By Jim Van Nest
September 12, 2005
Welcome to Trailer Hitch, your weekly look at the latest movie trailers to hit the internet. We had a pretty thin week this week, so I had to go back to some older trailers. I've got some old Nic Cage and Cameron Crowe. I've also got some new Ryan Reynolds and Johnny Knoxville. Check it out and see what I consider to be the Trailer of the Week.
Someone wake me when it's over.
Venom appears to be Miramax's next chance at another franchise horror flick. Honestly, it looks no different than any other horror film these days. A group of teenagers somehow manages to end up in a deserted, run-down, old house while some maniacal supernatural killer stalks them. The only thing about this movie that intrigues me in the least is the fact that it's set in the swamps of Louisiana. And given the state of things in LA right now, I'm curious to see how this goes over. Of course, for it to have any impact at all, someone will have to go see Venom. Based on this trailer, I don't think we have a lot to worry about there.
Can you ever just be, like, whelmed?
I've always given Ryan Reynolds some leeway just because he was Berg on Two Guys and A Girl. So the only reason I'm not slamming this trailer and film is because he's the lead. Just Friends is the typical high school dork grows up and goes back to his hometown to reclaim his first love tale. In this case, Reynolds was fat and unpopular but is now a thin, successful record producer. The only genuine laughs in the trailer are provided by Anna Faris playing an over-the-top diva-esque pop singer that Reynolds brings home with him. I'm sure this will be a DVD rental for me and it may well surprise. But overall, this trailer has a very distinct been-there, done-that feel to it.
The new film from Rodrigo Garcia sounds like a good idea when I read the synopsis. Seeing the trailer, however, it looks like it could be a mess. Starring, well, everybody, the film appears to be broken into nine pieces that will focus on a different female character in each piece. All of the characters are intertwined, but the segments will be pretty obvious. A couple questions come to mind. First, how much time can possibly be devoted to each story and will we have time to care about these characters? Second, how could Ian McShane be in the movie and not make it into the trailer? Three or four stories in one movie can probably work, but based on this trailer, nine seems a bit too ambitious.
OK, I'm intrigued
The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio
From DreamWorks comes this true story about a woman named Evelyn Ryan, an Ohio housewife who had a knack for winning jingle contests in the 1950s. Julianne Moore takes on the title role with Woody Harrelson playing her jealous husband. To me, Julianne Moore is one of the absolute best Hollywood has to offer right now and this film looks tailor-made for her. The trailer shows the animosity that builds between the not-so-happy couple and might go too far showing us the foreclosure of a second mortgage. But DreamWorks' reputation and Julianne Moore will be enough to put my butt in a theater seat.
The Weather Man
The Weather Man is one of those films that could go either way. It could suck really bad or could be really good. Basically, it follows the pattern of most Nicolas Cage flicks. You could get an Oscar caliber performance or you could get Con Air. With The Ring and Pirates of the Caribbean on his resume, I'll bet Gore Verbinski makes this a pretty good film. Cage plays a TV weather man who seems a bit disconnected from life. Michael Caine plays the father trying to get him back into the game. Add into the mix a heavy daughter having trouble fitting in and a neurotic wife, and the trailer makes this look like Cage's best performance since he played Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation. With Verbinski's recent track record and Cage looking solid, The Weather Man has the potential to be a pretty good little film.
I'm already counting down the days.
As I scan my mental rolodex, I can't seem to recall a Cameron Crowe project I didn't like. (I never saw Vanilla Sky.) Elizabethtown seems like it will fall right in line with the rest. The only drawback for me is the cast. I cannot get into Orlando Bloom as a leading man. And I've completely lost my fascination with Kirsten Dunst. (Remember when she used to be hot?) The story is that of one man's REALLY bad day. On the heels of losing his job for costing his employer hundreds of millions of dollars, his girlfriend dumps him and he finds out his father has died. The trip back home becomes life-altering when he meets (and then falls in love with) a stewardess (Dunst) on his flight and when he finds himself as the only guardian of his father's last wishes. The bottom line is simple. Crowe does romantic comedy as well as anyone in the business and even with leads I don't really care for, that is enough for me to be in the audience opening weekend.
Daltry Calhoun (Trailer of the Week)
I can't believe I'm going to type these words but, I'm actually looking forward to a Johnny Knoxville movie. Knoxville plays Daltry Calhoun, a southern grass (the legal kind) salesman. His dreams of creating a golf course so nice it steals the Masters away from Augusta National are interrupted by the arrival of a daughter he never knew he had. While it seems a bit formulaic, the trailer makes the film look funny, endearing and well, good. Adam Sandler (Big Daddy) and Jim Carrey (Liar Liar) have taken this route with huge success. If the trailer is any indication, (and I can't believe I'm typing this either) Johnny Knoxville may be taking the next step from chucklenut to movie star. In a very thin week, Daltry Calhoun is my Trailer of the Week.