Trailer Hitch
By Eric Hughes
May 20, 2009

Holmes and Watson share a tender moment.

Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. This week: Rag dolls save the world, a Sundance darling exposes its trailer and Robert Downey Jr. plays his best Jack Sparrow.

Easy Virtue – Opens Friday

Previously adapted into a silent movie by Alfred Hitchcock in 1928, Noël Coward's 1924 play is again adapted for the screen in Friday's Easy Virtue. The flick stars a blonde Jessica Biel as the new American girlfriend of a young Englishman (Ben Barnes). Problems ensue when the glamorous pretty girl is introduced to Ben's strict mother (Kristin Scott Thomas). On the other hand, his father (Colin Firth) takes a liking to her.

The story being told here is over 85 years old. Easy Virtue's aesthetics merely highlight this fact. Also featured here is that old folksy-type humor we see time and time again. (Seabiscuit and Leatherheads come quickly to mind). I've yet to take a liking to movies like these. Yet there's certainly a market for it if the studios still feel the need to pop them out.

Grade: C+
Also expected to be released on this date: Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Dance Flick

9 – Opens September 9th

Not to be confused with the upcoming musical film, Nine, starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Nicole Kidman, 9 is a computer-animated action-adventure that looks awkward and clunky for the sole reason of it being "shot" in CGI. The characters here – rag dolls of some kind living a post-apocalyptic existence – act like they're members of Michael Bay's latest actioner. But they're not. They live in a cartoon world. I'm undecided on whether this idea works.

Then again, it's just about the first of its kind (can you think of any others?), so that could be a good thing going for it.

Focus Features did the smart thing in slating to release 9 on a Wednesday, thus prepping to cash-in on an uber gimmicky 9-9-09 date in theaters. (The last time we saw this work effectively was The Omen's record-breaking 6-6-06 release).

Grade: C-
Also expected to be released on this date: None

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt – Opens September 11th

Watching the trailer to Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, I couldn't help but think its storytelling was so formulaic as to render this "drama" a comic Hollywood farce (however unintentionally). You've got Michael Douglas as a corrupt D.A., Jesse Metcalfe as the do-good reporter and Amber Tamblyn as the girl caught in between. She's dodging bullets, running away from cars, all while your standard trailer voiceover comes in and fills in what you already very much understand.

This one has direct-to-DVD written all over it. But that apparently isn't the case.

Grade: F
Also expected to be released on this date: I Can Do Bad All By Myself, Whiteout, The Red Canvas

Precious – Opens November 6th

Winner of three awards at Sundance – Grand Jury Prize, Audience Award for Drama, Special Jury Award for Mo'Nique's acting – Precious has always been one of those projects I've anxiously been awaiting ever since I learned of it. Now that I've gotten a chance to see its trailer, I'm happy to report this one doesn't disappoint. November 6th can't come soon enough.

Based on Sapphire's novel, Push (and originally called that too until that lame sci-fi thriller starring Dakota Fanning had to come around and steal its title), Precious stars Gabourey Sidibe as the title character, a teenage girl growing up in Harlem in the late 1980s. Mariah Carey's in this one too as social worker Mrs. Weiss.

Grade: A
Also expected to be released on this date: Disney's A Christmas Carol, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Wolf Man

Sherlock Holmes – Opens December 25th

Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes? GEEENIUS. Also starring Jude Law as Dr. John Watson and Rachel McAdams as femme fatale Irene Adler, Warner Bros.'s Sherlock Holmes has a distinct Pirates of the Caribbean-y feel to it. It's a comic and fun period piece with a half-crazed lunatic as its lead. Wouldn't be surprised in the least if this one's expanded into a franchise. With its big budget, star power and likely very large Christmas Day haul, I get the feeling this is only the beginning.

Grade: A-
Also expected to be released on this date: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel, Untitled Nancy Meyers Comedy