Trailer Hitch

By Eric Hughes

March 18, 2009

My sister looked at me like that right before she stabbed me in the neck with a fork.

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Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. This week: Sam Raimi gives the Scary Movie guys some material to work with, Sam Mendes keeps his hot streak alive and a nine-year-old causes total mayhem.

Tyson – Opens April 24th

Mike Tyson hasn't been socially relevant for years now. As expected, it's difficult for me to take a documentary about his life both seriously and with avid interest. (Of course, Philippe Petit's story in James Marsh's Man on Wire is an entirely different animal. That docu and its subject matter was utterly fascinating).

Here we're given a firsthand look at the life and times of the infamous ear biter. From his rocky personal life to his relationship with boxing promoter Don King to his eventual downfall. Trust me, folks. It gets coverage. Similar to Joe Torre's recently published tell-all about his tenure with the New York Yankees, the documentary is an open book of sorts for the boxer to put his personal spin on issues we no longer care about. (Did we ever?)

Grade: C
Also expected to be released on this date: Obsessed, The Soloist, Fighting, Powder Blue, The Garden, Julia

Management – Opens May 15th

Starring Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn, Management appears to be your standard romcom flick. Besides a crazy and bald Woody Harrelson who competes with Zahn's character for Aniston's affection, it doesn't offer up anything exciting or special, either. I do like Aniston and Zahn's chemistry though. (Even if Zahn's character is supposed to be a total baffoon).

Management marks the directing debut of filmmaker Stephen Belber. His previous credits including penning Tape, The Laramie Project and Match.

Grade: C+
Also expected to be released on this date: Angels & Demons, The Brothers Bloom, Big Man Japan


Drag Me to Hell – Opens May 29th

Based on the opening minute to Drag Me to Hell's feature trailer, you'd have not a clue that Universal was promoting a horror movie from director Sam Raimi. The gentle orchestra playing behind a young woman's simple struggle to move up within her company could have viewers believing that the rest of the movie would be about the loan officer's effort to make that happen.

Then a strange woman enters the premises and the shit surely hits the fan. She curses Christine with a supernatural curse that threatens to send her to hell for eternity.

Even though the project comes from the guy who brought us the Evil Dead trilogy, I can't help but think that Drag Me to Hell feels like a misfire. Raimi hasn't directed a horror film in 15 years. Perhaps he's a bit rusty. The acting is pathetic and the antagonist just isn't that freakin' scary. I wouldn't be surprised if Drag Me to Hell becomes nothing more than comic fodder for the next entry in the Scary Movie franchise.

Grade: D
Also expected to be released on this date: Up, The Maiden Heist

Away We Go – Opens June 5th

With each release, I love Sam Mendes just a little bit more. His next movie is slated to be Away We Go, a dramedy starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph (who's getting her first big break after ending her eight-season run on SNL in 2007). Here, she plays wife to Krasinski's character. The couple is expecting their first child and travels around the U.S. to find a place to start a family.

The movie is so charming and cute. I can't stand it. And great cast, too. First Catherine O'Hara and Jeff Daniels appear, then Allison Janney and Jim Gaffigan. By the time I lock in on Maggie Gyllenhaal, I've nearly had a seizure.

The movie isn't what we'd expect from a guy like Mendes. The project definitely has a Noah Baumbach or even Diablo Cody-like feel to it. Alexi Murdoch's "All My Days" provides the gentle musical accompaniment.

Grade: A
Also expected to be released on this date: Land of the Lost, Hangover

Orphan – Opens July 24th

The movie's "There's something wrong with Esther" tagline is too hokey for my taste, but else wise the trailer to Warner Brothers Dark/Castle Entertainment's Orphan is basically fantastic. It's Omen-esque, in that it's about a family adopting a young child with unknown origins. But instead of it being a baby boy, it's a nine-year-old girl.

The trailer slowly trots along, introducing the principal players and the girl's preemptive kindness. Then her tantrums begin: A kid is thrown from the playground, a tree house burns to the ground and the kid's adoptive parents get the sinister stare down while resting in bed. The action is intense. And if marketed correctly, I could see this one becoming the next Ring.

Grade: B+
Also expected to be released on this date: G-Force, The Taking of Pelham 123, The Ugly Truth, Piranha 3D, All Good Things



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