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Rating the Trailers

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As siren songs for audiences, trailers can give a movie early heat or throw cold water over its box office bid. Is it fair to judge a film by its most exciting two minutes? Of course not! So here goes:

Independence Day A techie heralds a ”signal from another world,” and in seconds, it’s clear he’s not talking about a soap. The earth rattles, crowds watch in awe as a mammoth spaceship casts a shadow over several cities (this summer’s best low-tech effect), and the White House explodes under alien attack. Cool. A+

The Cable Guy No easy sell, but the trailer deftly mixes the flick’s comedic and frightful colors. Even Carrey’s lisp is funny and menacing. A-

Dragonheart Is it just us, or does that Sean Connery-voiced dragon look about as lifelike as Buzz Lightyear? At least the clip doesn’t divulge the ending; it doesn’t divulge much plot, either. D

Mission: Impossible ”This is your mission should you choose to accept it” — then Lalo Schifrin’s familiar theme music begins and Tom Cruise’s feet barely touch the ground. He rides on top of a train, leaps for a flying helicopter, and cannonballs through a tunnel. Just when you think it can’t get more inviting, there’s a glimpse of Vanessa Redgrave. A

The Nutty Professor Anything that has audiences saying ”Eddie Murphy’s still funny” deserves an A.

Striptease Reynolds, ready for love in his shorts and cowboy boots, has ’em cheering, and Moore is fetching in her sequined bra, but for a comedy, this tease seems short on laughs. B-

A Very Brady Sequel More footage of Hawaii (the film’s locale) would have been better. Instead, Paramount spoofs the Independence Day trailer, a good joke without a punchline. Firebombing the White House is one thing; firebombing the Bradys’ house would have sent boomers into therapy. C

The Summer Movie Preview was edited by Mark Harris and written by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh, Kristen Baldwin, Jess Cagle, Steve Daly, Jeff Gordinier, A.J. Jacobs, Dave Karger, Dana Kennedy, Gregg Kilday, Kate Meyers, Chris Nashawaty, Jessica Shaw, Benjamin Svetkey, Anne Thompson, and Jeffrey Wells.