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Trailer Tracker: Pain and Gain, To The Wonder and More

Although the Christmastime release of the trailer for Michael Bay’s body-builder action comedy Pain and Gain may seem odd in terms of subject matter, with all the pain of holiday shopping with the gain of material goods, it’s more fitting than meets the eye. Also just arriving is the vague and perplexing trailer for Terrance Malick’s upcoming To The Wonder (as only the man can deliver). 

Next up (and starring Ryan Reynolds as a preconscious mollusc who dreams of exceeding the relative speed of paint drying) is Turbo, the upcoming family offering from DreamWorks Animation. Last off (and certainly not for kids) is the Red Band trailer for The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy as a pair of mismatched lawwomen. The weather outside is frightful, but movies are oh so delightful – this is Trailer Tracker.


Pain and Gain 

After floundering in the world of clanging giant machines for nearly six years, Michael Bay finally had the chance to make a dream project (yes, even he had one), the low-budget Pain and Gain, based on a series of Miami New Times articles about a gang of bodybuilders who get caught up in an extortion and kidnapping scheme.

Waving traditional salaries for the film, Bay and his leads Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson all seem pretty passionate about this little action comedy which apparently was a satisfying enough experience to land Wahlberg the new lead in the aforementioned Transformers franchise. 

The trailer itself is high on energy (thanks both to its cast, which also includes Anthony Mackie, Rebel Wilson and Ed Harris and action) satisfactory on humor and generally interesting in premise, especially if any of the true-life events manage to sneak past Bay’s bombastic storytelling tendencies.

My biggest hope when it comes to Pain and Gain is that Wahlberg, Johnson and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (collaborators on such films as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, You Kill Me and Captain America: The First Avenger) play off the lead’s muscle-head stereotypes (and the action star in general). Pain and Gain roughs its way into theaters April 26.

To The Wonder 

Poised to have four films released in the next few years (after decades of pseudo-reclusion no less), director Terrance Malick’s first upcoming effort is the star-laden To The Wonder, offering the likes of Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem and Olga Kurylenko.

To The Wonder follows the struggles of an American man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage to a European woman falls apart. The trailer is certainly as unshapley and obtuse as we’ve come to expect from Malick – a trait that will either carry on the same infuriating feeling some experienced with The Tree or Life or the same powerful feeling some experienced with The Tree of Life


Carrying on the tradition of wanting what is out of one’s reach in animation, a snail named Turbo (voice of Ryan Reynolds) dreams of becoming the fasted shelled crustacean in the world. But does a twist of fate allow him to realize that goal? And is the reality of it all as wonderful as the dream?

Turbo comes from the folks over at DreamWorks and also features the voice talents of Paul Giamatti, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michael Pena, Michelle Rodriguez and Samuel L. Jackson. This nice little teaser doesn’t offer up much in terms of plot (merely very basic setup), but lands in the same vein of using a relatively off-putting (at least in real life) misfit character like Remy in Ratatouille and making him into a hero. We’ll have to judge Turbo further on its other merits when the full-length trailer breaks.

The Heat 

Miss Congeniality collides with the crudeness of Bridesmaids and then finally gets the buddy cop treatment in The Heat, which has just received one of those oh-so-important red band trailers. Certainly raunchy and certainly what one would expected upon hearing Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy would be starring in a vehicle like this, it is fairly apparent the success of The Heat is going to come down to the chemistry between these two leading ladies. Thankfully, both boast chops in the genre and while the well-worn approach has something to prove in its comedic potency, this red-band peak is at least a step up from the so-so initial clip.



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