Sunday, January 07, 2007

Trailer curmudgeons, Volume 4: Who doesn't want to win an Oscar?

It's been too long. We know.

This week's edition features films that aren't horribly likely to win Oscars. The movies that the studios release to make a quick buck when you want to go to the movies, get there, and say, "That's all there is?"


Bridge to Terabithia (Feb. 16):

(See it in Quicktime.)

Todd: First things first, why, exactly, did they copy the cover of Where the Red Fern Grows for the poster design? I mean, granted, the lower person is holding the lantern on the poster, but the angles and everything are still the same.

Secondly, this is a fantasy movie? With flying porcupines (though that, albeit, is pretty awesome)? What in blazes?

Although Zooey Deschanel is in this. That lights my fire!

Libby: Less fancy pantsin' around, more tragic death. This is gonna mess some little kids up.

The Hitcher (Jan. 19):


Todd: The original The Hitcher was a pretty entertaining (if slightly too brutal) horror movie, done up in the best mid-80s we-have-no-budget-but-we-must-scream style. This, sensing that the original's spareness was what made it so effective, piles on the excess, up to and including gratuitous Sophia Bush T&A and (apparently) a gunfight with a police helicopter. When the plot summary for the movie prominently features the brand and make of the car, you KNOW you're in good hands.

Libby: If he has an automatic weapon, why is he hitchhiking?

Daddy's Little Girls (Feb. 14)


Todd: So, as it turns out, Stringer Bell didn't die at the end of The Wire, season three. What really happened was he moved to the least threatening "hood" in the history of American film, fathered three children, then lost them to a judicial system that just didn't care. Then, after being told by his ex-wife's new boyfriend "I'm gonna really enjoy raising your little girls" (also, collective shudder?), he vowed to both win back his daughters (from said judicial system that just didn't care) AND the heart of his ultra-hot lawyer. Also, there would be tears and laughter and gospel music and a title that would spawn a million stories.

Libby: Is Gabrielle Union in the army? Why does she only wear khaki in this? I'm so confused! Who is the Houston family?

(The cultural gap between us and the target market for this movie reminds me of the time we saw a special that proclaimed, "Everybody was watching Martin on Thursday nights! Except for the people watching Seinfeld." Right you are!)

Speaking of Martin. . .

Wild Hogs (March 2):


Todd: Round about the early 90s or so, I always wanted to go to the movies, but the closest movie theater was 45 miles away, so it didn't happen that often. When we did get to go, inevitably, my family would be sitting there, watching the trailers, only to see some stupid ensemble comedy starring a bunch of TV stars in an improbable situation involving heavy machinery. Inevitably, my father would laugh long and hard at these trailers, then say, "Oh, we are seeing that!" Inevitably, it would be Down Periscope or some such crap. Somewhere, my mother and he are sitting in a theater, watching this, and he is saying, "Oh, we are SEEING that!" It gets bonus points from him for featuring a.) Tim Allen, b.) motorcycles and c.) cell phones.

I love John C. McGinley. And I see movies for free. I will not be seeing this film.

The Tiger and the Snow (now playing in limited release):


Todd: When Roberto Benigni opens the door at the end of the movie, which will be waiting for him? The tiger? Or the snow? I'm glad the eternally irritating Benigni has, having assuaged our pain over the Holocaust, decided to solve the conflict in Iraq. I'm even more glad that he's chosen to do so with the help of some crazy animal companions, including himself, a camel, a kangaroo, an ostrich and Tom Waits. If you're even thinking of going to see this, I think that I will direct you to a little more Benigni.

Libby: I'm rooting for the tiger.

Epic Movie (Jan. 26)


Todd: Look, Jayma Mays. We've had this talk before. I love you. I want ONLY GOOD THINGS for you. I don't have a lot of money, but I would have gladly paid you whatever they did for this movie just to sit around my apartment and make fun of the TV with Libby and me in that adorable voice of yours. But this? This puts you on my list. You've been warned.

(Also, none of these movies are actually epic? Narnia, maybe, but was THAT crying out for a extensive parody? Where's Lord of the Rings? Gladiator? Master and Commander? Does the average teenager ONLY REMEMBER BACK TO AUGUST 2005? Actually, don't answer that.)

Libby: I don't really have a problem with those movies not being epics, because I'm pretty sure this was supposed to be a comedy, and it doesn't really bother with actual, y'know, humor or any of that.

Zodiac (coming soon, at a non-specific date):


Todd: This has been sitting in the can for a long time, reportedly because the studio thinks director David Fincher should cut an hour or so out of it and he's refusing to because the plot is so dense no one could follow it at a shorter length. I have to say, as a fan of unsolved serial murders and pretty much every damn member of the cast, I'm on board even if they have to release it as an eight-hour miniseries or something. Fincher's last (Panic Room) was needlessly nihilistic (actually, he's ALWAYS needlessly nihilistic), but the Zodiac killer deserves the added gloom. I mean LOOK AT HIM. He's got his glasses on over his bag!

Libby: My brain is having trouble processing quality. We should get back to the crap.

If you insist, my dear!

Primeval (Jan. 12)


Todd: When we first saw this trailer among a bunch of jaded LA hipsters, some guy started laughing at the "Inspired by a True Story" tagline and set us all off. It's not hard to see why. This movie makes the villain out to be the GREATEST SERIAL KILLER OF ALL TIME, capable of killing over 300, tipping boats over, hiding underground, driving a car and sensing a single drop of blood in a river. Well, actually, the greatest serial killer of all time is a crocodile. That's right. A crocodile. Save your $10.

Libby: I mean, it's not like he's a criminal mastermind. He's a crocodile! Also, is there any way Orlando Jones makes it out of this movie alive?

Dinosaurs 3D (March 1):


Todd: So Donald Sutherland and his dinosaur pals have been looking for a project to work on together for a long time now. Finally, they found a guy in a hat who could complete their trio. This trailer is mostly worth watching for the blatant 3D excitement that is made out of the logo at the very end, but, really, who's not going to go see this just to see something called the GIGANTOSAUR?

Libby: Well, the plot summary doesn't lie. It DOES look titanesque. And very realistic. Every paleontologist I've ever known wears that hat. Seriously!

Music and Lyrics (Feb. 14):


Todd: Here's the obligatory romantic comedy released on Valentine's Day that will make a ton of money, even though no one who goes to it will think it's all that good, for the year. I used to like Hugh Grant. I even used to like Drew Barrymore (greatly underrated in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind). But I'm not sure I needed to see them together in a strained premise. Also, the phrase "Written and directed by the writer of Two Weeks Notice" doesn't fill my heart with joy. Dread is more like it.

If I'm going to waste my time going to see a crap-ass romantic comedy, I'm going to see Sydney Bristow and Sheriff Seth Bullock get it on. Not. . .this.

Thanks for reading, folks. We'll be here all week.


Reel Fanatic said...

This truly is the toilet time of year for movies .. I'm holding out hope for Zodiac, though, because the cast is great and Fincher can be when he wants to

Prozac Rat said...

Frank Black did a screen test for Fincher to play the Zodiac killer. I was so excited to see this film. But Frank couldn't do the film, so I was made sad. But I still think it'll be good.