Thursday, May 14, 2009

Apple Trailers Dumps A Bucket Of Shit On The Internet

Well, good god. This is horrifying. As an Apple trailer aficionado, which is my first pit stop in search of new hi-def movie trailers, I can vouch that the new, very large batch of films posted on their front page is particularly awful. What is going on, cinema? It seems that the gods of filmdom have dropped an atom bomb of bad on our collective cinephile-faces. Here, view the dreadfulness yourself.

Cracktown. Sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy if you ask me.

These filmmakers killed Wes Anderson and Napoleon Dynamite and forced their corpses to make love. The result? Twistee Treat.

Almost the title for a brilliant film (think Alfonso), but as far from one as it can be. "I don't believe you that there's a million dollars and I don't believe you that mom's gone!" Believe it, my terrible little actress. 

"He left me because I'm Chinese!" No, he left you because you suck at acting. But it's black and white! Dramatic! Right? No.

God is the big shot-caller. So go salsa dance, freaky-eyes. Dance your sadness away.

OMG! Existential queries and more uninspired B&W noir cinematography coupled with excessive bad acting! It's Ghosts of the Heartland after reading basic Kafka!

AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I don't think I've ever seen an unintentional horror film until now! Someone make it go away! Gooby is not OK for the whole family! Gooby is OK for no one! And Eugene Levy? Really? Remember when he was good? But now he's gone. Gooby ate him.

Good job, Apple trailers. You just made me lose faith in cinema. I'm going to drop out of film school and learn trade. Perhaps in fertilizer. 

Alex Deaton - currently crying over the death of movies.


  1. You forgot about the Juno-esque music playing towards the end of that fucking Twistee Treat trailer... fuck that trailer. Do they not know people get what their influences are? Their really clear influences? And they're stealing from their influences? They tore the face off a Wes Anderson film, and attached it to Napoleon Dynamite, who was forced to speak the lines after being struck repeatedly. Fuck that.

  2. You forgot to not make fun of Cracktown for featuring RZA in its cast.

  3. Oh, and I think we can all agree you're racist towards Asians.

  4. I have no idea what your comments are talking about, Kevin.

  5. i saw yesterday is a lie at visionfest in ny last year. and as i remember it won best cinematography.

    i just logged onto their site again and it looks like its won 12 best picture awards and was named by filmthreat as the top 10 indie films of the year, which doesn't surprise me.

    as for you, yes, i agree that you should definitely drop out of film school, since you obviously arent learning much.

  6. Hi Jackson. How are you? My name is Alex, and I have an opinion. It seems like you have an opinion too! Let's share our opinions!

    Here's mine:

    Yesterday Was A Lie's cinematography looks like an uninspired mess. If it won best cinematography, anytime anywhere, what isn't shown in the trailer must be absolutely spectacular to make up for the awful, clustered shit I see here. I'll give examples.

    The third shot in the trailer. Pause it, please. Let's talk about framing! It's perfectly alright to break the rule of thirds if it's done interestingly, but holy shit. The angle of the camera, hovering a few feet from the ground with the feet in the lower-middle-left is a vomit inducing sight. The unsteady tracking doesn't help ease this eyesore. The feet are cut off at the bottom of the frame and the lighting is horridly uneven, casting stilted shadows across the length of her dress and the ground.

    Continue on to the two shot in the bar, where the protagonist is in the fore-frame on the right, and another character (a blonde woman), is sitting a few feet from her framed in the middle. I understand it's supposed to be a noir, but the lighting would tell me otherwise. This is a sloppy low-key job, and the contrast is marred by a terribly placed backlight. The other blonde woman's face has middle-shadow, which looks amateurish and silly, especially considering the tone the filmmakers were going for. The impact is lost in the lighting, and the framing is uninspired.

    Skip to the near-middle of the trailer. There is a shot where the protagonist is leaning in and touching a picture frame. As she does this, an awkward shadow moves across her face due to lazy lighting. Then there's then an ineffective in-line cut to the hand on the picture which has some of the worst framing in the entire trailer. It is horrendous.

    In the final third of the trailer, there is a particularly awful shot in which the protagonist approaches the camera, framed in the sort-of center. She appears to be in an art gallery. Not only is the framing slightly off, something you can't afford when attempting symmetry, but there is another person in the distance who can be seen peeking around the right side of the protagonist. This draws attention away from the main subject, is unappealing to the eye, and makes the intentionally symmetrical framing obsolete.

    Now to talk about the black and white color scheme and foggy filters. Black and white cinematography is a crutch for drama when the filmmakers have no other way to deliver it. Successfully utilized, a lack of color can make an incredible impact. However, from what I've seen of its employment in this film, it was done out of desperation. Lighting is key when choosing to shoot without color, and the lighting throughout the entire trailer is abhorrent. Another incredibly important detail you MUST pay attention to if shooting in black and white are the filters. Here, the filters are muddy, hazy, and not conducive to high-contrast, something this film was obviously trying to achieve.

    Based on the trailer, and I'm aware that all I've seen is the trailer, the cinematography in this film looks like an utter failure. I'm not even going to go into how abysmal the acting is. And the sound mixing. And just about everything else.

    Before you make a rebuttal, if you have one, please be sure to include valid reasons why you believe the cinematography is good before turning my hyperbolic statement about dropping out of film school into a cheap insult.

  7. i'm not an expert. i can't argue about your rules of thirds. all i know is what looks good to me and audiences.

    so let's see.

    12 best feature awards, 2 best cinematography awards, and all the major reviews praising the movie's incredible cinematography


    a first year community college student with a blog and an obvious grudge who resorts to language like "bucket of shit" in his reviews for films he's never even seen. all the while directing and posting home videos that look like they were shot by a 5 year old.

    and he feels qualified to judge a real film's cinematography based on a quicktime video of its trailer on the internet.

    i don't think a rebuttal is even necessary, is it. :)

  8. A rebuttal is about as necessary as a question mark at the end of your last sentence, AKA very necessary. And you'll get one.

  9. I specifically stated in my post that I'm judging the trailer and the trailer alone. Here is the quote:

    "Based on the trailer, and I'm aware that all I've seen is the trailer, the cinematography in this film looks like an utter failure..."

    So your comment about me judging a film I've never seen is moot. Poking fun at common vernacular and use of profanity is also completely irrelevant, seeing as how the reasoning behind titling that post the way I did had nothing to do with my judgment of the films themselves and/or my knowledge of film in general.

    Also, Columbia College Chicago is a private school, not a community college. It is also highly regarded as one of the best film schools in the nation and has a highly lauded, in-depth film program.

    Then, you attack the comedy shorts I make with my friends in my limited spare time, and judge them as if I were pouring my whole artistic self into their production. I wish my student films, the ones I made for classes, were digitized so you could watch and judge them. I would be fine with you holding your opinion to them, not a two-minute short about four people cutting someone's throat open to remove their beard (Source). That's just silly.

    And a rebuttal is necessary. You haven't made your point, you just resorted to more cheap insults. The only thing you're really insulting is your own intelligence. Come at me with reasons why the cinematography IN THE TRAILER (since that's all I've seen, and as I've said, I'm aware of that) is good. Saying "I just know what looks good to me" and then telling me I can't say it looks bad even after I present my case in detail is just ridiculous.