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Tuesday, April 27, 2004  

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (INTERNATIONAL)

Ahhh, a palate cleanser. It's a great trailer, great spooky mood that I wanted in the other two trailers and didn't get, and then... you get to the end and you see the title come up in Japanese and you hear this announcer say, "HAREE POOTUR..." and I just lost it, man. Just put my head back and howled for about five minutes. Too, too funny. However, if you can stop the trailer right when the Dementor sticks his hand in the train carriage, you can pretend that's totally not there and go on your merry way. (There's something at the end, but I'm not sure what it is--a maid knocking on the door?) If I'm not mistaken, there is some new footage, so it's worth it.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 10:09 AM
 

THE VILLAGE (FULL TRAILER)

Good trailer. Freaky as all hell, in that Shyamalan floor-creaking door-slamming way. My sister will probably end up sleeping in my bed again if she sees this. I will pay good money bad money okay, I have no money to whoever can pony up a spoiler as to what those things in the woods actually are.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 9:50 AM
 

VAN HELSING CLIPS

As has previously been noted, I'm sort of in this one for the long haul (family on the crew), so I'll be the one to take the bullet on most of this stuff (with the exception of Vladimir's post below. He's in recovery as we speak).

The clips are... so very, very silly. For real. Kate Beckinsale's accent is awful, but she commits to the awful, and is therefore consistently awful. I admire this. One of the clips involves her brother, who does not seem to have inherited the Family Accent of Awfulness, being laid out as bait for a werewolf. I still haven't quite gotten over the stupidness of that. Then there's the clip of Anna and Dracula dancing, and he's all like, "One moment of pain and we can be together," like, can you be any more with the obvious there?, and she's all like, "You have no heartbeat!" GET WITH THE PROGRAM, ANNA, IT'S YOUR MORTAL ENEMY. And then in another clip "the Frankenstein monster" shows up and that's dumb. And then Richard Roxburgh shows up as Dracula and he is SO BAD. Seriously. And I love monster movies. I loved The Mummy. I love the people in the movie. I want to like this movie. I am this movie's target audience. If I think it looks dumb...

Be afraid.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 9:40 AM


Friday, April 23, 2004  

VAN HELSING: FEATURETTES

Download PR Fluff At Your Own Time & Expense, For Free! See: Stephen Sommers having no idea what makes a horror film work! Recoil: Hugh Jackman having incredibly long hair in one featurette, then his regular short one in the other! Vomit: actual shots in VH are compared to their counterparts in the classic Universal monster movies, but so fast you can't see what's going on! Cry: the single biggest point of pride for Sommers seems to be his idea that the Wolfman should appear from beneath the human skin, not by growing hair on top of it...

And all the time, Dread! the actual message these featurettes seem to convey: as reported elsewhere, this damn movie was so expensive that if you don't get mesmerised into seeing it, the studio will collapse. Not that they shouldn't, seeing as how they have hinged their future on Stephen bleedin' Sommers...

But they did do one thing almost right, I'm shocked to admit: vampire teeth. You know, reading Stoker and LeFanu back in the day, I was always surprised that their vampires grew a full jaw of long, sharp, pointy teeth, instead of just two, like in the old movies. This has now been rectified, courtesy of some over-the top CG makeup that enlarges their whole mouths to about twice the regular size. And I kinda like it. Hate myself for saying that.

posted by Vladimir | 1:22 AM


Saturday, April 17, 2004  

TERMINAL

Where I come from, it was almost folklore - all the time, you kept hearing that Spielberg is going to film this or that incident from the recent spate of Balkan Wars. People left stranded on the airport terminals, POWs being used to clear landmines by walking, people hunting for indicted war criminals. And since one of his staple producers these days is Branko Lustig, who cut his producing teeth right here in Zagreb, Croatia, such rumors didn't sound too implausible... but boy did they reek of wishful thinking.

And then Spielberg comes and not only makes one such story for real - he casts Tom Hanks in it, to really tighten the screw all the way.

And then he comes and calls my country Cricosia or something. And Hanks pitches in with the worst Russian accent this side of Harrison Ford's K-19 effort. (While we do sound foreign to your ears, we don't. sound. Russian. And I sound like an American anyway.)

And Lustig is nowhere near the credits.

