Trailer Hitch

By Eric Hughes

June 24, 2009

Are you looking at them Sideways? God, you're pretentious.

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Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. This week: Nia Vardalos and John Corbett get back together, Paul Giamatti sells his soul and Woody Harrelson stomps some zombies.

I Hate Valentine's Day – Opens July 3rd

Nia Vardalos hasn't done squat since My Big Fat Greek Wedding. We all know what that was, so there's no point in getting into it. She's been in TV shows and some movies, none of which reached anything near Fat Wedding stardom. (This includes My Life in Ruins, which just tanked at the box office earlier this month).

So what's a girl to do? Why not co-star in a new comedy with the same guy (John Corbett) who may be partially responsible for Fat Weddings' success? Why not indeed.

I Hate Valentine's Day reunites the Fat Wedding co-stars in a story about a woman who abides by a strict five-date limit – with any dude. Once the dates are over, the gig's up. No excuses. That is, of course, until the woman, Genevieve, looks in the dreamy eyes of Johnny Corbett.

The trailer here is pretty formulaic. And it's strangely being released in July instead of the very holiday in its title. Yet I Hate Valentine's Day could be Nia's ticket back to social relevancy.

Grade: C

Cold Souls – Opens August 7th

Watch the trailer to Cold Souls and you'd swear you're seeing something from the creative mind of Charlie Kaufman. Even better, this very well could have been a loose sequel to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, sans a love-stricken Jim Carrey of course.

Here, Paul Giamatti plays... Paul Giamatti, an anxious actor with an overwhelmed heart who decides to deep freeze his soul, courtesy of a company service. Disliking the side effects, Paul attempts to regain his lost soul – only to learn that it's been lost in a trafficking scheme and has since been transported to Russia.

Like anything Kaufman, this project excites me. It comes from newbie writer-director Sophie Barthes.

Grade: A-


b>Ponyo – Opens August 14th

The brain behind the Oscar winning animated film Spirited Away is back with Ponyo, a Studio Ghibli production that bowed in Japan nearly a year ago and is set to make its U.S. bow next month. The visuals here – giant fish things, larger than life goddesses, crushing waves – are quite stunning, and beautiful really, even if I've got little idea of what Ponyo is truly about.

Grade: B

World's Greatest Dad – Opens August 21st

Robin Williams was built for a role like Lance Clayton, lead protagonist of World's Greatest Dad. He's a writer, though nothing he's done has been published. He teaches poetry, though no one really attends his class. And he's got one hell of a son who'd rather look at vaginas all day than do anything else remotely productive. (Thanks, red band trailer).

I can't say I laughed hysterically at writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait's latest black comedy, yet there's something here that's undeniably funny. Perhaps its Williams' calm-ish demeanor – even if one of his student's haiku delves into the "joys" of pregnancy. Or Williams' young girlfriend, whose short skirt catches the eye of Williams' son.

Sure it's sophomoric, but the timing of this trailer made it all work out quite nicely.

Grade: B-

Zombieland – Opens October 9th

Zombieland looks like a ride. It's fast paced, quickly cut and slapstick. With zombies. We haven't seen zombies and funny mashed so well together since Simon Pegg's Shaun of the Dead. Except that one was missing Zombieland's secret ingredient: Woody Harrelson. Typically I'm not into his projects, yet this movie's an exception. He looks like he's having way too much fun up there swattin' zombies and takin' names.

Zombieland's also got the up-and-coming Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone and Amber Heard. And in what just may be his finest role to date, Bill Murray himself plays a freakin' zombie. You can't beat it.

Grade: A-



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