Trailer Blazer: 'The Notorious Bettie Page,' 'Madea's Family Reunion,' 'Idlewild'

152315__bettie_lYou slack off for a few days, and suddenly tons of new movie trailers pop up:

The Notorious Bettie Page (April 14) The long-awaited biopic of the pinup and fetish photo queen looks fab, thanks to picture-perfect Gretchen Mol (left), poster girl for next-big-things-who-never-were. If she’d appeared as Bettie on that notorious Vanity Fair cover, she’d have graduated from ingenue status years ago. Love the tagline: ”Show some restraint."

Madea’s Family Reunion (Feb. 24) If you loved Diary of a Mad Black Woman, here comes what looks like more of exactly the same. Maya Angelou has joined Cicely Tyson among the elder African-American stateswomen in the cast,  perhaps to help administer the film’s tough-love bromides with more moral authority than filmmaker/star Tyler Perry can muster in his patented Big Momma’s House drag act. It ‘ll probably be an enormous hit, but I’ll pass, thanks.

Idlewild (Early 2006) It’s kind of funny to watch this very different slice of African-Americana after the Madea clip; both make use of the iconic Cicely Tyson, but here, ”church” is a 1930s juke joint, run by Andre 3000 and Big Boi of OutKast. The invaluable Terrence Howard also shows up, as a gangster. Call me a sinner, but this one looks and sounds a lot more fun.

Duck Season (March 10) Alfonso Cuaron (Little Princess, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) seems to specialize in movies about what kids do when they’re left without adult supervision. He produced this Mexican coming-of-age comedy about three city kids with not much to do on a lazy Sunday (alas, Chronicles of Narnia must not be playing in their neighborhood). Not sure why this trailer is rated ”restricted”; maybe it’s because one kid shoots a rifle at a duck (not a real duck) out of boredom. Clip looks deceptively innocuous and light, though.

Comments (16 total) Add your comment
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  • nathan

    If Madea’s Family Reunion is as good as Diary of a Mad Black Woman, then what we have is an early contender for Worst Film of 2006.

  • molla

    Could that Duck Season Trailer have been any smaller?

  • Ep Sato

    I first got into Betty Page because of the Dave Stevens work done based on her in the old “Rocketeer” comics, then seemed to see Betty Page impersonators everywhere in college.
    She’s still alive, living off a pension and royalties from respectable artists who continue to draw her image (Props due to Dave Stevens, who I understand is the dude who sought her out to give her money she was due. How cool is that?). She’s like a living Che Guevara.
    There are some great coffeetable books that feature great bios on Betty. One that is just “Betty Page” and the other is this awesome book called “VaVaVoom” which features the backstory behind all the famous pin up queens and bombshell actresses (Sophia Loren, Mamie Van Doren) of the 1950’s and 1960’s.
    Anyway, guess which movie I plan to go see?

  • dara

    I do not understand the big deal that is made over Tyler Perry. Madea seems like a bad Mad TV sketch. Well most of the sketches are bad, but you see what I mean.

  • Stephanie Travitsky

    Tyler Perry is a feminist. He’s the 00’s answer to Henrik Ibsen. With Medea he is trying to convey that inside the heart of a mature man lies a strong and independent woman.

  • Julia

    Idlewild looks SO COOL.

  • Sandra

    Don’t be disrespectful to people you dont know. Tyler Perry is a man that did not allow his past to destroy his future. He was a homeless man before he was given his “big chance” at play writing. He used his own money to back his plays. He reaches out to people that understand his culture and if others enjoy his work as well then that is great.

  • Nancy

    Sandra, all due respect to Tyler Perry. I saw him on Oprah when Diary of a Mad Housewife came out, and he certainly deserves his success, as he’s made it on hard work. But why do his stories have to be so cliched? I know I’m treading on thin ice, because I’m a white woman from Canada, not a black woman from anywhere, but I’m not talking about subject matter. I’m talking about the way the subject matter is presented. It’s hard for talented black actresses to get roles in Hollywood, but why do they have to get stuck on movies like this? Cicely Tyson, Lynn Whitfield and Jenifer Lewis (one of my fave actresses period–the woman is comic gold) deserve better than this. I hate movies where everyone gives speeches instead of showing the audience what’s going on. Maybe it’s because Tyler Perry was originally a playwright, but movies are visual as well as verbal. I hope he’ll learn that so we don;t have to be told that beating a woman is bad. Uh, I think the audience knows that already, Tyler.

  • Stephanie

    Nancy, do yourself a favor, before you see “Family Reunion” rent the live play out on DVD. The best part was when Medea sings “Rocka bye baby on the tree top, were going to find who was on top” lol. She was taking her neice to get a paternity test. That remark might be eliminated from the movie. After the live plays, Perry talks to the audience to sum up the problems and discusses the theme of the play. It is difficult to do that in a movie. I don’t see the problem with adding in a family therapy/couples therapy flavor to a play.

  • Nancy

    Stephanie, thanks for the info. I didn’t know that Tyler Perry’s plays were available on DVD, and I haven’t seen them performed live. Now I can see why he’s so loved.

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  • Jenny

    I don’t get why is there no information in the 1950 I really need lots of information about that?

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