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Amanda Mae Meyncke

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Amanda Meyncke lives in Los Angeles and writes about movies for a living. She often looks around for someone to congratulate her, but there is no one there.

Trailer Countdown 2/22/13: ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ & ‘Gimme the Loot’

It’s Friday again, the last day of the work week, and also the day of reckoning – for trailers, that is.

Every Friday we round up all of the trailers that have been released that week and judge them from best to worst. Some movies are better than others, and we want to make sure we catch the best and avoid the rest.

From “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” - Mira Nair’s bravely different take on the Pakistani experience in America - to the abysmally unfunny preview for the comedy “About Last Night,” this week’s trailers offer controversy, charm, and everything in between.

Disagree or take a different view on things? Let us know in the comments below!

1.) ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’

Best of the Week: One man’s journey as a Pakistani who made his way to America just before 9/11, he faces threats and an identity crisis while struggling to balance his life and loves. This one comes from one of the most interesting directors working today, Mira Nair, which means it’s shot by Declan Quinn, and hopefully the film will be as fantastic as it looks.
Starring: Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber
Release Date: April 26, 2013

2.) ‘Gimme the Loot’

This New York coming of age story focuses on two graffiti artists determined to become famous to their friends by tagging the Mets’ iconic home run apple. What will they be willing to do to live their dream? This unique story looks absolutely engaging and compelling, a tender look at life’s difficulties and triumphs. It’s also worth mentioning that ‘Gimme the Loot’ won the feature competition at last year’s SXSW Film Festival.
Starring: Tashiana Washington, Ty Hickson, Joshua Rivera
Release Date: March 22, 2013

3.) ‘Rubberneck’

Mysterious and thrilling, this drama about a one-time affair between two co-workers dissolves into chaos when one of them wants more from the relationship. “Rubberneck” looks to be a strong contender this week, as “Girls’”Alex Karpovsky directs and stars.
Starring: Alex Karpovsky, Jaime Ray Newman, Dennis Staroselsky
Release Date: 2013

4.) ‘Freaky Deaky’

A pair of bomb-makers in 1974 struggle to make ends meet and become staunch capitalists, amidst a mess of drugs, guns and sex. Based on an Elmore Leonard novel (natch), this one looks to be tons of fun, and boasts a stellar cast including the wild and weird Crispin Glover.
Starring: Christian Slater, Crispin Glover, Billy Burke
Release Date: 2013

5.) ‘Hunky Dory’

This British musical set in 1976 revolves around a group of high schoolers and their rambunctious drama teacher who is dead set on them performing Shakespeare with a twist. It looks like it holds a great deal of promise, especially given the charming inclusion of Minnie Driver, but something about the feel of the trailer gives me pause.
Starring: Minnie Driver, Aneurin Barnard, Danielle Branch
Release Date: 2013

6.) ‘Justin and the Knights of Valor’

This seemingly charming animated tale about a young man who wants to be a valorous knight has some of the best English vocal talent working today. It’s always delightful to see some promising cartoon fare from a studio other then Pixar.
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Freddie Highmore, Mark Strong
Release Date: 2013

7.) ‘Six Souls’

A doctor must use all her powers to save a young man who exhibits signs of multiple personalities and seems to harbor a dark secret. Strangely enough, this one was made back in 2009 and has been sitting on the shelf for a while. Never a good sign, but we’ll give Julianne Moore the benefit of the doubt.
Starring: Julianne Moore, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jeffrey DeMunn
Release Date: April 5, 2013

8.) ‘Reincarnated’

Rapper Snoop Dogg takes us on a documentary journey inside his own mind and to the far off land of Jamaica, as he seeks to reinvent himself and his music, rising from the ashes as an entirely new kind of performer.
Starring: Snoop Lion, Theocracy Reign Ivine Order of the Nyahbinghi, Dr. Dre, Daz Dillinger
Release Date: March 15, 2013

9.) ‘It’s a Disaster’

A brunch party gone wrong is an understatement in this quirky indie comedy that finds old friends and new lovers trapped inside a house as the entire world goes crazy outside. Here’s a case where the film is much better than the trailer – I caught this one at the Los Angeles Film Festival last year, and it’s hilarious, strange and captivating, if not everyone’s cup of tea.
Starring: Julia Stiles, Rachel Boston, Kevin M. Brennan, David Cross
Release Date: April 12, 2013

10.) ‘Two Mothers’

Two mothers and close friends end up having relationships with each other’s teenage sons in this dramatic Australian tale of love and longing. This premiered at Sundance to decidedly mixed reviews, but it certainly got people talking.
Starring: Robin Wright, Naomi Watts, Xavier Samuel
Release Date: 2013

11.) ‘Gallowwalkers’

This Western with a twist features a gunslinger who is up against the undead, and he finds out that killing things once just isn’t enough. A little bit hokey for sure, but people are certainly on to something by combining Westerns with zombies.
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kevin Howarth, Riley Smith
Release Date: 2013

12.) ‘If I Were You’

Marcia Gay Harden plays a married woman who joins forces with her husband’s young mistress as the two seek to learn from one another to achieve their goals. This could go either way, abysmally unfunny or quirky and charming, as such it’s sinking towards the bottom of the stack but I could very easily be proved wrong. Do it, “If I Were You”! Prove me wrong!
Starring: Marcia Gay Harden, Leonor Watling, Joseph Kell
Release Date: 2013

13.) ‘Sanitarium’

A horror anthology featuring three different stories tied together by a common thread, this one could be surprising but looks like thoroughly by-the-book horror fare. Are we seeing the end or just the beginning of the horror anthology trend?
Starring: Lacey Chabert, Lou Diamond Phillips, Robert Englund, David Mazouz
Release Date: 2013

14.) ‘The Frankenstein Theory’

A laughable premise lands a team of researchers in the icy wilderness as they seek out Frankenstein’s monster in a cheap looking “Blair Witch Project” horror rip off that already has me yawning in my seat.
Starring: Kris Lemche, Joe Egender, Timothy V. Murphy
Release Date: March 1, 2013

15.) ‘Vamp U’

This doesn’t look bad, it looks terrible. A vampire accidentally turns a young woman who reminds him of his lost love, and she in turn wreaks havoc on her college. Misogynistic and un-funny to its core, let’s hope this one gets staked quickly.
Starring: Adam Johnson, Julie Gonzalo, Gary Cole
Release Date: 2013

16.) ‘About Last Night’

Worst of the Week. This one looks positively painful. While the concept is cute enough – friends and lovers work it all out in the big city, navigating the complicated world of love – the execution seems rehashed, as tired old plots are mixed with standard-grade performances.
Starring: Kevin Hart, Joy Bryant, Regina Hall
Release Date: Feb. 14, 2014

Tune in next week for another complete roundup of trailers and more!


Categories: Columns, Trailer Roundup

Tags: About Last Night, Freaky Deaky, Gallowwalkers, Gimme the Loot, Hunky Dory, If I were You, It's a Disaster, Justin and the Knights of Valor, Reincarnated, Rubberneck, Sanitarium, Six Souls, The Frankenstein Theory, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Two Mothers, Vamp U

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