Trailer Hitch

By Michael Bentley

March 27, 2007

Geoffrey Rush tries but fails in his attempt to ignore Keira's hat.

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In this week's edition of Trailer Hitch we review a number of very promising previews, including the eagerly anticipated third (and final?) installment of Jack Sparrow and his band of drunken reprobates.

Air Guitar Nation

All self-respecting music fans have done it at one time or another. We crank the rock music up loud and play our air guitars. For most it's just a silly way to enjoy the music, but for the people portrayed in this documentary, it is a passion and a chance to win a very competitive contest - the U.S. Air Guitar Championships. Some of them travels thousands of miles. "It's judged like figure skating, and it's probably less absurd than figure skating if you think about it." Sounds pretty tame, but there are actually some heated rivalries. The movie opens in limited release this weekend; which, perhaps just coincidentally, is less than two weeks before the long-awaited Xbox 360 release of hit video game Guitar Hero 2. You don't have to be a rock star to be a rock star. Looks like a lot of fun. B+

Color Me Kubrick

Also opening this Friday (and on DVD the following week) is Color Me Kubrick, a true-ish story about a wacky old man (John Malkovich) who posed as - and convinced many people that he was - acclaimed film director Stanley Kubrick circa Eyes Wide Shut. With a positively irreverent and farcical tone, Malkovich hams it up for all he's worth. And, for better or worse, it looks like you will either love it or hate it. For this reviewer, the trailer provides several laughs. At a dinner the fake Kubrick announces his next project: "It's Three-Thousand and One, a Space Odyssey." "And who have you got?" "John Malkovich in the lead." "John who?" It no doubt reminds me of another surreal Malkovich film, Being John Malkovich. I'm Stanley Kubrick. B

Georgia Rule

For many in the film industry Georgia Rule will be thought of as the movie where Lindsay Lohan was so out of control on the set that the president of the production company wrote a letter demanding that she shape up and start arriving on time. It seems kind of fitting because in the movie she plays a rebellious teenager. She spends the summer in Idaho with her grandmother (played by Jane Fonda) who has... many rules. Like several characters in the trailer, I also wonder if her tan is real or fake. But how does the actual movie look? Eh. I'm not gonna rush out to see it, but it doesn't look too bad. C+

Lonely Hearts

Lonely Hearts is a modern noir crime drama about the infamous Lonely Hearts killers (Jared Leto and Salma Hayek) who conned little old ladies and wealthy widows of their money and then brutally killed them. John Travolta and James Gandolfini co-star as a pair of detectives hot on their trail. The story has actually been on celluloid before, perhaps most notably in 1970's The Honeymoon Killers. The trailer itself is fairly typical, as it seems to advance the story rather linearly and isn't shy about giving some things away. It is set against some light-hearted music, and shows plenty of anger, violence, romance and sexuality. It's got potential, but I am admittedly leery of Travolta having such a key role considering that he hasn't had a noteworthy performance in almost a decade. B-


Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

The first Pirates of the Caribbean was practically a perfect storm of popcorny summer entertainment, no doubt helped by the fact that it was based on an amusement park ride and didn't totally suck. And we all know how well the sequel did last summer, shattering the opening weekend records. Sure to make Disney happy once again, At World's End is due out this May in theaters everywhere. There really isn't a whole lot you can say about the theatrical trailer. It's got everything fans of the series want: action and adventure, great-looking costumes, set design, and other visual effects, sweeping music, mythical overtones, monkeys, and of course Jack, Will and Elizabeth. You were either already planning to see it, or you weren't. B

Resident Evil: Extinction

Extinction is the third movie in the Resident Evil saga. The trailer opens in the glittery and exciting world of Las Vegas ("a place where anything goes, where the excitement never ends, and the party never dies."). Or not. It is actually a post-apocalyptic future with few survivors. We then see several very quick shots of people fighting and a couple explosions. It's short but rather effective at reeling you in. I especially like the sudden jaunt from modern Vegas into the gut punch of the sandy, ravaged city in the future. The first two movies were so-so, but this has my attention. A-

Talk to Me

Don Cheadle is "Petey" Greene, a sometimes-controversial real-life radio personality who transformed the Washington, D.C. area radio scene during the turbulent 1960s. He tells it like it is, saying the things you're afraid to say. His modus operandi is "P.O.P: Piss off people. Sometimes I feel like I should have a PhD. in P.O.P." The very talented supporting cast includes Chiwitel Ejiofor (Serenity), Cedric the Entertainer, Taraji P. Henson (Hustle & Flow), and Martin Sheen. The marketers for Talk to Me opted to mostly highlight humor and fun in a film that obviously has plenty of drama in it as well, setting it against Motown classic "I'll Be Around" and plenty of great Cheadle one-liners. When sometime reminds him, "You're in prison." His quick response is "That's a minor challenge." And from the looks of this, it will have just a minor challenge to score both critical raves and solid box office later this year. The choice for Trailer of the Week. A


A couple reluctantly have to spend the night at a creepy old motel ("I'm sleeping in my clothes," she says. "I'm sleeping in my shoes."). Before climbing in bed they find a pile of old videotapes in the room and pop one in. To their horror, it is a violent snuff tape that was filmed in the very room they are currently in. Oh, and they find a camera that appears to be recording them as well. However, to use an old cliche, their nightmares are just beginning. The smartly edited trailer uses increasingly intense music and suspense to build up the terror. The horror genre had reached a glut recently, after just too many were being released and too few were worth it, but this looks rather refreshing. A-



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