Trailer Hitch

By Eric Hughes

October 29, 2009

Hi, Matt. Stay away from my granddaughter. I've got dibs.

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Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. This week: Marijuana literally kills people, too many celebrities celebrate Valentine's Day and a Napoleon Dynamite knockoff turns out funny.

Evil Weed – Opens October 30th

In what could quite easily double as an anti-smoking campaign for the DEA, Evil Weed is The Ruins for Rastafarians. Yes, I'm talking about marijuana that causes inexplicably destructive reactions to people who smoke it. The movie's teaser doesn't show how the pot internally attacks its users – or whether it strictly causes its victims to randomly attack people with brute force. In a word, it's vague. (And maybe with good reason). But no matter the circumstances, I do have one significant question: Have we run out of ideas?

Granted, this is what looks to be an extremely low budget horror movie, which, through some unlikely twist of fate, landed itself on the front page of Apple's trailer section – and, consequently, got streamed by me. Even so, no matter how campy Evil Weeds' filmmakers will say they intended on making this one, this doesn't justify the fact that the film looks like an epic fail.

Evil Weed isn't creepy, it's silly. In fact I'd go as far as to say it could better pass for an unsuccessful ad about the dangers of drugs (sandwiched at the cineplex between teasers for theater popcorn and why talking on your cell phone is evil) than a campy horror film. Evil Weed is the very definition of DOA.

Grade: F

Until the Light Takes Us – Opens November 20th

For exposing me to something I know little to nothing about – and, well, freaking me out in the process – Until the Light Takes Us is deserving of a solid grade on Trailer Hitch. (Even if, say, some of its imagery – specifically the part where this dude slices through his arm with a butcher's knife for reals - is, forgive me, a bit tough to swallow).

The documentary is the story of black metal, an early ‘90s worldwide music movement accompanied with scores of murders, church burnings and other heinous crimes. The musicians, and their followers, stand convinced that outsiders misinterpret the movement and its meanings. And you know, I'll go ahead and agree with that if we're just expected to accept that physical destruction of property (as well as literally killing people) is okay. Teach me, please.

Grade: B


Invictus – Opens December 11th

We're getting close to the winter season. This means, of course, that we're at about that time that Clint Eastwood releases a movie he hopes will make a run at the following year's Oscars ceremony. Invictus, based on the true story of South African President Nelson Mandela's efforts to unite his apartheid-stricken country through the country's underdog rugby team, is Eastwood's current calendar year candidate.

As he does so well, Morgan Freeman (as Mandela) narrates the trailer's happenings, setting the stage for why we should not only trust Matt Damon, but a Matt Damon adorned in skimpy white shorts. The drama the trailer tries selling me is average and none too gripping for me. Even so, I couldn't help but consider this movie as Cool Runnings on a green pitch.

Grade: C+

Valentine's Day – Opens February 12th, 2010

What can best be described as Love Actually: Across the Pond or, more blatantly, Love Actually II: America!, Valentine's Day combines some of the biggest name (American) actors working in the industry today in a film that interconnects ten separate, yet related stories over the famed February holiday. Anne Hathaway, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx... I'd be shocked if George Clooney didn't cameo as a street performer or Brad Pitt as a busboy. The cast must be one of the largest ensembles in moviemaking history.

If the goal of the preview is to brag about all the talent that stepped out of their air-conditioned trailers for this thing (take that, ya Brits!), then Valentine's Day nailed it. Not much else is learned here, other than that Julia Roberts still has a killer smile and that Jessica Alba is way too hot to believably spend Valentine's Day in an empty hotel room – save for her doggie to keep her company. (Sorry, Valentine's Day, I don't buy it!).

The Black Eyed Peas' "I've Got a Feeling" was an interesting choice for music. (It plays throughout the feature trailer's runtime). Interesting in that it's tired and soooo summer 2009. My guess is New Line Cinema figured older women would feel like they're "with it" by being familiar with the smash hit. (The song spent a disgusting 14 weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100). In my opinion, the trailer should have been paired with something fresher.

Grade: C-

Humble Pie – Opens TBA

If Napoleon Dynamite had been funny, it may have turned out something like Humble Pie. Its humor is dry, but works for me. Instead of my eyes glazing over like they did for Napoleon, I was actually chuckling at the misfortune of Humble Pie's lead character, an overweight food-stocking pro named Tracy who's hoping for a change (preferably of the quality variety) to add a little direction, and better yet, meaning to his misguided Midwestern upbringing. Even his mediocre job is a lie, as he learns that just about everyone, like Tracy, is in assistant manager. How sad.

William Baldwin is perfectly cast here as Tracy's acting instructor. If you saw Squid and the Whale, his character in this movie – at least what we see of him – reminds me of that guy. (My brotha!). He isn't a lead by any means, but like in Squid probably steals the scenes he is in.

Grade: A



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