Dream Works Animation Says Merry Christmas…

How to Train Your Dragon 2, poster, movie, sequel

…with the first full-length trailer for How to Train Your Dragon 2, the sequel to the wildly successful original from 2010.

As the trailer opens, we see that things have changed in Berk. At the beginning of the first film Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) wanted to be from anywhere but there. The sequel picks up five years later and the young Viking is obviously proud of his homeland where man and dragon harmoniously coexist.  (A good bridge between films is the short, 2011’s How to Train Your Dragon: Gift of the Night Fury.  It’s not a coincidence that it aired on television again mere days before the release of this trailer.)

Hiccup and Toothless, his pet dragon, their relationship obviously grown richer, are, of course, still adorable. They’re also still spending their time exploring and soaring above land and sea. During one such adventure, they discover hundreds of wild dragons living in an ice cave inhabited by the mysterious Valka (Cate Blanchett), who seems to be running a sort of dragon sanctuary.

trailer via JoBlo.com’s YouTube Channel

“A mother never forgets.”  What was that? Mother? Whose mother?? Hiccup’s? Or could it be she was referring to Toothless’ mother? As it stands we have six months to wait for an answer.  Hopefully we’ll get more clues with the next trailer. In any case, HTTYD2 is definitely on my “must see” list for 2014.

The official synopsis:

The thrilling second chapter of the epic HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON trilogy returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless.  The inseparable duo must protect the peace – and save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago.

Directed by Dean DeBlois (although this time without his creative partner Chris Sanders), who is also the only credited screenwriter this time around, the cast includes voices from the original Gerard Butler (Stoik the Vast), Craig Ferguson (Gobber), America Ferrera (Astrid), Jonah Hill (SnotLout), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Fishlegs), T.J. Miller (Tuffnut),  and Kristen Wiig (Ruffnut), as well as newcomers Blanchette, Djimon Hounsou (Drago Bludvist), and Kit Harington (Eret).

The score of the first film was, in my humble opinion, a key factor contributing to its lasting popularity. Let it be known that composer John Powell has returned to score this film as well.

The first film was released in 3D, as well as conventional 2D, and I saw it both ways. I’ve said many times that I’m not generally a proponent of 3D, but there are some movies that I do believe deserve the technology, as well as your extra ducats. The original How to Train Your Dragon was one such and I believe, judging from the aerial scenes in this trailer alone, that the sequel will also qualify.  We’ll find out when How to Train Your Dragon 2 opens in 3D in the US on June 13 and 4th July in the UK.  By the way, HTTYD3 already has a release date: June 18, 2016.

Watch this space for more!

Colin Farrell Can Bite Me

As you know, I’m on the record as not being a fan of remakes in general (despite the fact that I liked the True Grit do-over, ) so I don’t have especially high hopes for this Fright Night rehash.

Touchstone has posted the official trailer to YouTube so, since I do everything the internet tells me to do, I gave it a look. 

Alright, so I didn’t  hate it. I didn’t curl my nose in distaste and immediately switch the channel. While I do think Anton Yelchin is even more slight and less-likely-to-get-laid than William Ragsdale,  ironically I do think he has better chemistry with his way-hotter-than-Amanda Bearse girlfriend, Imogen Poots. Her name gives me an immature chuckle, but Poots (Centurion, Jane Eyre) can also act. I don’t see a "Married with Children" in her immediate future.

Toni Collette replacing Dorothy Fielding is not bad on its face. It just makes me feel old. I thought it was an odd choice both for the film and for Collette until I looked up director Craig Gillespie. They’ve worked together on "United States of Tara." His film cv is spare and uneven. His first feature, Lars and the Real Girl, was brilliant. Mr. Woodcock…heinous. Basically that means this film is a crapshoot. He’s already been given the reins to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, so someone with money has faith in him. (Even if he was third choice behind David O. Russell and Mike White, who both quit over money.)

Christopher Mintz-Plasse needs to grab all the gusto he can. Realistically, he’s a niche player (what is he now, 30?) and when he gets too old to play the nerdy outsider…it’s gonna be signing "McLovin’" autographs in a Jersey mall. I think that’s where Stephen Geoffreys, into whose shoes he steps for this film, was last spotted.  (There is always voice work. Have I mentioned lately that I’m looking forward to How to Train Your Dragon 2?)

David Tennant’s Peter Vincent appears but briefly, but I have seen stills. Apparently, his character is no longer inspired by vintage Hammer films, but by Vegas and magician/illusionist Criss Angel. Whatever. I don’t worship at the altar of Dr. Who, although thanks to my ex I do appreciate the Jon Pertwee (I appreciate his son Sean even more…but I digress) through Peter Davidson years, so I have no feeling about Tennant one way or another, nor do I feel particular allegiance to Roddy McDowell.

So let’s face it…none of the above would make me change my mind about this film.  And then came Colin.

Don’t get me wrong. Chris Sarandon’s Jerry Dandridge was smooth, suave and dangerously sexy. Despite his very extensive list of credits, it is the role for which he will be remembered. JMHO

Colin Farrell as Jerry Dandridge, judging from the scant minutes I saw him in this trailer, appears more gritty, more earthy (ironically enough) but definitely dangerously sexy.  Holy crap, I hope there’s a lot more neck licking in the actual film! I’m counting on this to be portents of things to come… (yeah, I’m still sayin’ stuff.)

It is for this reason, Colin Farrell and the possibility of on-screen licking and biting,  that I am now officially looking forward to this movie. It’s been a cold spring…I need some steam heat!  There appear to be more pyrotechnics in this version and it has been filmed in the dreaded 3D, but I see no mention of an actor playing Billy Cole, so I assume they’ve done away with the homo-erotic subtext, they have to come up with something to fill the gap.

I believe I’ve mentioned I have a vampire fetish, so it should surprise no one that Colin…er Jerry…(Gerry?) can bite me any time, any where. He has a standing invitation to enter my apartment. He can even use the door (because everyone knows a vampire has to be invited in.)