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Sean William Scott

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Trailer Reviews Return 

There's really only about three ways I think of movies. There are those I'd be willing to pay full price to see in a theater, obnoxious crowd in the auditorium and all. There are those films I'd consider seeing, but only as some form of rental, where I don't have to deal with other people and can stop the film if it turns out to be drek. And there are those films that I'll only watch if, by some strange set of events, I've been forced to, in which case I'll probably be begging for my captors to carve out my eyes to make the pain stop.

Pay Full Price

Reno: 911 Miami: Even if this wasn't the closest thing I'm going to get to a reunion of The State, I'm loyal enough a viewer of the show to place this on my "must see" list for this winter. It's a near-perfect mix of very sly satire and shock humor that just works, and is all the more impressive for its improvisational nature.
And I'll be dragging Pete to this one, and he hate this kind of thing.

Hot Fuzz: I've been a fan of Simon Pegg since Big Train, so this is another automatic viewing. Plus, you know, cop humor...apparently it's a "thing" with me.

The Holiday: Is the world ready for Jack Black as a romantic lead? Probably not, no. But it looks sort of sappily sweet and dumb, and sometimes that's all you can really expect out of a romantic comedy. This has "take your mom to the movies" written all over it.


The Simpsons: This thirty-second clip? Funnier than the last three seasons combined. Granted, that isn't saying much. Because this thirty-second clip? Not particularly funny.

Eragon: This is based on the book that a little kid wrote, right? Well, more power to him, but I think I've read this same novel about two or three dozen times already, under various titles, and I'm not entirely sure I needed to see yet another iteration of it made into a film.
Somehow, I suspect Peter Jackson is to blame for this.

Premonition: Sandra Bullock in a time-travel/psychic thriller, trying to determine if her husband is dead or if he's going to die. This could really go either way in terms of quality. Could be good, could be a typical Sandra Bullock movie.

Pan's Labyrinth: It's certainly very pretty looking. But I've seen too many of Del Toro's films to expect any niceties. Such as "plot" or "an ending that makes the slightest bit of sense."

The Invisible: Now, this has possibilities. A teenage boy trying to solve his own murder while in a disembodied state, it's a bit like the WB (or, the CW now, I guess) version of a few other ghost stories that have cropped up over the years. But there's enough of a sense of style and tension on display in the trailer to make it worth a look.

The Quiet: Ah, the "disabled girl hero" returns to the thriller genre. The Lolita-esque aspects of the film are (hopefully) intentionally creepy, and there's something inherently compelling in a protagonist who knows a terrible secret but is unable to act on it. It will all depend on the execution. I sat through enough "naughty teenage girl" movies to know that the potential to be excruciatingly bad is inherent in the format.

Spider-Man 3: Let's review, shall we?
Star Wars? Decent. Empire Strikes Back? Pretty Good. Return of the Jedi? Crap.
Star Trek? Okay. Star Trek 2? Not bad. Star Trek 3? Crap.
Batman? All right. Batman Returns? Not terrible. Batman Forever? Crap.
X-Men? Pretty good. X-Men 2? Not terrible. X-Men 3? Utter crap.
Why does anyone think this movie is going to break that pattern? Especially when it's repeating the same "villain overkill" mistakes that the Batman franchise made. (And please, don't cite Lord of the Rings as a refutation of the pattern. That was essentially one long film broken into three parts. Not quite the same thing.)
That being said, while this film is only going to be worth a rental, I know that I'll be in line opening day. I'm sure that will be the trade-off for making Pete see Reno 911.

Mr. Woodcock: A self-help guru returns home to discover his mother is dating the gym teacher who made his life miserable. Surprisingly, the self-help guy is NOT played by Ben Stiller. I guess he's finally getting a bit long in the tooth for these kinds of roles. Wow, I bet there's some kind of touching realization at the 80 minute mark where the whiny male lead realizes that he's been wrong about his old teacher all along, and we're supposed to suddenly sympathize with the sadist.
Why do so many people I like have to be in this?

