IMDB)
Director: Martin Scorsese: Hugo, The Departed, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York
Screenplay: Terence Winter: Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire.
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Favreau.
So this is now five collaborations between Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese. The others start from Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006), and Shutter Island (2010). So these two artists work very well with each other.
This trailer is crazy, frenetic, hyperkinetic, confused, disjointed, has Jonah Hill, and contains so many shots of every man child’s wet dreams that if it wasn’t Martin Scorsese, you’d say this looks like some young director with too much money to spend who needs to be reined in. But it’s Martin friggin Scorsese, so this trailer only gives brief glimpses of what is surely the darker underbelly of all this excess, and what may be the tragic resolution to all this Wall Street greed.
Scorsese is just too good a director and such a master craftsman and filling every inch of the screen with gritty realism and gripping characters, that even in probably his only movie that my kids can watch, Hugo, he does such great psychological profiles of his characters and such rich stories that on any canvas that he chooses to paint, the colors are almost always truly spectacular.
This is one of those trailers that I believe is leading you in another direction from what the movie will eventually take, and for that I applaud them. It lets you have faith that with the players involved, you are in for an original movie by a master filmmaker working with his favorite muse. Sign me up.
Trailer Score 8 Pucks out of 10. Agree? Disagree? Comment here. http://goodpuckingmovie.com/Guestbook.php
Synopsis: 70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion. (Courtesy IMDB)
Director: Gavin Hood : X Men Origins, Wolverine.
Writers: Gavin Hood (screenplay)
Ender’s Game continues the long line of studio attempts to launch franchises as lucrative as Harry Potter and Twilight, that appeal to this new generation of young book readers who rabidly consume things that they find cool and entertaining. Among the other attempts were Percy Jackson and the Olympians, with a sequel out in a few months, and two recent box office bombs of 2013, The Host and Beautiful Creatures.
Ender’s Game can make an impressive boasts that few other films can, five Academy Award nominated actors including one winner in the form of Ben Kingsley. The others are Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfield (True Grit), Viola Davis (The Help), and Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine). Asa Butterfield you will know from the under seen but critically acclaimed Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese. So there is no doubt that the acting bench goes pretty deep on this one.
The trailer reminds me a lot of the new Tron, which for some might be a bad thing, but I liked the new Tron, mainly because while I also really liked the old Tron, I remembered that it was an entertaining little flick that was not the next coming of Star Wars as some Tron cult members would have you believe. Ender’s Game, as far as the trailer goes, reveals little about the actual story and more showcases the talent in front of the camera, touting their Oscar achievements, and inserts what they hope would be cool sfx to draw you in. Exactly why these teenagers are the best hope our planet has is not revealed so that’s a good thing,
If this kind of thing is your cup of tea, then so be it. If not, this trailer will not do much to rope in any on the fence potential viewers who may not necessarily be in the target demo. There are so many great sfx movies these days, so seeing a planet explode now is no longer a new thing. (Remember when seeing it in Star Wars was a big deal?)
Trailer Score 7 Pucks out of 10. Agree? Disagree? Comment here. http://goodpuckingmovie.com/Guestbook.php
Paranoia Trailer Review : Opens August 16th
Synopsis: An entry-level employee at a powerful corporation finds himself occupying a corner office, but at a dangerous price: he must spy on his boss's old mentor to secure for him a multi-billion dollar advantage. (Courtesy IMDB)
Director: Robert Luketic: Killers, 21, The Ugly Truth, Legally Blonde
Writers: Barry Levy: Vantage Point
Remember the days when a movie starring Harrison Ford would be a major event? Now with all the event movies and super CGI’d visual spectacles, movies like this are not able to get much of the spotlight.
Liam Hemsworth is certainly as easy on the eyes as his brother Chris, otherwise known as Thor, and looks the part of an up and comer who can bed the ladies while being protégé and earning the trust of two powerful men. As a person who loves actors, seeing Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman together onscreen and going at each other is a treat. I hope Ford receives a Oscar nod for his role in the baseball drama 42 earlier this year. Also, seeing Richard Dreyfuss is also good. An actor who always brings a lot of animation to the smallest of roles.
