Having a baby, meeting extraterrestrials, losing your cat: these are all jumping off points after which -- for good or ill -- your life is never quite the same again. This week we're looking at trailers for films that show big changes.
Yeah, I've got to imagine the end of the world will change everything. At the very least, you won't have to go to work tomorrow, and to hell with that car payment. When a lethal plague devastates a large section of England, the area is walled off for decades. When the plague resurfaces, a special team is dispatched inside the quarantined area to look for a cure. This is from director Neil Marshall, whose last two films -- The Descent and Dog Soldiers -- I loved. The Mad Max influence is obvious, but it also brings to mind all the Italian-made Mad Max knock-offs from the 80s, of which there were so many that they became a genre unto themselves. There's also a fair amount of Escape From New York evident here, and our heroine Rhona Mitra (pictured above) recalls Kate Beckinsale in the Underworld movies. I'm getting lots of deja vu here, with nothing really striking me as original. I'll probably see this based on Marshall's credentials, but the trailer doesn't sell me. Here's Scott's take.
Tina Fey plays a successful business woman who wants a baby, and she hires a working class woman played by Amy Poehler to be her surrogate. Between Knocked Up, Juno and Waitress, it's been a big year for pregnancy comedies, and I have to wonder if Hollywood has gone to the well once too often with this one. I loved Fey and Poehler on Saturday Night Live, and Fey's 30 Rock is a riot, but this trailer isn't grabbing me. Like Doomsday, if I see this one, it will be on the basis of the reputation of the people involved and not the preview. Here's Erik's take.
I discussed the teaser for this one a little while back, but now we have a full-length trailer for this science fiction comedy from the director of Kung Fu Hustle. A down-on-his-luck father brings his son a cute-as-a-button, shape-shifting alien creature. There's kind of an 80s Spielberg flavor to this one, with particular emphasis on Gremlins. The critter is 100% CGI, but I found myself feeling bad for the little guy when he's getting squashed like a squeaky toy. This looks like it could be fun.
Yes, there are people out there who will argue that losing a cat is not a life-changing event, and I respond by saying these people are obviously not cat owners. The trailer tells us that a beloved Cat named Goliath has gone missing and... well, that's pretty much all I could figure out. There are a bunch of guys -- presumably prison inmates -- in jumpsuits, a man shotgunning a beer and someone running madly down a residential street with a weed whacker. This looks about as indie as it gets. The one-line synopsis on the official website clarifies things a bit by explaining that this is the story of a man enduring a divorce, and his missing cat is the last surviving relic of the failed relationship. Still, I'll need to hear more before I decide if this is worth my time. Goliath is making its premiere at Sundance.
The Black Waters of Echo's Pond
I include this one for purposes of irony, as it doesn't so much change everything as it does regurgitate a classic. A group of young people gather at a remote cabin for skinny dipping and various forms of shenanigans only to unleash a long buried evil, and before long we've got possessed teens with big honking contact lenses. To be fair, The Evil Dead's success relied more on Sam Raimi's masterful execution than on intricacies of plot, so the similarities that seem so obvious in the trailer may be relatively minor in the final film. This one shakes things up by adding a board game that looks like a hell-spawned version of Jumanji, and the trailer does not shy away from the nudity, so be warned. I'm always up for a good scare, but I may wait for the DVD on this one.
This week's new trailers on AOL Moviefone:
- Strange Wilderness - The producers of a TV wildlife show on the verge of cancellation go in search of bigfoot to boost their raitings.
- Honeydripper - It's 1950 and the owner of the failing Honeydripper Lounge pins all his hopes on a one time performance by a legendary guitar player. When that musician fails to show, the Lounge's last hope lies with a vagrant and his guitar.
- The Business of Being Born - Documentary about the childbirth process in American hospitals.
- Hancock - Will Smith stars as a hard-living superhero who hires a PR agent to boost his public image.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie - Based on the children's TV show, this could be your big chance to hear a parsnip say "Arrrrrrrr."
- 10,000 BC - A tale of love and war at the dawn of human civilization.
- Life Before Her Eyes - Uma Thurman plays a woman haunted by a shooting she experienced as a teen.
- Taxi to the Dark Side - Documentary about the U.S. policy on torture focusing on an Afghan taxi driver who died from injuries received while in U.S. custody.
- Paranoid Park - A young skateboarder's life takes a dark turn when he accidentally kills a security guard.