Zach Kolkin's Trailer Hitch for October 16th

I don't care how much you threaten me, you still can't be in the Monsters, Inc. sequel.

While this past week saw the release of only one trailer for a film that could possibly be classified as "big", there were several excellent trailers released that are sure to increase the visibility for their respective films. Many of these films had up until now been flying low on the radar screen, so check out this week's list to see what's new on the horizon that you might not know about yet.

13. Extreme Ops

For better or worse, extreme sports have become a part of our culture over the last ten years. Extreme Ops is the cinematic result of this permeation. There's your average action-movie plot (terrorists who will stop at nothing to destroy the world as we know it), except this time they'll be stopped not by a muscle-bound hunk, but by a bunch of snowboarders and their extreme skillz!!! If the plot doesn't already have you snickering, the classic line at the end of the trailer surely will: "Yet another reason why snowboarding is better than skiing." I actually recommend watching the trailer, but only so you can get a good laugh out of it.

12. Children on Their Birthdays

The feel-good movies come out in full force around this time of year, and Children on Their Birthdays is no exception. Based on a story by Truman Capote, this is the tale of a beautiful young girl named Lily Jane Bobbit, who moves to Alabama in the summer of 1947 and immediately captures the hearts and attention of two best friends, Billy Bob and Preacher. The girl comes between them, and their friendship is only saved when the two have to join together to stop a crooked show promoter from stealing everyone's money. This is a very plot-driven trailer, and it relies on either your love of the original book or an interest in the storyline to intrigue you. I can't really say it accomplished either of those goals for me, but your mileage may vary.

11. House of 1000 Corpses

There are two types of schlocky horror movies: Those that take themselves seriously and those that don't. While the ones that do take themselves seriously are arguably more enjoyable to watch (MST3K-style, of course), the ones that don't are probably the better movies. From the trailer, it would appear that House of 1000 Corpses falls squarely in this second category. Smartly, the trailer boasts rather than tries to cover up the fact that this movie has been mired in controversy for quite some time, as this is bound to only add to the film's appeal to its target audience. A very smartly-made piece of advertising.

10. Evelyn

The premise of a parent fighting to win back his or her children who have been wrongly taken away is one that has been visited and revisited countless times in cinema. Evelyn follows in this long lineage, starring Pierce Brosnan as an Irishman whose three children are taken away and put in an orphanage by the Catholic church after his wife runs away and he loses his job. The movie focuses on Brosnan's battle with the courts to get his children back, and it looks to be quite a tear-jerker. Judging by the trailer, Brosnan seems to do quite well in a role that is a bit out of the ordinary for him. The preview is certainly interesting, but honestly, it's nothing you haven't seen a thousand times already.

9. Paid in Full

While the urban comedy genre has been on the rise in terms of box office success recently, the urban drama has yet to reach a similar amount of success. Here we have a movie which might hope to change that. It is the story of three friends who are drawn into the drug-dealing business by the seductive lure of the riches that come with it. From the trailer, it seems that this is one of those rare occasions where an all-black cast is a choice made by the film's producers, rather than a necessity of the script. This is a topic which provokes much interesting thought and discussion, and if for this reason alone, I recommend watching the trailer for yourself and forming your own opinion.

8. Bowling for Columbine

A trailer for a documentary seems to me almost an oxymoron; their target audience is extremely small, so consequently they never make any money at the box office, and furthermore, documentary lovers are not exactly the type to go see a movie based just on its trailer anyway. Nevertheless, Michael Moore's much-ballyhooed new documentary is previewed here, and the results are actually surprisingly good. The clips shown are quite humorous, and obviously a real attempt at trying to avoid picking up the general public's documentary-equals-boring stereotype. The advance praise we've been hearing for Bowling for Columbine since Cannes appears to be somewhat justified, at least by the trailer.

