1) Enduring Love
By Kim Hollis
September 2, 2004
Finally, Rhys Ifans is portraying the kind of character he looks born to play - a creepy, insidious stalker. Enduring Love's pedigree looks solid right from the start of the trailer. Along with Ifans, Academy Award nominee Samantha Morton and Road to Perdition's Daniel Craig are also present. And while you might presume that Ifans is shadowing Morton's character, it's actually Craig who is the object of his attention. It seems that the two men were involved in a deadly hot air balloon accident (the trailer makes it look scarier than it sounds), and something happened while they were trying to rescue the people that has caused Ifans to obsess over Craig's role. Never before has The Beach Boys song God Only Knows been used to such sinister effect. This one has been high on my radar for some time, but the trailer definitely served to confirm my suspicions. Enduring Love looks to be a unique, creative thriller.
2) Bride and Prejudice
I should note from the outset that Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors and Pride and Prejudice is my favorite of her novels. And though I pretty consistently doubt whether any adaptation can begin to approach the excellence of the BBC mini-series of several years ago, Bride and Prejudice looks like a lot of fun. The film Bollywood-izes the story and places it in the modern day, and the translation looks perfectly in keeping with the spirit of the story. The music is raucous and upbeat, the dancing is fun and the vibe is upbeat. Gurinder Chadha, director of Bend It Like Beckham, looks to have created another buoyant film.
3) The Boys from County Clare
I admit it. An Irish brogue just makes me tingly. So it should be no surprise that I found the trailer for this movie from the Emerald Isles to be very engaging. It's all about music and romance between a few families in a small county, and all of the characters' stories appear to be interconnected. The tale is set in the midst of a big battle of the bands, though the music centers around the more traditional Celtic style as opposed to more modern stylistic takes. Naturally, conflict arises when a young man in the band wants to introduce (gasp!) jazz to his group's offerings. There's more conflict than that, too, as we seem to have a classic Romeo and Juliet scenario brewing. I should note that the trailer does have some nudity, so it's not safe for those of you reading from work.
4) Racing Stripes
Watching the great sport of horse racing is an affinity of mine, so this trailer does appeal to me more than it might the average Joe. Though the film does combine live action and animation, I think the people who cut the teaser might have been a little bit better served to emphasize the animated portion of the film a little bit more. As it stands, we know that there is a zebra who competes among thoroughbreds, and that he has a couple of very chatty flies who are reminiscent of the moose in Brother Bear hanging around his dust. It's still fun, though, and should catch the attention of the family audience it is targeting.
5) Beyond the Sea
Biopics can be a tough sell even with the best of trailers, so this lackluster offering isn't probably going to do the film many favors. The various scenes from Bobby Darin's life play over a Mack the Knife background track, with Kevin Spacey in the main role. The first thing anyone familiar with the singer's history is apt to notice is that Spacey is just too old for the part, especially when viewed side-by-side with costar and romantic interest Kate Bosworth as Sandra Dee. Still, the preview is colorful and looks fairly interesting, so it can't be called a total bust.
6) Shark Tale
This trailer is better than the earlier previews have been, but that's not really saying much. Much of the reason I liked this one marginally more is probably due to the ramped up presence of the character voiced by Angelina Jolie. That particular fish has a more sophisticated look than many of the other characters in the film, which I have an inkling is a little bit darker than the studio wants to let on (a la Father of the Pride, which is seriously not for kids). I'm still not sold on Shark Tale, and since I'm a total sucker for animated flicks, that's a very, very negative thing.
7) Paper Clips
It says a lot that I am still really looking forward to this film despite its trailer. It's a documentary about schoolchildren in small-town Tennessee who are trying to comprehend the extreme number of Jews who were killed during the Holocaust. To illustrate the number six million, the kids decide to collect paper clips, which Norwegians wore to protest the Nazi occupation during the war. The trailer is too preachy for my liking, but that doesn't mean I won't be there as soon as Paper Clips hits my local art house theater.
8) Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War
This movie is very heavy on the wartime violence, and appears to be fairly heavy and depressing. Between the explosions, the viewer can glean that the story centers around two brothers who were torn apart by the outbreak of the Korean war. Chances are the film is very solid and worth watching, but I would have been more intrigued had the trailer focused more on the personal stories and less on the overall, all-encompassing devastation.
9) Kung Fu Hustle
From Stephen Chow, the director of Shaolin Soccer, comes a movie that looks…even weirder. Basically, this teaser tells the viewer absolutely nothing about the film other than the fact that the comedy looks to be heavily slapstick and somewhat culturally oriented. I loved Shaolin Soccer, though, so I'm looking forward to this one.
There's very little here that compels me to see this film. It looks dark, depressing and dull despite numerous laudatory critical mentions. It's sort of reminiscent of Thirteen, but not nearly as interesting. The film tells the story of a teenage girl who becomes dissatisfied with the poverty of her own family and slowly infiltrates the wealthier clan of a schoolmate. The film itself might be good, but the subject matter just seems a little difficult to sell.