Friday, March 13, 2009

Alex and Eric Hate Trailers: Episode 2 (13 Trailers on Friday the Thirteenth)

I know, I know, we don't keep up with ourselves. This was supposed to be a series, and it's been over a month since the first 'episode'. Stop your whining, me, we're doing it again. This time, with trailers! Apple has about 30 trailers we've watched, and discussed openly already, meaning we're seasoned professionals on them at this point. These first few we haven't, though.

Alex: I think it looks good. Pixar has a monopoly on animation. No one can do it better. There were a few childish jokes, but overall the colors are astounding, and Carl Frederickson... who plays him? Christopher Plummer?

Eric: Um... I think Fred Asner plays him.

Alex: Yeah. That's right. He's perfect. You?

Eric: Personally, I don't think Pixar can do any wrong ever. I say this having not seen Cars, which I think looks like a rare, and overwritable miss step for Pixar, but this looks like they're keeping up the momentum they gained back with Wall-E. Finding Nemo-sized story. Epic.

Alex: Agreed.

Eric: I didn't even want to give the trailer the time of day. I mean, what interest do I have in Mike Tyson? But having watched it, I'm genuinely in

Alex: I would have to agree. I think the inclusion of stock-footage cut between fresh-shot interviews with Tyson, and an introspective look at his past life, or life in general, can make for interesting documentary material.

Eric: No, totally, it looks really interesting. And listening to his opinion of himself... I mean, this is a man who made his name off of destroying other human beings in front of giant audiences. I want to know what he has to say about that.

Alex: Me too.

Alex: God. It had me fooled at first. (sigh) Kristen Stewart can't act. She just can't act. (sigh) The lines... were so tepid. It was so, you know, so unoriginal sounding. Some of the filters on the lenses gave it a really soft hue that made it look good, but didn't make up for the apparent lack of story, and you know, stiff dialogue.

Eric: I'm trying to cut her some slack, because I'm hoping she pulls off a not necessarily comical performance in Adventureland, but one that helps the story, I guess.

Alex: Or at least doesn't get in the way of it.

Eric: Right, right. This trailer reminds me of a lot of late 90s, early 00s family dramas. It's a coming of age story, mixed with fatal illness?

Alex: Perhaps.

Eric: Is she ill?

Alex: It looks like she has scoliosis.

Eric: But she says she doesn't have a lot of time, and... she kind of acts like she has epilepsy, actually. But you don't die from that.

Alex: We've been talking too long about this movie.

Eric: Yeah. Done.

Eric: So this is a documentary about how they're putting together broadway performances of Chorus Line?

Alex: A Chorus Line.

Eric: Okay. I recognize some of the music. I've never seen the stage play before. I'm always interested in seeing competitive stuff being documented. And, theatre is interesting and all. I'd definitely rent this.

Alex: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It looks like it caught a few moments of genuine humor and interaction between people in this situation, but I don't think I'd go out of my way to see this in theatres. That's all I have to say about it.

Alex and Eric: Terminatorrrr.

Alex: Terminatoooorrrr. Face in the city. I think it's unnecessary to make a Christian Bale flip-out joke right here. Well... there's a lot you can do with a ton of money. The production design looks pretty phenomenal. I like the colors. Which is basically no colors. I like the booming of bombs and booming stuff. And, the acting looks solid. You know, hopefully this will rise above basic action-film standards, like recent action-films have been doing. Like Dark Knight or Watchmen.

Eric: For some reason whenever I hear about this Terminator film it makes me think back to the response people gave information on Star Wars: Episode I coming out.

Alex: What do you mean?

Eric: Like, there are all these massively devoted fans to this one franchise. I'm not including the third Terminator in what I'm saying right now, mind you, because that came out what? 4 years ago? Anyway, like, it's a revitalizing of something really near and dear to a lot of people who grew up on the first ones in the 80s. And... I don't know, excitement over it seems misplaced to me. I agree that it looks incredible, minus two shots of fire, plus water, that people never seem to get right.

Alex: Agreed on those shots. I know exactly what you're talking about.

Eric: I don't know. I'm probably going to see this, because it's one of those big Summer movies that everyone is going off to see when they should be playing at the beach with their children... it looks good, but still. You're right. Money bags.

Alex: I agree. I think it'll sex my eyes with a lot of visuals lower budget films can't provide.