Ah well, now I know what it must feel like to be a Rumanian and see a Van Helsing trailer. At least they get hot chicks and amazing visuals... I get Fat Hanks and that Welsh bitch, and a lot of "OMG Two Thumbs Up Up Way Up Such An Amazingly Funny Character Oriented Piece What A Wonderful Followup To Catch Me If You Can" drivel. I was going to devote this evening to updating my livenovel, but all I can do now is just retreat in a corner and sob miserably.

posted by Vladimir | 3:45 PM


Tuesday, April 13, 2004  

I, ROBOT: TRAILER 2

I didn't like the first trailer. It seemed cheesy, and over-reliant on Will Smith's wisecracks and interminable action setpieces - and once you've seen dozens upon dozens of summer blockbusters, you pretty much become inured to interminable action setpieces. That's just how it is. So why do I like this second one? Is it a guilt trip on my part? Have I been brainwashed into accepting studio product at face value? Or is it simply the fact that the robots now totally remind me of the new iMacs which gives me inordinate reasons for glee - as in, you go use iMacs, and see them whoop your own ass sooner or later?

Aw, no. I like iMacs. And I like Smith, and Alex Proyas, and, hey hey, even Bridget Moynahan.

Also, I'm not a huge fan of Asimov's style and narrative ability, although I do respect his ideas. So if this movie doesn't look like Asimov, it won't cause me any sleepless nights. And if it does have some of his substance behind all the flash, it might make for an enjoyable night out at the movies. I can't speak for the long-term respectability, though - my guess is it'll be somewhere around that of Minority Report.

Which is not too shabby, but is also not the reason I like this movie all of a sudden. No, the reason is something completely different.

In a word: Trailer 2, unlike Trailer 1, features Kitty.

Kitty!

posted by Vladimir | 10:24 AM
 

NEW YORK MINUTE

Right. This is just wrong on so many levels, but as I don't live in America and have thus been completely unaware of the whole Olsen Twins Phenomenon over the years, I can't even get past Level One: How Come I Can't Even Enjoy a Ditzy Trailer Featuring Twin Socialite Teenage Blondes.

Might be because it's 100% recycled from other movies and TV shows. But... I like recycling. The mind boggles.

posted by Vladimir | 3:57 AM
 

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE

Um, this is actually Jonathan Demme's first thriller after The Silence of the Lambs. I'm just sayin'.

Not that Paramount seems to have an idea about how to market it, or even how to get the concept across. I've watched this trailer for four days in a row now, and as a fan of the Frankenheimer original - one of the smartest, most provocative political thrillers ever - I do recognize many lines and situations (although the Janet Leigh character seems to be missing, which is a crying shame). The way they have substituted the actual Manchuria for a "Manchurian Global" corporation is nifty and all, but... I still can't get my bearings around this trailer. And I really think it's not just me.

Still, it's a direct download link embedded in the title above, so do give your brains a shot at wrapping around it - you might get it all, quite possibly. Anyway, even though the trailer doesn't work for me, I do have high hopes for the movie itself, especially considering that it's coming out right in the middle of the US election campaign. The original was pulled out of theaters because it kinda reminded people of the unanswered questions pertaining to the Kennedy assasination; while not as deadly, this timing might prove to be just as explosive.

posted by Vladimir | 3:22 AM


Friday, April 09, 2004  

SPIDER-MAN 2

Or, The Return of the Hyphen. Now in glorious Quicktime. And downloadable in one hefty 45.4 MB Zip file, for those of you willing to go all the way.

Cleo reviewed a bootleg copy of this a while ago (see below), and all I have to add is - this version is about twice as long as the one initially shown at the junket at which the boot was taken. It's much more polished in just about every aspect, not just in picture/sound quality, so every fanboy and fangirl can just go squee squee squee from now up until the release. And, well, Spidey looks to be a further step toward photoreal here: not all the way, but just about enough for this to work, for a change... Even the writing and the characters look better than the first time around. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed. And my hard disk brimful.

posted by Vladimir | 2:38 AM


Thursday, April 08, 2004  

THE STEPFORD WIVES

Granted, if you don't know what the concept is, this is a hard movie to sell. So the trailer does its damnedest to do pitch you the said concept: Nicole Kidman is a TV exec (who has a 1870s spinster hairdo, and wears a Bond Maoist Villain robe both to the office and to award ceremonies - the point is that she's an intellectual, we get it). Then she gets laid off and goes to the place where all the laid-off celebrities go... to Stepford, apparently, because the Hollywood Squares are cancelled or something. Right. And there, in Stepford, every woman looks like a Barbie, and every man wears a maroon fraternity jacket, and everything is peachy in a 1950s sort of way... and, of course, everything is false. And Matthew Broderick is married to Nicole, because she just can't get over men who are a few heads shorter than she is, and we also have Chris Walken and Bette Midler and...

Oh, why bother. They could have just pitched it as The Truman Show meets Death Becomes Her, for those of us who haven't seen the 1975 original, instead of showing half the movie and making this trailer an actual liability for the moviegoing experience.

posted by Vladimir | 12:18 PM


Wednesday, April 07, 2004  

KILL BILL, VOL. 2

Finally.

