By Jim Van Nest
October 6, 2005
Welcome to Trailer Hitch, your weekly look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. Apologies all around for missing last week and being late this week. The good thing about missing a week is there are plenty of trailers to sift through and discuss. This week we have several Oscar winners and Johnny Knoxville in the Special Olympics. This should be interesting.
Can you ever just be, like, whelmed?
The Squid and The Whale
Coming off the film festival circuit with a directing and screenwriting prize from Sundance is The Squid and the Whale. I thought I would have been more interested, but the trailer just leaves me flat. It's about a dysfunctional family going through a divorce. The folks have two boys, one of whom is at that awkward teen dating age. The boys have to deal with their dad moving out, learn that their mother cheated, and contend with their feelings about girls all at the same time. Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney headline with Anna Paquin and William Baldwin along in supporting roles. This seems to be one of those movies I'd like if I would just sit down and watch it; however, I don't know if that'll happen.
OK, I'm intrigued
After really liking the trailer for Johnny Knoxville's upcoming Daltry Calhoun, I had to check out The Ringer - partly to see if this guy's becoming legit and partly to prove that he's not. I have to go back to Shallow Hal to remember a trailer that made me feel more uncomfortable laughing. The basic story is Knoxville pretending to be retarded to compete in and win the Special Olympics. This is a real touchy situation for me because you can do comedy with this subject matter, but there's a fine line between being funny and being mean. From what I can tell, this movie looks like it will fall on the funny side of that fine line. Really funny. We're gonna get plenty of slapstick and plenty of Knoxville acting like an idiot - which, those of us who watched Jackass should remember, is what he does best. Between Calhoun and The Ringer, this could very easily be the fall/winter of Mr. Knoxville. *Shudders*
The Family Stone
The main thing that intrigues me about The Family Stone is the cast. Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Claire Danes, Dermut Mulroney and Luke Wilson highlight this Meet the Parents-esque romantic comedy from the producers of Sideways. Mulroney brings his fiance, Parker, home to meet his uptight family. From the look of things, she can do nothing right and has several conflicts with different members of the family. This definitely has a been-there-done-that feel to it, but the scenes with Luke Wilson look good enough for me to see this. Not to mention that when my wife sees the trailer, I'll definitely be doomed to see this one. Note to the married guys: this looks like a chick flick you can make it through. If you need to score points, this might be your chance.
From the director of Whale Rider comes North Country, the story of a woman who dares to have a "man's job." Charlize Theron stars as a single mother who finds she can make six times her salary by taking a job in a mine. What she didn't know was that with all that money come insults, pranks, sexual harassment and possibly assaults. She gets pushed to far and decides to defy the odds by suing the mine. Frances McDormand, Sissy Spacek and Woody Harrelson round out an outstanding cast in what seems to be a Norma Rae for the 2000's. I haven't heard any kind of award buzz for this, but considering the story and the cast, I wouldn't be surprised if we do.
Keira Knightley as a ruthless bounty hunter. Hmmm...no sir, I don't buy it. But, Tony Scott at the helm does get my attention. I'm a huge fan of True Romance and I really liked Man On Fire, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt here. Knightley plays Domino Harvey in this true story about a privileged girl who goes against her privileges to become a bounty hunter in LA. Continuing his renaissance, Mickey Rourke plays her mentor. Also joining the fun are Delroy Lindo, Christopher Walken, Mena Suvari and Lucy Liu. While I'm not sure exactly what the film centers on, it mostly seems to be the story of Domino's life. If Knightley can pull off the tough as nails bounty hunter, this film looks to be a lot of good wholesome violent fun.
Innocent Voices (Voces Inocentes)
Submitted as Mexico's entry for the Best Foreign Film Oscar, Innocent Voices tells the true story of an 11-year-old boy during the Civil War in El Salvador. The trailer is amazingly effective, especially when you consider only small snippets of scenes are seen and no dialogue is heard. Innocent Voices looks to be a very powerful story of what a mother will do to protect her only son. If the images in the trailer are any indication, this looks to be a very sad, yet inspirational film. Sporting a host of film festival awards, including a Producers Guild award, it's a good bet we'll be hearing more about this film come Oscar time.
Good Night and Good Luck (Trailer of the Week)
Given his Hollywood "It-boy" past, I've been slow to come around to George Clooney. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind did a lot to change that. Good Night and Good Luck will make me a fan. The film tells the story of the feud between Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy and his House Un-American Activities Committee. Murrow had the guts to buck the system and go against McCarthy's Communism witch-hunt, earning himself the Communist label in the process. A stellar cast that features David Straithern, Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson and Frank Langella looks to be icing on the cake of quite possibly one of the year's best films. I seriously cannot wait for this one.