Eric: Yeah. Story is worthless, all eye candy here. I think.

Eric: Now this is the new Star Trek trailer, right?

Alex: The newest.

Eric: It looks incredible.

Alex: It does.

Eric: I like the first trailer we saw for it better, for some reason. Probably because there's so much cheesy monologue-

Alex: Music.

Eric: And music on top of it.

Alex: They try to create a story arc within the trailer, and there's no way of doing that without making it trite. But the final shot is remarkable. Where they're, it's that long long shot where the ship is flying into the Enterprise. That's very good.

Eric: Can I have a turn now?

Alex: Go. I need more water.

Eric: I hope fans of the Star Treks leading up to this Star Trek absolutely hate this movie. It's so big, and bombastic, compared to what Star Trek has ever had under it's flag before. Most of the acting talent I've liked in the past, and I trust J. J. J-Abrams producing and directing, especially after Cloverfield. I'm going to see this.

Alex: Yes, and yes.

Alex: God, it looks so good. Eeek! Yay, Jim Jarmusch. This looks phenomenal. The acting talent is supreme. The cinematography is just- so sexy. And the ambiguity is unbelievably intriguing. The lines are so... hard to comprehend, out of context, that... I can't hold back my excitement when I watch this trailer. And I've watched it 10, 15 times so far. Your go.

Eric: This is one of those trailers that's basically perfect. The music is building the entire time, the shots they choose are extraordinary. I'm not exaggerating. Christopher Doyle, who apparently works mostly in the East, just shot this stunningly. I think the ambiguous lines could have been cut down on, but... Bill Murray, Gael Garcia... Tilda Swinton. Jim Jarmusch carrying the whole thing.

Alex: Who else is in it? The guy who takes off his glasses... John Hurt?

Eric: John Hurt.

Alex: John Hurt. And can I just say this: I absolutely love Isaach De Bankole's face. It's awesome.

Eric: Definitely. Feels like something from a past era, but... completely fitting for our own. Whatever I mean by that.

Alex: Agreed. This is my favorite line in the whole thing: "How did you get in here?"/ "I used my imagination." Okay. Moving on.

Eric: This is such a long trailer. I've heard a lot of people complain that it gives way too much of the story away, but I disagree entirely. It's about his revelation about how important it is to live your life to the fullest, after the life threatening. The actual pre-"you're going to live" parts just build up to this. And of course, this is a Judd Apatow film. It's gonna be great.

Alex: Yeah. The lines are awesome. He writes dialogue so well. Jason Schwartzman!

Eric: Yes, Jason Schwartzman. I wish he was in so many more films. I'm glad he's in more films. My only concern is that this is going to be the type of movie where most of the gags are followed by a laugh-track from the other characters. They avoid this in Superbad and Knocked Up because the jokes aren't told by comedians. It bothers me when onscreen jokes are laughed at onscreen.

Alex: The biggest problem I had with this trailer was... gah... this part: Adam Sandler, uh... what's the line? Saying "I'm feeling like I'm in the moment", and then cutting to him singing flat, under some generic country-folk song I'm assuming he wrote.

Kevin: That's an actual song. I've heard that song before.

Alex: I don't understand what that's in there for. At all. Maybe it'll make sense in the movie, but it feels weird in the trailer.

Alex: Johnny Depp is so hot.

Eric: Serious time.

Alex: I think, personally, that it looks very good. The acting looks very, very good. The cinematography looks very, very good. The lines are very, very good. And the action looks very, very good. So, it looks decent.

Eric: After the last few trailers, including this one, that we watched, I'm very, very excited for 2009. For some reason I was worried about what we'd be seeing this year, but, I think that was totally unfounded. All the hand-held shots were pretty mind-blowing. And that one long shot of Depp shooting at this...

Alex: Guard tower in the prison.

Eric: Right. Just, amazing, beautiful shot.

Alex: God, you are a pretty shot. You are a pretty, pretty shot. Don't ever go away, shot. Look at that framing. Look at the sky. It's just... so good. I want to marry this shot. Would you agree?

Kevin: I don't think I want to marry a shot, but it is very nice looking.

Alex: And this shot: (panning across the back of Johnny Depp) A great shot, and a great way to introduce him. You don't even have to see his face.

