Trailer Round-Up: 'American Reunion,' 'We Need to Talk About Kevin,' Shia LaBeouf's 'Maniac'

Trailer Round-Up: 'American Reunion,' 'We Need to Talk About Kevin,' Shia LaBeouf's 'Maniac'

Nov 01, 2011

American ReunionFeeling a little lethargic as you rise from the sweet slumber of your sugar coma on this first day of November? Need a little pick-me-up to counter the depressing news that you’re several dozen Snickers bars closer to the onset of Type 2 diabetes? Maybe these new trailers and clips will brighten your morning.

We’ve already seen a red band trailer for American Reunion – the latest film in the American Pie series, but today we get our first look at a more family-friendly (or as “family friendly” as a film in this series can be, anyway) preview for the upcoming film.

American Reunion finds everyone from the original films coming home for their ten year high school reunion (and you thought truth in advertising was dead…). Lots has changed since high school, but the more things change, the more they stay the same. Expect lots of hilarious hijinks when Jim, Stifler, Finch, Oz, and the rest of the gang get back together for the first time in years.

The trailer seems decent enough – there aren’t any hilarious moments in the clip, but you’ll probably chuckle a few times. Stifler still looks to be the comedic center of the film’s universe, and the jokes seem to be on the same level of the original film. Don’t blink or you might miss Tara Reid in her first meaningful work since…well, forever. When was the last time Tara Reid was in something we’d actually admit to watching? Probably The Big Lebowski. Man, that was a long time ago…

Expect to reunite with the gang on April 6th of next year. In the meantime, peep the clip below.

At first glance, We Need to Talk About Kevin looks a lot like an updated version of The Good Son or any one of a dozen other “bad kid” flicks. What seems to set this one apart from its brethren is that it features a performance from Tilda Swinton that’s already earning critical praise, it’s directed by Lynne Ramsay, and is based on an award-winning novel by Lionel Shriver.

If you’re unfamiliar with Shriver’s novel, I’ll not spoil it here – but I will say that this trailer really doesn’t do the book or the film justice. Unfortunately, this preview never gets to the heart of what inspires Swinton’s unpleasant relationship with her son – which is something both topical and timely, and places the novel’s narrative far above similar fare like The Good Son. It’s a shame that many people will look at this clip and write the film off as another lazy thriller when the book it’s based on is certainly deeper than that.

We Need to Talk About Kevin made its UK premiere earlier this month, but American audiences will have to wait until sometime this winter to see if Ramsay and company can do justice to the novel.

If you somehow didn’t get enough horror for Halloween, here’s one more short film to give you your holiday fix.

Entitled Maniac, this ten minute black-and-white indie (which comes courtesy of Bloody-Disgusting and The Collective) wears its inspiration on its sleeve – it’s an obvious homage to Man Bites Dog, a faux documentary wherein a camera crew follows around a serial killer. The film makes no secret of what inspired it, going so far as to feature a poster for Man Bites Dog in the background of one of its scenes.

What’s so interesting about the short is that it was directed by none other than Shia LaBeouf. Who knew that Mr. Transformers was not only a fan of a film like Man Bites Dog, but that he could actually direct too? Judging by this short film, we like LaBeouf the director a lot more than LaBeouf the actor, so maybe the kid does have a future in this biz after all.

Kidding aside, the film follows two characters around as they go on a murderous rampage while a camera crew follows them. Kid Cudi and Chris Palko (aka Cage) star as the killers, and LaBeouf turns up as the camera man (it’s brief – blink and you might miss it). It’s a pretty violent but well-crafted short film. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table for folks who’ve seen Man Bites Dog (and if you haven’t, do so immediately – it’s a Criterion Collection disc, so you know it’s quality), but we still thought it was pretty entertaining. Check it out below and let us know what you think.

[via The Filmstage, YouTube,]

Categories: Trailers and Clips
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