Tuesday Trailer: Pacific Rim

pacificrimMonster movies have become something of an anachronism. With classic Harryhausen-era flicks confined to passive slots on Sunday afternoon telly, their impact has dulled over time, and these days modern monster movies tend to be either vaguely postmodern (Cloverfield‘s found footage/Monsters‘ understated existentialism) or defiantly shit (Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus and all the output from plucky turd merchants The Asylum).

Thank God, then, for Guillermo Del Toro, who seems to be single-handedly keeping the genre’s flame lit. The first trailer for Pacific Rim, which had Idris Elba “cancelling the apocalypse”, whet our collective appetite, but this second teaser goes some distance further. Robots-fighting-with-ships further. Perhaps one day this will be Sunday teatime fodder, and our grandchildren will scoff at the laughable effects. For now, this is shaping up to be a proper, gleefully bonkers, geek-friendly treat – the film Transformers could have been.

Watch the second trailer below; Pacific Rim comes to a drive-in theater near you on July 11th.

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Tuesday Trailer: The Internship

“From the people who brought you The Watch” is not an immediately enticing proposition, but there are other reasons to be apprehensive about The Internshipthe first of this summer’s studio comedy blockbusters out of the starting block. ‘Frat pack’ regulars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn recycle the fish-out-of-water template from Old School and Wedding Crashers – only this time around, the ‘out-of-water’ for these flailing fish is a coveted internship at Google’s California campus.

It looks a bit like a cinematic adaptation of the Simpsons episode ‘Homer Goes To College’ – boneheaded manchild in a permanent state of arrested development regresses to youthful exploits, to be taught important lessons by younger, smarter geeks, and along the way teaches those socially inept geeks how to par-ty down. Except that episode was as much a parody of movies like The Internship as anything else. Evidence from the trailer suggests it’s not much more than a fairly lazy vehicle for the increasingly paunchy Wilson/Vaughn partnership.

It’s also clearly a rather shameless feature-length Google commercial. And Lord knows, Google need that product placement moolah – they might have made profits of $10billion last year but the dudes down at HR could probably use another fußball table or two, and those silk beanbags in the employee lounge won’t pay for themselves!

Other slightly unwelcome elements we can expect as gleaned from the trailer:

  • The Daily Show‘s Aasif Mandvi relegated to Asian Nerd Stereotype
  • Chubby, middle-aged men improbably score with slim, young, beautiful women
  • Dialogue which would have sounded out of date in 1995 (“everything’s computerised now!”)
  • Snooty Brit in antagonist role
  • Man Getting Hit By Football-esque comedy
  • Swotty uptight geniuses learn the value of partying down
  • Etc

The Internship arrives in cinemas in June; expect to see it ranked suspiciously high in Google’s search results.

A selection of entirely measured YouTube comments about the Iron Man 3 trailer

Iron Man 3 is out in April 2013, if you can hold your “jehzz” in for that long.

Tuesday Trailer: Carrie

Pity poor Chloë Grace Moretz. In her fleeting fifteen years she’s been a lonely teenage vampire, offered her shoulder on which Joseph Gordon-Levitt cried, and watched as her dad Nicolas Cage died of severe burns. And now the unfortunate Ms Moretz must suffer the indignity of not only of being drenched in fake blood, but of appearing in a pointless and unwelcome remake of a much loved classic.

The forthcoming Carrie, a remake of Brian DePalma’s Carrie, itself an adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie, swells with pointlessless.  This being a teaser, we don’t have much to go on, and so arguments for the film’s non-pointlessness remain clouded, but we can apparently expect plenty of fire and blood and things, so, you know, a fresh new direction!

It’s pre-emptive to start appraising a film not out until March, of course, but the omens do not look good. Pros include Moretz herself, who has a ridiculously impressive CV considering most children her age have yet to write out a CV, and has spent plenty of time in her brief career outshining her legal-drinking-age co-stars. Cons include the fact that Lindsay Lohan was almost cast in the lead (no, seriously) which does not suggest toweringly good judgement from the filmmakers, and the fact that, like most of the remakes flung our way by a lazy Hollywood, it seems an exercise in extreme futility. Or, as Stephen King himself put it: “The real question is why, when the original was so good?”

