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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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A review of the latest trailers, covering mostly horror, science fiction, and anything else of interest to me, that wasn't captured last time...

(Films in bold are of particular interest)

Abduction. Starring Taylor Lautner from the Twilight films, this looks like a fairly derivative film about a teenager that discovers his parents are not who they think they are. Cue lots of running away, action scenes, and being chased by mysterious government forces. Out late September.

The Adventures of TinTin: Secret of the Unicorn. Not the first cinematic outing for TinTin, but certainly the biggest effort so far. Directed by Spielberg, and adapted from three Hergé books by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright, and Joe Cornish. Voices provided by Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Despite the usual 3D tag this looks like it could be a ripping yarn and a great family adventure. Also the first in a purported trilogy of films. Late October for the UK, and late December for the USA curiously, assuming it doesn't change.

Colombiana. Action flick that starts with a Colombian child who witnesses her parents murdered, and then as an adult (Zoe Saldana) goes on a revenge spree. Has French production and direction, but it looks like the emphasis will be more on action than story. Out late August.

Contagion. Although a not particularly original story of a killer pandemic it comes with a heavyweight cast of Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Winslet. Also directed by Steven Soderbergh. The trailer doesn't give a lot away, and is a bit dull, so hard to say about the film. Out in September.

Creature. Set in Louisana, what looks like a pretty dreadful horror involving a monster that is half-man, half-alligator. Out in September.

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame. Despite the rather odd title, this is an epic Chinese / Hong Kong co-production with all the classic martial arts features akin to Crouching Tiger. Looks good, if the story stands up. Appears to have been on the festival circuit, and is already out on DVD.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. Produced by Guillermo Del Toro, this is based on the 70s horror TV series. A reasonable cast in the shape of Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes. The trailer looks reasonable, but hard to tell a lot. Out mid-August.

Dream House. Another horror, directed by Jim Sheridan, and with Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, and Naomi Watts. A family move into a house only to discover that the previous inhabitants were murdered. Hard to say about the story, which looks like a mixture of cliché with a potentially interesting twist. Certainly has a reasonable production pedigree. Out in late September.

Haywire. Another one from Steven Soderbergh. This time it's the old story of betrayed secret agent out for revenge. Starring Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, and Michael Douglas. Despite all that it looks a bit dull, or more so we've-seen-it-all-before. No UK release date that I can find, but out in Ireland in August, and the USA in January.

Hugo. Curiously a family film directed by Martin Scorsese. An orphan living a hidden life in a Paris train station finds a strange doll with a heart shaped lock. Looks interesting. Out in late November.

The Ward. A girl is incarcerated in a haunted mental institution after she sets fire to a house. Directed by John Carpenter. Looks to be a fairly average horror. Out on DVD in August.

John Carter. Based on an early 1900s novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the story appears to be set in an odd parallel universe where Mars is inhabited by strange aliens. Looks interesting, but also like it might be a rather soulless Disney effort. Here's hoping it isn't. Out in March 2012.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. Problems are afoot for the IMF team as they are disavowed, whatever that means. They are blamed for an attack on the Kremlin, so on the outside for once they have to prove their innocence. Looks like the usual action packed fun. Out in December.

Shark Night 3D. Teens go on holiday at a lake, but don't realise that the locals are up to something with sharks. Expect blood and guts and a riveting story, not. Out in September.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. A sequel to the first film starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law. Looks like more of the same high budget detective action. Out in December.

The Thing. A prequel to the 1982 film which shows decent production values but mostly a repeat of the previous story. Will it be interesting and different enough to be interesting? Here's hoping it is. Out in October.

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I'm a huge Tintin fan and wasn't sure a film was a good idea, but having seen a few shots from it, and seeing who is doing the voices, it might be good...

The trailer is impressive, but always hard to tell until you see the final product. I read it a fair bit as a kid, along with Asterix :-)

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