Trailer Trash — Sherlock Holmes 2, Alvin and the Chipmunks 3, and Underworld 4

Trailer Trash

I don’t have time to go to the movies much any more. So instead I’m going to just review some new and upcoming films based solely on their trailers. Because let’s face it, most movies only have about two or three minutes’ worth of good material anyway.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

I quite enjoyed the first Sherlock Holmes, even if it retained very little of the pure cerebral charm of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels and short stories. I get that it’s the 21st century, so big explosions are par for the course. What carried the first movie for me was pacing, good dialogue, and of course Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law.

A Game of Shadows looks like it’ll retain those key ingredients, which alone means it will be entertaining. What may take this one to the next level is the introduction of Professor James Moriarty, the Joker of 19th century fictional villainy. I didn’t recognize him at first but that’s Jared Harris (Lane Pryce from Mad Men) as Moriarity. Good show, old chap!

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

That’s right people, you’ve now allowed three of these abominations to be made. For shame, America, for shame.

I’m still holding out hope for the fourth and final movie — Alvin and the Chipmunks: Roadkill. That should earn Jason Lee his long deserved Oscar nod.

Underworld: Awakening

Pay attention, Twilight fans. This is how you do a damn vampire movie. Minimal brooding, actual emotion, strong lead characters (female ones no less!), and no fucking body glitter.

Of course, with no Viktor or Lucian this will probably be a step down for the Underworld series. Still, no fucking vampire baseball.

Trailer Trash

Trailer Trash — Straw Dogs, Real Steel, and Happy Feet Two

Trailer Trash

I don’t have time to go to the movies much any more. So instead I’m going to just review some new and upcoming films based solely on their trailers. Because let’s face it, most movies only have about two or three minutes’ worth of good material anyway.

Straw Dogs

Well now doesn’t this look perfectly life-affirming? Kids, the moral of the story here is that no good can ever come from having a hot wife (Kate Bosworth in this case) and then moving into a secluded house in a hick town with said wife. You’d think James Marsden would know better, since this is almost the same thing that happened in the original 1971 film starring Dustin Hoffman.

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Fall TV Preview Madness! (ABC, 1974)

1974 ABC logo

In Fall TV Preview Madness, I present a network television schedule preview special from the distant past. We see the good, bad, and ugly for a network’s entire upcoming fall slate.

This is it folks, the shows everyone will be talking about at the water cooler and the Twitter this fall. Let’s get right to it — it’s the ABC lineup for 1974!

Good things are coming to ABC in ’74! Like their Daytime lineup of General Hospital, One Life to Live, and All My Children. And don’t forget The Brady Bunch and wacky game shows like Password, Let’s Make a Deal, Split Second, The New $10,000 Pyramid, The Newlywed Game, plus the human drama of The Girl in My Life.

On Funshine Saturday it’s time for outrageous family fun with Hong Kong Phooey, The New Adventures of Gilligan, Devlin, Korg, 70,000 B.C., and These Are the Days. And let’s not forget 14 new After School Specials!

Thanks to ABC Sports you won’t miss a minute of the action with shows like The Superstars, International Race of Champions, The American Sportsman, Wide World of Sports, and NFL Monday Night Football.

And last but not least, there’s ABC’s unforgettable Prime Time lineup featuring The Odd Couple, The Streets of San Francisco, Happy Days, The Rookies, Marcus Welby, M.D., That’s My Mama, Harry O, Paper Moon, Nakia, Everything Money Can’t Buy, Kodiak, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Sonny Comedy Revue, Get Christie Love!, The New Land, The Texas Wheelers, and Where’s the Fire?.

When we say “What you see on ABC this fall you’ll be talking about tomorrow” we mean it. Watch ABC in 1974 and see for yourself!

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Trailer Trash — Red Tails, Johnny English Reborn, and The Ides of March

Trailer Trash

I don’t have time to go to the movies much any more. So instead I’m going to just review some new and upcoming films based solely on their trailers. Because let’s face it, most movies only have about two or three minutes’ worth of good material anyway.

Red Tails

Whoa, did that guy just say “negroes”? Is that even allowed in a movie anymore? Well anyway, this looks pretty good even if you have already seen Glory or The Tuskegee Airmen (the latter of which also had Cuba Gooding, Jr.).

Johnny English Reborn

Ugh. Can’t we just get Mike Myers to make another Austin Powers movie or something? I promise to forget that Goldmember ever existed.  Anything to avoid watching Mr. Bean in this travesty. I mean really, groin kicks?

The Ides of March

Ah yes, it’s time for serious George Clooney again. I don’t know, I really want to like his pet projects more than I usually do (*COUGH*Good Night, and Good Luck*COUGH*), so I’ll probably give this one a shot. I’ll even put up with a little Ryan Gosling if it gets me a lot of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti.

