When they work they can be awesome (X-Men or Sin City anyone?), but when things dont go so well (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comes to mind) comic fans everywhere will hang their heads in shame. Today's trailers aren't necessarily for comic book movies, but there's a connection for each one of them. Let's have a look, shall we?
The idea of Henry Selick, director of The Nightmare Before Christmas joining forces with fantasy novelist and comic book scribe Neil Gaiman strikes me as a whole lot of awesome. Gaiman has written some great comics in his day. I would say that his Sandman series for DC is one of the best ongoing series in the history of American comics. I haven't read the novel Coraline, but I have no reason to believe it's not up to his usual standards. Unfortunately this teaser trailer does nothing to reinforce my expectations. The movie is shot in stop-motion animation, will be presented in 3-D and is based on a Gaiman novel, and that's all you can really tell. To be honest, though, I don't need to be told anymore to know this is something I won't want to miss.
Star Wars: Clone Wars
Star Wars didn't start out as a comic book, but the first several issues of Marvel's adaptation of the original film were on the stands before I had a chance to catch the flick back in 1977, so I've always thought of it as kind of a comic book film. This trailer is for an all CGI theatrical feature releasing on August 15 which will serve as a lead in to a TV series that will launch in the fall on Cartoon Network and TNT. This maneuver reminds me of the decision to theatrically release the pilot episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. I still can't believe I paid to see that. The sensory overload of Revenge of the Sith has soured me on the idea of returning to George Lucas's galaxy far far away, but I have two nephews who will go ape over this, so I suspect younger Star Wars fans will flock to this.
Something happened while watching this one that made me question myself. I suddenly realized I wasn't the person I'd always thought myself to be, and frankly the whole thing made me feel kind of dirty. What happened was that I was watching a trailer for a new Rob Schneider move and -- I can't believe I'm actually saying this in public -- I laughed, not just once mind you, but maybe three or four times. Schneider, of course, appeared in the film adaptation of the Judge Dredd comic book, which makes this movie eligible for today's category, but more importantly he's also starred in such celluloid atrocities as the The Animal and the Deuce Bigelow films, one of which inspired the title of Roger Ebert's book Your Movie Sucks. Schneider plays a realtor found guilty of fraud, and with a six month grace period before starting his prison sentence, he learns kung fu from David Carradine. This provides him with the skill necessary to get out of a tough spot in the prison shower by making a set of nunchuks out of some bars of soap and shoelaces. Big Stan also sports the best line from any trailer in recent memory: "Do you have anything you can tattoo around my sphincter to make it less attractive." No, it ain't Shakespeare, but like I said, it made me laugh.
For a film-going public still reeling from the idiocy of Meet the Spartans, I say it's just too damn soon to have to deal with another one of these godawful parody flicks. I had some hope for this one because it's directed by Craig Mazin, the director and co-producer of The Specials, a superhero comedy of which I am quite fond (see my review here), but that faded once I saw the preview. Drake Bell of Drake & Josh plays a young man bitten by a genetically enhanced insect and becomes a costumed crimefighter called Dragonfly. I was expecting the film to draw from a bunch of superhero flicks, but every scene in the trailer is inspired by the Spider-man movies. It's got the broad physical comedy we've come to expect, complete with getting caught with your pants down and injury to the groin gags. Skip this one and rent The Specials instead.
Justice League: The New Frontier
This one's going straight to DVD, but after that last one I need something to get the taste out of my mouth. This is not a continuation of the series shown on Cartoon Network, but a stand alone feature based on Darwyn Cooke's graphic novel which presents a modern interpretation of the origins of the Justice League set during the cold war. The trailer is just a teaser, but it appeals to the comic book geek in me. There's some very promising voice talent here with David Boreanaz as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, Kyle McLachlan as Superman, Lucy Lawless as Wonder Woman and Neil Patrick Harris as The Flash. The disk streets next Tuesday, February 26.
Don't forget this week's new trailers on AOL Moviefone:
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - Do you really need me to explain this one?
- Meat Loaf - In Search of Paradise - A behind the scenes documentary about Meatloaf's tour of Canada.
- Under the Same Moon - A Mexican boy makes his way across the U.S. border to join his mother in Los Angeles. Check out the trailer right here:
- Planet B-Boy - Documentary about competitive breakdancing.
- Street Kings - Police drama set in Los Angeles starring Keanu Reeves. Here's the trailer:
- Defiance - Four Jewish brothers escape Nazi occupied Poland and join forces with Russian resistance fighters.