By Kim Hollis
October 27, 2004
You know, there's not much to this trailer, but the first film's preview was kind of bland as well. I tend to like the minimalist approach - it's like they're saving the good stuff for when the movie is actually released. What a novel approach! Really, the best part of the preview is the end, where Brad Pitt and George Clooney are seemingly laughing uncontrollably. It feels improvised, and I like it.
The good news is that other than the very basic premise, this film bears practically no resemblance to the classic Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? The bad news is that they didn't recast Ashton Kutcher. Like the horrid Bringing Down the House, Guess Who looks to take advantage of all the worst white-guy-out-of-his-element gags, denigrating it to an intelligence-insulting, unfunny disappointment. Poor Bernie Mac.
Holy crap on a crutch!
Ahem. Now that I've composed myself, I can admit to being one of the seven people that saw Uwe Boll's House of the Dead in the theater. It was a film so awful that it was almost impossible to comprehend that even a cable access channel would play it on the airwaves. The production value was worse than your average Fox Sports telecast, and the highlight was a girl who was inexplicably dressed in a spandex American flag costume. Simply put, it had virtually no redeeming qualities and is probably one of the stupidest and least scary horror films I have ever seen.
BloodRayne looks much, much worse.
Seriously, Uwe Boll. What the hell are you thinking? Somehow, you were actually able to get some decent names onboard this thing - obviously, they didn't see House of the Dead. While I thought Terminator 3's Kristanna Loken was a pretty good choice to play the lead role, she doesn't look right at all. But she's not even the worst part. No, that honor is reserved for Ben Kingsley, who must have taken the job purely for some extra holiday spending cash. Whatever goofy vampire character he's playing here looks even more ludicrous and over-the-top than the baddie he portrayed in Thunderbirds - and at least the Thunderbirds gag was intentional. Michael Madsen is also here for some reason, and Michelle Rodriguez looks to be reprising the exact same character she played in Resident Evil. Also, how is it possible that the production value for this film looks worse than that of House of the Dead?
I hate you, Uwe Boll. So very much.
Hide and Seek
Dakota Fanning should just always play a creepy kid - after all, she's sort of inherently creepy in the first place. Though the film evokes shades of Godsend, it actually manages to look pretty eerie and intriguing. The film's premise - a young girl's imaginary friend runs amok, leaving a path of death and destruction in its wake - lends itself well to the horror/thriller genre. It's like an extremely dark Drop Dead Fred without the Rik Mayall!
The Sea Inside
Like so many of the other awards contenders this season, the preview for The Sea Inside does an excellent job of setting up the story and making it pretty apparent that Javier Bardem is giving a performance deserving of Big Attention. It's clearly not an upbeat story, centering on a paraplegic who wants to be allowed to die in order to eliminate his suffering. It's definitely going to be limited as an arthouse draw.
Director Danny Boyle takes a complete 180 from his recent horror release, 28 Days Later. Millions is a kids' flick that puts me in mind of 2003's Holes, but with substantially more whimsy and quirk. The central story revolves around a pair of brothers who find a big bunch of money, but disagree on how to spend it. In the periphery, though, is the younger brother's ability to communicate with saints. The movie looks vibrant and effervescent, and I'm a little sad it was delayed from its originally-planned November release.
The next horror flick from the Sam Raimi/Rob Tapert house of horror looks pretty damned scary. When I was a kid, I was always pretty terrified by the Stephen King short story The Boogeyman. The notion completely taps into the big fears that children have - that there's something unknown out there that's just…going…to get you. Boogeyman the movie - totally unrelated to the King story - does appear to have capitalized on that primal fear. The film looks stylish and utterly spooky.
Meet the Fockers
I have really fond memories of seeing Meet the Parents in the theater, which makes me all the more sad that the sequel looks so dismal. The trailer is bereft of laughs, and the presence of Barbra Streisand in non-Mecha form just makes me cringe. I sure hope it ends up better than it looks, but at this point it's feeling like a repeat of the Analyze That debacle.