Invasion of the Trailers

Haven’t done this in a while, and with the trailer release this week for what could be 2012’s two biggest movies, this is as good a place as any to grade some trailers for upcoming movies:

DARK KNIGHT RISES

The Internet seems to be working just fine, thanks, after the bootleg trailer for Dark Knight Rises leaked online over the weekend after being attached to Mission: Impossible, and then kept working Monday when the trailer got an official release. Barely. But us nerds managed to play nice and only watch the trailer five times each so that the whole Internet didn’t crash. You’re welcome. What didn’t keep working, however, was sanity as people went off their rocker saying how awesome the trailer is. It’s good, not great. It’s special, but not game-changing. It gets me excited for July 20, but not “can’t sleep at night” excited. It reviews very few plot details (duh) other than we know Commissioner Gordon may be on his way out, apparently the Harvey Dent for DA Memorial token political story of the movie. We hear Anne Hathaway in about five lines already be boundlessly more interesting than Michelle Pfieffer’s version of Selina Kyle. But we wanted more. But we still don’t know much about super villain Bane, or what kind of roles the back-up people and Christopher Nolan Players like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard have. Or if there is any kind of resolution to the Lucius Fox situation. Or … oh, forget it. The trailer doesn’t give away anything. What, you were expecting it would? But it’s still pretty darn cool. One problem — the CGI? We know Heinz Field wasn’t destroyed in the making of this movie. Hines Ward’s (that’s actually him btw) footsteps cannot level a playing field to create a 50-foot deep crater, and Bane’s little bomb thingee didn’t do it either in real life. So we’re relying on technology to show us the humongous hole. And the technology isn’t that good. Hopefully that’s only a rough cut that will be improved before July and maybe we can get something in the way of plot details when the Super Bowl trailer comes out in a couple weeks. At least I imagine there will be a Super Bowl trailer. GRADE: B+

THE HOBBIT

oh wait. there is another reason to see the hobbit.

In no way am I a Lord of the Rings guy. It’s not my thing. I really enjoyed seeing all the movies in the theaters and the final batle scene of Two Towers is probably my favorite war scene in movies, up there with the storming of Normandy in Saving Private Ryan. Maybe it was the last 30 seemingly endless minutes of Return of the King that tarnished my memory of the whole trilogy, but isn’t that kind of like life? You’re best known for your last deed, right? Isn’t that what Joe Paterno is finding out now? So it’s not like I’ve been waiting anxiously for the first Hobbit trailer. I’m glad it’s here, but I think I can say pretty objectively and without emotion — shouldn’t we be seeing a little more? I mean, there’s 15 seconds taken up right in the middle with some kind of singing or chanting or something. That’s what people were excited for? But where Return of the King messed up, the Hobbit trailer corrects and spends the last five seconds of the trailer with that unmistakable, horrifying voice of Gollum uttering not much more than “My Precious …” Now that gets me excited. Maybe the trailer should have been shortened to like 25 seconds of that. Regardless, bringing in those last five seconds of footage accomplishes to the eternal goal of any trailer — now I want to see the movie. GRADE: B

BATTLESHIP

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Battleship is a Bruckheimer movie. It’s not, but it should be. Who else would pay millions of dollars for the rights to turn the game into a movie, then come up with a script about aliens in the middle of the ocean? This has his fingerprints all over it — even though he presumably had nothing to do with it. But I refuse to believe that. If he really doesn’t have anything to do with it, his influence is plastered all over this thing. Not in a good way. I just can’t get past the complete 180 to go from an adaptation of the game Battleship to a movie about an alien invasion. It makes no sense. I’ll follow Taylor Kitsch to the moon — but c’mon. This needs to be the greatest action movie ever to get me to rent it. That’s right, there’s already no chance I’ll be heading to a theater to see it thanks to the first two trailers. But believe it or not, there is a bright side. Riggins and Landry are united! Why couldn’t Saracen score some kind of cameo role so we could have some crazy Friday Night Lights reunion on an aircraft carrier? Then I’d go see it. GRADE: D

THE THREE STOOGES

It was only a matter of time until Snooki made her way into a movie trailer, right? And lo, that trailer should then take its rightful spot as despicable nonsense, a movie never to be seen by anyone with any sense of taste. Perhaps we believed it would be an Adam Sandler movie. Or the next sequel to Deuce Bigalow. But Three Stooges beat them all to the punch and decided to make a Snooki joke the kicker of the trailer, the moment that is supposed to get the most laughs. Bad idea. Otherwise, it looks like a faithful adaptation of the TV show, which for better or worse, is probably all anyone can do with this material. It’s not like a Three Stooges movie would be winning Oscars or anything. I’m an occasional Three Stooges watcher, but can’t make it through more than 10 minutes of a show before turning the channel. So 90 minutes of it would probably be torture. But if you’re a Stooges fan, this trailer looks right up your alley. Except for the Snookie part. That’s up no one’s alley. GRADE: C

GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE

Congratulations, Three Stooges. You’re off the hook for the Snooki thing. We’ve already got a topper — Nicolas Cage peeing fire. No, really, I’m serious. At the end of this trailer, Nic Cage pees fire. From his penis. and the filmmakers supposedly think this is a good thing. They would be horribly, horribly wrong. Misguided, wrong and probably stupid. One thing we learned from the sub-par comic book movies this year — you can’t just follow the comic book movie formula anymore. It’s been done. A lot. And we’re bored of it. A lot. But here comes Ghost Rider, looking like the same Ghost Rider that kinda bored us the last time around. And he pees fire. Did I mention that? GRADE: D-

JACK THE GIANT KILLER

Meh. Just put this on here in case anyone wanted to see it. It does nothing for me.

GI JOE: RETALLIATION

Let’s be really clear here. There is no way I would ever spend money on this GI Joe movie. Not after the first one was my least favorite movie of 2009, an abomination of my childhood fascination/addiction with everything GI Joe. And yet, after I watched this trailer, I became moderately interested in this movie. I didn’t think that was even possible. But there were three main problems with the first movie: 1. Too many characters. They axed like two-thirds of the cast and fixed that. 2. Moderately high expectations thanks to a good cast of young actors like Gordon-Levitt as Cobra Commander. Ha! You’re gutting your cast and bringing The Rock and Bruce Willis on board and you think there would be anything approaching expectations? Get real. 3. A story that was neither true to the comic book nor the classic 80s TV cartoon, but instead was an incoherent mess of international intrigue, unfulfilled plotlines and hysterically bad character development. They fixed that by … well, I’m pretty sure that’s not going to be fixed. But at least now we know what to expect going in. Maybe getting Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye or just including Bruce Willis in any capacity is enough to make me change my mind, but amazingly, the trailer doesn’t look half bad. As long as you don’t have high expectations. And after the first one, no one should have high expectations. If nothing else, this keeps Rock in the WWE through July 4 so he can promote this. That’s always a good thing. GRADE: B

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