While many dog lovers pride themselves on owning a pure-bred animal, I've always been a fan of the mutt, the mongrel, the "Heinz 57 different varieties" if you will. A pure-bred has many fine qualities, but a mixed breed draws its traits from a greater pool of resources. If you've read previous installments of Trailer Park you know how we like to link the trailers together with a common theme. This week, though, I came across five truly noteworthy trailers that don't have a thing in common. Nothing. Nada. Bupkis. And it's the fact that these trailers' strengths lie in such divergent areas that makes the group so interesting as a whole. I give you Trailer Park: The Mongrel Edition.
The Astronaut Farmer
Billy Bob Thornton plays a farmer who is building a rocket in his back yard and is planning to launch himself into space. His loving and mostly supportive wife is played by Virginia Madsen. The locals think he's crazy, and he's recruited his children to help with the project, with his 15-year-old son manning mission control. This one's a head scratcher. It's either going to be an inspiring tale of a man with a can-do attitude, or a cloying pile of schmaltz. Erik Davis first told us about this one back in August of 2005. p>
The Hills Have Eyes 2
Cinematical's own Scott Weinberg mentioned this trailer briefly a few days ago. I didn't see the remake of The Hills Have Eyes, and frankly I wasn't crazy about Wes Craven's original. This teaser trailer, though, gets the job done nicely, doing everything it needs to do with an economic use of time. It gives the viewer that "what the hell am I watching" feeling, and there's a clever use of a point-of-view camera angle.
When I said that today's trailers were noteworthy, I should point out that doesn't necessarily make them good. From "Two of the Six Writers of Scary Movie" proclaims the trailer. Didn't they already use that joke for Date Movie? If the Scary Movie franchise is your cup of tea, here's more of the same, though this time they're lampooning recent big budget fantasy and adventure flicks like The Chronicles of Narnia, Superman Returns and Snakes on a Plane. Personally, I think these movies rely too much on the films they're lampooning. The biggest laughs seem to come when the audience recognizes the film that is being sent up, and the rest is filler. In the trailer, for example, we see a bushy-haired mustachioed man wearing that disturbing over-the-shoulder Borat thong, and that's the entire joke. Scott Weinberg didn't like this one either, and you can read his report on it here.
Reign Over Me
I was surprised by how much this trailer grabbed me. I've seen enough of Adam Sandler's adolescent shenanigans to last me a lifetime, but he's definitely doing something interesting here in a non-comedic role. Sandler plays a man devastated by the loss of his family, and Don Cheadle plays the college roommate he hasn't seen in years. The two men rebuild their friendship and Sandler's character slowly begins to rejoin the human race. Cheadle's character says that his friend lost his family in a plane crash. In fact, they died in not just any plane crash, but during the September 11 tragedy, and I'm curious as to why this is not specifically stated in the trailer. At any rate, this looks like an interesting tale of friendship and recovery from grief, and I'm looking forward to it.
Music and Lyrics
Just in time for Valentine's day comes this romantic comedy with Hugh Grant and the reigning queen of romantic comedy, Drew Barrymore. Grant plays a has-been 80s pop star trying to write a hit song for a hot young performer. The woman who cares for his plants (Barrymore) has a knack for song lyrics. The pair have a nice chemistry and there are laughs to be had here. The film looks formulaic but fun, with tons of 80s tunes on the soundtrack.