This Week in Trailers: ‘Looper,’ ‘The Magic of Belle Isle,’ ‘The Samaritan,’ 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 about what they might tell us (or hide from us) about the movies they’re promoting. We’ve got seven trailers for you this week, including the latest from Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Simon Pegg, Morgan Freeman, and Samuel L. Jackson. Check ’em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments.

Lovely Molly

Not to nitpick, but the on-screen text claiming that Lovely Molly is “from the creators of The Blair Witch Project” isn’t entirely true — that groundbreaking horror film was co-directed by Eduardo Sanchez (who directed and co-wrote Lovely Molly) and Daniel Myrick (who is not involved). But it’s worth asking where the hell either of them has been in the 13 years since that film’s release; though it was their last collaboration, neither directed anything for at least seven years after Blair’s 1999 release. Word was, for quite a while after, that they were trying to get a romantic comedy made; Sanchez apparently realized which side his bread was buttered on, and is now attempting a triumphant return with this hybrid of conventional and found-footage horror. But the trailer’s promise that the film will “redefine horror once again” sounds like an awfully high bar to clear, particularly since the trailer is comprised entirely of shaky cam, night vision, first-person, and generic scares that we’ve seen many, many times before.

The Samaritan

One of the final lines of this trailer for Samuel L. Jackson’s latest is “there’s only one way for this to end” — which is true, by that point, since the trailer seems to spell out all of the film’s plot turns. Make no mistake, they probably wouldn’t have been that tough to puzzle out (this is far from a fresh story), but it’s still bad form to put the whole movie in your trailer, particularly when it has the possibility of bringing some style and pizazz to the genre. The possibility of Jackson fronting an indie B-movie is tantalizing, but we’re not sure if we’ll actually see the movie — since, by all appearances, we just did.

The Magic of Belle Isle

The case of Rob Reiner is a strange one. He went from one of the hottest directorial streaks in modern film (This is Spinal Tap, The Sure Thing, Stand by Me, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, Misery, A Few Good Men, The American President) to one of the coldest (North, Ghosts of Mississippi, The Story of Us, Alex & Emma, Rumor Has It, The Bucket List, Flipped). And while some of those films have their defenders (sure, The Bucket List made me cry, but I didn’t feel very good about myself in the morning), there’s no question there was a real pivot in the quality of his work around the mid-’90s, and he hasn’t recovered. Unfortunately, for all the reliable talents in this one — and seriously, there’s no excuse for Virginia Madsen to be working as little as she is — this maudlin-looking exercise doesn’t appear to be the picture that’s going to turn that tide.

I Know That Voice

One of the specific pleasures of a good documentary is the discovery of a world, an industry, or a subculture you’re unaware of, or know very little about. That’s the case with I Know That Voice, a new documentary about voice actors, in which over a dozen of the industry’s stars, legends, and grinders talk about the process and the business. This long trailer is heavy on the talking heads (one hopes the film itself has a bit more variety) — but on the other hand, it’s a movie about people who talk for a living, so that’s probably to be expected.

A Fantastic Fear of Everything

We’re always happy to see Simon Pegg keeping busy, and this cheeky-looking comedy from directors Crispin Mills and Chris Hopewell seems an ideal vehicle for his manic personality. And we’re also always happy with the strategy of just throwing a bunch of weird visuals and inexplicable moments into a trailer, banging them up against each other, and seeing what you come up with — so bravo on that score as well.

Little Birds

Not sure how it took your editor so long to jump on the Juno Temple train, but she’s terrific in the Tribeca selection Jack and Diane, she’s astonishing in the forthcoming Killer Joe, and here’s another intriguing role in Elgin James’s drama, which premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. The trailer’s structure is striking — elegiac and moody, with a sudden shift to scary and out of control — and we’re all sorts of amped about getting to see the great Leslie Mann work her dramatic chops.

Looper

This one’s been on our radar for a while, and for good reason: writer/director Rian Johnson, the maestro behind the gripping 2005 neo-noir Brick and the woefully underrated 2008 con-man comedy The Brothers Bloom (and the “Fly” episode of Breaking Bad), reunited with his Brick star and Flavorwire favorite Joseph Gordon-Levitt, for a time-travelling action movie with Bruce Willis (who’s got a pretty good history with those). This is a tight, compelling trailer — the premise is clever, the action is swift, and the Joe’s Willisy make-up job is subtle but effective — and just when we thought we couldn’t get more excited about this one, bang, there’s my secret girlfriend Emily Blunt. September? We’ve got to wait till September for this?