“Rango” promo is not for the literal minded (updated 2x)

Tired of trailers that give everything away? Well, below is the teaser trailer — or whatever it’s supposed to be — that’s been mystifying bloggers like Drew McWeeney all day. The movie is called “Rango.” [UPDATE: The trailer has since been deleted.  I guess someone decided it was just too surreal.  ANOTHER UPDATE, MUCH LATER: And now it’s back.]

Reminds me of a joke:

Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: The fish.

Or, in this case, the mechanical fish, I guess.

As per McWeeney and YouTube, the movie is performance-capture heavy animated piece about a “chameleon with an identity crisis” and stars Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, and a truly impressive collection of venerable character actors including Bill Nighy, Stephen Root, Ray Winstone, Beth Grant, Ned Beatty, Harry Dean Stanton and Alfred Molina. It’s being directed by Gore Verbinski and co-written by the very busy scribe John Logan. I am anything but a fan of Verbinski’s “Pirates” movies, but the marketing has worked. They’ve got my attention.

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What Else Ya Got? “My Sister’s Keeper”

Not a whole lot, unfortunately, as Warner Bros. continues their hit-and-miss streak of Blu-ray releases. Though “My Sister’s Keeper” isn’t exactly the kind of film that needs hours of bonus material, it certainly deserved better than this. A director commentary or a proper making-of featurette would have done wonders to flesh out the otherwise skin-and-bones disc, but at least there’s something extra for the fans.

From Picoult to Screen

This 13-minute featurette promises to show the creative process of author Jodi Picoult, but it’s really just a shameless piece of promotional material that glosses over the journey of “My Sister’s Keeper” from page to screen. There are some decent interviews with Picoult, director Nick Cassavetes, and stars Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin, but you can’t help but feel like there’s a more in-depth making-of featurette hidden somewhere in the Warner Bros. vaults. Surely the studio has more behind-the-scenes footage and interviews that they could have included, so why not create something with a little more substance?

Additional Scenes

As the only extra on the DVD release, this collection of deleted scenes runs just over 16 minutes long. With the exception of a funny scene involving Alec Baldwin at the court house, a majority of the material revolves around Jason Patric’s character, including an additional sequence with each of his daughters and a court scene that reveals Anna’s trepidations about surgery as a kid. It’s nice to see that Patric played a bigger role in the film than the theatrical cut suggests, but despite getting heavily edited out of the movie, it actually works in his favor. Take these deleted scenes for what they are: proof that sometimes less is more.

That’s it in terms of actual bonus material, but Warner Bros. has also included a digital copy of the film for those that feel like a good cry on the go. It’s not really worth the upcharge, however, so unless you’re a Blu-ray junkie, you’d probably be better off just sticking to the standard DVD.

  

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Weekend box office: “Zombieland” to lift horror comedy curse, apparently

zombieland-movie-image-woody-harrelson-jesse-eisenberg-abigail-breslin-emma-stone

There was a time — I think it was, I don’t know, two weeks ago — when horror comedies were supposed to be, now and forever, box office poison. “Too funny to be scary and too scary to be funny” was the not so intelligent line. Such was the Hollywood conventional wisdom, until someone went and made a horror comedy that struck a chord.

So, apparently the peanut butter of horror can be blended with the chocolate of comedy if you have lots of action and sufficient gore, the trailer for the movie in question is funny enough that audiences will be sold on it as a more or less straight comedy…and, oh yeah, almost everybody who can stomach seems to love it. Such certainly seems to be the case with “Zombieland.” The flick, which features indie stars Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin, is eliciting excitement both from industry types and critics who have graced it with an 89% “Fresh” Rotten Tomatoes rating (just two points shy of 2004’s instant zombie comedy classic, “Shaun of the Dead.”)

Still, for yours truly who loves comedy horror but has a well documented issue with gore, particularly of the zombie variety, this means a probable long period of movie procrastination followed by a small bonanza for our nation’s distillers. For top-billed costar Woody Harrelson, though, it means a comeback. Jolly Carl DiOrio of THR and Andrew Stewart of Variety guess that it will gross somewhere around $20-$25 million or perhaps further north in over 3,000 theaters. If it wasn’t such a busy weekend, I might think it could do even better.

As for the number two spot, I gather most of the prognosticators expect yet another very good weekend for the animated family hit, “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” but after that, the playing field gets a bit crowded. For one thing, Pixar is making things interesting with 3-D redoes of “Toy Story,” and “Toy Story 2” being released as a double feature. It’s a pretty awesome package of family entertainment and I could see it cutting into this weekend’s “Meatballs” take.

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