By Brian Beesley and Caitlin Beesley, Inland360.com
Another father-daughter discussion about our incentive to view soon-to-be released movies, based solely on their trailers. This week, we tackle “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” “Parker,” “Bullet to the Head” and “Identity Thief.” This is an edited version on an online chat we conducted Jan. 20.
Brian Beesley: Remember, we’re doing must see, might see and pass. What are your thoughts on “Hansel and Gretel”?Caitlin Beesley: Pass. I don’t remember any other modern fairy tale movies turning out to be big blockbusters and I’m a bit confused as to why they’ve done this one. The casting seems a bit dubious as well.
BB: I agree. Jeremy Renner looks bored in the trailer, like he’s regretting his decision to start acting in superhero movies.
CB: Plus his accent is different. That really gets my goat, using actors whose accents are all over the map — it’s distracting. If you’re gonna do a movie, cast the actors from the same area. Or else get actors who can fake said accents.
BB: A medieval movie about witch hunting that uses shotguns? I know it’s sci-fi, but that’s just dumb. It reminds me of “Snow White and the Huntsman,” another sci-fi fairy tale. Pass.
CB: I wouldn’t cast it in the same light as “Snow White.” They’re green-lighting movies based on what’s selling in Hollywood now. And I blame “Twilight.”
BB: Good point. What about “Parker”?
CB: Parker, Parker, Parker … ? It makes me think I should know who Parker is. But I don’t. Like he’s based on some famous literary figure or a TV show stud played by Pierce Brosnan in the 1980s. I suppose we’ll soon find out “Remington Steele” is being made into a movie.
BB: The title is confounding, I agree. My next reaction is, ugh, another revenge movie. You’re right about the “Steele” comparison — why cast a guy with a British accent in a thriller populated with Americans? Seems like a vehicle for Jason Statham, whose screen charisma escapes me. And Jennifer Lopez doesn’t add any attractant, either. Pass.
BB: “Bullet to the Head”?
CB: I couldn’t understand anything Sylvester Stallone said in this trailer. Has he had a stroke, or has his Bronx accent just been boosted by something?
BB: I’m afraid that’s just his style. It’s time for Sly to quit the action-hero genre, put on 50 pounds and try his hand at quirky secondary-character roles, like he did in “Cop Land.”
CB: He looks a bit strange here, like a caricature of those super-muscular guys who’ve now entered their 50s.
BB: The film’s also reminiscent of the premise in “Taken” with Liam Neeson — former trained killer’s daughter is kidnapped and he has to rescue her and extract his vengeance. I noticed this movie was directed by Walter Hill, who back in the day did “48 HRS,” the original buddy cop movie. Maybe he’s going back to the well.
CB: “48 HRS”? Never heard of it.
BB: “48 HRS” starred Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte. It was a winner, trust me.
Caitlin: The whole thing about his daughter — who could win a Golden Raspberry award for her two lines from the trailer — getting kidnapped smelled heavily of “Taken,” which was not that great a movie either. Pass.
CB: Me too.
BB: OK. Last one, “Identity Thief.” Looks amusing but predictable. I do like the main actors, Jason Bateman and Mellisa McCarthy. They’re entertaining. Might see.
CB: Might see for me. Both actors are great. I was upset that McCarthy’s didn’t win the Oscar for “Bridesmaids” last year (as funny as that sounds) but it kinda looks like now that she’s gotten big, she’s selling out. No pun intended.
BB: The premise is believable, to a point.
CB: Hmm … not too sure a movie about a guy traveling across the country to track down the person who stole his identity is that plausible.
BB: You’re right. I have to say it reminds me of “Due Date,” another rather implausible movie built around a comedic angle. All four of these films seem derivative to me, which makes me wonder how desperate Hollywood must be for new stories. So, three passes and a might see for you?
CB: Yep. Kind of a dud this week.
Brian Beesley is the production editor of 360. His daughter, Caitlin Beesley, is a college student.