This film looks slick, beautifully shot to accentuate the movie star looks of its younger stars, and to showcase its powerhouse actors. The trailer takes you from Hemsworth’s humble beginnings and lays out the story, which is also part of the problem, in that I think it gives away a bit too much. Some of the scenes in the end of the trailer looks like it shows the third act of the movie and how it all comes to a climactic showdown. Now we expect it, but if you show it in the trailer, then you are not leaving much for me to wonder about. An effective trailer is supposed to tease you just enough so that it sets up the mystery, not reveal how it all goes down.
So all in all, looks like a good movie, but the trailer gives away too much.
Trailer Score: 6.5 Pucks out of 10. Agree? Disagree? Comment here. http://goodpuckingmovie.com/Guestbook.php
Synopsis: Astronauts attempt to return to earth after debris crashes into their space shuttle, leaving them drifting alone in space. (Courtesy IMDB)
Director & Writer: Alfonso Cuaron: Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men
Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney.
Houston we have a problem. And that problem is that every space station movie has to live up to Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks. Apollo 13 effectively captured the danger of work in outer space presents, the absence of gravity, the absence of oxygen, the absence of almost everything that we depend on for our very survival. And if you’re claustrophobic, well it won’t be a picnic to be out there.
I don’t know whether further updates will be made to the IMDB listing but thus far it has four characters in Gravity, which to me means they are going for a smaller and more intimate story than Apollo 13 which seemed to have a cast of hundreds. It raises the question of what are you to do if you find yourself drifting aimlessly into outer space, and Alfonso Cuaron has crafted one of the best Harry Potter movies of the franchise and what he achieved with Children of Men on a small budget was nothing short of impressive. It was one of the best sounding movies I have ever heard. So I am looking forward to the technical aspects of this movie.
The trailer does a good job of setting up the simple premise and for some reason is not selling it on the faces of its two major and very popular stars, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. In fact you barely see their faces, except for behind their space helmets, so they are selling concept big time here.
Many people bemoan the dearth of original movies as superhero and sequel movies seem to be encompassing the movie landscape, but I beg to differ. Over the summer we have had Now You See Me, After Earth, The Purge, and soon to be added are Elysium, Pacific Rim, World War Z, Captain Phillips, and Gravity. Granted they won’t all be hits or won’t all be great, but original movies are there if you look for them.
Trailer Score: 7.5 Pucks out of 10. Agree? Disagree? Comment here. http://goodpuckingmovie.com/Guestbook.php
Synopsis: Set in the year 2154, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, a man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds. (Courtesy IMDB)
Director & Writer: Neil Blomkamp: District 9
Main Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley
Neil Blomkamp’s District 9 was one of my Top 10 movies for 2009. It was a truly original piece of sci fi that looked unlike anything we had ever seen before. What I like about Elysium is that it looks a little like District 9 but is a completely different story, that addresses completely different themes.
It seems one of Blomkamp’s many strengths is tackling big issues in a non-preachy and entertaining way. While others saw District 9 as a simple sci fi flick, many others viewed it as a commentary on race and the ghettoizing of blacks in South Africa. Now this one, walks the same path, seeming to address the economic paradigm of the haves and have nots, the haves being the ones with access to health and happiness and the underprivileged having to fight for scraps and eke out a survival.
Whether you are in for the message or just for the spectacle these two trailers deliver in tone, style and substance. Matt Damon is always an actor that you easily root for and with his action background, looks the part of an everyman thrust into an extraordinary situation.
It’s always a pleasure to see Jodie Foster on the screen as she brings a gravitas to everything she does, and Sharlto Copley appears to be playing The Heavy here, and that should be quite a turn from his off kilter, somewhat comedic turns. (He was great as Murdock in The A Team)
Blomkamp is reaping the rewards of directing a small budget film and getting huge results so he had been handed more money and a bigger playground this time, and it shows as the scope is grander in scale. But he seems to have avoided the curse of putting effects first and story second here as Elysium looks to be a well structured romp that delivers on story and action with players who are very competent at what they do. Or at least that’s the impression I get from the trailers. Sign me up.
