Sorry hippies, this is not really about records. It’s also about scratching them, so if you’re a nineteen year old white suburban rapper I am sorry to have deceived you, bro. No, this is all about the peculiar institution of movie trailers. The title is a lame allusion to really those really bad trailers where you hear that stupid record scratch at the midpoint. It signifies an abrupt change of tone, usually toward something that’s allegedly funny and/or heartwarming. Yes, I realize it’s esoteric but YOU come up with a name for a column about movie trailers that is not a shitty pun involving the word “trailer”. And that’s what my opinions should be to you, allegedly funny.
Now here are some funny and heartwarming thoughts about a bunch of trailers I saw this week.
1. Man of Steel – Final Trailer
I said just last week that I’ve been excited by what I’ve seen so far of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. The man rightly gets a lot of flak for Sucker Punch, but I don’t care what you say – Watchmen was pretty good. And while 300 was definitely more “$65 million piece of homoerotic performance art” than “movie”, you can’t deny it made you want to track down all your enemies like dogs and punch them all in the face with a fistful of jewel encrusted pimp rings. All this guy really needs to make a great Superman movie is an awesome story and a kick ass score. Enter Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer. The result?
Behold, my favorite thing that I have seen all year. No kidding – this is one of the best trailers I have ever seen. It sets the tone, lays out the back story and confirms what we’ve all been wanting to know from day one – is Superman actually going to kick some ass again?
Yes, Virginia. Yes he is. If I was excited to see this movie before, now I’m ready to give up my birthday for it.
2. Star Trek Into Darkness – Final Trailer
As entertaining as it was, the weakest aspect of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek was the story itself. It made no sense, largely because it was little more than a needlessly convoluted attempt to bridge the fictional universe of the original show with the equally fictional reboot, because apparently some people think Star Trek is real. So the most annoying aspect of the sequel – aside from that insipid title – is the fact that all anyone wants to talk about was whether tis better to Khan or not to Khan. Always, with these summer blockbusters, the first thing everyone asks is:
“Who’s the villain?”
I’ll tell you who the villain is, it’s a dumb story. So my question is, regardless of who the bad guy is, will this be the first Trek movie since The Wrath of Khan that doesn’t have a dumb story? We still don’t know that, or who the villain is. But we know that Kirk has trouble following orders, most of the things in the universe are going to get blown up, and also the Enterprise is a submarine. For…some…reason.
3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Teaser Trailer
Well what do you know – Donald Sutherland and Philip Seymour Hoffman together ARE more evil than Darth Vader! You don’t know this, but I just won a bet. Anyway, this is a strong showing for the highly anticipated sequel to last year’s blockbuster. There’s more emotional heft in this two and a half minute trailer than there was in last year’s entertaining but highly overrated first installment. If you read the books, or weren’t totally turned off by their complete absence of on screen chemistry the first time, you remember that Katniss and Peeta faked a romance to get out of their first Hunger Games alive. Now, the Government is on to them and is plotting to destroy them, no matter who gets hurt in the process. Not quite as emotionally hollow as an episode of Melrose Place…but on the other hand, it’s in the future. And hey parents, there’s no sex!
4. The Lone Ranger – Final Trailer
I can’t say I have found anything about Disney’s The Lone Ranger appealing, but I have to admit the trailers have been efficient. the Super Bowl spot came out scratching it’s balls. The one after that had a “good vs evil” tone. Then, we got a high level view of the Lone Ranger Legend set to industrial music. The international trailers were cut to emphasize humor. And now there’s the “final” trailer, which is usually the Epic One. The Ranger was a slick city boy whose father and brother were Rangers before him. When ambushers leave him for dead and kill his brother, he joins forces with Tonto – the Indian warrior who saved him – to seek justice. No more industrial music, no more music video cuts – this is seriously noble shit. Enough to require riding a horse on top of a moving train. And crashing the train. Off a bridge. Into another train. And exploding it. Repeatedly. Lots of trains in this movie, apparently.
5. The Internship – Trailer #2
Jesus…really? And to think I wanted to end on a high note. After all these years waiting for Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson to share the screen again, this is their follow up to the immortal Wedding Crashers? Our heroes play suddenly unemployed fortysomethings who decide their only angle at getting back into the job market is to apply for an internship with Google, where they will compete with “genius” kids half their age. Har har, cue the generational gap bits, shots of people solving Rubik’s cubes (because you have to be a genius to do that), 80’s jokes and speeches about dreaming big and believing in yourself. Awwww. I’ll bet there will even be poop jokes and Asian stereotypes. Maybe Google will fit in a small plug for their company. It’s hard to say for sure, you know how studios like to keep secrets.
At least we know that Vince Vaughn will get punched in the balls by Ben Kingsley…or…something.
When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Bruce?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."