Friday, May 28, 2010


I love movie trailers. Whenever I go see a movie at the theater, I have to get there early to watch the previews of coming attractions. It’s exciting and entertaining to see short clips of movies you haven’t seen yet put together as a 30 second to 3 minute presentation to wet your appetite and count the days until you can see the whole thing. If I had any time of behind the scenes job in the film industry, I would want to be a trailer editor.

The problem with today’s trailers is that they tend to ruin the surprise and excitement of the film they’re promoting with either too much info, or too many different clips that make the final product less interesting.

Nowadays we typically get 3 main trailers:

1. The Teaser Trailer-The initial trailer to announce the release of the film. Teaser trailers will typically have very little footage and usually run less than a minute.

2. The Second Trailer-The first full trailer that shows a bit of footage and reveals a bit more of the plot of the movie. These trailers are usually 2-3 minutes.

3. The Final Trailer-The last trailer released before the movie opens. Not every movie has a third trailer, but if they do, they offer even more footage and insight to the story and run around 3 minutes long.

Along with that we get the 3-12 TV spots with a mix of new footage and shots we’ve seen in the three theatrical trailers, full scenes online, and a few sneak peeks so by the time we actually see the movie we are either tired of it from all the promotion or significantly less interested because of all the spoilers the various trailers have given us.

Now I get that the studios and film makers need and want to show footage of their movie to promote and hopefully turn a decent profit, I enjoy it in fact. I just don’t think we need to see every major aspect of the movie before we see it in its entirety. Leave some surprises in there.

Some examples of trailers ruining some awesome “holy shit you’ve gotta see this movie” moments are right here.

Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace

Let’s save all the shit talking on this movie for a later blog. My real problem is this: the teaser trailer gives away Darth Maul’s face and his double edged lightsabre. There’s plenty of shots in the movie where Maul (the coolest part of this movie and an extremely under used character) is only using one beam of his lightsabre and has a large black hood covering his crazy tattooed face. If that stuff had been saved for the actual first viewing of the entire movie, maybe people would be talking about how awesome Darth Maul was instead of how bad Jar Jar and Anakin were.

Terminator Salvation

The promotional campaign of this movie started out so strong. A short but extremely powerful teaser trailer with more of Christian Bales post apocalyptic voice over than actual footage got me so pumped, but the second and third trailers, although well made, completely ruined the surprise that Sam Worthington was a Terminator, which was such a huge point of the movie. Half the movie Sam’s character Marcus is a fish out of water, and it isn’t until a little over halfway through his journey that he realizes what he really is. If the trailer didn’t blow that for you, you probably would’ve related to the character more and gone on that journey with him and the movie would’ve gotten shit on a bit less.

I’m not saying stop putting out trailers. I just think Hollywood needs to use a little less of their final product in those trailers. You remember the first teaser for The Dark Knight? There was literally no footage in that. Christopher Nolan’s upcoming movie Inception has 3 trailers and most everyone still can’t figure out what’s going on. More movies need to start that way and maybe make the more revealing footage optional like putting it online rather than all over the TV. I wanna be shocked and surprised when I see a movie for the first time, not bored and spoiled.

Leave a comment with your thoughts on teasers and trailers.

Friday, May 7, 2010


We are currently in the era where comic book movies can be good, and comic book movie sequels are even better. Even the well deserved winner of the best supporting actor oscar went to an actor who was playing a villain in a sequel to a comic book a little over a year ago.

Unfortunately we are also in the era where comic book movies are often rushed or poorly written and thus not nearly as good as they could’ve been. You’ll get something amazing like The Dark Knight, and then you’ll get Punisher: War Zone. You’ll get Sin City, and then Spider-Man 3. You’ll get Iron Man, and then Fantastic Four. You get the idea.

But where does that leave Iron Man 2…?

Jon Favreau did an amazing job bringing Shell head to life in the first Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr., along with the entire supporting cast, performed brilliantly and really made the characters pop. Iron Man 2 saw all of them return (except Terrance Howard of course) so really this sequel seems like a sure thing.

Well what seemed like a sure thing turned out to be a flat, dragged out, and uneven mess. There were far too many times I found myself sighing in boredom as the scenes seem to lag with uninteresting dialogue that never seemed to capture the witty banter of the first film. I went into a movie called “Iron Man 2” but what I got was a movie that spent a lot more time with Tony Stark, but never really doing anything with that time to hold my interest. The action scenes were few and far between, felt kind of generic, and in the case of the house party fight between Iron Man and a pre-gunned out War Machine, totally unnecessary and kind of obnoxious.

