By Eric Hughes
August 19, 2009
Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. This week: Rupert Everett goes girl, Milla Jovovich gets abducted by aliens and one special granny does some insane stunts.
St Trinian's – Opens August 28th
St Trinian's is the sixth film in a long-running British movie series based on a decades old book franchise by Ronald Searle – but you wouldn't know it based on St Trinian's trailer. That's probably because the last movie released before it, The Wildcats of St Trinian's, was in theaters back when Jimmy Carter called the White House home. St Trinian's serves as a relaunching of sorts for the franchise, as Brits are gearing up for St. Trinian's 2 (not 7): The Legend of Fritton's Gold, slated for release by the end of the year.
We're only now getting St Trinian's. It was, in fact, released in the UK about two years ago to tremendous success, raking in enough pounds to become one of the top grossing independent British films of this millennium.
Having seen the trailer, I feel like the movie was delayed here for a reason. Perhaps we never should have gotten it. It has star power – Colin Firth, Russell Brand, Mischa Barton and Rupert Everett (in drag no less) – yet the project itself looks positively stupid. Following a premise we've surely seen before, St Trinian's is about a school for young ladies that's facing a financial crisis. Firth plays an education minister and Everett runs around looking all pretty with wig and make-up. If anything, he sure is a redeeming quality.
The Burning Plain – Opens September 18th
Like the 21 Grams and Babels before it, The Burning Plain continues Guillermo Arriaga's streak of trying to confuse the hell out of his audience – no matter how much you think you're paying attention. Again, the writer (and now director) presents a story in non-linear fashion that weaves seemingly unconnected storylines together in one jumbled, yet cohesive, $20-million thing. The movie, about a woman who encounters a stranger from Mexico who confronts her about her mysterious past, doesn't carry as intriguing a premise for me as Arriaga's previous efforts.
It's early yet, but the flick continues the writer's downward trend in critical opinion of his work. A rotten 55% of critics liked The Burning Plain (so far), a 14% decrease from Babel's 69% and the 80%+ scores of 21 Grams and Amores Perros.
Hate to break it to Arriaga, but that's very M. Night Shyamalan of him.
Law Abiding Citizen – Opens October 16th
Believing he wasn't given fair justice by the courts for the brutal deaths of his wife and young daughter, Gerard Butler's character's plan in Law Abiding Citizen is a simple one: Mercilessly kill people in rapid succession until the person, played by Jamie Foxx, who put him behind bars for offing one of the deadly men responsible lets Butler walk free.
I originally cast the project off as cheap, generic thriller. But a second viewing proved Law Abiding Citizen was more sustainable that I gave it credit for at first glance. The project comes from helmer F. Gary Gray, who's probably best known for directing The Italian Job back in 2003.
The Fourth Kind – Opens November 6th
Think of The Fourth Kind as a big screen version of Unsolved Mysteries. Combining unseen archived footage with slick dramatizations, The Fourth Kind is set in Nome, Alaska – known to have a high number of alien abductions over the past few decades. Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich plays real psychotherapist Dr. Abigail Tyler, who interviewed a number of people who have supposedly been abducted by aliens. The movie is based on actual events. Though being a product of Hollywood – and better yet, Universal – that very well could mean anything.
Props to the team behind this one for crafting a story unlike anything I think I've seen before. I like that The Fourth Kind not only draws from true events, but splices actual videotaped testimonies into its narrative. I also found Milla's gentle on-screen introduction at the start of the trailer to be quite inviting. My only wish is for the movie to be more thrilling.
Legion – Opens January 22nd, 2010
Okay. Stop reading this column. And close out any extraneous Web tabs while you're at it. If you didn't catch the trailer to Legion directly before District 9 this weekend, you're in for an absolute treat. It just may be the most absurd thing you'll see this year – especially those first 40 or so seconds. Now, go watch the darn thing.
Crazy, right? What was that? Dennis Quaid's involvement in something this sloppy doesn't surprise me much. He's made some Nicolas Cage-like film choices – Pandorum, The Horsemen – as of late. But Paul Bettany? What gives, man?