7. The Emperor's Club

While we're all leery of an overly sappy movie, there are certain times when a film can get away with promoting itself as such. The Emperor's Club is one of these movies, a stance unequivocally taken when it trumpets the fact that Jeffery Lyons called it "inspiring", "life-affirming", and "unforgettable". I dare you to find a set of three words that would better promote a sappy feel-good movie than these. Despite my cynicism, however, the holidays are always a perfect time for a movie of this type, and the trailer for The Emperor's Club is exactly the type of advertising that will catch the eye of those who will undoubtedly love this movie. All in all, this trailer is very well-done and will most certainly intrigue many.

6. Rabbit-Proof Fence

The chronic mistreatment of the Aborigines by the Australian government is by now well-known, and Rabbit-Proof Fence is a story centered in this tragedy. Three Aborigine girls are taken from their family and sent to be trained as servants for a white Australian family. They escape, however, and attempt to cross the Australian Outback and return home. The tagline for the movie ("What if the government kidnapped your daughter?") hits particularly close to home after the American media's fascination with kidnappings that arose this past summer. The trailer is very good, and is definitely worth a watch.

5. About Schmidt

Obviously, the first thing I must mention about this trailer is Jack Nicholson, who plays Warren R. Schmidt, a slightly crotchety, slightly overweight, recently retired man who has been married to his wife for 42 years. Seeing Nicholson in a cardigan is shocking enough, but add onto that a fantastic make-up job, and he is practically unrecognizable. The movie itself appears to have an American Beauty-esque quality to it, a fact supported by the use of American Beauty's music. Nothing in the trailer is laugh-out-loud funny, but it certainly has some amusing moments. The dry humor, combined with the rather surprising appearance of Nicholson, certainly intrigued me enough to keep my eye on this movie in the upcoming months.

4. Deliver Us from Eva

The most recent interpretation of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, 10 Things I Hate About You, was a comedy far smarter and funnier than it should have been. Deliver Us from Eva looks to continue the trend, this time with Gabrielle Union taking over the role of Kate and LL Cool J playing Petruchio. The trailer is quite funny, not to mention sexy; this film is certainly not lacking in the beautiful people category. This is definitely a film to keep your eye on.

3. Femme Fatale

I'm not sure which I'm more surprised about: The fact that Rebecca Romijn-Stamos got the lead role in a film other than The Making of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, or the fact that this film actually looks quite good. In any event, this film unabashedly advertises itself as an erotic thriller, a marketing move which, in conjunction with the appearance of Romijn-Stamos, will undoubtedly attract some (namely warm-blooded males) and potentially turn off many others (namely warm-blooded females). The preview itself is definitely worth checking out, as it is a great example of a well-made trailer for a suspense movie. Before seeing the trailer, I had not even heard of this movie, but I will definitely be keeping an eye on it now.

2. Analyze That

Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro team up again here in the sequel to the very funny and successful Analyze This. As with any sequel, this trailer attempts to build on the success of the first movie by attracting the same audience with the same formula. The efforts are successful here, as this trailer is chock full of laughs. DeNiro again looks hilarious in his role as the Mob boss who is under the psychiatric care of Billy Crystal. The premise (DeNiro uses Crystal to get out of jail, only to once again pick up his gangster lifestyle) is slightly goofy, but serviceable. This trailer should leave audiences greatly anticipating this film's release in December.

1. The Pianist

At this point in time, it is quite difficult to present a new story about the Holocaust without evoking a "been there, done that" attitude from the general public, unless a story is truly unique. What we have here is exactly that; a truly unique story about a Polish pianist, Wladyslaw Szpilman, considered to be perhaps the best pianist from Poland ever. Szpilman manages to avoid capture by the Nazis and remain hidden in various spots around Warsaw throughout the war. The trailer itself is excellent, particularly the contrast between the exquisite piano score and the horrible images seen on-screen. It's hard to imagine anyone watching this trailer and not being moved; it is truly an excellent look at an already award-winning film.



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Monday, August 19, 2019
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