Trailer Blazer: 'Lions for Lambs,' Things We Lost..., 'Kite Runner'

Three fall movie trailers, which have me respectively feeling: (A) nada; (B) mixed emotions; and (C) the excited tinglies.

Lions for Lambs (Nov. 9) It doesn’t get much more Oscar-bait-y than Meryl Streep starring in a Robert Redford-directed political drama about the war in Afghanistan and its implications in Washington and the world of academia. So how come the trailer plays so stiff and turgid? Lines like, "What is relevant is the implementation of a new strategy" don’t help, but the thing that’s really bogging me down is Tom Cruise’s performance as a powerful U.S. senator. Take his big, hoo-hah question to Streep’s reporter: "Do you wanna win the war on terror? Yes or no? This is the quintessential yes-or-no question of our time. Yes or no?" Doesn’t he deliver this in almost the same exact tone that he once asked Matt Lauer, "Do you know what Aderol is? Do you know Ritalin? Do you know now that Ritalin is a street drug? Do you understand that?" Maybe my perception’s been thrown off by the photo of Cruise dirty dancing with Katie Holmes in that copy of Us that I accidentally bought last night — yes, accidentally! it can happen! — but I can’t take "Serious Cruise" seriously anymore.

Things We Lost in the Fire (Oct. 26) Halle Berry needs a good movielike I need my early-morning Diet Coke. Which is to say, desperately.Will this drama about a widow who invites her late hubby’s long-timefriend (fellow Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro) to move in with her (andher kids) provide the needed caffeine career boost? It’shard to tell, based on this trailer. I just hope they don’t end updoing the horizontal mambo. I mean, think about it: Your dead bestfriend’s wife/dead husband’s best friend? Skeezy!

The Kite Runner (Nov. 2) Okay, so this adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’sbest-seller just has to be good, right? I mean, not even Hollywoodexecs could mess up a book this riveting, right? Relative unknownKhalid Abdalla takes the pivotal role of Amir, while FindingNeverland‘s Marc Forster directs, and while I’m pre-programmed to lovethis one, the two minutes of footage here look lush and evocative —just the way I hoped they would.

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  • MAC

    OOOOH I can’t wait for Kiterunner!

  • Strepsi

    I REALLY hope EW does a mean-spirited piece about Oscar-bait movies. A good movie is good movie, but these are so — “pre-programmed”is a good word Michael — for Oscar it is a total turn-off. Historical bios, accents, uglification, based on novels, wall-to-wall A-list actors, SHOUTING and EMOTING? things like Lions for Lambs, or All The King’s Men? I am so glad it failed. What’s worse, thanks to Ghandi, LOTR and Titanic, everyone thinks an Oscar movie has to be 3-4 hours long. I think that, after a summer of refreshingly GOOD blockbusters, this year’s Oscar season, late-fall pileup of bloated A-list crap will sit there and stink up empty theatres. I hope I’m wrong though: and, hypocrite that I am, I’m alol over Kite Runner ;)

  • Nuchy

    You’re right about Tom Cruise. But was there a point where you could take him seriously? Plus, he’s just so bland.

  • Matthew

    Kite Runner.
    NEED TO SEE.
    Looks amazing.

  • dma

    Lions For Lambs looks interesting, but seeing TC ruined it for me. I simply can’t take him seriously. TC was always a bland actor, long before the the couch-jumping/”You’re Glib” moments. Redford and Streep can eat him for breakfast.

  • Anonymous

    Tom Cruise may be crazy, but theres no denying hes a good actor…. Jerry Maguire? A Few Good Men? Rain Man?…. i think the fact that people hate him so much gets in the way of the fact that he is a pretty good actor and i can not wait to see this movie

  • Dominique L.

    Is it me or does Things We Lost in the Fire sound like a dramatic version of Catch & Release (this is based on the trailer, I haven’t seen C&R)

  • GingerCat

    I always thought Tom Cruise, as an actor, was bland and plastic, but now that his personality has gone off the rails, it’s difficult to believe him in any role. I may catch his films on cable if I have any interest in them, but I won’t be paying to see them. I just don’t like him and never really have.

  • KingLouieXVIII

    I think Tom Cruise gets a bad rap as an actor b/c everyone dislikes his personality. He’s turned out good performances in two of my favorite movies: THE LAST SAMURAI & MINORITY REPORT. Having said that, his new movie looks extremely boring. I really hope THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE is good. Both Halle and Benicio are great actors who both need a hit. As far as “Oscar Bait” movies go, I’m throwing my support to several movies and performances which already came out during the early months of they year: THE NAMESAKE – Best Movie, Director, Actress, & Supporting Actor
    MARGO MARTINDALE (PARIS JE T’AIME) – Supporting Actress
    KNOCKED UP – Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor
    I really hope these can give the fall releases a run for their money.

  • Howard

    Lisa Schwarzbaum had a great description of Cruise’s performance in “Dances with Samurai (aka Last Samurai)”: You’re watching Tom Cruise play Tom Cruise playing a samurai. Here, Cruise is just being glib.

  • anna

    I can’t wait for Lions for Lambs, I never missed a Cruise movies. He never disapoint and is always great, even in Cocktail. Everyone loves him, proof: he’s the most successful and famous actor in the world! and that’s not because of his great looks! Look at Pitt and Clooney box office near Tom: it’s bland.
    Good day!

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  • Liger2007

    I love Hosseini’s confrontation with pivotal issues that are still prevalent in Afghanistan today. Paramount Vantage, the studio producing the film, postponed the release date back six weeks in an attempt to ensure the safety of the young actors in the film. The controversial rape scene and the political unrest between the Hazara and Pashtun are showcased in the movie http://www.kiterunnermovie.com It is a shame that the very topics Hosseini discusses in his novel are still, obviously, present today – so much so that a mere independent film could potentially cause drastic ramifications in the Afghan community.

  • Liger2007

    I love Hosseini’s confrontation with pivotal issues that are still prevalent in Afghanistan today. Paramount Vantage, the studio producing the film, postponed the release date back six weeks in an attempt to ensure the safety of the young actors in the film. The controversial rape scene and the political unrest between the Hazara and Pashtun are showcased in the movie http://www.kiterunnermovie.com It is a shame that the very topics Hosseini discusses in his novel are still, obviously, present today – so much so that a mere independent film could potentially cause drastic ramifications in the Afghan community.

  • Dr. Sal

    About Afghanistan – In Pashto – Dari Languages ۲۸/۱۰/۲۰۰۷
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    مطالب و مسایل مطرح در افغانستان، پروسه و را ههای حل
    ( به مسؤلین امور در افغانستان)!
    جلالتماب محترم حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری دولت اسلامی افغانستان السلام علیکم و رحمه الله و برکاته،
    برادران و خواهران ګرامی سلام ها و احتراما ت خویش را خدمت شما و تمام مسوولین و مؤثر در امور افغانستان تقدیم میدارم.
    من طی چند نامه و تحلیل در رابطه به مسایل مطروحه در افغانستان و راه های حل آنها از طریق نامه ها با شما تماس حاصل نموده و نکات نظر خویش را با شما در میان ګذاشتم. متاسفانه حتی از وصول یکی از این نامه ها اطمینان حاصل نه کردم، چه رسد به ملاحظه و یا اشاره به محتوی آنها. فکر میکنم اداره ارتباط با مردم – ریاست جمهوری افغانستان که در جهان معمول هست، فعال نه میباشد. همچنان ممکن این نامه ها اصلا به شما مواصلت نه کرده که این هم قا

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