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Scene Picks: movie trailers you don’t want to miss

Observer Staff Report | Tuesday, March 8, 2011

‘Arthur’ starring Russel Brand, Helen Mirren and Jennifer Garner; In theaters April 8

Arthur, the remake of the 1980s film of the same name, has big shoes to fill.  The trailer gives every impression that this film will be just as successful as the original.   

Russell Brand stars as a bizarre heir with childish hobbies (like driving around the Batmobile in a genuine Batman costume). He is offered the decision between marrying a straight-laced American (Jennifer Garner — the epitome of straight-laced typecasting) and losing all of his inheritance.  

He originally does not want to marry her because they have nothing in common. But he goes off to New York with her anyway because he realizes he cannot live without the money.  

He ultimately meets a woman who operates on the same spontaneous wavelength that he does and (surprise) they presumably fall in love.

The story is a bit cliché, but the best part of the trailer is Brand’s relationship with his butler played by Helen Mirren.  The two have a mentoring relationship that seemingly gives the story heart.  

The trailer is filled with typical Brand humor, meaning he is really just humorous because he’s saying everything in an almost unbelievable British accent. Ultimately the trailer seems to show that the film will be just as lovable as the original.

‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ starring Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz and Ian McShane;

In theaters May 20

Long shots of beautiful, dangerous, tropical places flash on the screen back to back. Close-up shots of ships.  Medium shots of characters with quizzical or awed expressions on their faces. Voice over narration giving you the newest adventure of always-colorful Jack Sparrow. Captain Jack Sparrow, that is. A predictable next installment or an entirely new “Pirates?” Of course Johnny Depp, an older Geoffrey Rush, the crew and other familiars from past movies of the trilogy are attending. But now with the striking absence of Kiera Knightley or Orlando Bloom, Will and Elizabeth are replaced with a notorious pirate legend and his daughter, played by Penelope Cruz. (A serious love interest for Jack?) Instead of the Kraken, Davy Jones, the undead fishy crew and the world’s end, expect to see Black Beard, seductive mermaids, zombies (really) and the Fountain of Youth. However, there are still the same promises of sword fights, open sea dangers, navigating through island jungles, hilarious and characteristic outbursts from Jack and a hot leading lady. A promising summer movie — after all, who doesn’t want to watch a Disney movie about pirates before hitting the beach?

‘Something Borrowed’ starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson and Colin Egglesfield; In theaters May 6

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: chick-flick season! Catch a last glimpse of hope before finals commence by seeing “Something Borrowed,” a romantic comedy about two frenemies and their intertwining romances. The film, starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, John Krasinski and Colin Egglesfield, promises to be entertaining, lighthearted and a sweet dose of eye candy — all that’s necessary for a quality rom-com.

The trailer highlights the affection and underlying tension between diva Darcy (Hudson) and her bff Rachel (Goodwin). Darcy clearly gets everything she wants, often at the expense of good-girl Rachel, including the love of Rachel’s life, Dex (Egglesfield). Turns out Dex might be just as in love with Rachel, but he’s already gone too far with Darcy to turn back — or has he? One night leads to a little too intimate of an encounter between Rachel and Dex and suddenly everything is turned upside down.

Enter Ethan (Krasinski), the cute tells-it-like-it-is confidant who holds Rachel accountable for what she wants. Judging by the trailer, it also looks like he could be the perfect catalyst to bring Darcy back down to earth. Could a possible romantic switch-up be in the works? Hit theatres May 6 to find out.

‘Sucker Punch’ starring Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens and Abbie Cornish; In theaters March 25

The trailer for Zack Snyder’s latest film, “Sucker Punch,” is held up to some high expectations. Ignoring his most recent film, “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole,” because he probably wishes he could, trailers for Snyder’s films have been, in a word, awesome. “Dawn of the Dead?” Surprisingly, terrifyingly awesome. “Watchmen?” Depressingly, beautifully awesome. “300?” Freaking awesome.

These trailers implied a plot, gave flashes of intensity but also hints that the characters were more than set pieces in the films, and they used music to illustrate the tone and mood of the movie.

The question then becomes, how does the trailer for “Sucker Punch” match up to the high level of marketing shown by these previous films? The answer is simple: It doesn’t. The imagery is confusing and the plot it tries to present is all over the place and, if it’s plainly obvious in the trailer you can’t act, it doesn’t give much inspiration for the full-length film.

To top it all off, there’s Carla Gugino (Ari Gold’s female agent nemesis in “Entourage”) trying to pull off some sort of Russian accent. And frankly, it just sounds irritating.

Recommendation? Wait for somebody else to see it first and ask them before investing any money in a ticket, because this one just looks dumb.

‘Thor’ starring Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman; In theaters May 6

“Thor” does not seem to be doing anything that other super or mythical hero movies have not done before.  The monsters appear recycled, the story mundane and much of the acting subpar.  In fact, this actually seems like a Norse remake of “Clash of the Titans.”  It has all the ingredients.  The attractive male lead must fight to save mankind.  The attractive male lead tries to win the affection of the attractive female lead on his quest.  Ultimately, the hero finds himself successful on both counts.  Gemma Arterton. Maybe it’s Chris Hemsworth’s silky blond tresses.  

Whatever it is, director Kenneth Branagh effectively captures the attention of audiences with his entertaining trailer.  He depicts enough action and violence to ensnare the male clientele, while showing off enough of Hemsworth’s abs and the growing love story to melt the hearts of females.  Thor and his hammer may be formulaic, but they are intoxicating.

‘Water for Elephants’ starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz; In theaters April 22

A love story about the sun-browned Edward Cullen and a Marlene-Dietrich-y Reese Witherspoon, all set in a circus? Sure looks like an intriguing set-up. The trailer for “Water for Elephants” also has period clothing, a tinkly music-box score, foreshadowings of “the worst circus disaster” and an elephant. Those ingredients right there make for a good preview without spilling out the whole movie, although anyone who has read the book by Sara Guren probably already knows the plot anyway. The final shot of Robert Pattinson, Witherspoon and the elephant in a rocking railroad car has the exact right amount of eye-candy and mystery. Here’s to hoping the film lives up to the mood of the previews.