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Rants from the Balcony:
Trailers Edition

By Reagen Sulewski

February 3, 2003

I have an Oscar!

It may not matter now, but if you're the science advisor for The Core, how long does it take before you throw up your hands and cry "Uncle"? Can you make it past the concept stage without laughing in the producer's face? What about when you get to the script stage and you have to approve things like a ship that can tunnel through 3,000 miles of Earth and withstand the temperature and pressure at the Earth's core and make comments like, "well, there's no reason that the Coliseum would explode, necessarily, if you hit it with lightning..." Is that Italy's secret TNT dump or something? Judging from the end result, giving up on the science happened pretty early on the process, evidenced by the presence of Hollywood's main way of resolving disasters...just blow 'em up with a huge friggin' 'spolsion. This thing has all the feel and sophistication of Left Behind. I think it was poor form for Stanley Tucci to actually be calculating his per scene earnings on camera.

In addition to How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days potentially being the most evil movie in history (Do women really need more ideas on how to drive men crazy? I think not.), it's got a pretty fundamental problem right off the bat. There's no way that any man would bet one of his player friends to have to stay in a long term relationship just for the hell of it. More than likely, they'd take one look at Kate Hudson and be trying to break them up so they could sleep with her next. I had to check but I wasn't surprised that the original book was written by a woman, since it has all the feel of a script written by someone who has no idea how men act when they're together and thinks they do the same things that women do.

And another thing: Hudson's character is writing this title article for a Cosmo like magazine, and is torn up because she has to actually go through with breaking up with Matthew McConaughey's character to finish the article. Sorry if I overstep my bounds here but, aren't you supposed to be creative? Can you not just make it up? It's not like you'd be faking news items for the New York Times or something.

Alternate title: When Christian Met Roxie.

It's also amusing to me that Hollywood's penchant for releasing 87 movies about the same thing at the same time has slipped over to the romantic comedies, with How to Lose a Guy and Down With Love. Not that I don't appreciate the idea of setting it back in the '60s...at least the film (or trailer) has a unique visual style.

Speaking of unoriginality, I was really looking forward to The Recruit, but now I'm not sure. It might have been Basic. Or maybe it was The Hunted. Was there a memo sent around Hollywood saying, "Hey, for 2003, let's do mentors!" Of course, in Hollywood's pessimistic world, all students eventually will have to do battle against and perhaps kill their teachers. It's probably some kind of metaphor for Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg to which I'm not privy.

I think The Life of David Gale would have been subtler if it had just flashed a card for two minutes with "Capital Punishment is naughty bad bad." Poorly written melodrama is no way to make a political statement. Is there any reason to see this after they give you the character arcs of just about everyone in the film? And what the hell kind of name is Bitsy anyway?

I hated these guys on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm about ready to beat those idiots in the movietickets.com trailer to death with their own keyboard. Who really finds it that hard to get into a movie that they have to pay a dollar extra and still line up to get their ticket? The commercial is obviously funny once but seeing it about a dozen times in a three week span is enough to make me go mental. Which leads me to...


Up and atom!

...all the fanboys freaking out about The Hulk Super Bowl spot. I have one word of advice: relax. Since when are we under the impression that we have the CGI abilities to reproduce a 400 pound green creature without it looking a little unrealistic? There's a reason that things The Hulk and Spider-Man look best visually as cartoons; you simply cannot make them look flawless. Look back at the Superman movies and tell me the effects aren't obvious now. We've simply been trained to know what to look for. That said, the effects in The Matrix ads are much better looking, but you're at least dealing with humans there.

Disney, I'm begging you. Please put some actual footage in your Pirates of the Caribbean teaser. It's embarrassing for advertising to look this bad. Or at least (to borrow a joke from a site-mate) earn some points by ending it with the line, "This movie is rated Arrrrr."

Is anyone else more than a little perturbed that Daddy Day Care is using the same name as one of the largest invasions in military history to promote an Eddie Murphy kiddie comedy filled with (literal) toilet humor? How does this get past the marketing department?

Angry, angry young man.

I know that the joke in Anger Management is that Adam Sandler's character doesn't really need anger therapy (a first for his characters...Sideshow Raheem has a better handle on his emotions) but the opening to this trailer still bugs me. It's beyond clear to me that he didn't flip out on the plane and the stewardess was being a bitch. It's a pretty small part of the movie, I'm assuming, and this is probably just my issue. I'll move on.


Comment coming to a marquee near you: "Seabiscuit? Well, I liked Swordfish."

Cox even played Hannibal Lecter in the prequel to Silence of the Lambs...in 1986.


With Michael Caine and Gene Hackman finally starting to show a little restraint in choosing their roles and not appearing in every movie made, it's time to nominate a new contender for the throne. My choice is Brian Cox, who was, by my count, in 534 movies last year. What's unusual about him, though, is that just about all of his movies were good. It's a bizarre twist on the behavior.


Hearkening back to the days of Billy Crystal and My Giant is Steve Martin and Bringing Down the House. I didn't know it was a requirement that the Oscar host have a crappy comedy to release just after the Academy Awards. Steve, I didn't know you needed money that bad. You should have just asked.

Finally to end on a positive note, here are some great trailers: Kill Bill (Quentin's back, baby), Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (McG is a demented genius and Bernie Mac is an adequate replacement for Bill Murray), Willard (Best synthesis of visuals and music, ever. The movie's going to make $12 though.) and Bruce Almighty (The movie could still suck a great deal. Remember Liar, Liar?).

     


 
 

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