Trailer Trash

Handy planner for summer moviegoers. And avoiders.

By Steve Burgess 19 May 2006 | TheTyee.ca

Steve Burgess is a freelance writer and the author of Who Killed Mom?, published in 2011 by Greystone Books.

Born in Norwalk Ohio, home of the famous virus, Steve was raised in Regina, SK, and Brandon, MB. He writes a regular column for The Tyee, often reviewing films but also, sometimes, detailing his hilarious world travels for Tyee readers. Steve is a former CBC Radio host and has won two National Magazine Awards. He has also won three Western Magazine Awards.

Reporting Beat: Travel, pop culture, politics, cobbling, knife sharpening, furnace repair.

Twitter: @steveburgess1

Website: Steve Burgess

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'Vice' boys: The new Crockett and Tubbs.

Summer is near, and the trailers are coming out. Previews for upcoming summer blockbusters and wannabes are hitting the screens. A sampling of trailers recently seen, and what they might augur for future air-conditioned entertainment:

Superman Returns (June 30) -- The first trailer for this anticipated comic book epic showed up months ago, and it was a groaner -- basically, The Passion of the Superman. "I have given them you, my only son," the voice-over intones as a silhouetted Supe filled the screen. Yeesh. Whether the flick eventually aims for that Christian buck, the latest trailer at least downplays the religious metaphor in favour of more traditional superhero action. Very traditional, in fact -- the new trailer makes this one look very reminiscent of the first Christopher Reeve-starring effort from 1978. In fact, the now-deceased Marlon Brando actually returns from the grave (digitally) to reprise his earlier role as Jor-El, a.k.a. Super Dad. Bet he was easier to work with this time. Brandon Routh is the new Man 'o Steel, Kevin Spacey plays Lex Luthor, while X-Men director Bryan Singer dumps that fine franchise to climb the superhero pyramid. Do we really need another Superman, just like the other Superman? You decide, movie patron.

Click (June 23) -- Adam Sandler stars in the upcoming film Concept, about a concept that becomes a screenplay starring Jim Carrey, and another one starring Bill Murray, and finally this one starring Sandler, called Click. Sandler plays an ordinary man who gets caught up in a concept. This particular concept involves a remote device that can rewind time itself. Sandler uses the device to rewind to the time before Jim Carrey starred in Bruce Almighty and then he… but I'm giving too much away. (Note: I have already jumped ahead in time and know everything that is going to happen in this incredibly lame flick. So have you. So have we all.)

The Lake House (June 16) -- Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves find themselves in a lakeside concept with a nice view. The concept involves time-shifting. Somehow Adam Sandler has been eliminated from this one. Apparently there's a cottage, which both Bullock and Reeves occupy -- two years apart. And yet they can communicate with each other across time! Will they fall in love? Will Albert Einstein explain to the audience that it's all very possible, except for the part where Keanu Reeves tries to look emotional? Only the Laws of the Conceptual Universe can say.

Miami Vice (July 28) -- Director Michael Mann returns to the scene of his most successful crime, the pastel-hued TV series that helped define the 80s. Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx are the new Crockett and Tubbs. Memories are short -- the trailer plugs Mann as director of Collateral and Heat, rather than the old series conceived as MTV Cops. The trailer looks slick. Of course, trailers don't need plots. Mann is a good director but tales of trouble and badly behaved stars have surrounded this project. We'll see.

Pulse (July 14) -- A ghost story apparently in the Ring vein, about the dead finding an internet portal back to the land of the living. With no big stars, this is an attempt to slip in a sleeper summer hit. Unless they come from Japan these movies generally end up disappointing, but the trailer looks mildly promising. Could surprise. Probably won't.

Lady in the Water (July 21) -- A character from a bedtime story invades the real world of an American family, led by Paul Giamatti. Trailer big on mystery, light on info. The latest trick from trickster M. Night Shyamalan, for those who haven't tired of his previous tricks. Anybody?

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (August 4) -- Will Farrell in another Farrell-fest, this one set in the wonderful world of NASCAR. Anchorman on wheels, by the looks of it.

Steve Burgess is The Tyee's at-large culture critic.  [Tyee]

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