The Preview Review: Sci-fi, Cowboys, and Joes

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This is the first installment of The Preview Review.  It’s aim is to bring you a quick review of all the major trailers released the previous week.  What do I mean by “major?”  I mean the trailers that I find interesting; whether they be good or bad.  There won’t be much in depth review of the trailers, I won’t be going second by second through each one, I’m going to give my impressions of the films including my hopes or dreads based on their previews.  Enough about what The Preview Review is aiming for, let’s get the previews.

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G.I. Joe: Retaliation 3D (Trailer 3)

There isn’t a lot of new footage in this trailer that wasn’t available in the previous trailers that were released before Retaliation moved to a Spring ’13 release date from its Summer ’12 spot.  I like that Retaliation feels a bit more like the cartoon I grew up watching with more ridiculous looking vehicles, more Cobra world domination, a real Cobra Commander, and not one accelerator suit in sight.  I’m still not sold on the film by any means; it could still be a disaster, but there’s more working in this film’s favor than the last one had.  Anyone interested in a wager on how early Channing Tatum exits Retaliation?  I’m guessing within the first twenty minutes, but I don’t think he’ll die, I think he’ll be taken prisoner by Cobra and rescued at the end.

Pacific Rim (Trailer 1)

There’s a lot to like about Pacific Rim after you get over the initial shock of its silliness.  Yes, it looks like a Transformers, Godzilla, Cloverfield, Power Rangers mash up, but if it’s entertaining and fun is that a bad thing?  Pacific Rim doesn’t look like high art; it looks like it was made for a very specific audience in mind, an audience  that probably isn’t shaving yet and still thinks girls are gross.  That’s a bit of an overstatement, but I’m guessing you get the idea.  I like popcorn flicks and popcorn flicks directed by Guillermo del Toro definitely get my attention when they star Idris Elba and Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and have giant robots fight monsters from another dimension.

The Lone Ranger (Trailer 2)

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that The Lone Ranger is going to flop.  It might not flop as hard as John Carter, but I think it’s going to struggle to find an audience despite the Pirates of the Caribbean connection that was handled in the trailer with as much subtlety as slapping someone across the face.  Johnny Depp will generate a certain amount of interest with his core fan base (which might be quickly out growing him), but who the hell is Armie Hammer?  My guess is he’s 2013′s Taylor Kitsch (John Carter, Battleship).  I’m also curious if audiences and critics will give Johnny Depp a pass on portraying a stereotype-laden Native American.  So many films get accused of ‘white washing’ the cast and Depp’s dialogue reeks of “Pow, white man…” I’ll be interested to see how that plays out.

After Earth (Trailer 1)

M. Night Shyamalan is still trying to right the sinking ship of his career, I’m not sure that’s possible since I think it capsized a long time ago.  M. Night did managed to get one of worlds biggest stars to headline his movie, but is Will Smith’s name still the monumental draw it was ten or even five years ago?  Men in Black III made decent money but it didn’t do as well as many predicted.  I’ll admit, I’m not a fan of the father/son Smith film.  I think it shows how big Will Smith’s ego has become and his need to make his kid a teen sensation.  It’s also pretty surprising that the typical M. Night twist is given away in the title, ten years ago that would have been revealed in the final minutes à la Planet of the Apes.  What I like about After Earth is it is a departure from Shyamalan’s typical films, that alone intrigues me.  For Will Smith, it’s a little too close to I am Legend for my taste.

Oblivion (Trailer 1)

Being a Tom Cruise apologist I firmly believe he still has a decent career ahead of him if he picks his projects correctly and continues to stop acting crazy.  Films like Oblivion and Mission: Impossible are the type of movies he needs to do while staying away from riskier films like Rock of Ages.  The cast looks strong; Morgan Freeman gives a certain amount of ‘street cred’ a film like this needs with audiences that are on the fence with Cruise while Olga Kurylenko gives Oblivion a strong international element.  What I find most strange about the Oblivion trailer is that they advertise it as being from “The Producers of Rise of the Planet of the Apes“.  That’s fine, but why not try to capitalize on its director as well?  Joseph Kosinski isn’t a household name yet, but Tron: Legacy did very well both theatrically and on DVD/Blu-ray and I’m much more interested in the fact that he’s directing this than I am with who’s producing it.  Oblivion’s release date is set for April 19, 2013 which means one of two things; 1. They think it can be a pre-summer hit or 2. They know this movie has no shot during the summer so they’re dumping it in the spring  so they have little competition.


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Written by

Nicholas Herum