Eric: Marion Cotillard, Depp, Christian Bale, Dr. Manhattan, it's really an all-star cast, without it feeling like an all-star cast. I'm excited about this.

Alex: I like French women, and Marion Cotillard is very pretty.

Eric: It's so personal, and to see it offered up to the entire world, this one family's darkest thoughts, and hidden feelings... it proves that stories like Revolutionary Road exist for a reason, but it handles it so much better, and really gives insight into why people feel like they do in a outer-ly cushy suburban life.

Alex: It's so eerie. The grainy film stock, with the exaggerated colors, contrasted against the unnerving voice-overs from this woman and her husband, is such, I don't know, is such a hair-raising match. I really want to see this.

Eric: I really want to see this, too. This was the second time I watched it, and I'm way more into it this time, for some reason.

Alex: The format seems unprecedented, in terms of creating a documentary. Based off of home tapes, and recordings, and pictures, creating a narrative arc out of stock material, seems almost revolutionary. It's definitely exciting to me, and I'm definitely interested in seeing this. Definitely, definitely, definitely.

Eric: Wait. Has to be the red band.

Alex: Ah. You're right.

(switched to TrailerAddict, because the red band is so much better than the approved version)

Alex: Nyuh-huh-huh. Huh. Nyuh-huh-huh. I swear it looks like they cut the trailer together just for the trailer. It's one of the best trailers I've seen in a while. It looks hilarious.

Eric: Best trailer ever. The bits they show, coupled with the perfect music choices-

Alex: Oh yeah. Just perfect.

Eric: Clearly they're not giving away the best moments, either. This does exactly what a trailer should do: gets you pumped.

Alex: My favorite moment is when Seth Rogen whips the gun into the shot, and it's the only thing in focus, where as everything including Seth Rogen is in a slight blur. I think it's just an awesome shot, and makes him out to be a total badass.

Eric: I'm glad comedies don't suck anymore. That's how I feel about this.

Eric: What do you call this genre? It's like... Little Miss Sunshine falls into it.

Alex: Quirky... indieromedy.

Eric: Perfect. Yeah, this is an indieromedy.

Alex: With well known actors. That's the thing, because Little Miss Sunshine also had well known actors. And very good actors.

Eric: Paul Dano rocks. Zooey is just-

Alex and Eric: So cute.

Eric: Yes. John Goodman's "sleeping with my daughter" line is a terrible cliche, but everything else about him seems great in this. It's adorable in trailer form. Want to see it.

Alex: The pairing at the end with 'gigantic' and the Asian baby is awesome.

Eric: Asian babies in indieromedies. A new step towards glorious revolution.

Alex: Indieromedies will no longer be so predominantly caucasian. (e.g. Little Miss Sunshine)

Eric: If Medicine for Melancholy can do it for mumblecore, this Asian baby can do it for indieromedy.

Alex: Yes sir.

Alex: My turn?

Eric: Yeah.

Alex: If only there were Asian babies in this trailer. But no. Give me more, give me more, I want to see some more.

Eric: Inglourious Basterds looks fucking amazing. You need the fucking in there, because of how intense this looks. Every shot is so carefully selected to either shock, or just impress. Looks of great names in this. Looks like Kill Bill mentality applied to WWII.

Alex: Which is cool.

Eric: Which is very cool.

Alex: I personally, me and Kevin talked about this, we don't like that it's a trailer centered around a single monologue.

Kevin: When did we talk about this?

Alex: We talked about this. I would have liked to see more of the clips on their own terms, instead of clips stitched around Brad Pitt's monologue. But it's still pretty awesome, and I want my scalps.

Eric: I disagree. I think a trailer built around one monologue is fine, if the monologue is well-written, and sounds as kick ass as this one.

Alex: Another thing: the presentation of the text is awesome.

Eric: Very awesome. And the song is terrible, but it builds so well. Are we done here?

Alex: Yeah, we're done.

Thus ending our second episode. A far better selection of films than the last. Probably because last time was showing what we had to look forward to in Spring. And Spring movies are apparently the worst seasoned movies to walk the Earth. Hopefully in our 3rd trailer observation we'll have more greatness to wet our whistles on.

1 comment:

  1. Kristen Stewart was on some late night show...I forget what disease she said her character had. I don't like that she thinks she is a great actress, but when it comes time for her to perform...she doesn't fulfill her own standards.