Tuesday Trailer: Identity Thief

INT: HOLLYWOOD AGENT OFFICE – DAY

Hollywood star Jason Bateman walks into an office.

AGENT: (a gold-plated bluetooth headset pointlessly on his head) Jason Bateman! Baby! How is my favourite client in the goddamned world?

JASON BATEMAN: Hey man…I’ve just been watching my Arrested Development DVDs and wondering why I haven’t made anything even fractionally as good since.

AGENT: Whaaaaat? Kiddo! I can’t believe what I’m hearing here. Hancock? Couples Retreat? These are classic movies, baby, American classics! The Change-Up? More like Don’t Change Upyour career path, that is! (This brown-nosing continues for some time.)

JASON BATEMAN: It’s just that, despite being a talented actor with impeccable comic timing, I have 16 films rated ‘Rotten’ on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to just 9 ‘Fresh’. I think I need to make some better choices.

AGENT: (snorts from his mound of coke) Well, chill man, I have just the thing. A new script’s just come through that’s perfect for you: Identity Thief. And unlike practically every film you’ve ever made, this is a big-budget high-concept studio comedy with plenty of wacky setpieces that will play well to the PG-13 audience.  It’s got some impressive credentials already attached…

AGENT: You’ll be playing a mild–

JASON BATEMAN: –mild-mannered but slightly uptight perma-suited businessman?

AGENT: Right! Have you read it?

JASON BATEMAN: No, it’s just, I always seem to play the same…forget it. Who’s attached to star?

AGENT: It’s got that fat skank from Bridesmaids in it – and before you ask, YES, there are plenty of jokes about her appearance at her expense!

JASON BATEMAN: I hope there’s no romantic subplot…

AGENT: Fuck no, are you kidding? This is Hollywood, baby! Fat men get the skinny women, not the other way round!

JASON BATEMAN: I don’t know…maybe I should aim for more challenging, interesting, unusual parts than the usual bland forgettable garbage.

AGENT: I hear what you’re saying, but allow me to counter-argue with this suitcase full of cash.

JASON BATEMAN: Sold! [They have a money fight]

Tuesday Trailer: Sinister

Sinister, the latest film to be named from a ten-minute thesaurus-based marketing meeting, has been running some fairly tame TV spots recently. Ethan Hawke in various states of distress does not, I’m afraid, adequately sell your horror movie to me. Now Summit have released a red band trailer, the film marketing equivalent of a baby TV spot’s naughtier, swearier, emotionally troubled-ier older brother, to pack a meatier punch. Let’s see if it worked.

(Bear in mind this is all NSFW, so don’t watch the trailer/read the rest of the post if you haven’t yet passed your EBacc.)

There’s Ethan, in remarkably low light, looking distressed again, possibly at the fact that Classically Trained Actor Ethan Hawke has been reduced to starring in October-released horror B-movies that don’t even look that scary.

Ethan’s laptop appears to show Jigsaw, from the Saw films, which would make for a curious new direction for the franchise.

Or maybe it’s Ghostface, from the Scream films. Could this be a franchise mashup? If it is, I’m out now guys. Have we not learned the sobering lessons of Freddy vs Jason? Of Alien vs Predator? Of Sonic vs Mario at the Olympics?

OK, that appears to be a possessed girl convulsing out of a cardboard box screaming the death knells of a thousand tortured souls. That’s…well that’s…fine…would you look at that, I’ve suddenly noticed I’m completely alone in my house. That’s fine, too. BRB, just going to turn another light on.

OK, good, fine, now there’s a creepy infant girl covered in the blood, gesturing silence to her next hapless victim. No problem with that at all. I’m not one to be easily scared! You know I’m sure I had more lights in this house…

Ah, good, now we end on a family of four hung by the neck from a tree. Would you excuse me? I just need to go change my trousers, as this pair I’m wearing appears to be soaked in urine for some reason.

Well, now I’ve composed myself and spoken at length with all my immediate family to tell them I love them, I’m reluctantly impressed, in spite of the crap title. It remains to be seen whether Sinister truly will be able, as one testimonial puts it, “fuck up a lot of people”, but a trailer which manages to scare me into briefly mistrusting my own reflection is damn effective. It’s atmospheric and properly disturbing without containing a single line of dialogue. Amazing what a marketing team (and a capable editor) can do when allowed to show off to the grown ups.

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