Trailer Hitch

By Michael Bentley

March 7, 2007

Talking bunnies have generally not been good guys in film.

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In this super-sized edition of Trailer Hitch, we look at a number of different movies headed to theaters this year, including a cult animated series, a movie about killer sheep, two super smart canine movies, a children's fantasy, and various other action, romance, and drama joints.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters

Okay, this is actually a pretty funny trailer. And I say that as someone who has never seen an episode of this cult hit Adult Swim animated show. It is filled with tongue-in-cheek, randomly ridiculous things such as a flaming chicken and a humorous voiceover that spouts such nothings as "...a cop on edge" ("Where are my frickln' pants?") And proudly proclaims that it is made by "the 1st assistant director of the 2nd unit of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth..." I have little-to-no idea what this movie is about. And what the hell is that title supposed to mean?? But even though it's admittedly (absurdly) funny looking, I'm not sure I want to know. If you aren't already a fan of the show, I can't imagine you'll suddenly be interested in seeing the movie. And if you are a fan of the show, you probably already have your tickets purchased. B

Black Sheep

"Oh my lord!" You said it, old lady. This comic horror movie (not a re-release of the Chris Farley comedy) is about some sort of experiment that went wrong down in New Zealand and now... killer sheep are on the loose. Get ready for the Violence of the Lambs!? Uh, okay. Black Sheep has "Sci-Fi Channel Original Movie" written all over it. I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, mind you. Like many of the Box Office Prophets staff members, I have a special fondness for cheesy horror movies, especially of the animals-eating-people variety. But I like to enjoy them in the comfort of my own home - why would I ever want to see this silliness in a public movie theater? It could very well be a classic like Tremors or Shaun of the Dead. Or it could be MST3K-level quality. One promising thing, though, is that the creature effects were developed by the Weta Workshop (which, I'm sure most of you know, were the brains behind many of the effects in the Lord of the Rings trilogy). I'll keep an open mind. And I'll have my popcorn ready, as soon as it debuts on TV. C-

Blind Dating

For moviegoers who are big fans of the American Pie straight-to-video sequels comes Blind Dating, a "hilarious comedy" about a 22-year-old blind virgin. And, in fact, it even co-stars one of the American Pie actors (Eddie Kaye Thomas). There really isn't a whole lot to add to that, as it looks like your standard mediocre romantic comedy. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll cringe, and you'll walk out happy. C




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The Condemned

Hunting human beings for sport isn't something that is entirely new to cinema. Think futuristic fare such as The Running Man or Idiocracy, or even the flawed-but-interested cheap indie from a couple years ago, Series 7: The Contenders. But that is very much the premise of The Condemned, where a group of condemned inmates are sold to a TV producer and must fight each other to the death on a reality program. Nine will die and the last man standing is the winner. Wrestling star "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Vinnie Jones headline the movie, which is clearly aiming for a young and hip (mostly male) audience with its Eminem beats and quick cuts and explosions. Could provide a quick summertime diversion, but otherwise ...blah. C+

Firehouse Dog

As Bart Simpson might have said back in the day, ay, caramba! There are really only two possible reactions to seeing the trailer for Firehouse Dog, which is about a super smart dog who adopted by a young boy and they team up to save the local fire station. 1) Hooray! (but only if you are too young to read this); or 2) My gosh, is that going to suck! (most everyone else). I'd rather see Beethoven's 6th. D

First Snow

Here we have a movie that looks like it could be a reasonably interesting thriller, but the marketers don't seem to have a good idea on how to sell it. It shows a little of everything, yet paradoxically shows almost nothing in the way of anything. You're still left wondering what it is all about. I would have started with the fact that it's "rated R for language, some violence and sexuality". And we are told that it is from the makers of Crash and The Illusionist, but why not say that the director (Mark Fergus) was also a writer on Children of Men, a movie whose audience probably has considerable crossover here? And, lastly, what is up with Guy Pearce, who apparently enjoyed The Da Vinci Code a little too much and is now modeling Tom Hanks' atrocious hair from that movie. It looks good, but... hmm. C

Fracture

Anthony Hopkins, so famous for playing one of the greatest movie villains of all-time, is back in the role of a killer. Recent Academy Award nominee for Best Actor Ryan Gosling is a brilliant young prosecutor. After Hopkins is arrested for murdering his wife, in what appears to be an open and shut case, we soon learn that it's not quite so simple. There isn't too much more to it beyond that, as this looks to be a solid adult drama/thriller. My only concern is how much Hopkins will be able to create a unique psychotic persona from Dr. Hannibal Lecter, though the brief glimpses we get in the trailer appear to allay that concern. B+


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