January 30, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 67  

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Trailers promise action, romance, drama

Ed. note: The following reviews focus specifically on trailers for movies set to hit theatres this year. Will they be as good as they promise? Only time will tell...

By Brent Carpenter
Gazette Staff

Starsky and Hutch
Directed by: Todd Phillips
Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Snoop Dogg

Nostalgia is in, and who better to play the title roles in this ’70s throwback flick than the “Starsky” and “Hutch” of modern Hollywood, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson?

It can’t hurt that everyone’s favorite self-promoter, Snoop Dogg, plays a pimp-turned-police informant called Huggy Bear, and Vince Vaughan sporting a handlebar mustache and pink leisure suit is the film’s heavy, Reese Feldman.

Directed by Todd Phillips (Road Trip; Old School), Starsky and Hutch is aimed at the same age demographic — late teens and early 20s — that gave his previous two comedies much of their bread and butter.

The trailer establishes what we’ve already come to expect from the Stiller-Wilson combo, which is that straight-arrow Starsky (“Where were you — I’ve been here since 8 a.m.!”) plays the uptight geek, while laid-back Hutch (“Really? I didn’t even know this place opened that early”) will make sure he stays that way. Opens Friday, Mar. 5. Sequel date TBA.

Jersey Girl
Directed by: Kevin Smith
Starring: Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, George Carlin, Jennifer Lopez

The trailer says Jersey Girl is “a story about the challenges that face us, and discovering the things that matter most.”

In this case, the key challenge faced by Miramax is to get everyone to forget about last year’s Bennifer catastrophe Gigli — a movie nobody saw but everyone seemed to hate — and to focus on the thing that matters most: in Jersey Girl, Lopez dies within the first 15 minutes. No magical lesbian reversals, no gobble-gobble — nothing.

This may sound like a pretty huge spoiler, but it’s actually something the marketing department is trying to make abundantly clear. Well aware that audiences are not interested in another schmaltzy B. Lo romantic comedy, the trailer reassures us that Jersey Girl will not rehash horrible Gigli memories.

It’ll be interesting to see how Smith fares in his first project outside the View Askew universe (Dogma, Chasing Amy, etc.). While Jersey Girl may not be the next Casablanca, it sure as hell won’t be the next Gigli. Opens Friday, Mar. 19.

The Lady Killers
Directed by: Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring: Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks is Goldthwait Higginson Dorr, a charlatan Southern professor straight out of a time warp who puts together a “skilled” group of young, modern thieves to rob a casino.

Unfortunately for the professor, his crew — Macsam, Pancake, Lump and The General — appears to lack the mental capacity to do the job (hint: one of them is Marlon Wayans).

They work out of a rented room in the house of an inquisitive, no-nonsense old woman (“Y’all no playin’ no hippity-hop!”) and soon find out that pulling off a successful heist is the least of their worries.

Anything Coen is worth checking-out, and the brothers have recently adopted more star-heavy casts, while remaining true to the strange subject matter that put them on everyone’s radar in the first place. Opens Friday, Mar. 26.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Directed by: Michel Gondry
Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet

Joel (Carrey) discovers that his girlfriend Clementine (Winslet), frustrated over their failing relationship, has undergone an experimental procedure in which all her memories of Joel have been erased.

Hurt, Joel reacts by undergoing the same procedure, during which time he decides he still loves her and wants to keep his memories intact.

Accordingly, he begins to stash memories of Clementine in certain recesses of his brain where she doesn’t belong, with the idea being that they will be overlooked by the experiment. This, however, leads to the alteration of other memories, the result of which is likely going to be far too involved to explain within the confines of this tiny space. The trailer promises a head-scratcher. Opens Friday, Mar. 19.



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