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What Would Don Draper Do?

I love you, internet: What Would Don Draper Do?

What Would Don Draper Do?What Would Don Draper Do?What Would Don Draper Do?


Now you too can be just like Mad Men‘s Don Draper!

(via Oatmeal)

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Trailer Trash — 13 Assassins, Thor, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I don’t have time to go to the movies much any more. So instead I’m going to just review some new and upcoming films based solely on their trailers. Because let’s face it, most movies only have about two or three minutes’ worth of good material anyway.

13 Assassins (Jûsan-nin no shikaku)

I don’t care if I have to bring my reading glasses, this looks cool. I can’t help but think that this is a just a Samurai version of 300 (this…is… Kyoto!!!) but that’s cool. Lots of yelling, swordplay, and explosions. What’s not to love?


OK, is there a movie that Natalie Portman isn’t in this year? Thor was probably my favorite comic book character growing up — I followed him with slavish devotion both in his solo series and as part of the Avengers — so there’s already some built-in goodwill toward this movie. And yet I just can’t get all the excited about it. It certainly looks like it’ll be good and of course the special effects are outstanding, but am I the only one getting a little worn down by all these comic franchises hitting the big screen over the last decade? Or maybe I’m just not feeling Chris Hemsworth as the Norse God of Thunder yet.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Oh James Franco, when will you ever learn? Didn’t your dad invent a serum to bring humankind to the next level of his development? I seem to recall that not working out so well, don’t you? But here you are again, monkeying around with super science (see what I did there?). I’m guessing this won’t end well either. Also, apes, please don’t hurt Draco Malfoy OK?

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Katherine Heigl as Izzie Stevens (Grey's Anatomy)

Just Shut Up! — 7 Television Characters I’d Like to Smack

Katherine Heigl as Izzie Stevens (Grey's Anatomy)

Harriet Brindle (Small Wonder) — On a show already full of loathsome characters, Harriet was especially rage-inducing. Watching this show as a pre-teen was one of my first times experiencing true hate. All I remember thinking every time she opened her yap was that I wanted to go to college, become a theoretical physicist, invent a machine that would allow me to travel inside a television, and then smack the freckles off her smug little face. Although I suppose it’s to Emily Schulman‘s credit that she was able to make Vicki the frigging robot seem appealing by comparison.

(skip to about the 2:30 mark and feel the hate flowing through you)

Josh Radnor as Ted MosbyTed Mosby (How I Met Your Mother) — I’ve been watching HIMYM from the first season, but have always felt that there was just a certain little something that’s prevented me from really connecting to the show, which is otherwise one of the more well-written and acted comedies around. And I think the answer is Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor). Ted’s entire vibe just screams “New York Douchebag” to me, and not in an endearing way. He’s as whiny and arrogant as Ross from Friends, but without an ounce of the latter’s underlying pathos and humanity.

The premise of the series is that we’re being presented with years’ worth of flashbacks taking place now, all leading up to Mosby meeting his future wife and mother of his children. But I’ve gotten to the point where I actively root against the guy and hope it’s all just some middle-aged delusion, and that he’s actually still single into his 50s and serving out a prison term for dealing pot out of his apartment.

Denny and IzzieIzzie Stevens (Grey’s Anatomy) — This was a tough call. After all, there’s so much to hate about George O’Malley, but at least his character had the good taste to die off. And of late, Callie Torres has really been laying the groundwork for becoming the most unlikeable character on the show. But I still hold out hope for some redemption there.

The specter of Izzie, meanwhile, lingers in the corridors of Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital like a wet fart trapped in corduroy pants. Kudos to the show’s writers for finding a way to make a character who was cheated on, lost her boyfriend to a stroke, and then developed Stage IV melanoma so utterly unlikeable.

I suppose part of my blind hatred of Izzie is wrapped up in Katherine Heigl’s very public verbal slapfight with show creator Shonda Rhimes. But I think that even if I didn’t know how much trouble Heigl was willing to cause in order to get more time to make shitty romantic comedies, I’d still hate her.

Dennis Mitchell (Dennis the Menace) — Call me old before my time, but even when I was a lad not much older than Jay North I totally empathized with the eternally put-upon Mr. Wilson. I would’ve given my entire allowance to see him snap, just once, and give that little turd the throttling he so rightly deserved.

The entire cast of Gilmore Girls — Except Luke (Scott Patterson). He seemed like a pretty decent guy, and the only person who wasn’t a shrill, soulless caricature of a human being.

Gilmore Girls cast

Now that’s more like it!

Dr. Jim Taggart (Eureka) — I like Matt Frewer, honestly. And I could handle the forced quirkiness of Taggart’s character. But every time he opens his mouth, out spills the worst Australian accent ever (outside those horrendous Outback Steakhouse spots), and I want to travel back to the 18th century and sink the ships bringing the first British prisoners to the continent.

