Trailer Hitch for March 13, 2003
By Zach Kolkin
This light-hearted Finnish film, nominated for Best Foreign-Language Film
at this year's Oscars, is the story of a man who has lost all his memory and how
it affects the people around him. The trailer relies predominantly on the
glowing reviews the movie has gotten, which makes sense due to the movie
being in Finnish (making the humor of the movie seem a little more subtle).
Nevertheless, some of the lines are quite humorous, and I was reminded of
Christopher Guest's films in terms of the subtlety of the humor here.
Although the flick would undoubtedly get a huge boost in popularity were
it to win an Oscar, this trailer, while good, doesn't seem quite direct enough
to capture the interest of the general movie-going public.
Eddie Griffin's new stand-up comedy film takes a slightly different route
in its advertising than most stand-up movies. Although most of it is simply
footage from the performance, actual clips of the family members he is
making jokes about are used as well. I'm not sure if this was done just for the
trailer, or if the whole movie is like that, but it makes for quite an
interesting and original ad. Griffin's jokes were pretty funny, and I
think the large portion of the spot devoted to Michael Jackson jokes is
particularly smart given the public's recent fascination with the King of Pop. With
the original format and the timeliness of the gags, I can see this preview
potentially clicking with audiences, but only time will tell if the movie
has a similar level of success.
Buffalo Soldiers takes a satirical look at American soldiers in Germany
just before the Berlin Wall came down. I was quite impressed with Joaquin
Phoenix in the trailer; the "bad boy" soldier didn't necessarily seem like his
kind of role, but he looks quite good. Obviously, this movie is a tough sell with
the current possibility of war looming over everyone's head, as it appears to
be extremely critical of the U.S. army. Because of this, I have a feeling
that the film's marketing will be extremely limited and toned down. In fact, I
would imagine most people will never even see this trailer or hear a word
about the film, at least until it shows up on video.
Eddie Murphy's latest flick gets a new preview here, which is quite
similar in theme to the first spot. The film's premise is that Murphy plays a man
who has recently lost his job, and decides to open a "daddy day care"
service. Consequently, much of the trailer highlights the various gags that arise,
from gender role jokes to potty humor. The ads for this film seem to be trying
to paint Murphy in a light similar to that of the Dr. Dolittle movies, which
seems like a good idea given those films' financial success. Much of the
humor here does not revolve around Murphy goofing off, but rather the
funny things kids do, which I think will help garner the film a wider audience. This is a very funny trailer, and I would think audiences will find it
This movie, along with the next film on this week's countdown, is
particularly notable for its use of an ethnic cast in a non-ethnic story. Better Luck
Tomorrow centers on a group of Asian high schoolers who experience all the
usual aspects of a teenage life - sex, drugs, rebelliousness...you get the
idea. I liked how fast-paced the trailer was, where everything seemed to be in
fast-forward, in many ways mimicking stereotypical teenage life. The film
looks very interesting, and if it is done as well as the trailer would make it
seem, Better Luck Tomorrow seems like the type of movie that could gain a kind
of cult status among high school kids, much like Basketball Diaries or
even Cruel Intentions.
I had not heard of this film prior to watching the trailer, but I was
quite impressed by the ad. The movie is about a handsome womanizer who is
dating three women in three different cities across the United States.
Unfortunately for him, they all find out about his triple-timing on the
same weekend, and decide to get revenge for his infidelity. One thing
that must be mentioned about the film is that the four main characters are
all Hispanic (though the plotline itself is not a Hispanic one). I
thought the trailer did a nice job of accenting the movie's Latino flavor,
without making it seem like a completely "Hispanic" movie. This seems like a film that could connect
with a broad range of moviegoers, especially with a marketing campaign that is as good as this trailer. One other interesting note about the film is that despite its adult themes, it is only rated PG. Films nowadays almost
always seem to amplify the sexual content in their stories, but it would seem
from the rating that this film refreshingly chose not to do that.
As we near Bruce Almighty's Memorial Day release date, the film gets yet
another new trailer, seeming to signal the beginning of what is sure to be
a huge marketing blitz. This spot is quite similar to the previous ones,
though it does add a bit more to the story (we find out why Bruce is given the
power of God, for instance). Almost all the jokes are still the same,
with the notable exception of the added bit about "seven fingers" (which I found
hysterical). I think this film has quite a good chance to be quite
popular, and the ads already seem to be getting very good responses from audiences.
Bruce Almighty looks like it has the potential to be the film that returns
Carrey to his much-loved role as all-around wacky funnyman.
This trailer is an absolutely hilarious look at the crime comedy Dirt.
The story is that two socially inept men are at a loss as to how to go about
their daily lives after their mother dies. Consequently, they kidnap a woman to
cook and clean for them, only to find out that she has a few problems of
her own. One particularly amusing aspect of this ad for me was the number
of "random people you'll recognize" (David Puddy from Seinfeld, for
instance) who star in the film. In general, though, all the misadventures of two
brothers that were highlighted in the trailer were extremely funny.
Although the film will certainly not appeal to everyone, fans of quirky dark
comedies should certainly look out for this one.
This fantastic-looking film is the story of a group of conmen who swindle
the wrong guy and end up with quite a fiasco on their hands. It has a
phenomenal cast, including Edward Burns, Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia, and
Rachel Weisz. The trailer was quite good, setting up the story well, but
leaving much a mystery. The nature of the crime thriller genre makes it
likely that this will be a fast-paced film, and the preview does a good
job of reflecting this pace. I was quite impressed with this trailer,
especially Dustin Hoffman, whose performances have been somewhat
disappointing over the past few years. Confidence could definitely be the
film that turns that unfortunate streak around.
Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks star in this new film, in which Brooks
plays the father of the bride who is absolutely appalled by Douglas, the
father of the groom (who also happens to be a CIA agent). The trailer is
quite funny, and Douglas and Brooks seem to have a great chemistry. The
ad didn't feature any voice-over, instead letting the movie's gags speak for
themselves, and I think this worked very well. I would imagine that this
trailer will be quite popular with adults, towards whom much of the humor
here seems to be aimed. Although this film has not gotten too much
advertising yet, I would think that in the coming months this trailer will
be getting a lot more exposure.