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Trailer Park

By chicago_chris in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 18, 2004 5:37PM

2004_08_movies_lifeaqautic.jpg After all of the craptacular cinema from the last few months, Chicagoist is definitely ready to get the fall (and the Oscar party) started. I mean, what do the multiplexes have to offer right now, Alien Vs. Predator? "No matter who wins, we lose." Damn right. (See McSweeney's Internet Tendency for a funny take on that epic battle.) Entertainment Weekly's Fall Movie Preview issue, that guilty pleasure among guilty pleasures, and the recent barrage of trailers for the award season's line-up, have us really excited for what's to come. In the past day, we've seen trailers for The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, I Heart Huckabee's, and Sideways all hit the web. So here is Chicagoist's Fall Movie Preview (far less glossy and pleasurable than EW, mind you) of these three hotly anticipated (by us, at least) films by three hot young directors...

In Chicagoist's eyes, Wes Anderson has yet to make a bad film. There's just something about his perfectly symmetrical medium shots, quirky characters, and deadpan sense of humor that appeals to us. It looks like he aims to take every genre of film and turn it into one of his little whimsical funhouses: Bottle Rocket was a crime film, Rushmore a coming-of-age story, Royal Tenenbaums a family drama, and now The Life Aquatic is an adventure film. An adventure film that features claymation by Henry Selick, that is. This one has an expectedly brilliant cast, featuring some of the Tenenbaums crew (Bill Murray – essentially playing Jacques Cousteau!, Owen Wilson, Angelica Houston) and new additions to the Anderson Repertory (Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, and, most excitingly, Jeff Goldblum). The trailer gives us more hope than ever, with New Order and David Bowie songs on the soundtrack and lines like, "What would be the scientific purpose of killing the shark?" "Revenge." Best movie ever, man.

David O. Russell's I Heart Huckabee's (yes, that's really the title) – his first film since 1999's Three Kings – is described by its tagline as "an existential comedy." Um, okay. And after watching the trailer, we don't understand it much more; it somehow involves detectives, a department store, and a whole lot of New Age philosophizing. But Chicagoist only cares that it stars Lily Tomlin (amazing in Russell's Flirting With Disaster), Naomi Watts, Jude Law, Max Fish... er, Jason Schwartzman, and the lovely Isabelle Huppert. Mark Wahlberg's there, too, but at least he gave one of his few decent performances in Three Kings. (Marky Mark just needs the proper direction. See Boogie Nights. No, really, see it.) Also to its credit, Russell is quite a talent, and the movie had one of the most genuinely bizarre teaser trailers in recent memory.

Sideways, Alexander Payne's, latest looks like it continues his progression toward drama with funny moments, after beginning his career with more straightforward comedy accented by drama. Tonally, this road trip through wine country looks to most closely resemble Payne's previous work, About Schmidt, and even seems to have some of the hallmarks from that film, namely a fight in a parking lot and a scene in a hot tub. (Although this one – thankfully – doesn't feature a naked Kathy Bates.) Payne, finally, has cast his wife, the sublime Sandra Oh, and she will surely work wonders, especially alongside Paul Giamatti, that leading man in a character actor's body. The trailer certainly has enough wonderful moments ("The Day After Yesterday." "You mean… Today.") to make us forgive the "Miles... away from home" pun. But Chicagoist has been guily of some bad puns ourselves...

What else are you looking forward to seeing this fall?