Category Archives: Preview Impressions

Terminator Salvation: Teaser Impressions

Warner Brothers recently released a first trailer for next year’s Terminator Salvation film. It’s only a minute in length, but I like what I see. Christian Bale looks perfect as John Connor. With him in this role, it’s easy to get excited about the film. The graininess of the teaser makes it tricky to say much about the action, but I like the mood and general movement of the shots.

Having said that, I have one huge concern with this movie: director McG. His résumé is wafer thin, and includes the awful Charlie’s Angels and the even worse Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. I’m also concerned about Moon Bloodgood’s role, as I wasn’t impressed with her in Pathfinder. But again, Christian Bale can carry a film by himself, and having both Bale and Terminators in the same film can overcome a lot of weaknesses.

Terminator Salvation is scheduled for release in the summer of 2009.

Preview Impressions: The Last Legion

In the past month, I’ve taken a look at two previews for sword and sorcery movies. Dragon Wars looks to be a moderately interesting film unique for its Korean origins. The omens for In the Name of the King are more ominious. On August 17, 2007, we’ve got the release of yet another swords and sorcery film, The Last Legion, which is about the beginning of King Arthur’s legend.

It’s hard to see much original in this film at this point, and the preview doesn’t show enough of the action to get a good idea as to its quality. The speed of the action looks good, but it would be nice to see something more spectacular in the preview. At a glance, the boy Caesar struck me as abysmal. More appealing is the appearance of Bollywood mega-star Aishwarya Rai, who looks to have a great presence in this film.

Prediction: 44 (Needs more)

Preview Impressions: Dragon Wars

Dragon Wars! Every damn time I get excited about a dragon movie, I generally am disappointed when I finally see it. Eragon was the latest of let downs, but once again I find myself excited about a dragon movie. I just can’t help myself. Put a dragon in the film, and you’ve got my ticket. This time it’s the Korean film Dragon Wars, due for a September 2007 release date. Here’s a taste:

One thing is for sure, Dragon Wars is not short on action. We’ve got helicopters chasing dragons, dragons loose in big cities, and a great variety of beasts. At a glance, the visual effects on the dragons look a bit low quality, but the explosions and movement in the film looks fairly good.

The trailer doesn’t explain the story at all, other than to announce “something unexplainable”. This sounds like a euphemism for “totally illogical premise”, but we’ll give the film the benefit of the doubt for now. The one bit of dialog does sound goofy, though.

Prediction: 56 (Looks like mindless fun, dragons add mucho points)

Preview Impressions: In the Name of the King

Interestingly, at the beginning of the preview to In the Name of the King, when the soldier is describing how his forces got wiped out, I was having flashbacks to Monty Python’s Holy Grail. Only after watching for a few more seconds did I realize that the film isn’t a comedy: the soldier was trying to express panic and fear. This doesn’t bode well for the acting in this film. And did someone hypnotize Burt Reynolds (the king)? Wow. Once again, at the end of the preview, with the villain’s final line, I thought that perhaps In the Name of the King is a parody. Is the villain (Ray Liotta) simply a nutcase? Where are they going with this? Done right, a comical, cruel, insane villain might work in a film like this, but it would take excellent execution. After watching the preview a second time, In the Name of the King does look to be a standard tale of swords and sorcery, with perhaps a couple of original characters.

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The preview does a good job of giving you a peak at many of the elements in the movie. At a glance, I was impressed with the sword fighting, yet thoroughly unimpressed with the visual effects for magic. The hero looks physically unimpressive (Jason Statham), but it is nice to see a beautiful woman (Claire Forlani). The story looks quite traditional.

In the Name of the King is tied to the role-playing game Dungeon Siege, but this looks to be solely for marketing purposes. The film will release in December of 2007. This is a film to watch for me, but I’m a big fan of swords and sorcery films, even if they’re bad.

Prediction: 33 (Good fighting, awful story)

[tags]In the Name of the King, swords, sorcery, action movie, Claire Forlani, Jason Statham, Ray Liotta[/tags]

Preview Impressions: Transformers

transformers8a.jpgI have to admit, I cringed when I heard that a Transformers movie was on the way. Why pick up the Transformers name? Why not start with something original? This is the type of concept that dooms itself to negative reviews. How can a legitimate reviewer entertain the thought of giving this film a positive review? I pictured a cheesy, clunky film thrown together in order to rake in profits from toy, clothing, and game merchandising.

I mean, look at this TV Show intro:

Nothing against children’s animated TV shows, but it I find it hard to believe a Transformers TV cartoon could be the basis of a good Hollywood action movie. When I saw the teaser, about six months ago, it did nothing to dispel my concerns. There wasn’t much to see.

However, in the past couple of months I’ve seen two new trailers.

Wow. There are some incredible action scenes here. The special effects look brilliant. The attention to detail in the scenes looks meticulous. The robots convey a strong sense of weight, power, and speed. Dare I say it: They look real. The story looks cheesy and generic, for sure, and there are always concerns about the film’s editing, but the second trailer in particular blew away all my negative preconceptions about the film. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this film could be a winner. If they can sustain the pace of the trailers in the movie, Transformers just might be an outstanding action movie. I still have my doubts, but the film moved well up on my radar. I’m looking forward to the release, on July 3, 2007.

Prediction: 73

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