Trailer Hitch for May 16, 2003

By Zach Kolkin

Jason!  Bubby!

10. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Although this trailer is certainly better than the earlier ads for the film, it still is lacking the "wow" factor that big-ticket summer films need to be successful. Aside from the trailer, one problem I have with this movie is its name- it's much too long. Someone seems to have realized this, though, as the film is alternately referred to as simply "The League", or even the super-abbreviated "LXG". However, there seems to be no real consensus, as all these monikers appear with equal frequency, a problem that I would imagine will only confuse moviegoers. The spot itself is decent, but focuses far too much on Sean Connery, and not enough on his supporting cast. Again, judging by the movie's title, you'd expect to know much more about the entire group of heroes, but I couldn't tell you anything about anyone other than Connery from this preview. Indeed, the entire trailer seems to suffer from having too much going on and not enough explanation. These are definitely not going to help sell the film to moviegoers who most likely have absolutely no idea what "The League", or the "LXG", or whatever you want to call it, actually is.

9. Freddy vs. Jason

This horror film, featuring two of the genre's icons, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger, has been in the works for at least half a decade, and is finally hitting the big screen this summer. This first trailer is not nearly as exciting as I would have hoped or expected, considering the nature of the movie. I thought the opening text with the dates was extremely uninspired and should have elicited a lot more excitement than it did. On the other hand, the best horror films these days are those that don't take themselves too seriously, and with lines like "Place your bets" closing out the preview, that seems a likelihood here. I would have liked to see a little bit more of the battles between Freddy and Jason, but perhaps the idea is to save the good stuff for the film itself. As the summer continues, I would hope to see a more exciting and action-packed trailer advertising what has the potential to be one of the best slasher flicks in recent memory.

8. The Sea

This bizarre-looking Icelandic film is, judging from this trailer, crossing the spectrum from noir to action film to comedy to family drama. I have absolutely no idea what to make of this film - the story seems to center on a family divided by fighting between relatives, but what part all the massive explosions and car chases have to do with this is beyond me. That is not to say this film looks bad; indeed, it looks like it has a lot of potential to be quite intriguing. Nevertheless, this trailer is nothing if not quirky, and combined with the film's foreign slant, I would imagine it would be quite difficult for most theatergoers to know what to think of this movie

7. Freaky Friday

Disney remakes yet another one of its old classics here as it attempts to channel the late summer box-office success of other preteen girl-oriented films like The Princess Diaries and 1998's The Parent Trap. Lindsey Lohan, the star of the latter movie, again stars here along with Jamie Lee Curtis as a mother and daughter who switch bodies for a day. The movie has obviously been updated significantly for the 21st century, and the humor is much more adult than the original (I was a little surprised to see a joke and accompanying visual about thongs included in the preview - I can't imagine that going over very well with mothers when this film is geared towards their young daughters). Nevertheless, I think Disney stands a good chance of seeing this film achieve some solid financial success. The story is a good one, and chances are most of the girls who will be interested in seeing this movie won't even realize it's a remake.

6. Casa de Los Babys

Though a little short on plot summary, this preview provides quite an interesting look at this new film from director John Sayles. One of the most notable things about the film is that its ensemble cast is made up of six women. However, I was pleased to find that the film was not presented as a typical female-oriented film, a la Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Instead, the fact that the story was about six women was simply a part of the movie, rather than its main selling point. The film seems infinitely more appealing and respectable given that it is not advertised as yet another chick flick. The cast itself looks phenomenal, with talented actresses both young and old. Certainly, this film is one to keep an eye on.

5. Fulltime Killer

This Hong Kong action film looks quite impressive. While the trailer is completely lacking any sort of plot summary, it does boast some fantastic-looking action sequences. The background music fits the mood perfectly, and the movie looks just as exciting and action-packed as any American blockbuster. Of course, because this is a foreign film, it is not going to get anywhere near the amount of exposure that a domestic action film would, and unfortunately, as impressive as this movie looks, most moviegoers will likely never hear a word about it.

4. Swimming Pool

Several months ago, I reviewed the short teaser for this film, and said that it was an excellent introduction to a thriller, without giving away any of the plot. This full trailer follows in line with that first teaser, elaborating on the movie's storyline while still retaining an air of suspense and intrigue. While the ad sets up the mystery between the older female author and the beautiful young woman staying with her, it does not elaborate at all, leaving us with no choice but to see the film for further explanation. This is without a doubt the most effective way of selling a thriller like Swimming Pool - give the audience a taste, but don't by any means ruin the entire movie.

3. The Hulk

Yet another new trailer for The Hulk has arrived, and I have to say that the film looks better and better with each successive ad. Obviously, the most important part of this film is the special effects, particularly the look of The Hulk. While at first I was not too impressed with him, the look has grown on me over the months, and seeing more and more scenes of The Hulk in action has made me much more interested in the film than I was after the blah Super Bowl ad. Beyond the CGI, though, the film has the look of a typical summer blockbuster- lots of dramatic music accompanying the trailer, and some slightly cheesy sound bytes ("You wouldn't like me when I'm angry"). Nevertheless, as mentioned above, this movie surprisingly continues to look better and better the more I see of it, and I would imagine that this trailer will create some additional interest in the film that perhaps wasn't around a month ago.

2. The Eye

This fantastic-looking horror film has had quite a buzz around it for some time now, and now a trailer has finally been put out for the movie's release in the U.S. The trailer is completely without dialogue, instead relying on creepy music and a sinister voiceover to sell itself, and I think this approach works quite well, especially since this is a foreign film. Because all the dialogue would require subtitles anyway, simply not including it here helps add to the slickness and scariness of the spot. This trailer provides an interesting contrast with that of Freddy vs. Jason; while both are previews for horror movies, the styles could not be more dissimilar. Whereas Freddy vs. Jason almost seems like an action film, with the main highlight being the battles between the two villains, The Eye relies much more on subtle and psychological horror to scare and intrigue you. In my opinion, the latter is a much more effective approach to selling a horror movie.

1. Stuck on You

From the people who managed to make such conditions as multiple personality disorder, mental retardation, obesity, and even loss of body parts humorous comes this comedy about Siamese - I mean American - twins. I found the entire preview, short as it was, to be extremely funny. Sure, the Oscar joke has been done before in advertising low-class comedies such as this latest offering from the Farrelly Brothers, but it hasn't lost any of its humor yet for me. Furthermore, seeing an actor like Matt Damon in a film like this is just as funny as his performance itself could ever be. The closing joke ("What's a four letter word for 'snatch'?") has to be one of the funniest lines I've heard in quite a while. Dumb and Dumberer, take some notes - this is the way to do stupid comedy.



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