Trailer Hitch

By Eric Hughes

July 23, 2008

I blame the Futurama crew for not voting him out of office.

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Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. This week: David Blaine gets jealous, Greg Kinnear sticks it to Ford and Watchmen capitalizes on Batman's audience.

Man on Wire – Opens July 25th

You know how David Blaine enjoys going around the world, proving time and time again that he's better than us? Sometimes his stunts are well received (getting buried alive, getting frozen). And other times not (hanging inside a plexiglass box over London. Really, what was that?) Well now's your chance to meet the man who surely influenced our modern day Houdini – Philippe Petit. One summer day in 1974, the Frenchman illegally fashioned a wire between the twin towers in New York City – hundreds of feet up – and danced on it for almost an hour. In James Marsh's Man on Wire, which appears to teeter the line (no pun intended) between witty comedy and suspenseful drama, Petit's adventurous day is examined through archived footage and interviews with the man's co-conspirators, as well the daredevil himself. Amongst a crowd of noisy, big budget action films that typically bombard the summer box office, this documentary could very well be a necessary breath of fresh air.

Grade: B
Also expected to be released on this date: Step Brothers, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, American Teen, Brideshead Revisited, CSNY: Deja Vu, Bustin' Down the Door, No Regret, Canary, The Order of Myths, Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America

Sixty Six – Opens August 1st

Oh, the Brits and their soccer. Now, they're not about to go and ruin a young boy's Bar Mitzvah by completely attributing their attention to the game's biggest competition, are they? Actually, yes. Yes, they probably are. In Sixty Six, newbie actor Gregg Sulkin stars as the unfortunate boy (Bernie) who mistakenly plans his Bar Mitzvah on the same day as the 1966 World Cup final, the year England played host. (And as history tells us, the year the Brits not only earned their way into the finals, but won as well). When money troubles force the boy's family to relocate Bernie's lavish plans to a mere reception in the home, the party's guests make their best efforts to skip the boy's big day and watch the game instead. The trailer is assuredly quirky, and having Helena Bonham Carter never hurts matters. But what the comedy really needs (heck, any comedy of course) is the laughs, and I didn't think this one delivered.

Grade: C
Also expected to be released on this date: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Swing Vote, Midnight Meat Train, Frozen River, America the Beautiful


Flash of Genius – Opens October 17th

Couldn't the inventor of the windshield wiper think to use (or at the very least invest in) an umbrella? I had to chuckle at the wet Greg Kinnear staring back at me in Universal's preview to Flash of Genius, where the actor stands absentmindedly in a downpour as the rest of his family piles into the car. In the film based on a true story, Kinnear plays Bob Kearns, a guy who got screwed by Detroit automakers when the companies copied his wiper idea and then spent the better part of his life battling the baddies for stealing his invention. Kinnear and Lauren Graham didn't look like a good fit, even though they are supposed to be husband and wife. Also a not-so-good fit? This movie with Dave Matthews Band. Seriously? I thought they could only be used effectively in romantic comedies.

Grade: C
Also expected to be released on this date: W., Max Payne, The Secret Life of Bees, Doubt, Morning Light, Filth and Wisdom

High School Musical 3: Senior Year – Opens October 24th

So Disney finally smartened up by releasing its ridiculously lucrative High School Musical franchise in theaters, instead of on the boob tube. Last summer, High School Musical 2 aired in front of a spectacular 17.3 million viewers, making the made-for-TV movie the highest-rated basic-cable broadcast in U.S. history (at the time). In the series' newest entry, taglined Senior Year, lovebirds Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) face separation anxieties as graduation looms closer. So, along with the rest of the gang, the group stages a musical (why, of course!) to reflect on their school experiences and the future. I haven't watched a wink of this feel-good fodder, so I can't say the trailer gets me particularly excited. It's the kiddies that love this thing, but why? The preview is suffocatingly cheesy. Even so, I fully expect this one to put a beating on Saw V.

Grade: D
Also expected to be released on this date: Saw V, Pride and Glory, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 3-D, The Brothers Bloom, Happy-Go-Lucky, The Changeling, Passengers, Roadside Romeo, Let the Right One Come In

Watchmen – Opens March 6th, 2009

Wow. Talk about visually stunning. (In all senses of the word. I really mean it here). The teaser to 2009's Watchmen, which half of America has already seen thanks to previews before The Dark Knight, looks...awesome. And coupled with a great soundtrack – The Smashing Pumpkins' The End is the Beginning is the End – well, I'm officially counting down the days. Based on the Award-winning 1980s graphic novel, the story (and film) takes place in an alternative 1985, one where superheroes exist and U.S.-Soviet Union tensions are at all-time highs. These details are what frame the main story, in which a vigilante, Rorschach, investigates the murder of a fellow superhero and discovers a plot to kill more. Directed by Zack Snyder, the trailer shows off the helmer's knack of reproducing exact panels from the graphic novel, similar to what the man did in 2007's 300.

Grade: A
Also expected to be released on this date: All About Steve



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