This Week in Trailers: ‘American Reunion,’ Pixar’s ‘Brave,’ and More

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Every Friday here at Flavorwire, we like to gather up the week’s new movie trailers, give them a look-see, and rank them from worst to best — while taking a guess or two at what they might tell us (or hide from us) about the movies they’re promoting. We’ve got ten new trailers for you this week, including the American Pie sequel (yes, another one) American Reunion, the end-of-the-world thriller 4:44 Last Day on Earth, a new indie featuring (and produced by) Nick Offerman, and the latest effort from the fine folks at Pixar. Check ’em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments.

American Reunion

Here’s the part where they lost me: when Jim’s dad says the thing about the pages being stuck together in his old porno magazines. Actually, it’s not the line itself — far be it from me to begrudge an American Pie sequel a sticky-pages joke. It’s how they sell the line afterwards, as the two of them look down, and then slowly look up, as they realize why they’re stuck together! Oh, can you believe it?

Little tip, scatological filmmakers: if you have to put in that moment, then you think your audience is even stupider than they are.

Cherry

As excited as we are at the idea of Heather Graham returning to Boogie Nights territory, this anatomy-of-a-porn-actress indie looks like exactly the kind of formula melodrama that Nights distinguished itself by not being. It’s not that there’s not a story to be seriously told about the nuts-and-bolts of the porn industry, it’s that this particular version of the story has been told so many times — she’s got an alcoholic mother and an abusive stepfather, for crying out loud. Plus, y’know, Franco’s in it.

Trouble with Bliss

Michael C. Hall is due to make a film crossover. And Lucy Liu has been off the radar for too long. And we’re happy to see Peter Fonda in just about anything. But this trailer is so self-consciously quirky, so obsessed with showing off its own clever zaniness, that we’re going to choose to forget about it and still see the movie for the above-mentioned reasons. But, strictly speaking, that’s not the best response for a trailer to get.

Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope

Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock takes an affectionate look at the San Diego Comic-Con, the annual mega-convention for comic book, fantasy, sci-fi, and everything geek. Though the trailer’s boasts that the documentary is “from” Stan Lee and Joss Whedon are somewhat disingenuous (they’re credited as two of the film’s six executive producers), we’re intrigued by this good-natured teaser, which also includes some flashes of the celeb interview subjects (including Seth Rogen and directors Kevin Smith and Eli Roth). And you’ve got to admit, there is something irresistible about the “buckets off, everybody” Star Wars group photo moment.

Struck By Lightning

Glee’s Chris Colfer both wrote and stars in this darkly comic tale of an ambitious high school journalist who digs up dirt on his fellow classmates. Though the story is familiar (the bare bones of the plot are awfully reminiscent of a festival film called Beware the Gonzo from a couple of years back), the trailer has an inspired comic energy, and the supporting players (Allison Janney, Christina Hendricks, Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland, The Office’s Angela Kinsey, and Bridesmaids’ Rebel Wilson among them) move this one a little closer to the top of the list.

Somebody Up There Likes Me

Look, this Keith Poulson fellow may be top-billed, and he seems nice enough, but make no mistake: we’re seeing this one for the Offerman. Parks and Rec’s Ron Swanson not only co-stars in this comedy/drama from writer-director Bob Byington, but he co-produced as well. And you know what that means: starlets sleeping with him for a role in the movie — in this case, his wife Megan Mullally. Also appearing, in the female lead, is Jess Weixler, who we’ve had an eye on since her rather memorable leading role in Teeth a few years back; the film itself looks a little on twee side, but we’ve got a pretty high tolerance for that kind of thing, and it looks like an ideal role for Mr. Offerman. Somebody Up There Likes Me premieres at this year’s SXSW Film Festival.

4:44 Last Day on Earth

We’re in a decidedly apocalyptic mood these days, what with it being 2012 and all; last year gave us Melancholia, and just two weeks ago, we enjoyed the trailer for Searching for a Friend at the End of the World. 4:44 Last Day on Earth offers a less light-hearted take, and that’s no surprise — the writer/director is Abel Ferrara, the fiercely independent filmmaker behind the original (and evilest) Bad Lieutenant. The trailer is utterly compelling — in facing down the end of days, Ferrara may have finally found the subject matter dark and bleak enough to really sink his teeth into.

Bully

Settle down, they didn’t already do a remake (or a reboot!) of the 2001 Bijou Phillips movie. This Bully is a documentary (it screened under its original title, The Bully Project, at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival) about the problem of bullying in schools, following five families over the course of one year. It’s an important topic — so, of course, the MPAA has slapped it with the R rating that will prevent the teenagers it’s about from actually seeing it (and they’ve rejected the Weinstein Company’s appeal as well). But we digress; the point is, the Weinstein folks have been putting out some solid documentaries lately, and this could be a very powerful picture.

Brave

We’ll admit it: we were a little underwhelmed by the first trailer for the next Pixar movie, a move into “Disney princess” territory that didn’t exactly look like the way for the studio to warm its way back into our hearts, post-Cars 2. But some movies just aren’t suited to the slice-and-dicing of the modern movie teaser; this new trailer, which is really just a two-and-a-half minute excerpt to introduce the tough-as-nails leading character (voiced by Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly MacDonald), has got us quite a bit more excited.

The Imposter

One of the many, many, many films we were disappointed to have missed at Sundance was this mystery/documentary, which a fellow moviegoer described as “Catch Me if You Can as done by Errol Morris.” (Yes, people actually talk like that up there.) This new teaser for the film (which will also show at SXSW, and was just picked up for distribution by rookie outfit Indomina) is low on information — though you can probably put it together from the title — and high on atmosphere, piquing our interest without telling too much. In other words, it does exactly what a good trailer is supposed to do.