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Transformers 4, Annie, and More in Trailer Thursday

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

There’s a lot of bad in this batch of trailers, but can Andre 3000 as Jimi Hendrix save it?

Transformers 4, Annie, and More in Trailer Thursday

In this article…

In Trailer Tuesdays and Thursdays, I often try to highlight the best of what's out there. But often, what's out there is just plain shit. There's plenty of that out there, and in the name of equality, we will shed some light on just how bad it can get out there (and what people are willing to pay to see) with one exception that we'll save for last.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

I feel like the Transformers franchise should have stopped pushing its luck after the first installment, but I understand why they just keep pumping out more of these things. The third movie, Dark of the Moon, grossed over $350 million, and that was just in the US. Sure, it cost nearly $200 million to make, but that's a sizable profit, so now we have a fourth Transformers movie.

But this one doesn't have Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox or Rose Huntington-Whitely. This time, we have Mark Wahlberg and Dinobots thrown into the mix. Wahlberg's delivery of the line, "I think we found a Transformah!" is so laughable that it reminds me of the 'Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals' sketch from SNL. Kelsey Grammer, Stanley Tucci, and Nicola Peltz (the new eye candy) are along for the ride in this one. All the special effects look solid again, but what more are we really getting out of the Transformers aside from lining Michael Bay's pockets with more cash?

Grade: D+

Annie

As a redhead, the aversion to any kind of re-imagining of Annie is firmly ingrained in my DNA. But after the trailer for the new Annie, produced by Jay Z, hit the web yesterday, I almost grabbed my torch and pitchfork to start a riot. This movie looks awful. It has plenty of people I like (Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale), people I want better for (Quvenzhané Wallis) and others that I think are just so-so (Cameron Diaz), the trailer doesn't really showcase anything redeeming or worthwhile about the remake.

A lot of this stems from the amount of time Cameron Diaz is on screen. Carol Burnett already gave the definitive performance as the cruel Ms. Hannigan, so there need not be another. Diaz is trying way too hard, and she just seems really foolish. The music feels forced and feels like overkill. I'm sure this will find an audience, but it won't be with me. 

Grade: D-

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

I was underwhelmed by the first Sin City, so I doubt the second one is going to do much for me. After watching the trailer, I'm slightly intrigued by still not sold. They added Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Eva Green and a host of other lovely ladies into the mix, but the super-stylized and over-grittiness just seems a bit much. If you like Jessica Alba stripping/dancing at a gentlemen's club, you will like this trailer. Also, if you like this noir-styled stuff. But I feel like plenty of people are going to pass here, especially so far removed from the first film.

Grade: C-

All Is By My Side (Clip)

Is there anything that can redeem those three trailers from above? Yes, there might be. The first clips of André Benjamin (or André 3000, if you will) as Jimi Hendrix from the upcoming Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side have finally surfaced, and man does he look and sound the part. Benjamin already had the look down, but he sounds a ton like Hendrix. I don't know how he did it, but it's like Benjamin hid away in a bunker, did nothing but immerse himself in Hendrix audio, and then finally emerged as the spitting image of Hendrix.

Starring alongside Benjamin are Imogen Poots (in the clip below as Linda Keith), Haley Atwell, and Ashley Charles as Keith Richards. This taste makes me want to skip the full trailer or teaser and get right to the main course and this wonderful movie. 

Grade: A

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