Star Wars: The Clone Wars
The original animated Clone Wars TV series was a superb body of work. Directed by Samurai Jack helmer Genndy Tartakovsky, his distinctive animation style helped it stand out from the pack. Covering the period between Episodes Two and Three, new characters were introduced, old characters were expanded upon and the action in each episode was pretty relentless.
Now, Lucasfilm Animation is making a 3D CGI series also covering the Clone Wars and this film is a precursor to that. The trailer romps by at an impressive pace, much like any other Star Wars trailer, and ticks all the right boxes. It’s colourful, there’s an inkling of what the plot’s about and the action is ramped up in the final third.
However, the animation appears too complete, too slick and renders the whole thing as being rather underwhelming. Yoda especially looks ridiculous, looking far too cute with his big goggle eyes to be a serious contender for a Jedi Master. Much like the films before it, with their over-reliance on CGI, the overall effect is one lacking any spirit, any soul.
Still, filling the trailer with old favourites from Jabba The Hut to Count Dooku raises a smile and when Duel of the Fates kicks in, the blood does start pumping. From the trailer then, the jury’s still out on how good the end result will be.
Watch it here.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Seriously, who thinks up these titles? As it happens, the trailer seems to suggest a more apt naming would have been The Mummy: The One Where The Voiceover Man Is Given Far Too Much To Do. You can picture him, giddy as a schoolboy, as he’s spouting such gibberish as ‘This summer, lies an adventure that will live for all eternity’. On the basis of that title, combined with the action-by-numbers on display, I’d be surprised if this adventure lives beyond two weeks at the box office.
Brendan Fraser’s back and this time he’s brought Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh along for the all too predictable ride. There’s special effects and loud, soaring music galore, some gubbins about a legendary evil being awoken and some dreadful acting which is unforgivable in a sub-two minute trailer. I’ve long had trouble understanding how Fraser has made it as a star, almost as much as I struggle to understand a damn word he’s saying. Perhaps that’s why the film makers drafted in an actor playing his son who appears to be equally incapable of clear diction.
Depressingly, I also noticed a glimpse of the gorgeous Maria Bello in the trailer. She’s taken over from Rachel Weisz as Evy Callaghan, which is a sad thing indeed because I always have time for the lovely Ms Bello (also a great actress I have to say, as anyone who’s seen A History of Violence will attest to) and was sad to see she’s wasting her time with this. A prime example of where a trailer can do more harm than good, this looks an overblown, predictable and no doubt underwhelming blockbuster.
Watch it here.
To some a modern day comic genius, to others an overrated, not especially funny actor with as many misses as hits under his belt, Will Ferrell, alongside John C Reilly, returns to the big screen in Step Brothers. The tagline is ‘Will They Ever Grow Up?’, and the trailer goes on to show various clips of a couple of old men (who have just found out they’re step brothers) acting like kids. Sound funny to you?
Off the back of this trailer, this looks to be a huge, huge misstep for both actors. At no point does it raise a smile as the pair of them trade insults, mess around with each other’s belongings and generally wind each other up. One scene where Ferrell buries O Reilly alive appear indicative of what the film will throw up – lazily orchestrated scenes designed to make you cough up your popcorn.
The problem is that we’ve seen all this before with Ferrell – this year’s Semi-Pro had a trailer mimicking the style and types of jokes seen here and that turned out to be a huge disappointment. One of those trailers that on paper no doubt looked hilarious but in reality is deeply unfunny, I fear that this could be the death knoll for Ferrell. If so, I’m extremely upset.
Watch it here