24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Trailers

Can Michelle Williams pull off Marilyn Monroe? [Trailer]

October 6, 2011 |  6:00 pm

A new trailer for My Week With Marilyn is online
Months before award season began, many Oscar pundits were predicting that Michelle Williams could earn a lead actress nomination for her upcoming turn as Marilyn Monroe in "My Week With Marilyn."

That was a judgment based on the strength of Williams' past performances — and, of course, Oscar voters' penchant for nominating actors playing larger-than-life historical figures.

On Thursday, a trailer for the film hit the Web, finally giving prognosticators something substantive with which to evaluate Williams' performance. The film, which will be released by the Weinstein Co. on Nov. 4, is based on two memoirs by Colin Clark, who was an assistant director on the Monroe-Laurence Olivier 1956 collaboration "The Prince and the Showgirl." "Marilyn" centers on the emotional and physical troubles Monroe was grappling with during the production, when she allegedly had an extramarital dalliance with Clark. The film seems to present Monroe as a fragile, insecure woman hoping to fill the void in her life with drugs and the constant attention of men.

The trailer also suggests a movie with atmospheric period detail and convincingly shows Monroe's numerous dimensions, while also making larger — and timely — points about the nature of celebrity obsession. But those eager to size up Williams' Monroe turn may be disappointed. While we see the actress dolled up in full Monroe garb — big blond curls, figure-hugging dresses and bright lipstick — we don't hear much of the actress emulating the icon's famously breathy voice.

Williams has earned two Oscar nominations before for her work in 2005's "Brokeback Mountain" and last year's "Blue Valentine." Could "My Week With Marilyn" mark her third nod? Critics will have their say in a few days: The drama is premiering at the New York Film Festival on Sunday.


Michelle Williams to receive Hollywood Actress Award

Michelle Williams, Ryan Gosling ad-lib on 'Blue Valentine'

Michelle Williams' 'My Week With Marilyn' lands NYFF slot

— Amy Kaufman


Photo: Michelle Williams stars in "My Week With Marilyn." Credit: The Weinstein Co.

'Twilight' stars grow up, show skin in 'Breaking Dawn' trailer

September 13, 2011 |  5:57 pm

A new trailer for the first Breaking Dawn film was released Tuesday

When sultry photos from the upcoming "Twilight" film leaked onto the Internet earlier this year, fans of the franchise flew into a tizzy. There were Bella and Edward, lying in bed topless in what appeared to be a post-coital embrace.

Any Twihard who was tantalized by said images -- more of which were officially released by Summit Entertainment last month -- might want to take a deep breath. Because on Tuesday, a new trailer for November's "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1" hit the Web, and it's a little racy.

Fans of Stephenie Meyer's beloved book series, of course, know that the characters played by Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson wed in "Breaking Dawn" and quickly consummate the marriage during their honeymoon. That leads to trouble for Bella, who becomes pregnant with Edward's baby -- a sort of vampire-human hybrid that threatens its mother's health.

In an interview with The Times last year just before production of the film began, Stewart warned filmgoers that the prosthetic belly she wears in the first part of "Breaking Dawn" is "immense." "It gets so massive at some point that it actually looks inhuman. Like it’s hurting her. There are striations of bruises," the actress said.

In the trailer, posted below, we finally get a glimpse of pregnant Bella -- and indeed, she looks unwell. As her stomach morphs and swells, Bella grows gradually more pallid until she lets out a guttural scream during a labor scene, where the preview ends.

But the trailer doesn't skimp on the skin. Edward is seen bedding Bella and the pair later kiss under a waterfall; Taylor Lautner, who plays Jacob, is -- not surprisingly --  distraught and once again shirtless.

Lautner, meanwhile, is busy readying himself for the release of his first major non-"Twilight" film, the action flick "Abduction." The film, out Sept. 23, marks the young star's hopeful transition to a more grown-up acting career.

Judging by the new "Breaking Dawn" trailer, it appears the "Twilight" stars are already tackling progressively more adult subject matter just fine.