Overall the actors in Iron Man 2 didn’t ruin the movie, the just didn’t have a good script to work with. They all looked good, but all the dialogue was bland and uninspired and it never felt like the movie was ever going exactly where it wanted to actually end up. Gwyneth Paltrow performed fine as Pepper Potts, but her cutness and sassiness from the first film seemed to be replaced with bitching and whining and Scarlett Johansson can sure fill out the Black Widow suit, but her interaction with every character that wasn’t a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent felt forced and unnatural. I love Don Cheadle as an actor, but he felt very out of place in this film and was so different than Terrance Howard that I found myself doubting that they were the same character at all. The friendship/Conflict between Tony Stark and Cheadle’s Rhodey took what worked in the first film and covered it with cheese. Their scene of resolution right before the big action finale that seemed longer in the trailer felt more like an episode of Full House than the sci-fi action film you would want to watch.

Mickey Rourke was his usual total bad ass self, but with only two rushed action scenes, he even looked bored with his character’s lack of movement. Sam Rockwell is a fantastic actor, but he never quite nails it here, but it’s obvious screenwriter Justin Theroux is not sure of anything with anything about Iron Man 2. He gets close a time or two, but no cigar.

Then of course there’s the easter eggs of the Marvel Universe. I’m all for Marvel putting all their films into one universe like their comics, but they can’t seem to figure out in Iron Man 2 if that’s the main focus or not. If it is, then it’s brought in way too late in the film, and if it’s not, they spend way too much time on it. Nick Fury and Agent Coulson are cool characters that will keep me invested in these movies, just figure out how you wanna use them and stick with it.

In conclusion, I didn’t completely hate Iron Man 2, but it is pure evidence that even if you have a director and cast that are experts at their craft, you still can’t make a bad script a good movie. Maybe if they had a 3 year gap between movies instead of two, Iron Man 2 would have more in common with The Dark Knight and less in common with Transformers 2.

And what was the deal with Tony and the strawberries? Pointless.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


(note: If you haven’t read Part 1 of this blog go back and do so as this won’t make sense otherwise.)

Jared Leto as Matt Murdock/Daredevil

Sure he’s the singer/songwriter/guitarist of one of my favorite bands, but that’s completely unrelated. He’s a good actor and has proven so in such films as Requiem for a Dream and American Psycho, and has shown a Christian Bale like physical dedication in Chapter 27. His leading man good looks will ensure the female crowd shows up and his built but slender physique will accurately fill the suit to keep the fanboys happy. And as much shit as it got, the armored black DD costume from the '90s would look really cool as the live action interpretation of the costume.

Jason Statham as Bullseye

If the picture comparison wasn’t convincing enough, his over all bad assery should be. Before the guy was an action star in the Crank and Transporter films, he was an Olympic diver and world class martial artist making him the ideal choice for the marksmen bad guy. One major suggestion from me would be to make him actually wear his trademark costume in the movie as it is one of the most badass comic book costumes and will look way cooler than Collin Ferrel’s trench coat.

Ben Kingsly as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin

Now he may not be the 100% physical match for the rotund crime boss, but hay, neither was Michael Clarke Duncan. But what Kingsly lacks in ginormousness, he makes up for in sinisterness. It’s easy to picture him being a “businessman” who could kick a lot of ass, and he’s practically played the part before in movies like Sexy Beast and Lucky Number Slevin.

Mark Ruffalo as Foggy Nelson

One of the most under rated actors out there, Mark Ruffalo has got all the chops to steal the show in the role of Matt Murdock’s best friend and law partner. His quarky role in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind shows he’s got the nerdy humor end of the character while his performance in Zodiac proves he can keep Foggy real, level, and in a bow tie!

Gemma Arterton as Elektra

Jennifer Garner was a bit too cute and innocent to play the brutally vicious assassin who stole and destroyed the heart of the man without fear. Gemma Arterton doesn’t seem to have that, but instead has the intensity and sexuality that Elektra needs. She’s already taken on action oriented parts in Clash of the Titans and the upcoming Prince of Persia movie so being the villainous love interest of DD would be a logical step and an opportunity for her to show off more of her acting skills.

Zooey Deschanel as Karen Page

Matt Murdock’s law firm assistant who eventually becomes his main squeeze is a classy girl who is accessibly sexy, but with a dark past hiding deep underneath. Zooey Deschanel is more than capable to breathe life into this small role that would eventually be the central focus of one of the most important moments in Daredevil’s history.

And at the Director’s chair: David Fincher

A perfect choice to direct any movie, Fincher’s style lends itself to comic books and Daredevil especially. The way he likes to put the camera through the holes in the wall and the cracks in the floor in movies like Fight Club and Panic Room would work beautifully to visually display Daredevil’s heightened senses and I can’t even begin to think of what he would do for DD’s radar sense. It’s obvious he can handle intense crime drama without repeating himself with the extremely different but equally impressive films Seven and Zodiac. Fincher needs to make this movie.

There you have it, now if only the people actually making the film would listen.