By Jim Van Nest
May 4, 2006
Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. Apologies to Trailer Hitch readers. I have totally fallen down on my job or providing you with the best (and worst) in the line of Internet movie trailers. But, I'm back and with summer blockbuster season starting this weekend, I have plenty of high profile flicks to cover.
Poseidon – Opens May 12th
It's no secret that The Poseidon Adventure is hands down my favorite disaster movie of all time. And I've been giddy since the remake was announced. Wolfgang Petersen has such an impressive resume, starting with Das Boot and going all the way up through The Perfect Storm (we'll just ignore Troy for right now), that I had no doubts Poseidon would be in good hands. The original was a clinic on how to do a disaster flick AND how to handle an all-star cast. The remake should be no different. With a cast that boasts Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfus, Josh Lucas, Emmy Rossum, Kevin Dillon and Andre Braugher, the script will also be in good hands. But enough about that, let's talk trailer. It sets up with everyone having a great time on a huge ocean liner. In the distance we see "the wave." It overtakes the ship turning it upside down in what is sure to be a special effects bonanza. Then we get to play "Who Will Make it Out Alive". The trailer gives every indication that it will follow the same outline as the original. But with a different screenplay, it promises to have all kinds of new twists and turns that will keep even the biggest Poseidon Adventure fans on the edge of their seat.
Over The Hedge – Opens May 19th
I can't believe I'm going to type this, but in a summer where a new Disney-Pixar cartoon is coming out, my most anticipated animated film is, by far, Over the Hedge. And it's mostly based on this trailer. Over the Hedge seems to be what a kid's flick should be. Fun. The animals are cute and I'm sure you'll miss quite a bit of the movie because all the kids in the theater will be laughing and having a great time. The story seems to be simple. A new developmental neighborhood wants to keep nature out and nature wants in. A ragtag group of forest creatures, led by Bruce Willis, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, Garry Shandling and William Shatner decide they're going to get around the barrier keeping them away from all the good stuff. With all due respect to "The Mouse", DreamWorks seems to have caught up, at least in the terms of computer animation. The animation in the trailer looks great but mostly, this one will be all about the funny. If your kids have been bugging you to see a movie...this will be the one to take them to.
The Da Vinci Code – Opens May 19th
Even though I know everyone is being flooded with Da Vinci Code commercials right now, this movie is just too big to not be covered in Trailer Hitch. I have not read the book, and this is still a must-see for me. Look at the names. Ron Howard and Tom Hanks together again. Audrey Tautou, Alfred Molina, Sir Ian McKellen and Jean Reno. They pulled out all the stops on this one, and from this trailer, it shows. This trailer has it all, big name stars, a murder, a cover-up, a quest, clues to be deciphered, beautiful artwork and a freaky albino. By the looks of it, I have a feeling the audience will share in quite a bit of the puzzle right along with the characters. We'll be trying to break the code and figure it out for ourselves before Tom Hanks does. This is another in a series of excellent looking trailers. It would seem that Hollywood has figured out how important trailers are and how much they can accomplish, when done right.
X-Men: The Last Stand – Opens May 26th
Talk about a franchise that is as strong as ever. I could be wrong, but X3 looks better than either of the first two films. This trailer is great!! Apparently, some scientist has found a "cure" for the mutant gene. Needless to say, Magneto is none too pleased about that. Which naturally will lead us to the war that he's been preaching about for two movies now. Kelsey Grammer (Beast) and Six Feet Under's Ben Foster (Angel) are the two major additions they appear to be cast perfectly. This trailer gives you just enough of a taste to have you wanting more, but not enough to make you feel like you saw too much. We see that Jean Grey is back, but we don't know how and we don't know how she'll be affected. We see Wolverine getting ready to kill some guys, but we don't know who or why. So many of the trailers I reviewed for this column are of films I rank very high on my must see list for Summer '06, and this one will have to duke it out with Poseidon for the top spot on my list.
Superman Returns – Opens June 30th
Honestly, I could probably just sum this up by saying, "WOW!" I could, but I won't. From the get-go, I was excited about the new Superman mainly because of Bryan Singer. Then the first stills came out and I started to lose hope. Then the teaser came out and I lost even more. But here...here is what I was expecting in the first place. I'm not sure what I think of Lois Lane having a kid. I'm not sure what I think of Kate Bosworth playing Lois Lane. Honestly, it doesn't matter. Brandon Routh looks like he'll do a fine job pulling off both Clark Kent and Superman and Kevin Spacey looks like he may steal the movie - not too far off of Jack Nicholson's Joker. The main thing I like, though, is that the film appears darker and grittier than any of the previous Supes. It always amazes me how one trailer can totally change your mind on a film. In the case of Superman Returns, this trailer took it from a "might go see, definitely rent" film to a "will see opening weekend" film for me.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest – Opens July 7th
If the Dead Man's Chest trailer is any indication, this summer could see one of those rare times where a sequel surpasses the original. Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley reprise their roles in the sequel to the wildly popular Pirates of the Caribbean. The fact that Depp agreed to break his own personal rule of not doing sequels gave everyone hope that the folks at Disney had something really special up their sleeves. Watching this clip, it seems that they do. The action is there, the effects look top notch and Depp seems to have recaptured the magic that earned him an Oscar nomination for the first film. When you add in the fact that Davy Jones looks to be one of the best CGI characters since Gollum, I just don't think you could ask any more from a trailer. If you can watch this trailer and NOT put Dead Man's Chest up in your top two or three most anticipated films of the summer...well, there's not a lot of hope for you.
For the folks who really dig this column and who've been cursing me for not writing one in forever...I'm hoping this will be the first in a long string of Trailer Hitch columns to come. Hell, I just did a whole bunch of trailers and barely got out of the month of May. Check back next week when I'll review several more potential Summer Blockbusters.