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Trailer Tracker: Super 8, Conan and more

Our featured full-length trailer this
week brings you alien-fueled mayhem from the highly anticipated Super 8. This is quality stuff we could only get from two of the most
famed sci-fi auteurs, Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams. Sans Schwarzenegger, the remake of Conan
the Barbarian
moves forward with its premier teaser trailer and everyone’s
favourite … The Smurfs get the big screen treatment in this Alvin and the Chipmunks­-esque
animation/live action hybrid. Two of our finest thespians, Michael Sheen and
Mario Bello play grieving parents following a tragic school shooting in Beautiful Boy and finally, as we all
expected, Tyler Perry is back in drag in Madea’s Big Happy Family. Zip up that fat suit and pop on that wig,
it’s Trailer Tracker.

New Trailers This Week:
Super 8
Conan the Barbarian
The Smurfs
Beautiful Boy
Madea’s Big Happy Family

Super 8


After two vague looks at
this Spielberg/Abrams collaboration with a Super Bowl spot and an initial
teaser, this alien invasion adventure finally sheds its cloak in its first
feature clip. More than echoing two of Spielberg’s classic productions with E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, what is revealed about Super 8
still remains subtle enough to continue carrying a sense of wonder. Kyle
Chandler (King Kong, The Day the Earth
Stood Still
) as the adult lead joins rising star Elle Fanning (Somewhere) as but one of six childhood
friends who capture a horrific train crash with their Super 8 camera one
fateful night. From there, something otherworldly emerges and strange phenomena
begin to materialize in their small town.

As director Abrams does
best, the marketing lead-up for this June 10 release has been enticingly
mysterious, and now with a great teaser poster (and as I will iterate again, the
involvement of Spielberg) my personal excitement is certainly peaking. Not the Cloverfield follow-up many initially
thought, this will be an entirely original work scripted by Abrams. Another arresting
aspect of the production is the involvement of cinematographer Larry Fong who was
worked on films including Hero, and
three Zach Snyder offerings with 300,
Watchmen and the upcoming Sucker Punch. To be sure, we can expect a stylish
effort from this one.

Conan the Barbarian

Joining the long parade of
remakes nobody asked for, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s feature film debut gets a new
look in Conan the Barbarian, a $100
million, 3-D offering starring the little known actor from Stargate Atlantis,
Jason Momoa. Check this one off on your list of potential disasters, people. Rose
McGowan and Stephen Lang also star under the direction of Marcus Nipsel who has
given us two other masterful (hint: sarcasm) remakes with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday
the 13th
. The trailer (which is the epitome of a teaser) offers
little indication about what the film may constitute visually or narrative-wise, but it is set for a late summer opening on Aug. 19. Let’s at least
hope it’s rated R.

The Smurfs

Holy Smurf, another
Smurfing CGI live-action hybrid kidpic! From the genius director of Home Alone 3, Big Mommas House, the “Scooby-Doo”
films, Yours, Mine and Ours and Beverly
comes, you guessed it, The Smurfs. Even the presence of Neil
Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria is unable to quell the rising bile in my throat
brought forth by what is quite possibly the worst looking movie I’ve seen in some
time. But I digress, if your idea of a good time is forced slapstick, rampant
stereotypes and a script where every other verb is replaced with “Smurf,” then bust out that baby blue marker and but a big “S” on
Aug. 3 because your day has finally come.

Beautiful Boy

The tragic school shootings that continue to culminate across the world have been the subject of many
cinematic outings (many of which are docs), but the trailer for Beautiful Boy is the first I have
personally seen that takes the perspective not from a victim, or the victims
family per se, but rather the parents of the child who committed the heinous
act. The trailer is unfortunately heavily melodramatic and schmaltzy but the inclusion
of Maria Bello and Michael Sheen as the shell-shocked couple lends a great deal
of hope to the production. Last year’s Academy-nominated Rabbit Hole was praised for its earnest portrayal of grief, so let’s
hope Beautiful Boy falls in the same

Madea’s Big Happy Family

It just wouldn’t be a
complete year at the movies without one (or sometimes two) of Tyler Perry’s hugely
popular, though critically-reviled, African-American melodramedies. Perry is back
in drag as Madea, the loud-mouthed matriarch of her dysfunctional family. As
usual, I have no interest in seeking out this particular film, but the promotional materials for the film (particularly the posters which
this year take aim at the just-passed Oscars) are top notch, and if Perry’s
entire filmography is any indication, they will conflict badly with the final

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