Trailer Hitch
By Jim Van Nest
July 10, 2006

Somehow less villainous than Michael Bay.

Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. Ed Burns is back with another romantic comedy. Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G) hits with an over-the-top comedy. We'll finally answer the age-old question...can the big screen hold Homer Simpson? Also, a toy you likely played with as a child will find its way onto the big screen next summer. Want to know what it is?

The Groomsmen - Opens July 14th

The newest offering from actor/director Ed Burns is The Groomsmen. Burns plays Paulie, a man who has recently gotten engaged to his pregnant girlfriend (played by Britney Murphy). The film is about Paulie and his buddies (the groomsmen) and the events surrounding the last three days before the wedding. On the surface, this has a definite Bachelor Party vibe to it, but after watching the trailer, it seems like it will be a whole lot more. With a solid supporting cast, including Matthew Lillard, Jay Mohr, Donal Logue and the supremely underrated John Leguizamo, everything from getting the high school band back together to one guy's fear that he lost out on his on chance at a marriage will be covered. Ed Burns seems to have a knack for really nailing the "everyman" characters in his films, and Paulie seems like the ultimate "everyman." There appear to be plenty of laughs and good times and plenty of serious meaningful moments all rolled into this one film. The trailer sells the movie well with only one problem. It shows some potential conflict between Paulie and his bride-to-be, but then shows scenes from the wedding, which kinda spoils the idea of the potential conflict. Overall, though, The Groomsmen looks to be a film very much in the same vein as Burns' other films, The Brothers McMullen and She's The One.

The Illusionist - Opens August 18th

Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel headline the romantic mystery The Illusionist. Set in 1900 Vienna, Norton plays Eisenheim The Illusionist, a very Houdini-esque man known for escapes and elaborate illusions. According to the trailer, he asks for assistance from a young woman for an illusion and when Biel comes onstage, it's love at first sight. The problem is, Biel is on the arm of a corrupt and dangerous Prince. Giamatti plays the policeman who, on the prince's orders arrests Eisenheim for murder, thus forcing The Illusionist to rely on all of his powers, real or otherwise, to prove himself innocent and the Prince guilty. As a huge fan of both Norton and Giamatti, I'm psyched for this one. It's also produced by the team that brought us Crash and Sideways, so I fully expect the story quality to be there. The Illusionist could very well be the surprise of August.

Hollywoodland – Opens September 8th

Based on the true story of one of Hollywood's most infamous unsolved mysteries, Hollywoodland tells the story of the suicide/murder of TV's Superman, George Reeves. Not long after the suicide is reported, rumors of murder begin to surface in the death of Reeves (Ben Affleck). Adrien Brody plays the detective who begins to follow up on the rumors and finds that there may be more truth to them than rumor. As Brody digs deeper, he uncovers an affair between Reeves and a big-time studio executive's wife. Bob Hoskins and Diane Lane round out the cast as the exec and his cheating wife. You can tell the filmmakers are hoping for some nominations on this one as everyone in the cast has their Academy Award credentials listed before their names. And I must say, if the film's as good as the trailer, it might land some of those noms. By the looks of the trailer, a lot of this film will be done in flashbacks as the film begins after Reeves death. The flashbacks should allow us a peek into the life and death of the nation's biggest "hero." From this trailer and with this cast, Hollywoodland has easily jumped up my board of must-see flicks this fall.

Borat - Opens November 3rd

I'm not a regular viewer of Da Ali G show on HBO, but I do try to catch it as often as I can. Borat (and Ali G, for that matter) are a couple of the hilarious characters created by Sacha Baron Cohen. To get everyone else up to speed...Sacha was also the voice of the king rat thing in Madagascar. You with me now? Good. Borat is a reporter from Kazakhstan who will conduct humorous interviews where he will ask very serious men very stupid questions. Borat is a "documentary" of the main character's trip from his homeland to America to learn things that will help Kazakhstan. We see him leading us through his slum of a neighborhood and bragging on his VCR and his sister, who is the #4 prostitute in all of Kazakhstan. In this short little trailer, we see enough to know that this movie will definitely be hit or miss on the comedy and will likely not be even close to politically correct. In my opinion, the trailer shows exactly what is so funny about the character on his TV show and I would expect there to be laughs-a-plenty. I do, however, wonder if a feature length movie might not be a little too much Borat. Either way, fans of the show will likely get a kick out of it...others will wonder what they're watching.

The Simpsons Movie - Opens June 27, 2007

It certainly wouldn't be BOP without including this one as soon as I found it. It's only a 30 second teaser, so you're likely to spend more time reading this than it takes to just watch the teaser yourself, but I'm doing it anyway. The teaser starts off with an extreme close up of what appears to be the Superman logo. (Can you say capitalizing off the current hot flick?) As the camera pans back, we see that Homer is wearing a too small Superman t-shirt and tightie whities. Naturally, he has forgotten what to say. And that's it. Cue the title and opening date. Very short, very to the point and I think it will prove to be very effective.

Transformers - Opens July 4, 2007

When I heard that it was coming, I scoffed. When I heard it was not animated, I giggled. Now that the first teaser for Transformers is out there, I want more. Michael Bay catches a lot of hell for making over-the-top action summer blockbusters with little to no actual substance. I can't think of anyone better to make Transformers. These are robots that turn into cars and trucks, and airplanes and who knows what else. No substance needed. The teaser itself shows possibly no footage of the actual film, but still leaves you wanting more. It begins by showing us the launch of the Mars Rover in 2003. It tells us that it was reported as crashed and its last transmission was classified and never released. "It was the only warning we would ever get." The clip we see seems to indicate some sort of robot being destroying the rover. The teaser ends with the letters in the title doing that cool Transformer thing into the date of release and the Transformer logo. You can't tell from here if the movie will be any kind of good or not, but if you're like me, you'll be eagerly awaiting the first full-on trailer.