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Trailer Thursday

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Miyazaki’s final feature plus the latest drama from Kate Winslett, Muppets and more.

Trailer Thursday

In this article…

Thursday means trailers, so let's take a look at some notable new movie trailers to end the day.

The Wind Rises

Legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki says farewell with this final film, The Wind Rises. Even though he works in the realm of animation, his films transcend the genre. His film Spirited Away captured the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2003, and Howl's Moving Castle was nominated for the same award in 2004. Other films like My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Ponyo are films that can be enjoyed well beyond your youth. My Neighbor Totoro happens to be one of my favorite films of all time.

Miyazaki announced earlier in the year that he would be retiring from filmmaking, or at least directing. This story looks more serious in tone. Set in the backdrop of early 20th Century Japan, The Wind Rises tells the story of Jiro, a young man who wants to build airplanes. His story takes him through several turbulent periods of Japanese history. The animation is stunning as always, and with a rich story to tell like this, Miyazaki might have indeed created his masterpiece. The choice to use only the music in the trailer adds a refined quality to the clip and gives it a certain reverence. I can't wait to give this man a proper good bye.

Grade: A

Muppets Most Wanted

One of my favorite movies of 2011 was The Muppets. I had a smile on my face from beginning to end. The amount of joy that projected off the screen was almost too much to take in. Jason Segel was able to capture the essence of the Muppets with his script and turn in an absolute charmer of a film.

The sequel brings with it high hopes, but one of my worries about this follow up is the absence of Segel. Neither he nor Amy Adams are around for this one, and Segel didn't have a hand in the script. The film does retain one of the original's co-writers (Nick Stoller) and its director (James Bobin, Flight of the Conchords) as well as music supervisor Bret McKenzie (who's song "Man or Muppet" won Best Song at the Academy Awards in 2012). And while it may have lost Segel and Adams, it gains Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Christoph Waltz, Tom Hiddleston, Salma Hayek and countless other celebrity cameos. The plot is more than just a "getting the gang back together" device as well, and judging by the latest trailer, it still looks like it's going to be a whole lot of fun.

<iframe width="640" height="360" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="http://movies.yahoo.com/video/muppets-most-wanted-theatrical-trailer-002011109.html?format=embed&player_autoplay=false"></iframe>

Grade: B+

Labor Day

Labor Day tells that classic story of man breaks out of prison, politely takes a family hostage, falls in love with a heartbroken single mom while befriending her son and trying to evade authorities. Josh Brolin stars as the convict, Kate Winslett stars opposite as the heartbroken woman and Gattlin Griffith plays the son along for the ride. Based on the novel of the same name and directed by Jason Reitman (Up In The Air), this does look compelling if only for the turns of Brolin and Winslett. There might be more than meets the eye as far as twists go, but the trailer lays out a fairly predictable storyline. Despite that, it still looks pretty effective.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/QOQL3Xi8dPE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Grade: B

Need For Speed

I never played the Need For Speed video games. My racing game of choice was always Gran Turismo or Cruisin USA for the Nintendo 64. But Aaron Paul stars in this adaptation as a street racer looking for vengeance against the man who wronged him. The film also stars Dominic Cooper, Dakota Johnson, Imogen Poots, Michael Keaton (whose role I can't really decipher from the trailer), Chillie Mo and rapper Kid Cudi. It's a real hodgepodge of a cast, and I wish all the best for Aaron Paul after "Breaking Bad," so I'm hoping this does well. It probably will, even if it looks like a very odd tale.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/e73J71RZRn8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Grade: B-

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