While there are still exchanges to be made, gift cards to be used and, of course, the small matter of New Year's Eve and Day, the holiday season is beginning to wind down. As much as I may gripe about it, Christmas usually turns out to be a lot of fun, and this year was no exception. It's time to kick back, though. After all the stress and rushing around of the last month or so, I think a few laughs are in order. This week, Trailer Park takes a look at some comedies due to hit theaters in the coming months.
Comedy doesn't always cross language barriers well, but the humor in this subtitled Spanish language film about sexual taboos in Barcelona in 1913 seems to have survived translation quite nicely. Set against the background of the works of Sigmund Freud, the trailer is liberally peppered with double entendrés like "premature evacuation," and "penetrating the subconscious." A woman named Alma (played by the enchanting Leonor Watling) enlists the aid of her brother-in-law Salvador to find her missing psychiatrist husband. The film has gotten scads of award nomination (check them out here), and looks like a nice change of pace from Hollywood-style comedy.
I Think I Love My Wife
If you're looking for a comedy, you could do a lot worse than a film starring Chris Rock, and the fact that Rock also wrote and directed has me especially curious (though I haven't seen his previous directorial effort Head of State). I'm intrigued by the more reserved Chris Rock I'm seeing here (I think part of it is the glasses), though the idea of a man experiencing the "7-year itch" does not blow me away with its originality (which makes sense, this being a remake of 1972's Chloe in the Afternoon). Rock's performance will have to be stellar to overcome this tired concept. This film was first mentioned here on Cinematical last February.
Having absolutely loved Zach Braff's directorial debut Garden State, I for one am impatiently tapping my foot waiting for him to find his way back to the director's chair. Until then I'll have to get my Braff fix with Scrubs and films in which he stars but does not direct. In this one, Braff plays an advertising executive whose wheelchair-bound associate (Jason Bateman) is competing for the affections of his wife (Amanda Peet). Lots of the star's trademark bumbling here, as well as some less than politically correct humor. Bateman was the single spark in the nightmarish pit that was The Break-Up, and he was hilarious on the criminally underrated sitcom Arrested Development, so he seems to be a worthy comedic match for Braff. Here's Scott Weinberg's take on the trailer.
Balls of Fury
The title sets the tone for the sort of high-brow humor this trailer has to offer. Tony Award-winner Dan Fogler stars as a ping pong champion recruited by the FBI to infiltrate an underground society of clandestine ping pong tournaments. The joke here is that the film plays like a 70s kung fu movie, with Christopher Walken as the arch-villain. This trailer was painful to watch, and all I could think of was that Walken's presence can probably be explained by either having kids to put through college, he lost a bet, or perhaps angered the gods in some way. Click here for another opinion on this trailer.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Not strictly a comedy, but you certainly can't have a title like that and not expect a few laughs. I remember back before the Turtles had made the transition from the printed page to television; they were the most imitated comic book characters of their time. Anyone else remember such knock-offs/parodies as (and I assure you I'm not making these up) Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters, Geriatric Gangrene Jujitsu Gerbils, and Pre-Teen Dirty Gene Kung Fu Kangaroos? The original black and white Ninja Turtles comics had a dark edginess that didn't translate to the animated TV series, and if the trailer is any indicator, this flick's got more darkness than a coal mine at midnight. Since all these computer animated features are beginning to look alike to me, the shadowy appearance of the new Ninja Turtles movie makes it stand out. The trailer (first mentioned on Cinematical here) features the tubular ones kicking butt and fighting monsters. What more could you ask for?