Happy Trailers

As I’ve stated before on this here blog, I’m of the opinion that the American film industry (Hollywood and the independent arena) is currently in a bit of a creative crisis. By that I mean around 90%-95% of what gets made can best be described as mediocre crud.

And yet, there is one thing the film industry can still do right often enough: previews. In fact, it’s widely known that the trailer for a movie is usually better — or, at the very least, more interesting — than the movie itself. So, in what will hopefully be a sporadically recurring segment on Kung Fu Rodeo, The Steve Gerding and I are going to take a look at a few upcoming commercials for films that have piqued our, and probably your, interest.

Release Date: May 2008?

Watch the trailer here.

Duncan: Ok, the first half of this sequel’s “preview” (apparently it’s some kind of demo reel or something…?) offers the expected eye-rolling corn and promise of crap. And then, from out of nowhere, some seriously f*&ked up violence starts and it’s 100% go time. Is Sly Stallone reinventing himself as some kind of ultra-violent 70s drive-in hero? Because that would be amazing/borderline genius.

Gerding: First it’s “Rocky Balboa,” now it’s “John Rambo” – I half expect his next project to be an autobiopic titled “Sylvester Stallone,” but that’s neither here nor there. Fact of the matter is, Stallone’s experiencing a personal rennaissance these days. “Balboa” got him the critical acclaim that he set out for, and by the looks of things, John Rambo’s going to be a hit with anyone and everyone that’s just looking for serious movie violence. (Hint: that would be me!) Anyone else really wishing we’d have gotten Stallone as The Punisher now?

Release Date: December 2007

Watch the trailer here.

Duncan: I loved Philip Pullman’s insanely entertaining and inventive His Dark Materials trilogy — well, the first two books, anyway. This preview for the first film in the trilogy, The Golden Compass, looks pretty, but is surprisingly kind of lifeless. A lot of people seem to be in big rooms having meetings and interacting with CGI, which is getting more problematic by the movie.

Gerding: I’m looking forward to this anti-Narnia tale with some reservations. It’s such a dark story I’m still somewhat surprised it managed to sell as well as it did without some sort of ill-informed parent protest over the content, and I fail to see how it will manage to make it to the big screen with it’s teeth intact. That being said, the teaser poster alone has me somewhat excited to see the final product, and there’s just something inherently cool about talking polar bears wearing armor. (PS: even after starting it two years ago, I still haven’t managed to slog through the third book in the trilogy.)

Release date: June 2007

Watch the trailer here.

Duncan: Another zombie comedy. Huh. This one’s set in some kind of warped Tim Burton/Peter Jackson/David Lynch idyllic 1950s-type small town environment where zombies are the “hired help.” A clever idea and technically a good trailer, I guess. It’s sharp and zippy. The film looks too obvious and into its own cleverness, though.

Gerding: I think the concept is a good one, and the trailer made me laugh a few times, but I expected more after hearing about how great this movie is during the last year or so.

Release date: September 2007

Watch the trailer here.

Duncan: I want to like this. I really do. Will Arnett is one of the funniest people on the planet, and the SNL lady is a scream. It could be funny, but this preview is pretty weak. The premise looks startlingly thin.

Gerding: Thin, maybe, but dammit I like Farrelly Brothers flicks, and this is at least as meaty as any of their outings. Of course, FB movies either hit it out of the park or run a dribbler up the first base line, so the entire thing is going to hinge on Will and Will’s abilities to sustain the single joke. They’ll get bonus points if the brothers manage to remain clueless and not learn any valuable lessons by the end credits.

Release date: August 2007

Watch the trailer here.

Duncan: Ah, nerds tearing it up on their last night of high school, one of whom is played by George Michael from Arrested Development. Also, “Panama.” Awesome. I’m admittedly a sucker for Zany Night On the Town! comedies and I’m rooting for this all the way.

Gerding: There seem to be more and more of these types of slacker comedies being made since Napolean Dynamite surprised the hell out of everyone by being a hit, but Superbad looks like it’s set to be genuinely hilarious. I’d like to award bonus points for Panama as well – there’s nothing like hearing the classic songs of your youth in a trailer to get you pumped for a flick.

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2 Responses to Happy Trailers
  1. Screen Rant
    May 29, 2007 | 9:55 am

    You know it’s funny… I’ve often thought that whoever makes trailers should actually be put in charge of making entire movies. :-)


  2. Daniel Brooks
    May 30, 2007 | 5:04 am

    The Rambo trailer is insane…did he punch dude’s head off?

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