Trailer Review: Both trailers 8 Pucks out of 10. Agree? Disagree? Comment here. http://goodpuckingmovie.com/Guestbook.php
Director: Peter Jackson
Synopsis: The Dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf have successfully escaped the Misty Mountains, and Bilbo has gained the One Ring. They all continue their journey to get their gold back from the Dragon, Smaug. (Courtesy IMDB)
It’s weird thing when someone who feels that one of the greatest trilogies of all time is the Rings trilogy, and then when The Hobbit proved to be a bit less than it’s predecessors, to not be all that jazzed at the trailer.
Admittedly, I loved being back in middle earth and while I think The Hobbit was a bit long winded in quite a few parts, for the most part, I’d watch it again. Yes I’m a sucker.
This trailer pumps up the action beats and showcases the return of Orlando Bloom and a new character that was not in the books, Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly, most famous for the TV series Lost, but you could swear that she is a carbon copy of Liv Tyler. ( I wonder if that was on purpose?)
You can’t help but get swept up in Peter Jackson’s visuals. This too long a trailer to be still called a “teaser” pretty much sells the scope and pace of the second installment while effectively introducing new and returning characters to pique our interest. A well cut trailer with a tease of Smaug at the end for good measure. One negative, I think the effects are of course not done yet as Orlando Bloom’s face looks funny. It may be from the process of digitally making him appear younger, but if it ain’t ready don’t show it.
Trailer Score: 7.5 Pucks out of 10.
The premise of this movie reminds me of a lot of other movies. Nick of Time with Johnny Depp, Speed with Keanu Reeves, Eagle Eye with Shia LaBeouf, and a touch of Drive with Ryan Gosling. Ethan Hawke seems to be on a bit of a hot streak with surprise summer hit The Purge (click link for review) http://goodpuckingmovie.com/Page_2.html and indie darling Before Midnight.
Selena Gomez is a non entity to me and I only know her because of my daughters, and she seems a bit young and freshed faced for this character so her look does not really work for me. And neither does Ethan Hawke as a race car driver, so when the two principles don’t seem to look like the characters they are playing, well then the trailer does not really work.
Now we have seen this premise before, so it would be interesting to see if they can add anything new to it.
On the plus side, the driving and stunts do look good and while one can’t expect Ronin type car chase scenes you at least hope that the main hook of the movie delivers. If a comedy fails to make you laugh, it’s a failure. If a car chase movie fails to have you clinging to the edge of your seat waiting for your air bags to deploy, it’s missed it’s mark.
Trailer Score: 6 Pucks out of 10. Leave your comments at http://goodpuckingmovie.com/Guestbook.php
Runner Runner stars Ben Afleck as the heavy and Justin Timberlake as the protégé in what looks to be a solid piece of entertainment this fall.
Affleck has certainly become the toast of Hollywood recently with very successful directorial efforts, and they reached the pinnacle earlier this way with a Oscar win for Best Picture for Argo. No acting nod though so it’s pretty well established that we seem to prefer him behind the camera than in front of it, and his role in Runner Runner appears to be a talent for hire one as he neither wrote nor directed it.
I will say the chemistry between Affleck and Timberlake appears to be very good, and the latter has been proving himself as a capable actor. Affleck does not play the heavy very often, but this character looks like what would happen to the character he played in Boiler Room, if that character went criminal. The location also looks great, and the trailer is well paced and lays out the arch of the story nicely.
One downside is that sometimes these computer based rip off movies devolve into the audience staring at actors who are staring at computer screens for a long time, but this one seems to have the action element too with the always enjoyable Anthony Mackie along for the ride. (Pain & Gain notwithstanding.)
Interesting tidbit, Brian Koppleman, writer of Oceans 13 and Rounders, seem to be combining the two movies here, so he’s on familiar ground with this type of territory.
It definitely has my interest.
7.5 Pucks out of 10. How much pucks do you think this deserves? http://goodpuckingmovie.com/Guestbook.php