by Curt Holman
Here's a round-up of four new movie trailers that were released in the past week, along with a slightly older one that, for some reason, I hadn't seen (or even heard mention of) before yesterday.
SPEED RACER (May 9)
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The Wachowski brothers, who directed The Matrix and its sequels (and wrote and produced V For Vendetta) return with this live-action animated version of the famed Japanese import cartoon. Clearly the hyperstylish colors and art direction will be the focus here: It's hard to tell whether it'll be a delightful kitschy family fantasy like Spy Kids, or instead a freakish hybrid of Tom Cruise's Days of Thunder and a video-game movie like Super Mario Brothers. I'm kind of impressed that they're keeping Sprytle and Chim-Chim.
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN (May 16)
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This follow-up to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe looks more martial and less magical than its predecessor -- but presumably many of the CGI beasties won't be completed until later. Incidentally, I re-watched the first Narnia movie with my daughter and felt it held up reasonably well, particularly compared to the rushed awkwardness of The Golden Compass. I wonder how "Christian" it'll be?
SEX AND THE CITY: THE MOVIE (May 30)
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I was never a big fan of the HBO show. I never could get past the horrible writing of Sarah Jessica Parker's voice-over narration (a taste of which you get here) but this will clearly be the big movie of May for people who aren't interested in above two films, (or Iron Man or Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). I like the use of the song "Fever," but otherwise this is the kind of trailer that only tells you "There is a movie opening called Sex and the City."
DR. SEUSS' HORTON HEARS A WHO (March 14)
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The idea of Jim Carrey returning to Dr. Seuss after his version of The Grinch excites me no more than his reunion with his Bruce Almighty co-star Steve Carell. I have to admit, though, that the 3-D character animation looks like a spot-on homage to Dr. Seuss' drawing style, so I'm getting interested in spite of myself. Then again, the plots of children's picture books usually creak and buckle in the expansion to feature-film length.
HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO (April 25)
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This isn't just a "Red-Band," or R-rated, movie trailer, but possibly the most raunchy, vulgar, not-work-safe trailer I've ever seen. The previous film, Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, was a dumb, gross comedy, but funnier and more pointed than the likes of the American Pie sequels. By ramping up the political satire, the sequel looks like it could be cartoonishly amusing.