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Where can you see aliens, ninjas, sorceresses and cowboys all in one place? No it’s not my action figure collection …I don’t have any cowboys. It’s Trailer Tracker, your one stop shop for all the latest clips hitting the web.
A slow frame christens the month of October here at Player Affinity, beginning – perhaps ironically – with I Am Number Four, the clip for director D.J. Caruso's sci-fi action blockbuster. East meets west in the martial arts western The Warrior’s Way and then Simon Pegg teams with Andy Serkis for a macabre business plan in Burke & Hare. The last new trailer this week is the Shakespearian adaptation The Tempest from visually-dynamic director Julie Taymor following her “Beatles” musical Across the Universe and finally, just one week after the teaser clip for The Coen Brother’s True Grit debuted, we have the riveting theatrical trailer. So grab your lasers, mount your saddle and giddy-up.
I Am Number Four
Originally slated to star District 9’s Sharlto Copley in a main role, as the opening monologue tells us, this alien-centric action film finds a group of extraterrestrial teenagers from a far away world running from a persistent enemy who has destroyed their home planet. John (Alex Pettyfer) is one of nine such survivors (number four in fact) but the first three of his kind have been successfully hunted down. But when he falls in love with an earth girl (Dianna Argon) he decides he is done hiding and stands to fight his perusing foes. Copley was since replaced with slowly rising star Timothy Olyphant in the role of John’s guardian and Kevin Durand rounds out the cast as the main villain. D.J. Caruso (Distrubia, Eagle Eye) directs this Steven Spielberg/Michael Bay produced film which hits theatres early next year on February 18.
The Warrior’s Way
Many Asian martial arts flicks that have gained the most notoriety overseas have been those with stunningly choreographed action and beautiful visuals, such as Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The Warrior’s Way looks to be no exception for this Korean/American production starring Geoffrey Rush, Danny Huston, Kate Bosworth and Korean superstar (or as the trailer boosts to status of “international superstar”) Jang Dong-gun. This traditional revenge tale of a betrayed assassin boasts both spaghetti western and traditional martial arts elements and looks more than dynamic in this short clip alone. The difficulty with reaching an audience and not falling into the style-over-substance convention will be this film’s task to bear. But having not heard of this film before its debut clip, I assure you it quickly had my undivided attention.
Burke & Hare
Simon Pegg is one of those rare breed of actors who can add charm and a sense of delight to even the most pedestrian screenplays. So it is my delight to announce he is joined by yet another of such thespians; Andy Serkis (a.k.a. Gollum from “The Lord of the Rings”) in this black British comedy. Also boasting a sensational supporting cast including Tim Curry, Isla Fisher, Tom Wilkinson and Christopher Lee, Burke and Hare tells of two deadbeat nobodies in 19th Century Edinburgh who find a trade in providing cadavers for medical research … by any means necessary. Dark comedy films, especially with an over-the-pond flare, are a hard sell stateside, but if Pegg hasn’t won some converts with his collaborations with Edgar Wright, let alone his scene-stealing work in Star Trek, then I say for shame. Legendary filmmaker John Landis (Animal House) directs.
Critics were divided, but the majority of fans seemed to adore Julie Taymor’s Beatles homage Across the Universe, but I assure you I was not part of the latter. Stylistic flourishes and in some cases even style-over-substance can be a stimulating experience but Taymor seems to have difficulty choosing what material with which to surround her vision. 300 is one thing, musicals and Shakespeare are quite another. The cast on the other hand requires either a Vince Vaughan-ian speed of talk or a deep breath to reveal, and since I am not a Hollywood star, on one ... two ... three: Helen Mirren, Russell Brand, Alfred Molina, Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming, Djimon Hounsou, David Strathairn and Ben Winshaw. And exhale. Trailer considered, and Taymor’s filmography in mind, I am always open to adaptations of The Bard, but I approach this effort with trepidation.
True Grit (Trailer 2)
I won’t spend too much time on this latest trailer for True Grit for risk of déjà vu, but the Coen brothers' latest has quickly evolved from merely interesting at the time of its teaser, to quite the epic looking yarn. We get extended reveals of the main players including Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin as well as hints of dark humor amongst old-fashioned bloodshed and shoot-em-up cowboy escapades. If it is ultimately the awards contender the buzz indicates is one thing, but this looks to be a rare instance of a successful modern western.