Monday, May 20, 2013

Tracking down new trailers. The latest looks at "Planes", "Pacific Rim" and "Captain Phillips".

Disney/Pixar's Planes continues to taxi toward U.S. takeoff later this summer. Up until now, the general buzz has been that Planes is just an extension of the company's Cars franchise and an obvious way to leverage that popularity toward a spinoff toy series rather than an original new animated feature. The previous glimpses of art and story haven't done anything more than cement that perception.

But leave it to the house that John Lasseter built to infuse the latest trailer with some true artistry. The new trailer uses no dialogue, no story sequences and no title frames. Instead it's a showcase of why Pixar is still the unquestioned leader in combining masterful art with sympathetic and lovable characters.

Taking kids to a Pixar animated feature is kind of like sitting them in front of a quality stereo and playing Mozart. They don't know why it's special yet, but they're going to learn something about art anyway.

Poster not yet released.
New on the trailer front is the first glimpse of Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips. Hanks plays the title role in the story based on the real life events of Captain Richard Phillips who was in charge of the MV Maersk Alabama, the U.S.-flagged cargo ship that was seized by Somali pirates in 2009. Like all true stories, you likely know how this one ended. And for me, that makes the trailer both less interesting and far less dramatic.

As everything turned out OK for for the real life Captain and Crew (and not so well for the pirates), here's hoping there's much more to the story that can help fill the gap that exists between the opening and closing credits. Having Tom Hanks lending his considerable credibility to the project holds out hope.

Captain Phillips is scheduled for release by Sony Pictures this October.

Guillermo del Toro is hoping his next event movie may yet be this summer's biggest. At least in terms of its props, he'd likely be right. Pacific Rim is old school monsters from inner earth stuff, and with a nod to comic books, nostalgic sic-fi and Japanese anime, there's no lack of action or thundering soundtracks hinted at in any single minute of the previews.

This summer's answer to a Transformer's movie, Pacific Rim is frame to frame popcorn movie. With the current trend for superheroes to be suffering from copious amounts of inner angst in order to grab audiences these days, some good old fashion giant robots smashing the bad aliens might be exactly what the summer's looking for.

Then again, Michael Bay may have already done a pretty thorough job of slapping all of that out of movie audiences for some time. Guillermo del Toro and Warner Bros. Studios don't seem to think so.

Last in our line up today is perhaps the best look so far at the story of Pacific Rim, opening in U.S. theaters on July 12th.

Thanks to Disney, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. for promotional materials.

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