Saturday, March 12, 2011

Trailer Trash: Super 8, The Smurfs and Conan

Welcome to a new segment called "Trailer Trash", were I'll be looking at trailers for upcoming attractions and giving my thoughts and grading how interested I am in seeing the full picture.

Super 8 - June 10th

I wasn’t too hyped up for “Super 8” when I saw the original teaser trailer which made it look like Cloverfield 2.0. This new trailer is a step up, introducing us a wide-eyed child protagonist (no name given) who, from the information we're given looks like he’s just lost his mother and has a rough relationship with his father. He has a close group of Goonies style friends and a budding young romance and a hobby of making movies. Then some mysterious stuff starts happening, fast paced images evoking suspense, horror, destruction, and intrigue are aided by the "impending wonder" music.

Steven Speilberg serves as producer and the movie feels like a project he would be involved in, the focus on children in the mid 1970s, their fascination with making movies, the "sight unseen" element with focus on people looking at "it",as well as the rocky relationship between father and son. Add to that the popular internet theory that aliens are somehow involved, and it feels like a loving homage to Speilberg's early work in the past brought to the present.

Grade: Interest Peaked.

The Smurfs- August 3rd

Looks like the marketers are following the same strategy as those of  “Alvin and the Chipmunks”, with animated creatures abusing our lead star. Neal Patrick Harris really needs to fire his agent. Being in “Beastly” was one thing, but this is just too much crap, even for him.

We follow that up with a sexual innuendo joke with Smurfette. You Know… For Kids!  Some dodging dangerous feet hijinks to give this movie some reason to be in 3D. Then we cut to the bad guy and his cat laughing before the music cuts off and he tells the cat that he’s overdoing the evil laugh, as if to look at the camera and say “See, we’re aware that our joke isn’t funny. 
Having the bad guy lampshade his own clichés came and went with Austin Powers, but at this point if you’re saying “We know this is cliché, but we’re going to reference it in an attempt to cover it up”,  that is just lazy.  We things up by saying “Smurf” in place of other words a couple of thing, and end with a gag were “Smart Smurf” gets thrown off a building screaming “Goodbye Blue World!”.

So in the span of less than two minutes you have a man being abused by creatures that he caused no harm, jokes that the film admits aren’t funny, and concludes someone diving off a rooftop to what is presumably their death. If I had to actually watch this movie, I’m pretty sure I’d be tempted to do the latter.

Grade: Avoid at all costs!

Conan The Barbarian - August 19th

Audio snippets mixed with faded images that barely establish anything and awkwardly stitched together with someone doing a terrible Don Lafontaine voice, (Sorry, but no one gets to say "In A World" other than the master)  This would be lousy even for a teaser, but this is a full minute trailer, throw us a bone or something! To quote Tom Servo, "Visuals for a movie? Who needs them!"

Grade: If the marketing department can't get excited about this movie, how can they expect me to be excited about it ?!

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