Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Trailer Reviews 

Still unable to travel anywhere without adding at least two, maybe three hours to my travel time, which meant no work again today...gosh, tomorrow's going to be all kinds of fun at the shop if I can't make it, out of boredom, I looked to see what new trailers were out. As usual, the categories I rate the trailers at are based on how effective they are at getting me to want to see the film. "See it in the theater," "Add it to the Netflix queue" or "Wait for cable" are the standards.

See It In The Theater

The Pink Panther: I know, it's been forever since Steve Martin actually made a good comedy, but even if he fails completely at being amusing, there's still Jean Reno, Kevin Kline and (perhaps) Jason Statham to pick up the slack.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe: I think two film producers were sitting around one day, and one said; "Hey, that Lord of the Rings made a lot of money and had a lot of merchandise sales...are there any other fantasy properties that we could turn into a movie?"
"Well, there's always the Narnia books."
"But don't you think the not-at-all-subtle Christian allegory of those books might potentially alienate the audience, or at least make them think that Happy Meal and toy tie-ins are inappropriate?"
"Not if we get Disney to water it down to the point that it's just a generic fantasy film."

(The Narnia books are up there with the Oz books on Pete's list of favorites, and Lewis was actually fairly restrained in "TL,TWaTW"--as compared to, say, the later Narnia books or the Perlandia series--so regardless of my feelings I think I'm going to be made to see it.)

Bride and Prejudice: I love Austen's novel, and this looks like a beautiful, smart and funny updating of the story.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: It doesn't really matter what the film is like, I'll be going to see it. Although it is worth nothing that the trailer rather seems to assume that the audience is already passingly familiar with the source material...and we all know how well that usually works out in films.

In the Realms of the Unreal: This looks to be a very intriguing look into the work and mind of a little know but fascinating "outsider" artist, Henry Darger, and the monumental piece of fantasy art and fiction he created in secret.

Mirrormask: Visually stunning, but radiates enough weirdness that I doubt it will be much of a success. It'll probably garner a small cult audience that will sing its praises far above its merits, to the annoyance of all around them.

Add It To The Netflix Queue

Aliens of the Deep: The documentary aspect of this film about deep-ocean fish intrigues me...couldn't care less about James Cameron or the obvious sci-fi trappings that have been grafted onto it in order to trick people into going to see a documentary.

Kingdom of Heaven: It looks visually impressive, and the cast is good, but I can't help but see political meanings, intended or not, when you make a film about the Crusades in this day and age.

Sin City: I'm not trying to be a jerk or contrary when I say that audiences aren't going to go for this...if they don't laugh the film off the screen at the Mickey Rourke as a Muppet make-up, they will at the spot colors. This film is going to be hailed as a success by comic fans, film geeks, and people who want you to think that they're very clever and sophisticated, but everyone else is going to hate it. The visual style of the comics simply will not work on the screen.

The New World: Colin Farrell sure is pretty, but short of him looking longingly at a Native American girl, there's only the barest glimmer of a plot in this trailer. And enough films have already been made about "culture clashes between Native Americans and Europeans," this one had better have something more substantive plot-wise than that.

Wait For Cable

Ice Princess: The entire cast of this film is appealing, but short of strapping me into a Clockwork Orange-ian contraption and forcing me to watch, you're not going to get me to watch a movie about ice skating.

Cinderella Man: It's Russell Crowe, but on the other hand it's Renee Zellweger and Ron Howard...

Alone in the Dark: It's based on a video-game. There is no such thing as a watchable movie based on a video game.

Kicking and Screaming: Will Ferrell follows up the brilliant Anchorman with another tepid "family" comedy...Has no one told him that Eddie Murphy's career track is not one to follow?

Wedding Crashers: Owen Wilson is pretty much the kiss-of-death for any film as far as I'm concerned. Add to that the complete disinterest I have in the concept of men hitting on women at weddings as a comedic subject, and this ranks pretty low down on my list of films to catch.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Johnny Depp looks like a drag queen who's seen better days, and that shouldn't be a complaint. Honestly, there's no reason for this film to be made, other than Burton's ego. And to all the people defending it on the grounds that the version starring Gene Wilder wasn't "faithful" to the book...I assure you, this one isn't going to be either.

The Pacifier:

Chicken Little: Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the point of the original story that listening to fear-mongers would inevitably lead to our own destruction? Guess it's no longer politically kosher to make a movie about how paranoia is a bad thing.

Assault on Precint 13: Ethan Hawke hasn't been good in anything since Explorers, but it's kind of cute to watch him try to be "hard" in this and fail miserably. Maybe if they hadn't cast a really good actor like Laurence Fishbourne as his opposite number it would have been less tragic.

War of the Worlds: Oh, I'm sure that there won't be any subtle political allegory in this film...

The Amityville Horror: I think the only people still trying to peddle this as a "true" story are the makers of this film. Not that the original film was any good, but it appears that the makers decided it could be improved with even more cheesy special effects.


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