Trailer Hitch

By Kim Hollis

October 13, 2004

One is the loneliest number that he's ever known.

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After a week where we were bombarded with new movie previews, the trailer offerings since then have been scant indeed. Here's a look at a few of the recent ones to hit both the Internet and movie theaters.

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

This Internet-only trailer isn't quite up to the lofty standards set by the first preview for this film, but it still gives that all-important sense of Wes Anderson-ness. Utilizing a different Bowie song this time around, it once again sets the tone of the film, mostly using clips of scenes that we've seen before. One nice bonus is that we get to see a bit more of the animation from Henry Selick - and it's really looking terrific.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

This movie is going to be huge.

Although the teaser hadn't done much to convince me that this film would capture the hearts and imaginations of fans of this clever children's book series, this newest long-form preview has totally turned me around. The kids in the film are perfectly cast even down to baby Sunny Baudelaire. Beyond that, Jim Carrey is in the mode where most people like him best - slapstick and over-the-top. While I personally prefer him in his more low-key roles, I certainly acknowledge that his comedy roles are almost without fail tailored for massive audiences. Along with the Carrey factor, the atmosphere of the film has been just perfectly set. My only complaint is that I would prefer Ewan McGregor over Jude Law in the Lemony Snicket role, but we can't have everything, can we?

A Very Long Engagement

Audrey Tautou reunites with her Amélie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet for this romantic drama. Looking as luminescent as an old-time silent film star, Tautou makes the perfect winsome heroine. War is clearly much of the film's focus; however, there is still an unmistakable sense of whimsy that shines through. It's a gorgeous-looking film, at least from what the trailer reveals, and has certainly risen high on my want-to-see list.

Bride and Prejudice

It's not quite as raucous and joyful as the earlier international trailers, but the North American preview for Gurinder Chadha's follow-up to Bend It Like Beckham is still a lot of fun. Taking the classic Jane Austen tale and placing it in the context of modern Indian society and culture is a clever conceit, indeed. The singing and dancing alone look simply marvelous, and the film's lead (Aishwarya Rai) is winsome and charming. The film has already opened in the UK and should build some steady buzz as its North American release in December approaches.

The Assassination of Richard Nixon

This teaser takes the minimalist approach, but I rather like it. Sean Penn is channeling Ed Norton here as a man who is planning to make a major statement by attempting to kill President Richard Nixon. The teaser is extremely brief, but it certainly makes its point. Penn looks like a contender again for this year's best actor awards.

Fat Albert

Why do movie producers continue to insist to destroy all the things I loved in my childhood? This movie takes the delightful Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids gang from the '70s animated series and supplants them into live bodies. Like The Brady Bunch Movie, the film transplants its characters into the present day. The result looks nothing short of disastrous, especially for anyone who loved that show as much as I did. I think I'll just buy the Ultimate Collection of the cartoon series on DVD instead.

Sex Is Comedy

There's not much in this trailer to make me feel inclined to see the film other than the fact that it announces Catherine Breillat (Fat Girl) as the director. Is the film a comedy about pornography? About cinema? I'm just not really sure what to make of it, but it sure isn't appealing. That's not necessarily surprising, though, as Breillat's subject matter is frequently dark and even disturbing.



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