Photos: 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn'

Kristen Stewart: Motherhood confounds me

'Breaking Dawn’ photos begin a Twihard countdown

 -- Amy Kaufman


Photo: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart star in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1." Credit: Summit Entertainment

'The Hunger Games' footage: forest, fireballs and braids [video]

August 29, 2011 |  1:39 pm


In the future, there is Gore-Tex. And also trees. That’s what we learned from the scant 45 seconds of “The Hunger Games” footage Lionsgate revealed during MTV’s Video Music Awards Sunday.

In the teaser, Jennifer Lawrence gallops through a dense forest as 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, one of 24 kids forced to fight to the death in an outdoor arena game. Lawrence, who has already demonstrated action heroine potential by gutting a squirrel in “Winter’s Bone” and pumping iron in “X-Men: First Class,” delivers on Katniss’ scrappy athleticism--she dodges fireballs, leaps over a fallen tree and releases an arrow with a fierce glint in her eye. Over the action, the voice of Katniss’ hometown pal, Gale (Liam Hemsworth), hints at one of the relationships that drives her character. “You’re stronger than they are,” Gale says. “You are. They just want a good show, that’s all they want. You know how to hunt. Show ’em how good you are.”


“The Hunger Games,” directed by Gary Ross, is the first in a planned series based on a trilogy of dystopian young adult novels by Suzanne Collins. The teaser footage, which Lawrence introduced from the movie’s North Carolina set, reveals little of the visual ambition of the books' science-fiction setting. There is no sign of District 12—the bleak, coal mining region from which Katniss hails—nor the sleek Capitol District, where the stylish and powerful reside. Also absent are the series's fantastical fashions, such as Katniss’ “girl on fire” dress, and mutant creatures, like the arena’s deadly “tracker jacker wasps.” The movie’s hairdressers have delivered Katniss’ distinctive side braid—this may replace Princess Leia’s buns as a new generation’s Comic-Con coiffure of choice—but her wardrobe suggests the future looks a lot like a Lands’ End catalog.

Though minimal, the footage contained a hint to find more visual detail about the movie. A Twitter hashtag in the teaser, #whatsmydistrict, points users towards a viral website, with a blurred, black image, some discordant electronic beeps and a note in the corner prompting "citizens” to identify themselves via Twitter. After a few hours of people tweeting the site's address, the image appeared to begin forming into the seal of the Capitol District. (Here Lionsgate is taking a page from the viral campaign for “Dark Knight Rises”—as more people Tweeted the phrase “The Fire Rises” in May, a blurry image clarified into a mosaic photo of Tom Hardy as the "Batman" villain Bane.)

"The Hunger Games" also stars Josh Hutcherson as Katniss' arena partner, Peeta Mellark; Woody Harrelson as her booze-addled mentor, Haymitch Abernathy; Elizabeth Banks as her airhead escort to the Capitol, Effie Trinket; and Lenny Kravitz as her faithful stylist, Cinna.

"The Hunger Games" opens March 2012.



'Hunger Games' sequel 'Catching Fire' due nearly two years later

'The Hunger Games': Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth complete the love triangle

'The Hunger Games': is Jennifer Lawrence the new Katniss?


--Rebecca Keegan



Photo: Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games." Credit: Murray Close/Lionsgate

'The Conspirator' nails authenticity. With flat nails [video]

August 15, 2011 |  4:53 pm


"The Conspirator," Robert Redford's historical drama about the trial of Mary Surratt, the only woman charged as a conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, came and went quickly when it was released this spring. For those who happened to see it in theaters, the big-name cast, which included James McAvoy, Evan Rachel Wood and Robin Wright, may have distracted from the meticulous detail put into the film's historical authenticity.

Luckily, that's what DVD extra features are for. In this exclusive clip from "The Conspirator" DVD, out Tuesday, production designer Kalina Ivanov shows off just how much thought went into re-creating Washington of 1865. The columns may be a little thicker (that makes them more masculine), but the details are mostly right. All the way down to the flat nails used to hold the gallows together. Why flat nails? That's the way they did it back in 1865.



How ideological is Robert Redford?