Tideland: In typical Gilliam style, it looks visually stunning. And, typically, it looks incredibly depressing, as a girl retreats into a fantasy world to avoid dealing with her reality as the neglected daughter of a junkie. The trick will be if Gilliam's usual inability to tell a coherent story are on display here or not.

Please, Take My Eyes

Gone: Yeah, I'm already over this "mysterious stranger plays a twisted game of cat and mouse with innocents in a geographically isolated yet scenic location" genre.

Meet the Robinsons: Well, that was just remarkably unpleasant and unfunny. I really do feel bad for kid's today. The movies they get foisted on them are so bland and dull, as if poop jokes can substitute for story and character.

The Good German: What is it about contemporary films in black and white that just screams "pretentious" at me. Now, I like Clooney, and I like Steven Soderbergh, but this? No, no, this just looks to be a mess. And, I'm sorry, but I don't buy Tobey Maguire as a noir-ish tough guy. Hell, I don't even buy Maguire as Peter Parker, the whiniest and most emo of all super-heroes. I can only assume that both Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio were too busy on other projects to be slotted into that role.

300: SCREAM! SCREAM FOR SPARTA! YAAAR! WE ARE SCREAMING! Not even the acres of manflesh could get me to this. And yet, somehow, I also get the feeling that Peter Jackson is to blame for this one.

Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj: Some things not even Kal Penn can save.

Charlotte's Web: I'm really learning to associate the word "Nickelodeon" in front of a movie as "This will not be good." It's not that this looks bad, per se. It's just that I know it's going to be bad. It's an inescapable reality. Clue one: Julia Roberts.
Oh, and Steve Buscemi is in no way, shape or form a substitute for Paul Lynde.

Bug: Great, more body mutilation horror. I'll be glad when this genre runs it's course as well.

Unaccompanied Minors: Wow. Lewis Black must really need money. Like "owes the mob" needs money. I can't think of any other reason for him to be in...this.

The History Boys: Now, I have no doubt that this is a very good film. The play it is based on is reputedly quite good, and it's all the same cast, so they can't go too far wrong. I just have no romantic idealization of teachers, so this holds no interest for me.

Deja Vu: When the most interesting thing about the trailer for your time-travel movie is an editing joke, that's probably not a good sign.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: Ah, more romantic rewritings of history in order to protect America's fragile view of its past. Plus, a bunch of actors I don't care for.

Let's Go To Prison: This could almost be worth seeing as a sociological experiment. I could go and count the number of times a joke is made about prison rape. I could glance nervously at the audience of (undoubtedly) heterosexual white males between the ages of 16 and 30 filling the theater, while they laugh uproariously at the thought of rape. I could measure how much more misanthropic I am after viewing the film than I was before.

The Messengers: Oh, God, where to start? Okay, first, making your movie's web-site only available during certain hours of the day is not enhancing your film's mystique. It's telling your audience that you were too preoccupied with coming up with a clever marketing gimmick to focus on making a good film. Second, recycling your special effects from The Grudge, a film that really wasn't good to begin with, is not value for money; it's lazy. And third, teenage daughter bonds with resented little brother while living in spooky house because the adults refuse to believe it's haunted? That trick never works.

Rocky Balboa: Really, another one? That's so...sad. It's like Stallone is having his mid-life crisis, only it's on a movie screen. "Hey, remember when I was relevant? Remember? Anybody?"

The Hoax: Ah, a film for the three people who not only remember who Howard Hughes was, but remember that someone forged his memoir.

For Your Consideration: A film narcisstically musing on the foibles of fame and celebrity? It's been, what, a month since one of those came out, right?

Norbit: Remember when Eddie Murphy was funny? Me neither. It's been too long.

Deck the Halls: I wish I had a web-cam. I'm sure the look of utterly horrified revulsion on my face as I watched this trailer was entertaining. I'm just utterly at a loss as to how anyone could think there's an audience for a film about two boorish, middle aged men fighting over something as petty and inconsequential as Christmas lights.


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