We've all been there. You and your friends are racing to get to the theater on time when someone says, "What's the hurry? There's going to be twenty minutes of trailers anyway." You fix the offending party with an icy stare and weigh the pros and cons of kicking him or her in the shins. People who say such things are, in fact, NOT your friends. Trailers are part of the film-going experience, and acquaintances who don't get that should be shunned like a beta max copy of Roller Boogie with a permanent tracking glitch.
Trailers expose us to films and genres we might not otherwise seek out. They can show us new ideas, and that's what this installment of Trailer Park is all about: films that buck the trends and do things that, while not necessarily unique, are out of the ordinary...
- Arthur and the Invisibles
With so many computer animated kids' films coming out these days, they've all started to look alike to me. Arthur and the Invisibles follows the road less traveled by mixing live action with computer animation and taking on a darker, more sinister look, while still being lighthearted enough for the kids. Ten-year-old Arthur is played by the very talented Freddie Highmore, whose performance in Finding Neverland left nary a dry eye in the theater, then scored himself some serious cool points by working for Tim Burton as the title character in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Arthur's home is about to be demolished unless he can pay off the bank with the legendary treasure of the Minimoys (
actors deemed too small to play Vulcanstiny elf-like beings). There are lots of celebrity voices, including David Bowie as the head villain.
We all need a break now and then from the multi-million dollar effects-driven extravaganzas. 10 Items or Less looks like the sort of film that can satisfy audiences who have tired of eye candy and are looking for something with a little nutrition. Morgan Freeman plays an actor researching a role as a grocery store manager, who meets and befriends a young female cashier played by Spanglish's Paz Vega. It doesn't appear to be a romantic relationship, but the two are utterly charming together. The film is directed by Brad Silbering who gave us Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, and City of Angels. Click here to check out James Rocchi's review of the film itself.
It's been some time since I've seen a 3-D film (anybody remember Spacehunter: Adventures in the the Forbidden Zone?), and I don't have fond memories of it. This flick was first mentioned by Erik Davis here on Cinematical about a year ago. Director Jeff Broadstreet takes advantage of the seminal zombie film's public domain status and tries to gimmick it up with 3-D; the strictly 2-D trailer doesn't do much to convince me this is a good idea. Sure, Sid Haig brings a formidable horror flick presence, but since he's the only one who delivers any dialogue in the trailer, it's hard to get a feel for the rest of the cast. Considering how bad most recent horror remakes have been, combined with the fact that Night of the Living Dead has already had a quite competent and effective remake, the odds are pretty much against this one.
This was mentioned just a few days ago by Cinematical's own Erik Davis, but it's worth mentioning again. This is a teaser trailer for a movie that won't be out until Christmas 2007, and the footage you see will probably not even be part of the final film, but it's one of the funniest previews I've seen in awhile. Paul Giamatti plays Santa with Vince Vaughn portraying St. Nick's bitter, ne'er do-well brother Fred. I was so impressed with Sideways and American Splendor that I would pay to see Giamatti do his taxes, so this one's a no-brainer for me. Vaughn seems to be playing the same basic character he played in Wedding Crashers, and Old School, but there's some good chemistry between the two actors.
A light romantic comedy with Jack Black (no, Shallow Hal doesn't count)? It could work. After seeing him dreadfully miscast in King Kong and sadly unfunny in Nacho Libre, I need Mr. Black to make me laugh again. Personally, I don't care for films whose whole reason for being is to have characters gripe about their failed love lives, and some of the jokes in the trailer like the call-waiting gag seem tired. If anything will save this film, it's the cast. Black is joined by Kate Winslet (who won me over big with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Cameron Diaz and Jude Law.