Bundles aside, I'm feeling fat and sassy today so I'm watching movie trailers when I could be outside playing in the yard or annoying neighborhood animals or something. Speaking of annoying animals, the first person who can successfully nab eight hours of uninterrupted sleep while Abbie the Cat does his little HEY IT'S 5:30 AM song and dance routine wins, uh, eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. You have to do it without the help of narcotics or other goodies, though, to win. Sorry, Tennessee.
Okay! Trailer Time!
Walk The Line - Joaquin Phoenix does his turn in a biopic. And you know, as Johnny Cash, the Man In Black, he's not all that bad, either, at least in the speaking and sneering parts.
Aeon Flux - or maybe AEONFLUX or something according to the title treatment. Whatever. Looks to me like this is just another Matrix-like dystopian sci-fi action flik where Stylish And Athletic fight the powers of Big And Totalitarian, and presumably save the day. Attached, all too thinly, is the name recognition of this groovy collection of animated shorts run nearly 15 years ago on MTV's Liquid Television series, which were great back in the halcyon days of the early 90s. So way to quickly capitalize on a craze, MTV. I guess you had to wait for the Beavis & Butt-Head fad to die down before developing the next Liquid Television franchise. Anyway, the film is lookin way too Wachowski and not grotesque enough, as the animated shorts were--I'm reasonably certain we won't be seeing Charlize Theron catch and squish a cockroach in her eyelashes, Venus Flytrap-style--but at this point, does it really matter? Apparently not.
The DaVinci Code - Holy schnikies! Dan Brown, Akiva Goldsman, Hans Zimmer, the "In A World Where..." trailer voice guy! Throw in a "PIRATING MOVIES TAKES BREAD OUTTENA MAH KIDS' MOUFS" PSA, an ad for the Army, and the counter girl at Au Bon Pain who coughed on my cheese danish yesterday and who then got huffy when I asked if I could have another one, and you've got almost everything I hate wrapped up into one giant crap sandwich! Where's the sickly stench of Michael Bay around this one, though? Oh, yes, that's right, he's off doing the live-action Transformers movie. You heard me.
The Pink Panther - It's time for Steve Martin to step up to the plate and right Roberto Benigni's wrongs, and if this is supposed to absolve Benigni for Son of the Pink Panther, well, it ain't workin. At least not through the trailer. And the sad part is, the film doesn't look good enough to make us forget Son of the Pink Panther, and it doesn't look bad enough to make us say "Well, Son of the Pink Panther was bad, but not bad as this!" So it fails. And it fails inexplicably. I mean, here we have Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, hey wait was that Jean Reno? What the heck is he doing here? and Beyonce Knowles in this trailer. Three out of the four get actual billing. Hey Wait Was That Jean Reno doesn't. That makes me V. Sad. Oh, Jean Reno is apparently in the DaVinci Code, too. Just so you know. What the hell does he have to atone for, anyway?
A Scanner Darkly - Oh, thank heavens. I was worried Hollywood wasn't going to get the chance to shit on yet another Philip K. Dick short story, and this time we get Keanu Reeves doing his best to screw things up again with wooden delivery and a tour-de-jerkface performance. As an added bonus, the footage has been completely futzed with in post-production, adding animation a la Waking Life to give every single frame of the film a "Graphic Novel" feel. Only it looks like one of those over-airbrushed or over-Photoshopped graphic novels, not something, say, cool. At least when Sin City did the digital futzery, it got things right. And by "getting things right" I mean a lot of things, not the least of which is "keeping Keanu Reeves the hell away from the project."
Oliver Twist - This actually doesn't look so bad. Oliver Twist is one of the few Dickens novels that remains accessible to modern short attention-span audiences if only because you can boil it down into a few key acts and be done with it. Otherwise we'd all be humming tunes from the hit Broadway production of Martin Chuzzlewit. Roman Polanski's directing this latest adaptation and I'll kindly thank you to keep the jokes to yourself. We don't go for the easy statutory rape jokes 'round here, no sir. Polanski's period eye shone through on The Pianist and I actually would look forward to seeing how he handles Dickensian London. Judging from the trailer, it's looking mighty fine, and Ben Kingsley gets to mutter around as Fagin, so that entire film experience should be enjoyable. AS A THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD. O SNAP I WENT THERE
Little Manhattan - I like when I get to view trailers for something I know nothing about. Then I see the tagline "Nothing's As Big As Your First Love" or somesuch, and then I watch the 11-year-old who falls in love with a neighborhood girl, possible class tension, and endearing voiceovers that give the kid reads such as "It was only for two weeks, but to an 11-year-old, two weeks is a lifetime." And then I barf. Criminy, just get Daniel Stern to read it over some classical guitar and you're done. God damn that was twee. That was way too twee for lil' ol me. And what's up with him pushin a scooter down the street in modern-day Manhattan? Shouldn't he be doing that in Brooklyn around 1930, using a fruit crate on roller skates and saying things like "Nuts to yer old man"? I hope they give the girl some characterization, too, as all she does in the trailer is merely exist to look pretty, get the boy to say precocious things to the grown-ups, and then to leave for six weeks of summer camp, which is pretty much the prepubescent equivalent of Ali McGraw Disease (a death by random plot-convenient illness which tends to make the victim look prettier and more angelic the closer she is to Death's Door.) So I guess love means never having to say you're a boogerhead.
Fun With Dick and Jane - There's a hilarious comedy twist coming up in this trailer, so be forewarned. But don't worry cause I'll let you know when it happens. So anyway there's Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni as the perfect suburban couple, he pals around with the neighbor guys while showing off their
Rent - You can see the "revised trailer" or you can see the "music video" which is pretty much the revised trailer with slightly different footage and no studio tag haphazardly thrown in near the end of the song. Either way, you're gonna get "Seasons of Love" stuck in your head for GODDAMN DAYS after watching it. Also, anybody who's ever seen and/or enjoyed the show will probably begin to get weepy over this trailer as the music works its way up to the chorus. I'm not quite sure why, but I've seen it happen. Hell, for some people the piano bit at the beginning is all it takes to encourage the waterworks. It's got that kind of emotional pull that Spielberg only wishes he had. This film is going to go over gangbusters with the kids who grew up with the show, because Rent was their 9th Grade Musical. You know the type of kid I'm talking about. You yourself may have been one. You know, the ones who get big into musical theater around 9th grade, this was the show their drama club saved up money to go see, they have One Favorite Part that they sing all the time and know they would just kill at if they ever got the chance... yeah, they're a little bit older now, but the show is still in their hearts and they'll still love it. Anthony Rapp is in it, and Idina Menzel (who originated the role of Elphaba in Wicked -- Wicked being the new 9th Grade Musical, by the way) is in it, and Jesse L. Martin is in it, so the film is sure to please the Rent fans, the Wicked fans, and the Law & Order fans.
And me? My 9th Grade Musical? Les Miserables. I would have been the best M. Thenardier the stage had ever seen, because I understood the comedy behind the part. CAUSE IT'S FUNNY WHEN HE POPS UP FROM THE TRAP DOOR IN THE ACT 1 FINALE. Oh well. I'll live vicariously through these crazy kids.