There have been war movies pretty much for as long as there have been movies. If and when we finally get to see Tarantino's long-promised Inglorious Bastards, and if it proves to be a hit, I'm betting we see a surge of war flicks. For now, though, we've got five trailers for war-related movies, starting with...
Punisher: War Zone
Between Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, Marvel properties are pretty hot these days, but I just don't see this one coming anywhere near that kind of success. Much like Batman, The Punisher started his career driven by vengeance, but instead of fighting crime with his fists, he selected the admittedly more practical weapon: guns, lots and lots of guns. Thomas Jane chose not to return for this sequel and this time we have Ray Stevenson wearing the skull emblem and firing the automatic weapons. His delivery is particularly stump-like, but there's only so much that can be done with lines like "sometimes I'd like to get my hands on God." I've never liked the comic book and I haven't seen any of the other Punisher movies, so maybe fans of the character will find this more interesting.
Miracle at St. Anna
This new one from Spike Lee should be worth waiting for. In 1983, a postal employee named Hector Negron gives a customer a look of recognition before shooting him in cold blood. Police find an ancient Italian artifact worth $5 million in Negron's apartment as well as a purple heart from World War II. The details are told in flashback as we see him and several other black American soldiers in 1944 trapped behind enemy lines in Italy. This is based on a novel by James McBride and it opens on September 26. Here's Christopher's take.
This comedy takes a contemporary look at war from the homefront perspective. Lisa Kudrow plays a woman whose husband has been deployed to Iraq, and her brother-in-law Salman comes to stay and help out with her hell spawned children. In order to keep the family afloat, Salman takes a job as a blue-tinted corporate mascot, and the shots of him wandering a lonely stretch of highway in costume are both surreal and hilarious. He looks sort of like a taller version of Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This looks like a low-key slice of indie fun. Here's Kevin's review of the film.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Yet another trailer for the computer animated Star Wars feature that will be playing U.S. theaters on August 15 and serving as a springboard for a series launching this fall on TNT and Cartoon Network. As near as I can tell, only two of the original actors (Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Daniels) have returned to reprise their roles, though that guy playing Count Dooku does a pretty good Christopher Lee impression. Younger Star Wars fans are obviously the target audience here. Personally, I'm not seeing anything here to make me want to revisit Lucas-land.
There's no actual war in this one, but the subject matter has been known to stir up a skirmish or two in its day. Bill Maher hosts a documentary about the state of religion in the world today, interviewing a man who dresses like Jesus, a man who claims to be Jesus, Muslim extremists and average people on the street. Obviously this movie is trying to make some people laugh while thoroughly pissing off others, which I'm sure is the point. The fact that Larry Charles, the director of Borat, is at the helm makes me think the film will be successful on both fronts. Here's what William thought of the trailer.
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