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Reviews from the trailer park

By John Fitzgerald

With the long break on the horizon, we didn’t want you to feel lost when it came to movies. Instead of supplying a general list, we decided to look at a few of the trailers for holiday releases and judge them on those two minutes alone. We might be way off or we might hit the bull’s-eye, but either way, these are the some of the films you have to look forward to while on vacation.

“Slumdog Millionaire”

This one has been out in limited release in different parts of the world since Aug. 30, but of course, not here. I never would have guessed this one would be good. It’s about a boy in Mumbai playing the Hindi version of “Who Wants to be A Millionaire?” and I can’t wait to see it. It looks funny, serious, thought-provoking and like a film that might take home an Oscar. Director Danny Boyle is really good when he’s on and really bad when he’s off. This one looks great. 12/12/08


Keep your eye out for this one. This trailer looks so good that I didn’t finish watching it, out of fear that I might see too much of a film I can’t wait to see. Phillip Seymour Hoffman looks as good as ever and Meryl Streep is one of the best in the business. It looks dark, complex and there might be a few twists. Director John Patrick Shanley hasn’t directed many films, but he’s been in the business long enough to know this could be an award-winner if he plays his cards right. I have no reason to doubt his work or the fine actors in his movie. 12/25/08


This one has been in limited release since Dec. 5, but Utah will have to wait just a bit longer. Ever since I saw the trailer for this, I knew it would be at least a good movie. Ron Howard rarely disappoints in the director’s chair and Frank Langella is such an underrated actor that this one might have Oscar written all over it. The performances look powerful and real, and as hard as biopics are to pull off, I think this one has a good shot. 12/25/08

“Revolutionary Road”

It’s been in limited release for a few weeks already, but again, not here. The trailer for this film is entrancing and the sound fits the story very well. The pacing seems slow but deliberate, and when the pacing is slow on purpose, great things can happen. The subject might not appeal to a very broad audience8212;it does to me8212;but I can almost guarantee two great performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. I would not be surprised if both of them get Oscar nods for this film. It’s more than likely. 1/16/09


Director Steven Soderbergh is always hit or miss for me, and this looks as though it will be a miss. The subject of revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara looks too big to put on the big screen. I’m not suggesting that it can’t be done, I’m just suggesting it won’t be done here. The ratio of biopics that turn out to be good compared to those that turn out mediocre would suggest this one will more than likely be the latter. However, if I’m wrong and it does do well, it won’t be because of Soderbergh8212;it will be because of Benicio Del Toro as Che. 1/24/09

“Chop Shop”

Haven’t heard of this one? That’s because it came out in select cities on May 21, 2007. I included it here because its distribution wasn’t wide, but it looks fantastic. It’s on track for a regular release sometime soon, and if you pay close attention, you’ll more than likely hear more about it. The trailer looks great and I’m almost positive the film will be also. It has the “City of God” feel to it, only instead of being in the favelas of Brazil, it’s right in the Big Apple’s front yard. TBD

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