TRAILER: "Fifty Shades of Grey"

Expect this to be a huge hit next February, given how insanely popular the books were. I don't know, it looks kinda cheesy to me. I do like Jamie Dornan (he plays the creepy serial killer on The Fall), but here he just looks a million times tamer. You probably think that's a good thing, since he's actually not supposed to be a killer in this one, but he is supposed to have an intimidating, more dangerous look about him. I don't see it in this. Also, the whole touch of having Beyonce's re-mixed version of "Crazy in Love" playing over the trailer makes it seem extra marketed. This is just phony sensuality for a broad audience, not true eroticism (which actually makes it pretty close to the books I guess, given how trashy they were).

TRAILER: "Whiplash"

Finally, the movie that got the biggest reaction out of Sundance has a trailer out, and is set for release on October 10th. Have to say, it does look pretty great. Whiplash also stirred up Oscar buzz way back in January for J.K. Simmons as the sadistic music teacher you see here. Miles Teller looks good too as the student (his most significant performance so far was in last year's teen drama The Spectacular Now). Can't wait to see this one.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: "Witness for the Prosecution" (1957)

One of the great courtroom drama mysteries is out on blu-ray this week. This is a Billy Wilder essential (one of my all time favorite directors) with an all-star cast consisting of Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester, Marlene Dietrich and Tyrone Power. With that much star power on the screen you've got to check it out, right? Based on an Agatha Christie story (usually considered the best ever film adaptation of one of her works) and featuring the great Marlene Dietrich's best ever performance, this is a can't miss classic from the 1950's.

Original 1957 Trailer:

TRAILER: "Dear White People"

Another Sundance hit, from newcomer Justin Simien, who wrote and directed this satire about racial politics in the present day (which already makes it a refreshing take on the topic, since most movies about racism stay squarely focused on the long ago past). It got great reviews out of the festival and is coming out October 17th, so keep an eye out for this one, which is bound to garner a lot of press in the fall, be it due to controversy or praise.

FIRST LOOK: Gandalf and Bard in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"

A new picture has been released from the next Hobbit movie, coming out December 17th. As you've probably noticed by now, the release of pictures and posters usually means a trailer is right around the corner, so I'm guessing we can expect it sometime this week or next. For now, here's Gandalf and Bard from (supposed) last film in the forced trilogy made out of one book, The Battle of the Five Armies.

TRAILER: "The Imitation Game"

Another potential Oscar player this year has a trailer out. This movie tells the story of Alan Turing, the British mathematician and inventor of the world's first computer, who was credited for cracking the German enigma code during WWII. He was then castrated by the British government for being gay, which was illegal at the time. Benedict Cumberbatch plays him here, and he looks to be surrounded by a great cast, all of whom wanted to be a part of telling the story of one of WWII's most unsung heroes. Morten Tyldum directed it- a Norwegian director whose last movie was the 2011 thriller Headhunters (which was really good), so this looks promising. The Imitation Game's coming out November 21st, and will probably premiere at one of the fall film festivals (my guess is Toronto).

James Garner 1928-2014

Some sad news late tonight, as it was just reported that James Garner passed away at the age of 86. A television legend who starred in two iconic series, Maverick (1957-62) and The Rockford Files (1974-80), along with a very successful film career that spanned over five decades. Some of Garner's most notable roles included movies like The Great Escape (1963), The Americanization of Emily (1964), Victor/Victoria (1982), Murphy's Romance (1985), for which he received an Oscar nomination, and The Notebook (2004). But he will always be best known and remembered for his iconic character Bret Maverick in the comedy western television series, which he starred on from 1957 to 1960, a role that he reprised in a supporting part in the 1994 film remake. Series creator Roy Huggins even reworked the premise into The Rockford Files in the 1970's, with Garner playing Jim Rockford, essentially Maverick as a modern day private investigator, and finally winning an Emmy for the role in 1977. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1990 and received the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Scarlett Johansson as "Lucy"

Here are a couple of red band clips of ScarJo kicking ass as the superhuman Lucy, who makes the most of the myth about human beings only being able to use 10% of their brain. When a journalist asked Luc Besson if he was aware that that "statistic" was actually completely untrue, he just laughed it off and said he knew that, but it'd be cool if it was. That perfectly describes Besson's attitude towards the action movies he makes, which can be way over the top and usually hit and miss (his best are Nikita, The Professional and The Fifth Element), but maybe this one will work, as thanks to the Avengers movies, people are used to seeing Johansson as an action heroine now (it does kind of suit her stoic acting style to have to be so cool and unemotional). Lucy comes out next Friday.