Trailer Hitch

By Eric Hughes

January 7, 2009

No, I am not cheating on W. with The Punisher. Stop asking.

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Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. This week: Clunkers! Nothing reviewed this week earned higher than a C+ grade.

Killshot – Opens January 23rd

When a movie's slated release date is bumped to a later date in the year, then two years later is reported to be released straight to DVD, then later that year is raised from the dead for a fall release, only to be bumped yet again to one final release date nearly three years after the movie's original release date...well, that's when you know you've got a probable stinker on your hands. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Killshot.

Based on the 1989 novel of the same name by Elmore "hell-of-a-name" Leonard, Killshot stars the resurrected Mickey Rourke as Armand "The Blackbird" Degas, a criminal who vengefully seeks to kill the Colsons (Diane Lane and Thomas Jane) after the couple outs his senseless activity to the police.

It's tough to watch Killshot's trailer without being distracted by its release date torture. (Let alone its personal story of development hell. The project began got off the ground as early as 1997). The limited release also stars Rosario Dawson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

**Which may or may not be in a theater near you on January 23rd.

Grade: D+

Also expected to be released on this date: The Dark Knight (rerelease), Inkheart, Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans, Possession, Taken, Outlander

Two Lovers – February 13th

If Joaquin Phoenix really never wants to act in another film ever again, Two Lovers, alongside co-stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw, marks his last feature as an actor. It's too bad this is the note he's chosen to end on. Maybe it's just the trailer. That I don't know. But the preview just seems to bounce around from one scene to a different one with different actors, then a musical interlude and then another scene. There's nothing really to grab onto here because it's all so very different.

From writer-director James Gray (who previously worked with Phoenix in We Own the Night and The Yards), the romantic drama is about a bachelor (Phoenix) who goes back and forth between two women: the family friend, Sandra (Shaw), who his parents want him to marry, and Michelle (Paltrow), his intriguing and beautiful new neighbor.

Grade: D

Also expected to be released on this date: Confessions of a Shopaholic; The International; Friday the 13th; Miss February; Under the Sea 3-D; New York, I Love You; Gomorrah


Dragonball: Evolution – Opens April 8th

The earlier part of Dragonball: Evolution's trailer kinda reminded me of a certain panda offering from DreamWorks last summer. But sadly, there's no Po to be found here. In his place is a young man named Goku (Justin Chatwin), who is trained by Master Shifu stand-in, Master Roshi (Chow Yun-Fat), to aid in fighting the evil Lord Piccolo (James Marsters). Their war with each other is over seven mystical Dragon Balls (that's what she said). The keeper of the balls becomes the outright controller of the world.

Admittedly I'm not too Dragonball-savvy. Like Pokemon, I made an effort to avoid it at all costs. But the trailer to the film adaptation of the popular media franchise doesn't look all that bad. For some reason I expected worse. The action actually looks decently exciting. Dragonball comes from writer-director James Wong, who is best known for his work on The X-Files TV series and the Final Destination franchise.

Grade: C+

Also expected to be released on this date: None

Adoration – Opens May 8th

Not gonna lie. Adoration's trailer is...troubling. I've watched it about four times now and may (or may not) have the slightest idea of what this one's about. I believe we're dealing with a story about a young boy named Simon (Devon Bostick) who does not really know the true, secret stories of his past. Apparently his pregnant mom was put on an airplane, perhaps to the Holy Land, and then her husband possibly killed her, which a family member of Simon's believes in. All I know is I'm probably using way too much brainpower here on a movie I know I'm not going to see.

Then again, Adoration, from writer-director Atom Egoyan (Where the Truth Lies), claimed the Ecumenical Jury Prize at Cannes and was also nominated for the Palme d'Or. Either way, someone in the editing department deserves to be fired.

Grade: D

Also expected to be released on this date: Star Trek XI, Wild Child, My Life in Ruins

They Came From Upstairs – Opens July 31st

It's a pretty slow week as far as movie trailers are concerned, so I had to close this week's Trailer Hitch with a teaser. Fortunately for the column, the one for They Came From Upstairs works more like a shortened trailer, rather than the traditional teaser we've come to expect from the studios.

It opens on a family, the Pearsons, who are just settling into their vacation home in Maine. Typical of Hollywood, there are some unsuspecting visitors already inside. Aliens, to be exact. But fret not. This isn't a horror flick, but a family comedy. So the pesky inhabitants act more like E.T. than those buggers from War of the Worlds.

And they're pretty cute. A downside is the creatures aren't the most "lifelike" CGI renderings I've ever seen. But hey, they're better looking than Delgo, so the title scores some deserved points from me.

Grade: C

Also expected to be released on this date: Funny People



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