Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Trailer Trash Tuesday: Make That TWO-sday! HA!

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE: So I'm conjuring up some kind of best-of-the-decade feature for Trailer Trash and I want to make sure I don't make any egregious omissions. I know my readers are pretty savvy folks -- can you guys hit up the comments with titles of movie trailers from the past decade that you recall being especially effective/imaginative/memorable/notable? I can't guarantee they'll all be included, but I don't want to miss anything obvious. Thanks!

This week, two trailers emerged as particularly noteworthy. The first was the full-length trailer for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra:

G.I. JOE trailer in HD

Full disclosure: I'm gonna see this movie anyway. Whether it looks good, bad, boring, whatever, I'm going to want to see what Stephen Sommers has made out of my beloved childhood TV show. (Yes, Stephen "Van Helsing" Sommers. Makes me want to cry too.) This trailer doesn't look BAD, just deeply underwhelming. Save for the fan-baiting glimpse of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow crossing swords (admittedly pretty cool), nothing in the clip gave any indication that this is the G.I. Joe movie. Nothing to really get people psyched up.

I will say that the idea of a device that rusts the world's greatest landmarks into dust seems like a VERY G.I. Joe idea, and I like that. But the rest of the clip was a mishmash of content-free "let's go!" type action verbs and muddled action scenes. At the risk of completely contradicting my feelings on the awesome spectacle that the Star Trek movie seems to be, shouldn't G.I. Joe be trying to sell itself on the characters? (I know. "Characters." Whatever, for a good segment of my generation, the names "Duke" and "Destro" mean something, damn it!) And don't even get me started on Sienna Miller and that undercooked Baroness accent. Shameful! We're off to a rough start here.

Now onto the out-of-nowhere movie everybody's talking about this week: District 9:

I've read more than a few comparisons to Cloverfield in the last couple days, which is pretty on target, to me. Both were trailers that kind of showed up in theatres in front of major releases before anyone knew anything about the movies. They share the same verite delivery of fantastical sci-fi premises. And they're looking to make that low-budget/high-profit turnaround that Blair Witch pioneered.

I was onboard with Cloverfield from minute one, but I'm not quite there with District 9 yet. Is it because the promotional efforts for the latter have thus far been pretty slavish to the blueprint of the former? Maybe that's part of it. I just think on an elemental level, Cloverfield hit a nerve in me that District 9 hasn't. Cloverfield's trailer was all about the urgency. The District 9 clip is about curiosity. That's not a knock on it, by the way; different objectives. In fact, I'm kind of curious to see if D9 turns into a kind of My Dinner with Andre and Also Aliens.

The first shot of that hovering spacecraft was an unqualified success, I will say that. Totally unnerving and curiousity-piquing. One thing that did annoy me about the clip was the pixelization of the alien's face. I'm not sure whether that was added for the trailer or if it's a part of the movie's narrative, but it came across as a self-conscious way to have their cake and eat it too. Use the alien as a hook but keep it mysterious. It's a good idea but the execution is ... inelegant.

Your thoughts? And your continued trailer recommendations, of course.

1 comment:

littlesilverboulder said...

I was thinking maybe the pixelation in the District 9 trailer was to protect the alien's identity from other aliens...like he's divulging information that he shouldn't be divulging. But that would mean he's being interviewed for some kind of media which wasn't made clear.