Zach Kolkin's Trailer Hitch
For November 27th

Memo to Hollywood: a rapping kangaroo is not funny.

We here at BOP would like to personally apologize for the crappy group of trailers to hit the net in the past week; trust us, if there was anything we could do to smack some sense into Hollywood execs and make them realize that a talking, money-stealing kangaroo is just not a good premise for a movie, we would. Unfortunately, we just don't have that kind of clout. If you're hoping for another gem like The Two Towers this week, I'm sorry to say that you're out of luck. Instead, this week's batch of trailers consists primarily of a bunch of second-rate late winter flicks you'd probably do best to avoid.

7. Kangaroo Jack

Sweet Jesus, does this movie look bad. The premise seems to be about two friends who are supposed to deliver a package through the Australian Outback, only to have it stolen from them by...wait for it...a kangaroo. And not just any kangaroo, mind you, a kangaroo that talks. If this ridiculous plotline wasn't enough for you, the always-irritating Jerry O'Connell stars along with Anthony Anderson, who with his whining in the preview here looks to be giving O'Connell quite a run for his money for that same accolade. Perhaps the only saving grace of this trailer was the all-too-brief appearance of Estella Warren, but even this isn't enough to save Kangaroo Jack from nabbing the honor of worst trailer of the week.

6. Bulletproof Monk

Thoughts while watching this preview:
"Cool, a new martial arts movie with Chow-Yun Fat."
"Oh, it has Seann William Scott in it. It'll be like Rush Hour. This is all a joke!"
"Wait. No it's not."
"The title is Bulletproof Monk?!?! This has to be a joke!"
"Wait. No, it's not."

This is truly a dreadful trailer. Just for a little perspective, I saw this one over the weekend in the theater before Die Another Day, and the film's title had the entire audience laughing harder than any of Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry's one-liners did. I actually think this would make a really funny buddy action-comedy, but from the tone of the teaser, it seems this is not the case. If this movie is intended to be more humorous than serious, the producers really need to redo this promo, add a heavy dose of humor, and for the love of god, change the name of the movie! It boggles my mind how a supposedly enticing ad for a film could possibly be released with this low a quality.

5. Biker Boyz

Continuing this week's trend of poorly-titled movies is Biker Boyz, a Fast and the Furious clone on motorcycles. The preview is chock-full of bikes and babes, but try as it might, the film just doesn't look as appealing as Fast and the Furious did. Part of the problem is the lack of excitement or originality here - for an action movie, this trailer was exceedingly dull. Furthermore, Laurence Fishburne looked completely out of place in a cast that is otherwise comprised of much younger actors. In the end though, the lack of originality is what kills this promo. Unless the spot is redone with some scene or gimmick that makes it stand out to audiences, I have a feeling this one is doomed to be viewed as a cheap Fast and the Furious knockoff.

4. Nicholas Nickleby

Nicholas Nickleby is the latest classic British novel to be remade into a movie for modern audiences, and unfortunately this preview is not particularly enticing. The story centers on a boy who, when his father dies, is sent by his cruel uncle to a boarding school run by a horrid headmaster. The film has a fairly good cast, although not as good as some other British literary adaptations have had recently. I was surprised with how funny the trailer tried to be; while this is one of Dickens' more humorous works, it is far more than just a silly little story. I didn't get the feeling that the film really was taking that into account, or at least not trying to advertise that fact. Despite the trailer's attempts at being amusing, I really don't think this is the type of humor that fits well into the short sound bites of movie previews. This certainly isn't the type of promo that is going to interest a large amount of the movie-going public, but then again, those interested in a film adaptation of Dickens probably aren't going to care much about the trailer anyway.

3. Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde

Part of what made the first Legally Blonde movie so successful was the fact that it went beyond simply taking a dopey blonde and making a fish-out-of- water comedy out of it, and made it a lot smarter than that. One can only hope for more of the same from Legally Blonde 2, but with this first teaser, the jury is still out. Obviously this is far short of the full trailer we can probably expect early in the new year, but nevertheless I was disappointed by this spot, which I felt was taking the lowest-common-denominator approach to advertising. The "two parties, one mall" joke was okay, but the overly peppy "Two!" and the theater bit with the dog were just plain dumb. I was expecting something a bit wittier here, but unfortunately it just wasn't there. Hopefully we'll see some more intelligent humor when a full preview is released.

2. Love Liza

Phillip Seymour Hoffman stars here as an awkward man whose wife commits suicide and his attempts to piece his life back together afterwards. The trailer is obviously quite sad, although I was impressed with the small amounts of restrained humor interjected as well. Hopefully the movie will have a similar tone to it, and this is certainly what the preview seems to imply. Hoffman looked quite good in the scenes shown, showing an impressive vulnerable side. The preview doesn't try to be gimmicky or over-the-top; instead it is simply a collection of short scenes, with no voiceover and only simple taglines separating the shots. Although I had not heard of this movie prior to watching the promo, I came out quite interested in learning more about the film. Since this is certainly not a movie that is going to get a large media blitz, I would think that my reaction is the one the film's producers are hoping for.

1. Final Destination 2

Trailers for horror movies can be hard to pull off, as it can be difficult to present a storyline and make it seem frightening, rather than just plain ridiculous, in a short amount of time. While the recent trailer for Darkness Falls seemed silly (the tooth fairy becomes a horrifying monster afraid of light), the movie itself might turn out to be terrifying, once the audience has more of a chance to get into the mood of the film. Unlike the one for Darkness Falls, this preview does a good job of being "intriguingly scary". I like the way real-life horrors, such as a terrible car accident, were used to scare audiences with the frightening concept of uncontrollable fate. The ad is simple in execution, but nevertheless comes off quite strongly. All in all, this is a very well-done trailer.



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Monday, September 16, 2019
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