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The Trailer Hitch: May 22

May 22, 2011

The one great thing about the death of Osama Bin Laden is that our nation’s cinemas are safe from terror once again. So let’s go to the movies! As a new wave of trailers hits the net, let’s take a look at what’s on the horizon for this summer and fall, shall we?

Zookeeper: What if I told you there was a movie coming this summer which featured a bunch of zoo animals with CGI’ed mouths, cracking wise with the voices of several famous celebrities? No? What if I told you that Kevin James will have a series of hilarious pratfalls and shots to the face? Still nothing? Well, what if I told you’d at least get to look at Rosario Dawson for two hours? See? Every cloud has a silver lining. (July 8)

Trailer Link: Zookeeper

Straw Dogs: It’s the very definition of “tall order” to attempt to remake Sam Peckinpah’s ultra-violent 1971 film Straw Dogs, about a young couple terrorized in their home by townie rednecks, and I’m still not sure it’s even effectively remake-able. Nevertheless, here it comes, starring James Marsden, Kate Bosworth and True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgård. Unless they really bloody it up, it’s going to look tame for 2011 (in 1971 it was mind-blowing), but if they’re willing to go balls-to-the-wall it could work. Take a look for yourself. (September 16)

Trailer Link: Straw Dogs

Fright Night: Speaking of remakes, here’s one that everyone no one was asking for. Colin Ferrell plays a high-schooler’s new neighbor who is — no spoiler here — a vampire. You could wait for it to be in theaters, or you could just watch this trailer, which is like watching the entire movie. I just saved you nine dollars. (August 19)

Trailer Link: Fright Night

Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop: This documentary following the late night talk show host’s path back to television after being canned by NBC has raised a lot of eyebrows at SXSW recently, notably because O’Brien is so forthcoming with his less-admirable side as well as his natural humor. I’m not sure this will see a major release, but it’s probably a candidate for your local arthouse theater — and if the advance reviews are right, it’s an interesting look at humor, humorists, and the darker flipside of being funny for a living.

Trailer Link: Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop

Zero Charisma: It’s been a while since we saw a truly independent breakout comedy (a la Clerks), but this shows rough-around-the-edge promise as the tale of a grown man still obsessed with Dungeons & Dragons and swearing to take down his new nemesis, an ironic hipster into D&D for the retro-hipness of it. The trailer seems to give a lot away, but I think you’ll agree the film looks promising, even if a little lower budget.

Trailer Link: Zero Charisma 

The Adventures of Tintin: I was really, really excited about the teaming of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson for an adaptation of the Belgian adventure series The Adventures of Tintin — the stories are great, the characters interesting, the visual style unique and the mysteries satisfying. Plus the Spielberg/Jackson Tintin was said to be the next evolution in good 3-D. Then I saw this trailer, where the characters look vaguely like the creepy, Robert Zemeckis-ized, CGI-spooky faux-people of movies like The Polar Express and Mars Needs Moms, and I was saddened. Still, you can’t beat that collaboration, and there has to be some great things about this. We’ll see.

Trailer Link: The Adventures of TinTin

Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Megan Fox is gone, but Shia LeBouf is back for more teen hero-dom, Josh Duhamel is back for more hunky soldier-tude and John Turturro is back to ruin his film legacy even further by playing a ridiculous buffoon. I will say this — it looks like the best Transformers yet, which isn’t saying much because the other two were pretty horrid. But hey, if you saw the first one, and you saw the second one, you’re going to watch the third one, and it doesn’t matter what the trailer looks like. So here you go.

Trailer Link: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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