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Trailer Trash: Cruel Reviews of Upcoming Movies

Why spend 10 dollars to go see a movie when you can hastily dismiss it based on its ridiculous trailer? We take a look at the absurd shit that Hollywood has in store for you this spring.

In Theaters March 23
The Hills Have Eyes 2

Having introduced the idea of a mutant redneck as a credible threat in The Hills Have Eyes 1, the sequel now pits our monsters against the National Guard, so we can watch them pick off army personnel one by one in increasingly gory scenarios. Think Aliens meets Deliverance.

Sure, the idea of pitting the military against a monster menace was pretty smooth in Jim Cameron's Aliens, and it's held up decently enough in the many knock-off cash-ins since. But trained soldiers with heavy ordinance climbing down a hole in the ground to fight cave-mutant hicks? That's sort of retarded. It doesn't matter what the mutation did to them--one side of this battle has assault rifles and grenades, and the other has bib overalls, gills, and fucking banjos. It's called pulling a pin and yelling "Fire in the hole!", National Guard. Look into that.


Four anthropomorphized turtles swoop in over a city and proceed to break all manner of traffic laws, startling motorists by swinging over them on ropes and practicing catwalks on their motorbikes through busy crosswalks. Suddenly, a vortex opens in the sky and shoots a pink beam down at a skyscraper below. The turtles are astonished. (Didn't they see this scene in Ghostbusters?) "Every 3000 years, the stars align, unleashing an army of monsters," says some guy looking out a window. You mean, like giant bipedal reptiles wielding ninja weapons? Nope, we're talking about even worse monsters, which the turtles spend the rest of the trailer battling when not eating pizza, belching impressively, and telling jokes in the "Yo mama" genre.

It's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You pretty much already know if you're interested or not. For what it's worth, they've gone with slick-looking computer-generated animation in the style of The Incredibles, which is an update on both the cruddy animation of the old cartoon series and the live-action actors of the original movies. Smart way to go, since it makes for more fluid stuntwork than actors bumbling around in sweaty rubber turtle suits, straining just to be able to peer out of the eyeholes.

Plus, unlike Secret of the Ooze, Vanilla Ice isn't around to freestyle curiously appropriate battle raps whenever nunchaku-wielding reptilian humanoids burst into the middle of his concert. At least, we assume "Ninja Rap" was improvised, as the only other explanation is that a forward-thinking Vanilla drafted the lyrics well in advance just in case that particular situation should ever arise. Anyway, Vanilla's not in this one, which depending on your ironically detached love of crap, is either good or bad.  

Reign Over Me

Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler) loses his entire family in 9/11 and is pretty bummed out about it. Luckily he meets Magical Black Man Don Cheadle, who devotes his Magical Black Life to helping Sandler at the cost of his own marriage and happiness. It's all good, though: The white guy turns out okay at the end.

Remember You, Me & Dupree, that shitty comedy nobody saw last year about bottom-feeder Owen Wilson crashing with a well-off couple until they lose it and want him to leave? You don't remember it? No, don't worry, it's cool. Seriously, no one saw it. We won't hold it against you or anything.

Anyway, Reign Over Me looks identical to You, Me & Dupree, except in Reign, the bottom-feeder character's experienced heartbreak and flips out occasionally about terrorism, so it's, you know, "really serious." Take Owen Wilson's character from Dupree, say "9/11" a lot in a solemn Morgan Freeman voice, and toss Sandler an Oscar scene where he gets to lose his shit and break a chair about the unfairness of God or whatever. Are you laughing yet? Great! See you at Reign Over Me!


The FBI's top Human Resources assistant (Danny Glover) tracks down ace marksman Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg) to a remote forest cabin, where Swagger 's spent the past five years trying to forget his made-up-sounding name. He is swiftly recruited to stop the assassination of the president, a duty that--according to Glover--he is more qualified to perform than anyone else on the planet. Swagger's squirrel-huntin' and room temperature Pabst swillin' credentials aside, the trailer does not adequately explore why the FBI's first line of defense against a potential attack on the president is to drive out to the woods and attempt to recruit lumberjacks. Luckily, it's a double cross, and Swagger is framed for the assassination. Will his ability to shoot things with deadly accuracy come in handy on his one-man vendetta to clear his name? Probably not, but you never know!

Shooter has all the political intrigue and one-man-against-the-government plot contrivances of a Jason Bourne movie, with one key difference: rather than having the wooden Matt Damon run around rooftops, conduct car chases and kick people in the face in a deadly game of cat and mouse, it gets the wooden Mark Wahlberg instead.

As an off-brand Matt Damon, Wahlberg looks plausible if not probable as one of the most deadly marksmen alive. The cool thing about the Bourne movies, though, was that its hero could be counted on to turn anything he'd lay his hands on--a telephone, a steering wheel, dental floss--into an instrument of destruction. Wahlberg's at a bit of a loss here, since he's only got one skill, and it relies pretty heavily on having a high-powered rifle with night vision scope on him at all times. If the airport loses his luggage, he's about as deadly as the guy who sorts your mail.

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