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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:
Conan the Barbarian
Madea’s Big Happy Family
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.
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
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 vein.
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 product.