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Trailer Tracker: Captain America, Mr Popper’s Penguins and more

Our featured trailer this week is the energetic new clip for the next entry in Marvel’s “Avengers” ramp-up, Captain America: The First Avenger. Also, Jim Carrey waddles his way back onto screen accompanied by six flightless birds in the adaptation of the children’s book Mr. Popper’s Penguins and then Tom Hanks gets a little quirky in his second directorial outing with Larry Crowne in which he also stars. Super Size Me documentarian Morgan Spurlock continues to go in interesting directions with The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, which was financed entirely with product placement and finally, fresh Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo tries his hand in directing with Sympathy for Delicious. You know what else is tasty? Trailer Tracker.

 New trailers this week:
Captain America: The First Avenger
Mr. Poppers Penguins
Larry Crowne
The Greatest Movie Every Sold
Sympathy for Delicious


Captain America: The First Avenger

Right on the heels of news that Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The First Avenger may undergo reshoots almost exactly four months before release on July 22, is the feature trailer for the period origin story of the titular superhero. What you make of the news regarding the film going back to production notwithstanding, this full-length clip has certainly amped up this jaded writer. Beginning with a scrawny, CGI altered Chris Evans being rejected for military service to his eventual transformation to elite super soldier thanks to some nifty top secret military tech, “Captain America” certainly seems to offer some thrills. Of course there are nerd Easter eggs galore including a mention of “Mr. Stark” (that would be Howard, not Tony), the first avenger tossing his iconic shield and a brief appearance of Hugo Weaving as the villainous Red Skull.


What seems to make this superhero entry stand at least somewhat alone from others in the genre is its WWII setting and overall period-piece feel. How for The Avengers Steve Rodgers will make it to present day remains to be revealed but I’m simply thankful we’re headed in a different direction. In addition to Weaving in the supporting cast, we also get first looks at Tommy Lee Jones as Col. Chester Phillips and Stanley Tucci as scientist Abraham Erskine so that boost of class should be cause for at least some level of confidence. Writers have already been hired for a proposed sequel even before this films actual release, so the studio must have at least some level of confidence behind their product. And of course, expect a cameo appearance by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), though that would make him one old man come his present appearances in Iron Man and its sequel.


Mr. Popper’s Penguins

A plethora of big-name comedians have passed through this adaptation of the kids book of the same name since the project was proposed including Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Jack Black. Jim Carrey ultimately stars in this tale about a businessman who inherits six penguins that subsequently turn his professional life upside-down. I am not familiar with the source material, nor am I sold on the trailer scene featuring dancing CGI penguins, but I am sold in the lead. Like his last name suggests, the funnyman is more than capable of bolstering subpar material with his inherent gifts and the interesting combination of director Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday) and raunchy writer Sean Anders (Sex Drive, Hot Tub Time Machine) gives reason to be optimistic at a minimum.

Larry Crowne

Not since 1996`s well-received That Thing You Do! Has Tom Hanks sat in the director’s chair for a feature film, but now he’s back 15 years later with Larry Crowne, the tale of a recently terminated man (Hanks) who goes back to college and unexpectedly bonds with his fellow students and falls for his teacher played by Julia Roberts. This film also marks the second collaboration between Hanks and actress and writer Nia Vardalos after the former served as producer on the mammothly successful My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Vardalos is a writer here and is supposed to also have a small role, though it has not yet been revealed. Overall, Larry Crowne looks like a pleasant enough tale about an oddball who finds his way, and frankly, Hanks is always a pleasure to watch in dramatic roles.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Since the McDonald’s expose´ Super Size Me made waves at the awards and box office in 2004, documentarian Morgan Spurlock has more of less been off the radar, at least prominently. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold brings the man back to the limelight after gaining raves at Sundance in January.  “Sold,, which takes its shots at product placement and advertising in film, is in itself financed through such means (the film's full title is Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold) and marks a continuation of the pseudo-documentary started by films such as Exit through the Gift Shop. I love this trailer and the premise looks hilarious so count this as one doc I will actively seek out ASAP.

Sympathy for Delicious

Mark Ruffalo makes his direting debut in this somewhat spiritual film written by and starring Christopher Thornton, who is wheelchair bound. Thornton plays a paralyzed DJ who discovers that he has the power to heal all other but himself. Orlando Bloom and Juliette Lewis co-star. The subject matter of Sympathy for Delicious doesn’t exactly spur me to sprint to the nearest theatre, but the talent involved is intriguing and I’m interested in following the career of the rising star that is Ruffalo.



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