Trailer Mash

'New Year's Eve' meets 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' in our weekly movie-preview mashup

Guantanomo-minded scientists have long experimented with reality-distorting combinations of visual and aural sensory input to provoke emetic reactions so powerful they can turn a human stomach inside out. A highly successful trial was conducted last year with the trailer for the movie Valentine's Day. A new attempt, the trailer for New Year's Eve, surpasses its predecessor on every level. The final shot of Robert De Niro's pay-day death mask as he recites the line "Nothing beats New York on New Year's Eve" is especially cruel on a night when national suicide rates peak.

Fat or thin? Thin or fat? Truth is, we don't want Jonah Hill thin. Fat's good on him. He moves it around funny, he rolls his eyes in it funny, and in Adventures in Babysitting reboot The Sitter, the animating presence inside of him genuinely rejoices at the doughy material it has to work with. Speaking of which, he even manages to make a ghastly bit about a white boy getting down with an ice-cool old black man seem funny. In other news, Elizabeth Shue is taking over from Marge Helgenberger in CSI.

You know when Bruce Willis has hair? Not a good sign. In Catch .44, Bruce has hair. From that wisp of information, you already know he'll be chewing on a cigarette, wearing an open floral shirt, waving a gun, and smirking at a girl young enough to be his granddaughter. This is one of those ensemble trailers by the end of which you've forgotten who was there at the beginning. "Why, look, it's Oscar winner Forest Whitaker. I quite forgot he is in this." Malin Akerman, meanwhile, is turning into Helen Hunt.

Despite the names Carla Gugino and Sasha Grey on the cast list, the trailer for I Melt With You seems to miss an opportunity by focusing almost exclusively on its four male leads. We are told that Jeremy Piven (b. 1965), Thomas Jane (b. 1969), Christian McKay (b. 1973), and Rob Lowe (b. 1913) were all at school together at the same time, and apparently made a pact that may or may not have a devastating effect on their regular bouts of drug bingeing and male introspection. On the website there's also a featurette with an irritating typo that rather detracts from a gloomy Jeremy Piven voiceover ripe for parody were it not so tedious.

Full disclosure: Recently sat in an extremely comfortable cinema for the entire duration of the new Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy movie. Remained awake for less of it than the running time of its trailer, in which we we learn that Gary Oldman does a better Alec Guinness impersonation than Ewan McGregor, that Tomas Alfredson should probably attempt a fresh decade next time, and that there are a lot of very good English actors with interesting faces and teeth.

What there certainly are not enough of are brilliant films starring Charlize Theron. The trailer for Young Adult, about a writer who returns to her hometown to steal her old flame from his new wife, certainly does not presume to redress this lamentable situation. On the plus side, she's in it at all, Patton Oswalt is in it, and playing the female sex object, as usual, Patrick Wilson. Remember that recent Cameron Diaz comedy? This looks like it might be Bad Writer.

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