I mean, it opens in something like a week, if you're in America. If you have seen the first part, you know that you must see it. If you haven't, go rent the DVD, see the most cinematic piece of cinema that cinemastered the cinemas in 2003, and start drooling in anticipation. Don't buy the DVD, however. It's rather slim. Just wait for the box. What's gonna be in the box? Hopefully, a lot: but this final teaser had better be there.

Vol. I was the movie that finally turned me into a Tarantino supporter. He found the visual mastery that has mostly eluded him before. Vol. II might well be a step beyond even that. We'll see. In the meantime, this trailer, with its splitscreens and its Spaghetti Manga visuals, is in itself a little piece of art.

The only downside? It's not downloadable. You can only see it in your browser window. Oh well. That box can't get here soon enough.

posted by Vladimir | 2:04 PM


Monday, April 05, 2004  

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

You know, as opposed to Stephen King's Merchant of Venice. Anyway, once we have the obvious out of the way, and once we step over my "Do we not bleed? Hoo-ah!" joke from six months ago, we find... Shylock Pacino sporting an undisguised American accent. Go you, man. In a movie full of Brits, that doesn't sound discordant AT ALL.

On the upside, we do have Joseph Fiennes, that fixture of Elizabethan-era flicks, as Bassanio. Except that he looks like combed-over ass. Oh, and Jeremy Irons as Antonio. The strangest part of this trailer for me is that I remember when Ian McKellen was going to play Antonio, and Cate Blanchett was going to play Portia. In fact, if you go watch the trailer, Portia (the strawberry blonde) bears as close a resemblance to Cate Blanchett as is physically possible under the circumstances. Spooky. The whole thing basically comes off as cut-rate Masterpiece Theater, and you start to understand why the biggest names (after Pacino, who is clearly hellbent on playing this role no matter what) jumped ship.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 9:49 PM
 

THE DOOR IN THE FLOOR

What the shit is this? It's like a mad scientist tried to fuse a heartwarming midlife crisis/coming of age flick with a haunting psychodrama, and ended up burning down his lab in the process. Seriously, this trailer gave me whiplash. One moment it's all like, THE END OF INNOCENCE and "the Mommy saw some terrible things" (pseudo-subliminal FLASH! of trauma!) and then it's like, "This soundtrack was brought to you by a winsomely angsty songstress escaped from Dawson's Creek."

Oh, and thanks for giving away what looks like a pretty major plot revelation ("I hired you because..."). This is verging on one of those "Thanks, but I've now seen the entire movie" trailers.

(Link from Trailer News.)

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 9:27 PM


Sunday, April 04, 2004  

LEMONY SNICKET

Again: not a trailer (actually, a one-minute TV spot) I'm very objective towards, as I loooooove these books and OMG everything looks so good SQUEEEE!

My one complaint is that there's a little too much Jim Carrey mugging. I define "too much" thusly: "It has nothing to do with the actual movie." Like him walking around like a dinosaur shrieking. Now, if the mugging has to do with the actual dialogue at hand, and it's appropriate for the movie, I'm cool with it. In fact, I forgive him for his delivery of the line, "All I ask is that you do everything that pops into my head while I enjoy the enormous fortune your parents left beHIND." That, and he's using a stagier, much deeper voice, so at least he's trying.

(Oh, and Klaus is the same height as, if not taller than, Violet. We notice these things, people!)

ETA: Screen caps!


posted by Cleolinda Jones | 5:20 AM


Saturday, April 03, 2004  

DE-LOVELY

Irwin Winkler, who used to be Scorsese's regular producer before Marty sold his soul, beard and eyebrows to Miramax, directs! again! And this time, it's another of his favorite Big Subjects - a sort of a biopic of Cole Porter. I can tell that Kevin Kline plays Porter, and Ashley Judd plays the woman he adored, and I can also tell that it's not only women that he adored. (Shot: Kline dancing with a man. Shot: Elvis Costello finishing Let's Misbehave. Shot: A woman telling Judd, "What a marvellous song. I don't know it, do you?" Jud deadpans: "Intimately.") However, I can't tell there's much drama here, so let's say it's a nice B- trailer.

But it's still a nice, classy-looking trailer that substitutes trills for thrills, listing present-day singers who perform Porter's classics on screen, in full period garb: besides Costello, we have Sheryl Crow, Natalie Cole, Robbie Williams, Diana Krall and Alanis Morrisette. And it's one of those trailers that doesn't have the Voiceover Man say "Now..." at a halfway point, which is enough for me to upgrade it to B+.

posted by Vladimir | 8:12 AM


Thursday, April 01, 2004  

TROY

I can't tell you much about this one, because the quality is shit. However, it seems much more Brad Pitt-based than previous trailers.

posted by Cleolinda Jones | 6:27 AM
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