Zach Kolkin's Trailer Hitch for October 24th
This past week produced a rather skimpy crop of trailers, and unfortunately, many of them are not very memorable. However, we have been blessed (no pun intended) with one of the funniest previews in recent memory; the only problem being that the humor is completely unintentional. Along with this gem, though, are several enticing clips worth your while, so go ahead and check out this week's Trailer Hitch for the details.
Since we all know that the fish-out-of-water time-travel comedy idea hasn't been used in approximately 5,000 movies already, apparently someone decided it would be a good idea to use this theme again, only this time add a Christian slant to the whole thing. Ever heard of the unintentional comedy rating? This trailer gets an A+. About the only useful information I got out of the whole thing was that I finally found out what Gavin MacLeod does when he's not filming Love Boat or Mary Tyler Moore reunion specials; apparently, he spends his time filming PAX-TV Movies of the Week.
Another oft-repeated formula is seen here in this comedy about a bunch of US soldiers in WWII who have to dress up in drag and infiltrate a German factory. Matthew LeBlanc stars, and unfortunately, it doesn't even look like our beloved Joey will be able to save this one. This has all the makings of one of those movies that Jay Leno shows a clip of on his show 15 years after the fact to embarrass the guest…only this time the star is already famous. There really isn't too much to be interested by in this one; the plot is been-there, done-that; there aren't any good one-liners to laugh at; and even the cast isn't that spectacular. Definitely one you can afford to miss.
A fairly generic-looking thriller, The Weight of Water is a movie that has been kicking around since 2000, and is only now finally finding a theatrical release after much editing. While this is not necessarily indicative of the movie's final quality, the trailer doesn't do much to help the cause. The movie actually has a fairly decent cast, including Sean Penn and Elizabeth Hurley, but the trailer spends a disproportionate amount of time plugging Hurley's sex appeal, leading me to wonder whether this is, in fact, the best thing they have to show from the film. Still, Hurley in skimpy outfits can only do so much, and I certainly don't get the feeling from the preview that there will be much to this movie beyond that.
Another film in the recent onslaught of low-budget horror movies (i.e. Jeepers Creepers), Darkness Falls is a film about a supernatural being known as the Tooth Fairy that is plaguing a small town. The trailer itself is rather unimpressive, as there were not any scenes that left me afraid or in suspense. The concept that the creature has to constantly stay out of the light is most definitely not original in any way, shape, or form, and if you can't come up with a good hook for your creature in a supernatural horror movie, there's really no hope. This is certainly a trailer you can stand to miss, unless you really can't get enough of mediocre horror films.
This is the second trailer for 8 Crazy Nights, and in my opinion, it hasn't improved much from the first. Seeing that original preview this summer in front of a children's movie, I was appalled at some of the jokes that made it into the trailer. Thankfully, some of the more tasteless ones (particularly the one about the overweight boy's "boobies") have been removed. Still, there's not much to laugh at here, and the fact that the film is animated really doesn't add much to the tried-and-true Sandler formula. Sure, I'm as big a fan of Billy Madison and The Waterboy as anyone, but this one looks a bit too stupid for even me. Time will tell if other Adam Sandler fans feel the same way.
Here we see the trailer for Spike Lee's new film, starring Edward Norton. When Norton's character is busted for drug dealing, he has a final 24 hours in the real world before he goes to jail for seven years. The trailer certainly looks good, although I was not a big fan of the taglines in between the action; they seemed a bit contrived ("24 hours to live a lifetime"? Come on.). Instead of adding to the mood, the phrases only took away from it. The best part of the trailer was, of course, Norton, who never fails to give an excellent performance, no matter what the role is. From the looks of it, this movie will be no different.
In a sense, Far from Heaven's trailer is atypical. Often, previews will give away practically the film's entire plot, so much so that you might not even feel like you need to go see the movie (Cast Away comes to mind as the most glaring example). Here, however, the plot points given to us are very subtle. We see a typical wife of the '50s, played by Julianne Moore, whose life is turned upside-down when she finds her husband cheating on her (with a man, it turns out, although interestingly this detail is left out). She befriends a black man, and obviously this all creates a fair amount of controversy. Instead of plot, much of the trailer deals with the movie's themes, an unusual approach which the producers are obviously hoping will serve to add to the level of interest for the film itself.
Here we have a look at the fascinating story of German Jews who fled from the Nazi regime during the Holocaust and ended up in Shanghai, China. Obviously, since the film is a documentary, its audience is quite limited, but judging by the originality of the material and the fact that this story is unknown to most of the general public, the movie should be able to gain some appeal. I was particularly fascinated by the outburst of Jewish-oriented material that arose in Shanghai at the time hinted at in the trailer. The originality of the story itself obviously guarantees that the documentary will be quite intriguing, and the trailer does a very good job of getting the scope of the story across. All in all, this is quite an interesting preview.
Here we have the very funny preview for a comedy about a socially-inept teenager who goes to stay with his uncle in New York City and learn how to be a "ladies man". Perhaps the biggest hook for any comedy is how funny the one-liners are in the trailer, and I have to say, this spot has some very good ones. Despite the main character being a teen, this is certainly not being marketed as a teen movie, and seems to be skewed much more towards adults. This is an interesting marketing move, and perhaps indicates that much of the material in the whole movie is more adult in nature. In any case, the fact remains that this is a surprisingly funny trailer, and I recommend you watch it for yourself.
One of the most bizarre trailers in recent memory, here is the directorial debut of George Clooney. Based on the autobiography of '70s TV show host Chuck Barris, this is the story of Barris' secret life as a spy for the government. While Barris will be played by relative unknown Sam Rockwell, the movie also stars Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymore, and Clooney himself. Obviously, such a cast is sure to garner some interest, and the preview is so kooky that audiences are sure to be intrigued. This is definitely a trailer to see for yourself, if only so you can believe me when I say that this is one of the strangest stories I've ever heard.
The most anticipated of this week's batch of trailers, Catch Me If You Can delivers with a very good preview that will definitely have audiences excited to see this movie. Shockingly, Leonardo DiCaprio manages not to look like an obnoxious, spoiled brat for once in this true story of a teenager named Frank who was the most successful bank robber in history. Tom Hanks plays the FBI agent whose only goal in life is to catch Frank. One interesting note about the trailer is that it looks quite different from many Steven Spielberg movies of late. Whether or not the entire movie will play similarly remains to be seen, but it certainly looks at this point as though we'll be seeing a different side of Spielberg this winter.