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Trailer Tracker: Limitless, The Tree of Life and more

Our featured clip this week is Limitless featuring the diversely matched talents of rising star (and as my female friends constantly remind me “hot”) Bradley Cooper and veteran thespian Robert De Niro. The trailer for the immediate (and grossly premature) “Oscar contender” for next years awards The Tree of Life also debuts and considering the talent behind and in front of the camera, the buzz is hard to dismiss. Rounding out this week’s five is the animated film Rango boasting the voice styling’s of Johnny Depp, Water for Elephants, finding “Twilight” hunk Robert Pattison again branching out into dramatic territory and finally the rom-com Take Me Home Tonight starring That 70’s Show’s Topher Grace. Groovy,

 

New Trailers This Week:

Limitless
The Tree of Life
Rango
Water for Elephants
Take Me Home Tonight

 

Limitless

Based on the best selling novel The Dark Fields, Limitless finds a struggling novelist (Bradley Cooper) becoming privy (and addicted to) a drug that unleashes the full power of the human mind. Rocketing to the heights of fortune and playboy-ism, he finds some powers-to-be are less than thrilled by his newfound god-like skills. Judging by the premise alone, this thriller will undoubtedly offer some mind-bending twists, which is why director Neil Burger seems like a fitting choice having helmed 2006’s hit period-piece The Illusionist.

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Robert De Niro joins Cooper as the shady head of some sort of powerful organization, though not having yet read the novel I will be unable to get into specifics. Shia LaBeouf was originally cast but had to drop out after his car accident around the time of filming Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, where he badly injured his arm. Now with Cooper in the lead and set for a March 18 release, dishing up some supporting star power, a fiery and enticing trailer and all on a modest budget, I see no reason why this could not turn into an early year hit. 



The Tree of Life

Writer Kurt Vonnegut recently divided filmmakers into two categories: swoopers and bashers, with the former being indicative of auteurs like Woody Allen who deliver new films almost every year and the latter like the man behind The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick who has only produced five films (“Life” included) over a thirty-three year career. Joining the Oscar nominee are Brad Pitt and Sean Penn and though originally set for awards contention this coming season, the film was ultimately pushed back due to studio issues and concern by Malick. The beloved director is not a favourite of mine; his meditative pace to filmmaking normally strikes a delicate line between masterful beauty and inert pretension. This clip however is undeniably stunning and like all films (especially those by men like Malick) I look forward to its release, now on May 27.



Rango

After two bizarre and largely uninformative teaser trailers for the Gore Verbinski-directed animated film Rango, we finally have something to sink or teeth (and clearly our eyes) into. Produced by the George Lucas-founded Industrial Light & Magic, who have worked on films from Star Wars to Avatar, this will be their first purely animated film in thirty-five years.  The film looks nothing short of stunning (not to mention incredibly unique) and not being produced by a major animation company has me even more excited. Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Ray Winstone and Timothy Olyphant round out this cast who all voice various animals in a western town where Depp’s lizard Rango rallies to become the new (reluctant) sheriff.



Water for Elephants

Fear not Twilight-haters, for once Robert Pattinson (who is obviously known for portraying vampire Edward in the blockbuster series) seems to be settled amongst a skilfully cast and beautifully-shot and scored film. An adaptation of the novel of the same name, Pattinson’s Jacob (ironically the name of his werewolf rival in the aforementioned series) joins a travelling circus as their vet after he runs away from school, joined up with colourful characters portrayed by the likes of Reese Witherspoon and quickly-rising character actor Christoph Waltz. Despite the hate, I respect Pattinson for reaching out into other genres even if his fame ultimately dies with the “Twilight” franchise.



Take Me Home Tonight

Why Topher Grace isn’t a bigger star is beyond me, especially considering the massive success of That 70’s Show. Both Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have successfully branched out, though despite the odd dramatic role and finding less than favourable buzz after staring as Venom in Spider-Man 3, he is largely absent from the limelight. Hopefully his inherent charisma and good-natured charms play well in Take Me Home Tonight, co-starring Anna Farris, Teresa Palmer and (unfortunately) Dan Fogler who I fear will sink this tale of a nerdy man lusting after his dream-girl right out of the gate.



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