'The Conspirator' movie premiere: Robert Redford, James McAvoy, Robin Wright hatch a plot

--Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Robert Redford directs Robin Wright as Mary Surratt on the courtroom set of “The Conspirator.” Credit: Claudette Barius / Roadside Attractions


Photo: Robert Redford directs Robin Wright as Mary Surratt in the courtroom set of “The Conspirator.” Claudette Barius / Roadside Attractions

Harold and Kumar feel the holiday cheer [Trailer]

August 12, 2011 |  3:10 pm

Manic doesn't begin to describe the trailer for the new Harold and Kumar movie, "A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas," the third installment in the John Cho-Kal Penn franchise (the latter fresh from his stint in the White House). Santa Claus is shot out of the sky, beer pong balls bounce in every direction and Neil Patrick Harris returns as himself, this time riffing with Jesus. Oh, and there's a gag about how played out 3-D is -- in a movie that's in 3-D.

Studio New Line no doubt hopes to capture some of that anti-Christmas spirit that helped movies such as "Bad Santa" become cult hits. But "Harold & Kumar" will need to build its own momentum: Despite its cultural effect, the low-budget comedy franchise has been only a modest box-office performer, taking in $18 million and $38 million with its first two films, though both movies fared well on DVD.


Kal Penn has left the White House

-- Steven Zeitchik



'The Amazing Spider-Man' slings its first web [Trailer] [Updated]

July 19, 2011 |  1:07 pm

There's a bit of deja vu in seeing a young, fragile loner get bitten by a spider only to realize he's been given superpowers. It's been only nine years since we watched Tobey Maguire do it, and now Andrew Garfield is going through the paces again in this new, apparently leaked trailer for Marc Webb's "The Amazing Spider-Man."

[Updated, 2:43 p.m. July 19: It looks as though Sony has taken down the trailer. So if you haven't watched it yet, you'll have to take our word for it. But it should be online officially soon enough Updated, 10:28 a.m. July 20: And the trailer is now officially available; you can check it out below.]

The teaser, which will probably debut properly at this weekend's Comic-Con, begins when a young Peter Parker is abandoned by his parents, then gives way to a somewhat disoriented-looking youth (Garfield) and the fateful accident, before ending with Spider-Man climbing and swinging across rooftops, which we see from his perspective.

If the tone in Sam Raimi's original had a kind of light seriousness, this replicates the feat, minus the light. There is ominous music, moody lighting and serious, cryptic statements like: "We all have secrets. The ones we keep are the ones that are kept from us." If Webb's film is supposed to be more of an  everyday coming-of-age high school story, there's not much evidence of it here; the teaser has many of the stylized touches we've come to expect from modern comic-inspired movies.

More details on "The Amazing Spider-Man" later this week at this blog and on sister blog Hero Complex, the bastion of all things Comic-Con.


Andrew Garfield as tortured Spider-Man?

The strangely logical choice of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man

'The Social Network' to 'Spider-Man': Does Andrew Garfield always play the victim?

-- Steven Zeitchik


Martin Scorsese winds up 'Hugo' [Trailer]

July 15, 2011 |  6:32 pm

There are a number of things to like, but nothing to really swoon for, in the new "Hugo" trailer, which offers a first look at Martin Scorsese's foray into 3-D family adventure.

The story of two children (Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz) taking on a cruel world seems touching but a tad familiar. The visuals have the right dose of whimsy but aren't breathtaking (to be fair, it's hard to completely judge them on a computer monitor). And while the combination of Scorsese's vision and Brian Selznick's eye-poppingly designed source material "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" could well yield something groundbreaking, there's not yet evidence of that here.

Playing behind it all are the sweeping verses of the 30 Second to Mars song "King and Queens," which give the scenes a gentle uplift, if not something more powerful.

Scorsese's movie tells of an orphan living in a train station who must decipher a mystery involving his late father and wind-up toys, while also being pursued by a bumbling inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen). There's always the fear that  material like this could dilute or alter what makes a director like Scorsese interesting in the first place, and the trailer doesn't blow those fears away. Then again, gritty and visionary types have successfully gone the endearing route before--think David Lynch and "The Straight Story"--so there's reason for hope. The movie opens Nov. 23.


--Steven Zeitchik


Steven Spielberg's 'Tintin' begins its adventure [Trailer]

July 12, 2011 |  6:06 am

Steven Spielberg is already considered a big awards contender this upcoming fall/winter season for his period drama "War Horse." With this new trailer for "The Adventures of Tintin," he could be sitting on one of the season's big commercial plays as well.

