Trailer Hitch
By Eric Hughes
October 7, 2009

This is the strangest security check ever.

Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. This week: Saw makes it six in a row, George Clooney accrues serious air miles and Jason Lee gets his squeakquel on.

Saw VI – Opens October 23rd

We're about two weeks away from the next Saw movie, and still no sign of a feature length trailer. (Not that I'm heartbroken or anything). A second teaser was released a couple of days ago, so I'm assuming that's all we're going to get. But really, does a franchise like Saw even need a full trailer anymore? The expectation is to see people struggle to remain alive while showing off how they landed their respective parts by staging their best screams – and that's basically all you get in the 50-second tease. Well, that and glimpses of the villainous Jigsaw clutching his trusty oxygen mask while narrating why some people die, some people live and all that mess the Saw peeps keep rephrasing in an effort to keep this franchise's "message" fresh. Didn't that fool supposedly die like three or four Saws ago?

Considering both his appearance and confirmed reports that Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith) will again be in the movie – even though she, too, died a couple of Saws ago – it goes without saying that the new movie will rely on multiple flashbacks, as per usual.

Grade: D-

Up in the Air – Opens December 4th

Loosely based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Walter Kim, Up in the Air stars George Clooney as a man who essentially does what The Bobs were hired to do in cult classic Office Space. Clooney strictly fires employees for head honchos who are too intimidated to do the dirty work themselves. His work leads him to fly across the country more than 300 days out of the year, which, as expected, inhibits his ability to build relationships with women beyond meaningless sex. This is put to the test when he comes into contact with two different women: Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick), a female protégé hired by his company and Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga), a traveler he meets on one of his journeys. Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons and Zach Galifianakis round out the cast.

Currently batting 1.000 (based on 16 reviews) over at Rotten Tomatoes, Up in the Air shows the promise of being a delightful Clooney dramedy and yet another feather in the cap for director Jason Reitman, whose previous two features include Juno and Thank You for Smoking. (He's also worked on a pair of Office episodes).

Grade: B

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – Opens December 25th

It's unfortunate that with NBC canceling My Name is Earl earlier this year, this shameless sequel – sorry, squeakquel – is what we have to look forward to from one Jason Lee. In fact, he's not really featured in the trailer at all, which probably does wonders for his reputation. Not that he should be anyway, considering 20th Century Fox is calling this one a "squeakquel" for god's sakes). Squeakquel! And there's no denying that they're proud of it, too. Watch the opening seconds of the trailer and you'll see what I'm talking about. Prequels and sequels are SO every other Hollywood studio!

But on to the business that is Alvin and the Chipmunks 2. The population of computer-generated talking chipmunks has doubled since the last time we saw these dudes. This time around we're graced by the presence of the Chipettes, who first appeared in the cartoon series in 1983 and are voiced here by Anna Faris, Christina Applegate and the hilarious Amy Poehler. Perhaps the gals can breathe a little life into the kiddie franchise, which last time around wasn't exactly what we'd call a hit with critics.

Grade: D

Tooth Fairy – Opens January 22, 2010

Like the squeakquel to Alvin and the Chipmunks, Walden Media's making it blindingly clear that I'm not the target audience for Tooth Fairy. (Come on, Dwayne Johnson is parading around in a baby blue kimono and wings). Even so, the same holds true for a movie like Night at the Museum, yet I at least could stomach that one. But Tooth Fairy? Nope... this one looks really terrible.

This fantasy mashup stars the former wrestling champion as a pro hockey player who fans dub Tooth Fairy because of his punishing ability to knock out other players' teeth. His nickname takes on a significantly stranger meaning when after revealing to his girlfriend's son that there's no such thing as the tooth fairy, he's ordered – by, ahem, Julie Andrews – to serve as the real thing for two weeks.

Such a premise could work in certain instances. A big dude like Dwayne running around collecting childrens' teeth? Could be funny. Yet the trailer just doesn't work. It's painful, really. What's probably its only redeeming quality is an appearance by Billy Crystal, who sprinkles "amnesia dust" on Dwayne's character, which causes him to forget what's just been said. But even that is a stolen gag from Men in Black.

Grade: F

The Crazies – Opens February 26th, 2010

The Crazies is your typical bland, Hollywood horror movie. Average people suffer from some inexplicable disorder. They raise hell. Some people die. And then the remaining sane ones (in this case, chiefly Timothy Olyphant) jump in and try eradicating the town from the mysterious craziness. It's... familiar. Yet maybe The Crazies can get away with it, since it is based on George A. Romero's 36-year-old movie of the same name. Funnily enough, the trailer to the reimagining makes no mention of the 1973 film. Hmm.

The sneak peek doesn't exactly get around to telling us what's causing the problems, but a little light researching says a toxin contaminating the town's water supply is to blame. Like it really matters. The main thing is the population has gone all 28 Days Later on us, and that's all you need to know.

Though The Crazies gets points for being the one horror film I'm reviewing this week that doesn't have Saw in the title, it's not anything better than average.

Grade: C-