Trailer Hitch
By Eric Hughes
February 17, 2010

He's going to regret this so much. She's not one to anger.

Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. This week: Aldous Snow is back!, an international bestseller is adapted for the screen and Ashton Kutcher shows Katherine Heigl his guns.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Opens March 19th

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is such a complex and sprawling novel that it's amazing to me that a theatrical adaptation could even be made. Even though the film clocks in at a hefty 2.5 hours, scenes and likely entire plotlines must have been removed to ensure the movie maintained a more standard runtime. With that said, I'm still grateful an adaptation was even attempted as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I finally got around to reading last month, ranks high on my list of favorite books.

In its native tongue, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's true title would be Men Who Hate Women. Much of its story is brutal and very frightening. And once some necessary exposition is out of the way, author Stieg Larsson spins his story in a direction I did not expect. Set in Sweden, the story concerns an investigative journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, who is hired by the patriarch of a wealthy family to solve the disappearance of his great-niece, who went missing some 40 years ago. I have a feeling that the adaptation skips over Henrik Vanger's other assignment for Blomkvist, so there's no use in getting into that here.

As for the trailer, what we're spoon-fed here is pretty compelling. Noomi Rapace, who plays Lisbeth Salander (the titular Girl with the Dragon Tattoo character), very much looks like the Lisbeth I imagined while reading Larsson's text. So at least that much was done right.

I hesitate to put The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in the same category as a book like The Shadow of the Wind, as the latter may be the best book I've ever read. Though for people who enjoyed Carlos Ruiz Zafon's masterwork, it's worth noting that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is just as epic and exciting. Both books – plot-wise – couldn't be more dissimilar. Yet both tomes share some significant resemblances, including similarities in structure (multi-generational storytelling), number of characters (it may be wise to take notes), critical acclaim and deserved success as international bestsellers.

Grade: B

Get Him to the Greek – Opens June 4th

A spin-off from Jason Segel's Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek stars Brit Russell Brand as the infamous Aldous Snow, a character you may remember from Forgetting Sarah Marshall who has just a few days time to get ready for a reunion show at Los Angeles' Greek Theater. Jonah Hill, who was also in Sarah Marshall, plays a different character entirely. This time around, he's a record company intern who's charged with flying to London, connecting with Aldous and escorting him to Los Angeles. Besides the concert, Aldous' other interest in Los Angeles is reuniting with Jackie Q (Damages' Rose Byrne), a scandal-plagued pop star.

As much as I dug Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek looks pretty exhausting. I wasn't a huge fan of Aldous to begin with, so to sit through an entire movie with him at the forefront won't be something that interests me come June. He's brash, loud and not unlike Brand himself. No matter what the people at the VMAs tell you, I don't find Russell Brand funny. Alternatively, Jonah Hill appears to be in this movie solely to get pushed around. And stabbed with a needle. And to put drugs up his ass. And to throw up on his person. His comedy in Get Him to the Greek is purely physical, so if that's your bag you'll enjoy his performance.

One thing Get Him to the Greek does have going for it is a stellar cast. Sean "Diddy" Combs and Elizabeth Moss (and the aforementioned Brand, Hill and Byrne) are the leads. Aziz Ansari has a small role as Hill's co-worker, and folks like Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Pink and Meredith Viera cameo as themselves.

Grade: C

Leaves of Grass – Opens April 2nd

Leaves of Grass stars Edward Norton as Ivy League professor Bill Kincaid, who travels to his hometown in Oklahoma upon learning that his twin brother was murdered in a drug deal gone bad. (In a stroke of genius, Richard Dreyfuss plays the drug kingpin). Like Nic Cage in Adaptation, Norton performs double duty in the film, playing both Bill and his identical twin brother, Brady. The movie, a comedy, looks like fun. I generally like Edward Norton movies, and Leaves of Grass is no different. Susan Sarandon and Keri Russell are in this one too as Norton's eccentric mother and gentle love interest, respectively.

So far, Norton is poised to have an excellent 2010. Along with Leaves of Grass, I'm also looking forward to his adaptation of Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn. Along with writing and directing the adaptation, Norton will star as the lead character, Lionel Essrog, a man with Tourette syndrome who investigates the murder of Frank Minna, his former employer.

A more accomplished actor than he is a filmmaker, Leaves of Grass' writer-director Tim Blake Nelson, who also has an acting role in the film, is probably best known for that 2001 high school drama-thriller, O. Essentially a modernized take on Shakespeare's Othello, the flick starred big names for its day – Mekhi Phifer, Josh Hartnett, Andrew Keegan and Julia Stiles. Of course, god only knows what any of them are up to these days.

Grade: B+

Killers – Opens June 4th

Hollywood continues to serve up movies with ridiculous scenarios, and I continue to be disinterested in them. The latest in a recent surge of stupid (following Date Night, The Bounty Hunter, and, why not, Furry Vengeance) is Killers. In it, Katherine Heigl plays a woman who believes while on a family vacation she meets the man of her dreams (Ashton Kutcher) – until he turns out to be an assassin for the CIA. When they're back in the States, Kutcher goes back to playing his dangerous games, leaving Heigl with the decision to go big or go home.

My attitude towards the action comedy is more favorable than a movie like Date Night, but not by much. I've taken a liking to Heigl and Kutcher, who appear to have some chemistry. Heigl also couldn't be more awkward holding a gun, and that situation is ripe for comedy.

Grade: D+