Trailer Mash

Reviewing the previews for this week's opening movies

In the latest CGI nostalgia dredger, some supervillain loser from a video game declares, "We can't change who we are." But the message of Wreck-It Ralph is, of course, the exact opposite, and Ralph, a kind of lumberjack version of Donkey Kong, is the video-game cliché to prove it. The voice is supplied by John C. Reilly, a good choice since this movie reflects his own career: Once a low-rent tough guy in movies such as P.T. Anderson's unsurpassed debut Hard Eight, he's now Bob Hoskins. Sarah Silverman is in there, too, as an irritating little girl with a potty mouth and an annoying voice.

List all the things your average spotty 17-year-old boy living with his parents loves almost as much as internet porn: RZA, Quentin Tarantino, Lucy Liu, Kung Fu, video-game references, John Woo tribute videos … They're all in this trailer for The Man with the Iron Fists, and by 17-year-old boy, what is meant is, 35-year-old man who should know better.

You are familiar with people who, because they occasionally make intelligent utterances, are also under the illusion that they are terribly funny? One day, during some variant on the game "Unlikely Juxtapositions," one of them formed the sentence, "Robert Smith of the Cure, Nazi Hunter." By some process of elimination, a bunch of people devolved this into a Robert Zemeckis movie. The trailer for This Must Be the Place is the most sinister self-regarding three minutes of video you may ever see.

Listed in order of importance, the things most people who aren't French know about Vanessa Paradis are: a) she is the ex-Mrs. Johnny Depp; b) she sang the Gainsbourg-esque chanson "Joe Le Taxi"; and c) Er… Turns out she is a formidable portrayer of formidable mothers of children with learning difficulties who fall in hopeless love with other children with learning difficulties. At least, that is the story of this trailer for Café de Flore. But there's a nagging sense there is more to the movie than that, which is precisely the sensation a good trailer should provoke. Seemingly irresistible. Utterly so.

What do you do when you hang up your superhero tights? Maybe you track down indie roles with a weird twist, and perhaps sneak in a couple references to the most reviled moments in your last film? That, at least, seems to be the agenda of Toby Maguire in The Details, at least according to the YouTube cognoscenti. Based on the trailer, it's a bit hard to argue.

What kind of a world will it be without Tony Scott directing Denzel Washington? Perhaps not all that different. Not wishing to undermine the achievements of Man on Fire and Unstoppable, Denzel recently starred in the rather brilliant and very Tony Scott-like spy thriller Safe House, and now we have Flight, in which he plays the heroic pilot who saves a passenger jet from totaling after it goes into a nose dive. Which sounds quite Tony Scott, too. One thing you can say for sure about Flight. No one will be watching it on a flight, at least according to this trailer.