If Safety Not Guaranteed and Battleship seem like opposites in every way, it’s probably because they are. One is an offbeat indie that’s drawn glowing reviews on the film festival circuit; the other is a big, splashy blockbuster that’s been likened to Michael Bay’s Transformers. But both have just released new clips in preparation for their summer bows, so I’ve decided to arbitrarily lump them together. Watch the scenes after the jump.

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On the one hand, Universal’s Battleship looks, frankly, kinda stupid. It’s an adaptation of a Hasbro toy, along the same lines as Michael Bay’s dumb (but occasionally fun) Transformers franchise, and early spots and footage did nothing to suggest it’d be anything more than an uninspired, cynical cash grab.

On the other, there’s some promising talent both in front of and behind the camera: Friday Night Lights director Peter Berg at the helm and his Friday Night Lights stars Taylor Kitsch and Jesse Plemons in the cast, plus Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgard, Hamish Linklater, and Liam Neeson. And while I wouldn’t go so far as to say the film looked smart, I respected that it seemed perfectly aware of what it was — mindless popcorn entertainment, no more and no less.

But all of that ambivalence was based more on the marketing team’s efforts than on the film itself. Now that the first early reviews are rolling out, however, we’re getting a much better sense of what, exactly, Berg is offering us next month. Read all about Battleship‘s early buzz after the jump.

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Alexander Skarsgard‘s commitment to True Blood has kept him from being the movie star he might eventually become, but he has been seen on the big screen in a couple roles recently, thanks to Lars von Trier (Melancholia) and Rod Lurie (Straw Dogs, shot a couple years back). He’ll be in Peter Berg’s Battleship later this year, and even gets one of the best face-flapping moments in the trailer for that movie.

Now Warner Bros. is looking to the younger Skarsgard to take on a closed-room thriller called Hidden. Read More »

Earlier this week at WonderCon, director Peter Berg revealed that he’d taken inspiration for his new movie Battleship from an unlikely source: Stephen Hawking. Berg had been watching a documentary in which the iconic scientist discussed Goldilocks planets, so called because their distance from the sun is “just right” for sustaining life. NASA has been trying to send signals to those planets in an attempt to discover extra-terrestial intelligence, but according to Berg, Hawking believes this to be a terrible idea because aliens knowing of our existence can do just as much damage as good. Berg then spun that idea into the plot of the film.

Which sounds pretty interesting, but unfortunately, most of the trailers we’ve seen so far haven’t gone into much detail about the sci-fi storyline. So far, they’ve shown us who the characters are and what it looks like when Berg tries his best to be Michael Bay, but we’ve had no sense of what exactly the aliens are doing here. Now a new featurette focuses on just that, explaining what exactly a Goldilocks planet is and how the crew of the USS John Paul Jones find themselves to be defending our planet from vicious otherworldly visitors. Watch it after the jump.

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Taylor Kitsch‘s John Carter may not quite have been the blockbuster hit that he and Disney were hoping for, but the star will take a second stab at leading a major action franchise when Peter Berg‘s Battleship hits this summer. Inspired by the Hasbro game, the film stars Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, and Liam Neeson as naval officers dealing with an otherwordly force that threatens to destroy our planet. The new trailer downplays the plotlines and character moments we glimpsed in earlier trailers, choosing instead to dive right in to expensive, explosive Transformers-style action. Watch it after the jump.

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‘Battleship’ Japanese Trailer

If you’re on the fence about Universal’s Battleship, that being Peter Berg‘s Michael Bay-style ‘humans versus aliens’ movie which will hit next year, this Japanese trailer probably won’t help make up your mind. It has a few small new bits of footage, yes, and also a bit more footage of Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano. But otherwise it’s still the same big, goofy battle movie. Check it out below. Read More »

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Here’s the new trailer for Battleship, Peter Berg‘s aliens versus Navy movie that has been a great big ‘WTF?’ since it was first announced. The first trailer demonstrated that the film is sort of a big closed battle between humans and some sort of alien invasion, and now the new trailer shows a lot more action. We see some alien soldiers, a lot of alien tech (think Transformers) and a lot of Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna and Alexander Skarsgard as they try to fend off an unknown force that has been hiding beneath the ocean.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Nicole Kidman‘s Blossom Films and Olympus Films have teamed up to acquire the movie rights for Kevin Wilson‘s bestselling book The Family Fang, which they plan to develop as a starring vehicle for Kidman. The two companies previously collaborated on Rabbit Hole, for which Kidman received a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

Wilson’s debut novel centers around a couple of performance artists who regularly incorporate their unwilling children into their bizarre acts. Years later, misfortune prompts the now-grown son and daughter to return home, where they find their parents gearing up for one final masterpiece. [Deadline]

After the jump, New Line pulls together an intriguing shortlist for Burt Wonderstone‘s female lead, and The East‘s terrorist organization gets one more member.

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Tim Roth and Cillian Murphy have boarded Rufus NorrisBroken, along with Rory Kinnear, Robert Emms, Zana Marjanovic, Bill Milner, and newcomer Eloise Laurence. The story, which was adapted by Mark O’Rowe (Boy A) from Daniel Clay‘s novel of the same title, follows a young girl whose life changes after she witnesses a brutal attack. Broken will be the first feature film by helmer Norris, an accomplished theater director.

Roth recently came off of three seasons as the lead of Fox’s Lie to Me, and will star in next year’s Arbitrage. Murphy will appear in this month’s sci-fi thriller In Time, and has several projects lined up for 2012 including the thriller Red Lights with Robert De Niro and Sigourney Weaver. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, Hope Davis joins Murderball director Henry Alex Rubin’s ensemble drama, and Rutger Hauer boards a miniseries.

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