Trailer park: Films for the new year


With one animated feat after the next, Pixar studios looks ready to rival the great imaginative achievements of Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki (iSpirited Away/i, iPrincess Mononoke/i). In the first trailer of their new film iUp/i, a small house erupts into a massive rainbow of balloons, carrying an old cranky man up into the stratosphere of the sky. The film improves upon its already masterful use of computer generated imagery to capture the flying house and, like iFinding Nemo/i and iWALL-E/i, iUp/i seems as motivated by the richness of its storytelling as it is dedicated to the craft of computer animation. Pixar’s never made a bad film (iCars/i was the only flick that came close to mediocrity), so expectations should be high for their newest gravity-defying adventure. b-HV/b


Julia Roberts and Clive Owen star in writer/director Tony Gilroy’s latest thriller, iDuplicity/i, a film that, judging by its trailer, looks to emulate the extravagant escapist mood of iThe Thomas Crown Affair/i. Only this time, the film is blessed with the talented scribe who wrote and directed the Oscar-nominated /iMichael Clayton/i, so Roberts and Owen should have plenty of flirtatious banter to work off of. Let’s just hope that /iDuplicity/i keeps up its fast-paced plot developments and doesn’t get too bogged down by the prickly love story that inevitably develops between its two movie stars. We’ve already seen that fail with Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston in iDerailed/i. No need to repeat history in iDuplicity/i. b-HV/b


Maybe it’s the epic musical combination of Wagner, Phillip Glass and Muse that makes the second trailer of iWatchmen/i so unbelievably bad-ass. Or maybe its the the bone-chilling voice-over of Jackie Earl Haley as the vigilante superhero, Rorshach. Whatever it is, this massive graphic-novel-turned-movie looks poised to not only blow the socks off of iWatchmen/i fans across the country; it could very well reaffirm what iThe Dark Knight/i already established this year: that comic books can be works of art, too. Directed by Zack Snyder, iWatchmen/i appears to have far more scope and urgency than his lame and homoerotic i300/i. This time around, the characters actually have to save the world instead of flexing their pecs in front of a blue screen for 90 minutes. b-HV/b

biSeven Pounds/b/i

iSeven Pounds/i may be the most ludicrously conceived trailer of 2008. Equipped with random montages of Will Smith running in the rain and crying himself to sleep, iSeven Pounds/i looks like a parody of his overtly sincere and sentimental iPursuit of Happyness/i. In every frame, Smith has his “serious actor” face on, whether he’s cuddling with Rosario Dawson or guiding a blind Woody Harrelson down the street, but at no point does the movie appear to make any logical sense. Who are these people that he is putting under his wing and why does Smith act both selfless and ashamed in nearly every shot? Though the iSeven Pounds/i trailer wants to leave us intrigued, seeing Will Smith clawing aimlessly for another Oscar nomination makes the whole affair come across as both bizarre and unintentionally comical. b-HV/b

iStar Trek/i

The new iStar Trek/i trailer looks more like JJ Abrams’ iMission Impossible III/i, save for a few space ships and some references to the uber-ridiculous name “James Tiberious Kirk.”

Based on its hokey trailer, this newly-updated iStar Trek/i from Abrams appears like a run-of-the-mill action film, loaded with tiresome special effects that may leave everyone but die-hard Trekkies squirming in their seats. Trek’s trailer is filled with dramatic music and noticeably terrible teen acting from its twenty-something-year-old cast. If iTrek/i proves to be as dull as any recent George Lucas fiasco, audiences may end up missing William Shatner after all. b-TC/b