Trailer Tuesdays: Cowboys, Aliens, Apes and More

Welcome to the first Trailer Tuesdays where you’re sure to find the best highlights from film trailers released theatrically or virally in the past week.  Plus, we throw in one trailer that’s so ridiculous that it’s awesome.

This week we found two major summer blockbusters that will hopefully prove to be good, not just cool, as well as one indie horror that will hopefully prove to be as scary as it is original.

Cowboys and Aliens

See trailer here

This film is a perfect example of a terrible premise with a cheesy title that is executed so well that it might actually turn out to be good.  The best quote I’ve heard about this film was when director Jon Favreau was being interviewed about why he chose to do this concept, he replied saying that since lots of people believed that aliens visited ancient cultures such as the Mayans and Egyptians, why can it not be believable that aliens visited the Old West?  So as long as he’s sticking by the idea, I’m down.

Certainly the best choices that were made for this film were getting Daniel Craig for the lead and Jon Favreau of Iron Man fame to direct.  This combination is certain to bring some real credibility to this film.  Craig seems to bring an old-school “bad ass-ness” to this part that has been lacking from most modern westerns.

No one could draw an alien side-arm as cool as him.  And Favreau has an uncanny ability to make even the most ridiculous action scenes seem somehow grounded in reality.

Of course you can’t forget Olivia Wilde, who is quickly becoming the hottest female action star; Sam Rockwell, who popped out of nowhere in this newest theatrical trailer but is nothing short of amazing in everything he does; and Harrison Ford, who just goes without saying.

Overall, this trailer is exciting and gets you pumped on some great visuals.  Hopefully this will be even better than Iron Man, as well as the coolest graphics of the summer.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

See trailer here

It’s been 10 years since Tim Burton’s terrible remake of the the original Planet of the Apes, but I must say this trailer delivered a lot more than I would have initially expected.

This film should easily have the best visual effects of the summer (and please notice that I make a distinction between “coolest” effects).  Whether or not this film will actually have a decent script or be will produced is hard to say at this point, but there is no doubt that it is a great technical achievement.  All you have to do it carefully examine the last shot of the trailer, which is a close-up of one of Weta Digital’s apes, to really see the huge advancements in motion capture technology.  This company that has brought you the effects in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Avatar, has easily become the standard for motion capture effects, and has certainly pulled out all the stops for this film.

The only person I really feel sorry for in this movie is Andy Circus, who’s only on-screen appearance has been in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige.  He has made a name for himself being Weta’s go-to motion capture actor, a position that I’m sure takes a unique talent to perform.  Giving spectacular performances as Gollum and King Kong, I fear that he may become the most talented unknown actor around.

Stake Land

See trailer here.

One of the best viral marketing campaigns of this year so far, especially for this low budget of a film, Stake Land promises to be one of the most unique American horror films in recent years.

Although none of the marketing material for this film seems to have a consistent style, I feel that this might be a good thing since we still have a change to be surprised when watching the actual film, instead of feeling like we’ve already seen most of it in trailers and TV spots.  First there was a viral marketing clip with a handheld video camera showing a father attacking his son, which was  what initially got me really excited about this project.

True, handheld mockumentary horror has been kind of played out ever since Paranormal Activity, but there was still something fresh and interesting about this teaser.  Then there was the first theatrical trailer, which portrays the film in a much more traditional filmmaking style, yet still gives you an idea how this film is sure to be unlike any other vampire film.

But the most interesting spots are found on Apple Trailers.  More like clips or even short films, they released two separate spots that are surprisingly well edited and genuinely terrifying.  It’s hard to say from these what exactly the film will be like, each one having a distinct feel to it.  But if the real film turns out to be anything like these, I would gladly sit through an hour and a half of this.

While this film sometimes feels more of a zombie film than a vampire flick, it is safe to say with all the material presented that it will be one of the most unique vampire films since Twilight ruined the genre.

And now, the Ridiculously Awesome Trailer of the Week.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

See trailer here.

I’m sorry, but how can you not find these penguins completely amusing?  Sure, this probably isn’t the best career move for Jim Carry, regressing to his classic character performances, but this film is simply going to be enjoyable from start to finish.  Just watch it– a couple times.

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