Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. This week: A Friday the 13th reboot earns this edition of Trailer Hitch's highest marks with a solid B grade?! Yeah, it shocks me too.
By Eric Hughes
December 10, 2008
Che – Opens December 12th (NY and LA), January 9, 2009 (limited)
Even though Focus Features is set to release Steven Soderbergh's epic Ernesto "Che" Guevara flick this weekend, the studio only has what feels like an extended tease on the ready. Even worse, it only captures video from the first half of the 235-minute movie. Worse than that, it's hardly engaging.
Problem is we don't learn anything about the movie from its advertisement. Instead we get "rebels gather in the hills" and "from their ranks...one man will rise" and other nonsense filler that suffocates the ad and exposes little story.
*A note on Che's release dates. It will be in New York and Los Angeles for one week only beginning this Friday to qualify for February's Oscar ceremony. The movie will then be re-released in those same cities on January 9th as two separate films, titled Che Part 1: The Argentine and Che Part 2: Guerrilla. The two parts will expand to more theaters the following week.
Also expected to be released on this date: The Day the Earth Stood Still, Delgo, Nothing Like the Holidays, The Readers, Doubt, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, What Doesn't Kill You, Where God Left His Shoes, The Kings of Appletown
The Class – Opens December 25th
Winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival – the first French film to do so in 21 years – Laurent Cantet's The Class (Entre les Murs) is about one teacher's struggle to give the best education to his students, who come from tough neighborhoods. As amusing as his students often are, they at the same time jeopardize his ability to teach them important material. The movie stars François Bégaudeau, who penned the 2006 novel on which the film is based, in the lead role of the literature teacher.
No matter how many good things I've heard about this one, its trailer says nothing to the supposed quality of the picture (similar to Soderbergh's Che). So his students are snappy (har har). There's nothing else to show in the preview? I feel like that's all we get there, besides endless quotes from critics who speak so highly of the movie. The Class may be good, but its trailer surely isn't.
Also expected to be released on this date: Bedtime Stories, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Spirit, Hurricane Season, Marley & Me, Walts with Bashir, Shanghai, The Class
Inkheart – Opens January 9, 2009
It always amazes me when an original movie idea comes along, only to be more or less matched by a rival studio in about a year's time. In 1998, we had Antz in October and A Bug's Life in November. Capote and Madagascar in 2005, followed by Infamous and The Wild in 2006. Do you see where I'm going with this? Though it appears a lot darker than Bedtime Stories, Inkheart looks a lot like that Adam Sandler's new kid comedy, set to open on Christmas Day. Inkheart's also regrettably got the Nic Cage-in-training Brendan Fraser. And you should by now know how I feel about that guy (Journey to the Center of the Earth, anyone?)
In Inkheart, based on the bestselling German novel by Cornelia Funke (pronounced FOON-ka, not to be confused with Tobias Fünke, who carries the all-important umlaut in his name), Fraser plays Mo Folchart, a father who can bring book characters to life by reading their names aloud. But when Mo brings a rare children's villain to life, the villain kidnaps Mo's daughter and demands that the father bring even more evil characters to life. Desperate to bring his daughter back, Mo creates a stable of friends – real and fake – to battle the villain and set things right.
Also expected to be released on this date: Bride Wars; Hellraiser; The Unborn; Not Easily Broken; Che, part 1: The Argentine; Che, part 2: Guerrilla
Donkey Punch – Opens January 23, 2009
So I went into watching this trailer wondering if the movie's subject matter really would be about that violent sex act identified in this flick's name, Donkey Punch. (The uninformed can kindly consult Urban Dictionary). Turns out it is. And for a reputed horror film, the results are unexpectedly hilarious.
You see, it's about three women who are all hot enough to get invited for a little together with a trio of guys aboard their yacht. Tragedy strikes when one of the couples gets drunk and high and ends up in a secluded bedroom, where the guy performs a donkey punch on his new friend. The dirty deed ends up killing the female, and her body is thrown overboard. The remaining five then turn against each other, rifles and all, when their fears overtake any ability to think rationally about what just happened.
I don't know. Knowing Donkey Punch is really just some stupid British horror movie, I couldn't take it the least bit seriously. The trailer isn't scary, the plot is ridiculous and the movie's main action revolves around a frickin' donkey punch. 'Nuff said.
Also expected to be released on this date: Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans, Possession, Taken, Killshot
Friday the 13th – Opens February 13, 2009
Bringing back horror icons from the dead has worked out rather well for Hollywood in this decade. Rob Zombie's Halloween earned $58.2 million last year and 2003's Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot scared up an impressive $80.5 million. Jason's face-off with Freddy Kruger did even better, accumulating $82.6 million in the same year. So hearing that New Line opted to remake Friday the 13th, released 29 years ago by the time the new one hits theaters, really should come at no surprise.
Funnily enough, trivia buffs will tell you Jason Voorhees never appeared in the 1980 film. Nor was he even wearing his iconic hockey mask until the series' second sequel, 1982's Friday the 13th: Part 3. However, given that people would rather pay to see a deranged man murder hot teenagers over a deranged mother murder those same hot teenagers, that's what you're going to see here. And lot's of it. The trailer conveniently outlines just how large the remake's body count is by flashing a large number after each gruesome death. It ends on 13.
Friday the 13th doesn't look a whole lot different from any other horror movie released today – beautiful cast, lots of sex, lots of screaming and killing of course. Yet there's something nice about seeing Jason's mug back on camera, even if these movies serve no real purpose.
Also expected to be released on this date: Confessions of a Shopaholic; The International; They Came From Upstairs; Under the Sea 3-D; New York, I Love You; Two Lovers