Trailer Hitch

By Eric Hughes

November 26, 2008

Believe it or not, I'm walking on air.

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Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. This week: Mickey Rourke lays the smack down, Kate Beckinsale gets locked up and Renee Zellweger falls over things.

The Wrestler – Opens December 17th

The trailer to Darren Aronofsky's (Requiem for a Dream) new drama, The Wrestler, comes off a bit too scattered for my taste, but that doesn't deter me in the least from wanting to see this thing when it finally reaches theaters close to Christmas.

Winner of the Golden Lion at the 2008 Venice Film Festival, The Wrestler stars Mickey Rourke as Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a man who begins evaluating his life 20 years after his headlining days as a professional wrestler. Despite an estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and a blossoming fling with an exotic dancer (Marisa Tomei) who's ready to start her life anew, Randy discovers what he wants most of all is to return back to his glory days in the ring.

Featuring a new song by Bruce Springsteen - cleverly titled "The Wrestler - that runs for just about the entirety of the sneak peek, the trailer tosses up mostly visual representations of what I've described above. For the most part, we get that he's a bit washed up and yearning to recover what he's most passionate about: wrestling.

Grade: A
Also expected to be released on this date: None

Nothing But the Truth – Opens December 19th

For the first time since I started writing this column, I have seen the movie (in this case, Nothing But the Truth) before critiquing any of its promotional advertisements. And judging by the nearly two-and-a-half minute preview I just watched, I can assure you the movie itself is just as gripping as the trailer makes this drama out to be.

An intelligent thriller that pits a person's right to free speech vs. issues with national security, Nothing But the Truth stars Kate Beckinsale as Rachel Armstrong, a Washington, D.C. political journalist who pens an enterprise story that reveals the name of a CIA agent (Vera Farmiga). When a government prosecutor (Matt Dillon) demands that she reveal her source, Rachel refuses and is ordered to go behind bars, at least until she no longer feels the need to defend her principles.

Inspired by today's politically charged climate and the Valerie Plame scandal from a couple years ago, Nothing But the Truth also stars Alan Alda, Angela Bassett, David Schwimmer and Noah Wyle.

Grade: A-
Also expected to be released on this date: Seven Pounds, Yes Man, The Tale of Despereaux, The Brothers Bloom


New in Town – Opens January 30, 2009

You undoubtedly loved those accents in Fargo – "Ah, hon, ya got Arby's all over me!" - so prepare yourself for another round of that cute, Minnesotan charm in New in Town. From Danish director Jonas Elmer, who makes his American debut with the release, the romantic comedy stars Renee Zellweger as a high-powered consultant living in Miami who is asked by her boss to supervise the restructuring of one of her company's factories in the Midwest. In the classic fish-out-of-water story, her character struggles to adjust to a slower, more primitive lifestyle in a much colder climate, while at the same time gets acquainted with one of the factory's workers (Harry Connick Jr.)

Featuring a giddy Zellweger commuting recklessly on ice, driving wildly into a ditch and drunkenly falling over the railing in front of a house, New in Town appears to rely a bit too much on physical comedy (which is odd, considering this one stars Zellweger and not someone like, oh, Jim Carrey). I wouldn't be all that surprised if a majority of the humor comes off a bit sophomoric as well.

Grade: C
Also expected to be released on this date: The Uninvited

Duplicity – Opens March 20, 2009

Oh, my god. Julia Roberts in a (sort of) comedy! It's been...awhile. A spy-thriller over anything else (though the trailer certainly pegs it as more of the former), Duplicity stars Roberts and Clive Owen as two corporate spies who join forces to con their way into reaping the benefits of a new medical innovation that two rivals (Tom Wilkinson, Paul Giamatti) want their grubby mitts on.

From writer-director Troy Gilroy, who dazzled me last year with Michael Clayton and who was also behind the adaptations of all three Jason Bourne flicks, Duplicity's trailer had the feel of an Ocean's 11-type comedy (which Roberts, as you'll remember, appeared in).

Grade: B
Also expected to be released on this date: The Box, Fired Up, Knowing

Adventureland – Opens March 27, 2009

If you enjoyed the oh-so-raunchy Superbad, you're bound to find something to like in Adventureland, from Superbad director Greg Mottola (who also claims writing credits here). Set in 1987 and starring Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale), the dramedy is about a recent college graduate, James Brennan, who is having a difficult time finding work after finally receiving a diploma. His luck turns around when he lands a job at Adventureland, a local amusement park that unexpectedly prepares him for the real world.

With current IT girl Kristen Stewart (Twilight) and a number of SNL-ers in supporting roles (Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig), this one has the makings of a comedy gem that'll lead us into the summer box office season. Ryan Reynolds also stars.

Grade: A-
Also expected to be released on this date: Monsters vs. Aliens; Janky Promoters; The Informant; Assassination of a High School President; The Accidental Husband



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