Trailer Hitch

By Eric Hughes

August 12, 2009

That's a silly hat, but she pulls it off.

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Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. This week: Renee Zellweger goes back in time, Kate Beckinsale puts on snow pants and Alec Baldwin battles Steve Martin.

Grace – Opens Friday

When I first read words like "scary movie," "stillborn baby" and "evil" in Grace's synopsis, I immediately cast the thing off as dismal drivel. The Omen sucked, Orphan had the most insanely awful twist in the history of cinema... How many times must we watch wicked kids destroy their families?

The trailer to Grace, however, is a pleasant surprise. It's an indie chiller in all senses of the word. In this case, Grace is the name of a thought-to-be-dead newborn who survives the impossible, yet clearly exhibits signs of maliciousness. It develops unhealthy smells, it attracts flies and – as the trailer seems to promote – it yearns for blood.

Based on America's mainstream vampire craze, I wouldn't be shocked if the movie takes that kind of route.

Grade: B+

My One and Only – Opens August 21st

There's something about period pieces that rarely fails to turn me off. (Save for Mad Men, of course). There's just something about modern-day actors dressing up in outfits from yesteryear – sometimes adorning some ridonk accent – to endorse the idea that it's not 2009, but fill in the freakin' blank.

My strong feelings against period pieces holds true with My One and Only, a silly dramedy about a woman (Renee Zellweger) who travels across the country to find herself a new suitor (Eric McCormack and Chris Noth among them) after her cheating husband (Kevin Bacon) does the dirty deed with another woman. Her two kids (played by Logan Lerman and Mark Rendall) go along for the ride and help their mother decide what to do.

With its gentle orchestration and self-serving "ooo, look at all the stars in this movie!" attitude, the trailer plays My One and Only as some kind of legit Oscar contender, though reality doesn't replicate this.

Grade: C


Whiteout – Opens September 11th

The next time I assemble a snow fight team, I'm selecting Kate Beckinsale in the first round. As she demonstrates in the trailer to Whiteout, she can take a dangerous, yet natural Antarctic snow blast – and live to tell about it. In the movie, she stars as a U.S. deputy marshal who must investigate and solve a murder in Antarctica before the arctic winter begins. It's based on the 1998 comic book of the same name by Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber.

The synopsis was intriguing. A murder on a frozen, uninhabited continent? Sure, why not. The end result, however, is pretty unwatchable. Most of it is explorers taking on snowstorms without consequence. The rest is a series of images described by a pesky narrator – as if we can't figure out what we're already looking at.

Grade: D

Motherhood – Opens October 16th

Uma Thurman is too much of a badass to merely be... a stay-at-home mom. Midway through the trailer, I halfway expected her character to karate chop her husband (Anthony Edwards) or best friend (Minnie Driver) for unsuccessfully cleansing her conscience from stress. But alas, all she does is dance around like an idiot, crack jokes at the expense of other mothers' children and look stylish in her thick, black frames.

Motherhood isn't my kind of movie. And I'm okay with that. Yet the movie just looks boring, predictable and a lame excuse for parents to spend an exorbitant amount of money to learn absolutely nothing about what they already know about parenting.

Come on, Kill Bill Volume 3.

Grade: D+

It's Complicated – Opens December 25th

If there's one thing that Nancy Meyers movies have in common, it's that they make a heck of a lot of money. The last three films she directed (The Holiday, Something's Gotta Give, What Women Want) earned more than $200 million in worldwide sales, including What Women Wants' monstrous $372 million.

For It's Complicated, slated for release on Christmas Day, the writer-director aligned some serious star power (Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin) to continue her stretch of successes into the next decade. Even John Krasinski, Hunter Parrish, Lake Bell and Rita Wilson scored smaller roles.

The trailer to It's Complicated doesn't impress me much. I actually didn't laugh much – if at all. Odd, I know, since this one's got peeps like Emmy winner Alec Baldwin. But I trust Meyers in delivering something worth seeing, since I generally take a liking to her finished products.

Grade: C+



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