This Week in Trailers: ‘The Avengers,’ ‘Frankenweenie,’ ‘Neighborhood Watch,’ and More


Every Friday here at Flavorwire, we like to gather up the week new movie trailers, give them a look-see, and rank them from worst to best — while taking a guess or two about what they might tell us (or hide from us) about the movies they’re promoting. We’ve got nine new trailers for you this week, including a new look at The Avengers and Richard Linklater’s latest (yay!), and new films from Adam Sandler and Tim Burton (boo!). Check ’em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments.

That’s My Boy

Look, it’s not that every Adam Sandler movie is automatically terrible; as we’ve discussed, when he bothers to work outside of his Elvis-like cluster of sycophants and hangers-on, he often ends up making a Punch Drunk Love or Funny People. And that’s what we’d hoped was happening here — the script is by Happy Endings creator David Caspe, with a rewrite by The State and Wet Hot American Summer’s David Wain and Ken Marino, and it’s directed by Hot Tub Time Machine co-writers Sean Anders and John Morris. But those hopes sank at the :21 second mark, as the logo for Sandler’s Happy Madison production company splashed across the screen, and sure enough, the trailer is filled with the same low-talent stock company and low-rent humor as any other Sandler-originated effort. Pass. (Again.)


If you can’t watch this trailer and predict, beat for beat, everything that’s going to happen here, then friend, you haven’t seen enough moving pictures.

The Avengers

We’re of such mixed minds about this new trailer. The Avengers is a movie we’ve been excited about for a while—because a) we liked most (not all) of the films that it’s basically a catch-all sequel too, and b) because it’s written and directed by Joss Whedon. But there’s very little of him in this trailer; the first half is basically a heist movie style crew assemblage, and the second half is CG action and throwaway dialogue (“This is nothing we were ever trained for”) that we’d make fun of it was in the trailer for, say, a new Transformers movie. To be fair, those are exactly the elements that will appeal to the widest audience, so that’s presumably why they’re pushing them. We just hope there’s more to the movie than this.

The Deep Blue Sea

Relax, they didn’t already remake the Samuel-L.-Jackson-gets-eaten-by-a-shark movie. No, this here is an art film for grown-ups—and the trailer is almost a check-list of art-house trailer clichés. Film fest laurels? Check. Slow, languid piano music? Check. Fancy-script pull-quotes from esteemed sources? Check. Loving, soft close-ups? Check. Look, we will literally see anything Rachel Weisz does. But this trailer is as squarely disinterested in anyone outside of its demo as The Avengers is.


Okay, let’s get the obvious joke out of the way: Hey, looks like Tim Burton ran out of other people’s movies to remake, so now he’s having to remake his own. At least he’s starting near the beginning; Frankenweenie was one of his first directorial credits, a 1984 live-action short film that got him fired from his job at Disney because it was too dark for family audiences. Look, there’s no love lost for Mr. Burton here, but credit where due: this one looks like a lot of fun, the style is intriguing, and the trailer left your author with a big grin. Pretty cruel of Disney to slip in that reminder that Burton directed Alice in Wonderland just when the trailer’s getting good, though.

Neighborhood Watch

When it comes to comedies, the “teaser trailer” usually tends to boil down to telling the one, big joke at the heart of a movie’s premise. Such is the case with this summer comedy from director Akiva Schaffer (of the Lonely Island) and writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg: the high concept is Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade (of The IT Crowd) as the titular band of minivan-driving enforcers. And y’know what? That’s not a bad joke to hang your movie on. We’ll reserve full judgment until we’ve seen a little more, but this one has promise.

The Moth Diaries

We’ve been waiting entirely too long for a new film from Mary Harron, the talented director of I Shot Andy Warhol and American Psycho, whose last effort (The Notorious Betty Page) came out clear back in 2005. And we have to say, our hearts sank when this trailer first uttered the word “vampire” — no, not you too, Mary Harron! But we’ll get past that — if making a vampire flick was what it took for someone to bankroll a new Harron movie, so be it. Plus, that reservation aside, this prep school story looks legitimately moody and creepy, while the inserts with Scott Speedman’s prof indicate a degree of welcome self-awareness.


It’s also been too long since Richard Linklater’s last film, the enchanting (and underseen) Me and Orson Welles, and this true story of murder in a small Texas town looks right up his alley. Linklater mixes in real interviews with locals from Carthage, Texas, making it an interesting hybrid of documentary and narrative; he’s also got Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey, who’ve done some of their best work for him in the past. (Also, nice to see Shirley MacLaine working her Ouisa groove again.)