Marina Sirtis as Deanna TroiDeanna Troi (Star Trek: The Next Generation) — The easy and popular choice would’ve been Wesley Crusher, but as much as I enjoy a good “Worf stuffs Wesley into a photon torpedo tube and presses the launch button” joke, at least Wesley’s character made sense. Usually.

But Troi? Troi was not only annoying, she was also useless. Picard typically used her to help figure out if some alien ambassador or leader was lying, but the crew still ended up getting caught in the middle of some ancient political bullshit anyway. Her empathic abilities also made her particularly vulnerable to mind control, which was always a huge hindrance.

But the biggest beef I have with Counselor Troi (Marina Sirtis) is that I knew I could count on an appearance by her mother, Lwaxana (Majel Barrett-Roddenberry), at least once a season. I usually spent those episodes in a sort of catatonic state, and my only relief came when I imagined both of them getting accidentally sucked out of a shuttle bay into the cold, inky vacuum of space.

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Trailer Trash

Trailer Trash — Arthur, Source Code, and Hop

I don’t have time to go to the movies much any more. So instead I’m going to just review some new and upcoming films based solely on their trailers. Because let’s face it, most movies only have about two or three minutes’ worth of good material anyway.


Ah Hollywood, always perfectly tuned into the needs and feelings of American moviegoers. I can imagine that with unemployment still rampant and people scraping by just to keep from getting kicked out of their homes in record numbers, there’s nothing people want to see more than a feel-good comedy about a spoiled — and possibly mentally challenged — man-child (Russell Brand) flaunt his wealth for a few hours. Oh, but he’s really a good guy so I guess it’s OK. Whatever.

I never got around to seeing the original Arthur with Dudley Moore, and I will probably never see this one either. I didn’t laugh once during this trailer, even though the idea of donning the Bat-suit and tooling around in the Batmobile is pretty cool.

Source Code

Combine a dash of The Matrix, a pinch of Total Recall, and a huge friggin’ fistful of Memento and I guess you get Source Code. Jake Gyllenhaal has to relive the last eight minutes of some dead guy’s life over and over in order to figure out who exploded a bomb aboard a train in Chicago and to help prevent an even bigger attack, but instead he falls in love with a woman (Michelle Monaghan) and wants to spend taxpayer money to save her. Even though she’s already dead. And even though I’m guessing she’s either the mastermind of the first train bombing or otherwise linked in some way that will rock Gyllenhaal’s world during a dramatic, slo-mo reveal scene. Yawn.


Telling me this movie is from the creators of Despicable Me doesn’t make me want to see it. Telling me this movie is directed by the same guy who did Alvin and the Chipmunks most definitely doesn’t make me want to see it. Those are ugly, CGI abominations, and Hop looks like one too. And making the Easter Bunny — sorry, E.B. — sound like the Geico gecko doesn’t really help either (thanks again, Russell Brand). Oh look, he poops jelly beans, har har! *head slap*

OK, maybe adding David Hasselhoff helps. A little. But mostly this thing looks like complete dreck, cynically targeted at families. Naturally this means it will pull in at least $150 million.

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Movies That Defined My Youth, Part 3

Waaaay back in 2007 I looked back at five flicks that made a big impact on me during my formative years. The next year I ran through four more. And today I drag out another five. Let’s reminisce!

Better Off Dead (1985) — There is not one part of this movie that isn’t 100% awesome, even more than 25 years later. This Savage Steve Holland masterpiece was perfectly cast and written, which makes its more surreal vignettes feel like integral parts of the movie instead of just absurd asides. It never really sunk in when I was a kid that this was a pretty dark film. Hell, the lead character (John Cusack as Lane Meyer) spends most of the it trying to kill himself. Over a breakup. Fortunately he fails and gets to see an Eddie Van Halen-esque hamburger wailing a Frankenstrat to “Everybody Wants Some!!”? Genius.

Cusack reportedly told Holland that Better Off Dead was, “the worst thing I have ever seen. I will never trust you as a director ever again, so don’t speak to me.” I wonder what he said to the guy who directed Martian Child?

Stand By Me (1986) — Hey, more John Cusack! Well, with or without him, is this not one of the greatest movies ever? And fellas, how many of you said to yourself as you watched this, “man, my friends suck compared to these kids”?

Rob Reiner could do no wrong in the ’80s, and it certainly helped that he had great source material to work with here (Stephen King’s short story “The Body”). All I know is that between him and the cast, I was absolutely transported to Castle Rock, Oregon in the summer of 1959. I felt like I was in that clubhouse playing cards and looking at nudie magazines. And I was there when Gordie, Chris, Teddy, and Vern busted their asses to find that dead kid’s body.

I really wish I had skipped out on that last part. Still, great movie and another one I cherish to this day.

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