The spot for the performance-capture film, which hit the Web on Monday, shows Jamie Bell as the titular young reporter who teams up with Andy Serkis' Captain Haddock to embark on a search for adventure on and off the high seas. (The film is an adaptation of three of the late Belgian artist Herge's books.)

Peter Jackson, who produced the movie, had his Weta Workshop handle the effects, and the trailer is a whirl of fluid, fast-moving images with far more life and detail than Robert Zemeckis' performance-capture efforts. And Spielberg has never directed an animated film before, one of several points of intrigue for the planned franchise. The film is scheduled to open on Dec. 23.


Super 8: Maybe bringing back the '80's is a good idea after all

Hollywood actors would walk a mile through the snow to star in Spielberg's Lincoln

Brad Pitt's Moneyball swings for the fences [Trailer]

-- Steven Zeitchik


'Footloose' trailer hits: Ren McCormack is reborn

June 22, 2011 |  3:15 pm

The 1980s have been kind to Hollywood as of late. Sony Pictures scored big with "The Karate Kid" and Warner Bros. had enough success with "Clash of the Titans" to greenlight a sequel. Paramount is now hoping that nostalgia for the decade of acid-washed jeans and big hair still reigns supreme in October when the studio unveils Craig Brewer's ("Hustle & Flow") faithful adaptation of 1984's "Footloose" -- the film that launched Kevin Bacon's career.

Brewer, best known for his music-soaked films, stayed very true to the original film. The director, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things "Footloose," made it clear that he's trying to recreate the cult classic and has strayed little from the Dean Pitchford film. He's even throwing in Deniece Williams'  "Let's Hear it for the Boy" and other original tunes in the updated flick.

The big question is whether or not fans of the original want to see "Footloose" redone and if new, younger audiences will find the remake fresh enough to buy movie tickets. Clearly, as you can tell by the trailer, featured below, Paramount is looking for both audiences. We'll have to wait till October to see if the film is more "Karate Kid" and less "Fame," MGM's ill-fated remake that failed to connect with moviegoers.

 --Nicole Sperling

'The Muppets' looks to find the rainbow connection [Trailer]

June 20, 2011 | 12:37 pm

It's been one meta teaser after another for "The Muppets" -- goofs on "Green Lantern," goofs on "The Hangover," goofs on its own idea of doing goofs.

On Monday morning Disney released the official, only slightly less postmodern trailer for the Thanksgiving release. Given the love for the original characters, a "Muppets" spot doesn't need to do that much -- indeed, given how much of the humor is situational it really can't do that much -- and it doesn't.

We get the basic premise of Jason Segel's puppeteer helping to reunite the gang, and Kermit in turn rallying the furry ones to perform in a live show. (The movie, and the trailer, keep with the meta vibe of the 1979 original, which featured a movie-within-the-movie.) We get Segel and Amy Adams playing the straight types to the puppets' madcap adventures (lots of Segel brow-furrowing).

And we get the choice shots of the muppets themselves: Kermit and Piggy sharing a tender moment; the requisite in-jokey pile-in-a-car scene, complete with scratchy AM radio version of "Mah Nà Mah Nà;" and close-ups of the supporting oddballs (Animal, the Swedish Chef, Statler and Waldorf). It's all more than enough to whet the appetite without really offering much that stands out.

One of the big questions that's lingered since Disney announced the reboot was whether any movie circa 2011 could find that clever balance between sly grown-up humor and kiddie entertainment that "The Muppet Movie" managed so effortlessly in 1979. One gets hints of that balance here, but not nearly enough to draw any definite conclusions. (Hey, it is just a trailer.)

One also gets the sense that, for all the characters' YouTube ubiquity these last few months, Disney wants to hold back a lot of the surprises (particularly the film's live-action cameos -- one of the pleasures of the original and something that Segel, co-writer Nicholas Stoller and director James Bobin are reprising here). Given how many of us will welcome the mere sight of the Muppets in action, it may not matter.


Jason Segel on 'The Muppets': More music, less nudity

Sundance 2011: Elmo talks about his butt

2011 Movie Preview: 'The Muppets'

-- Steven Zeitchik




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