Quick-Crossover!

Hello all!  Sorry for the extended delay but school will be school, you know. 🙂
This week I am trying something new to this blog: the “Quickee” post.  I have been doing these on my other blog for some time now and I would like to see how it works here on Art of the Trailer.  If you’d like to see exactly what a traditional Quickee post is, check out my Quickee-Palooza, the Quickee-Fest, and my most recent one, “Brokenness & Love“.  This review extravaganza is both an effort to catch up on the myriad of trailers I have been missing over the past month, as well as a chance to try out this formula on Art of the Trailer.

So, without further ado, please enjoy the first ever Art of the Trailer Quickee-Crossover!

Thin Ice

The only reason I am presenting this trailer to you is because I promised I would….yeah.

Here is the problem…..s.
First and foremost, this trailer/movie is trying to sell me Fargo again but this time they are selling it in a style like Horrible Bosses.  The mixing of styles tells me that the trailer/film-makers don’t know what the movie is about.  It seems to be going through an identity crisis and that means that the trailer is flat, dull, and fits terribly.

Second, the trailer is too long. Period.  We see way too much and the whole thing is just way too obvious about it.  The dialogue cut together spells out the plot oddly specifically which enhances my feeling that I just saw the whole film in 2 minutes.  And while it tells me far too much about the plot, I know absolutely nothing about what kind of character Billy Crudup is playing.  Is he psycho like Peter Stromare?  Is he the funny guy like Charlie Day?  Does HE know?

Overall it is just a pathetic attempt at getting me interested.  Not only have I seen this before (and better at that) I have seen it presented more clearly.  If it is a comedy, sell it as funny.  If it is mortifying, sell it thus.  Just don’t…not know. This trailer does nothing but put the audiences interest on thin ice (and I juxtapose the awfulness of the pun with that of the trailer).

Rating:  1//5

Madagascar 3

This one I found while looking through the massive stinking pile of trailer filth that helped promote the cinematic garbage dump that is January.  And it surprised me:

I know what you are thinking:  this film doesn’t look good at all.  And I can agree with that.  The plot is nigh on stolen from Cars 2 as our band of heroes enter a genre they never really should have.  HOWEVER, the trailer does exactly what it is supposed to:  I came into it thinking that this would be the final nail in the coffin of the Madagascar franchise (I liked the first one).  Instead, I left the trailer actually willing to giving it a chance.  Let me explain.

The MAJOR STRENGTH of the trailer is that it gets the humor that made the first one fantastic and, like Aladin and the King of Theives, it lets that humor style run wild (no pun intended).  It gives the characters a plot to work with (“There. It. Is. The. Casino.” – Thanks, David) and then moves to focus solely on the jokes which aren’t half bad (yes, I know, you have to like this humor).  The intro breaks us out of the coldhearted oppression we feel towards it by providing a moderately funny joke that then builds into.

Good rhythm is the key.  It plays to the audience’s love of the characters and the style of humor they have become known for.  I would go as far to say that if you want a complete definition for Absurdist Comedy, just watch this trailer at 2:06. 🙂

One final thought:  ending on the “Really?” is perfect.  It’s what we are all thinking (“not another one of these movies” or “seriously? that joke?). But, the self-referencing humor is actually what makes me interested in this:  it doesn’t take itself seriously because it is a kids comedy!  It is just about having fun, sharing a few laughs, and making our days a little brighter.  And I can dig that. 🙂

Rating:  4//5

Resident Evil: Retribution

And then this happened…

First of all, this trailer came out of the blue.  I don’t think anyone was really expecting it, despite the success of the series (God only knows how).  Just because it is the longest running video game based film franchise ever, that doesn’t mean they can put out filth like this.

Before we can get to the real stuff, we have to talk about the first 30 seconds of product placement…malarky.  When it started, I honestly was looking for the little x in the corner to close out the ad.  But it wasn’t there.  Why?  Because the trailer IS AN AD!!!  It has the odd feeling of being a Sprint/AT&T commercial at the start with “Baba O’Riley” playing in the background and the standard commercial look to it.  Honestly this is the worst bit of product placement I have ever seen.  The green screen is blatantly obvious, they couldn’t have made the PS VITA logo bigger, and the flow is absolutely terrible.  If you make trailers, please NEVER DO THIS AGAIN!!!

Then shifts to the actual trailer, which isn’t any better.  Alice (Jokavich) speaks directly to us…literally.  They break the Fourth Wall in the first 5 seconds.  Great.  Then we get a terribly cliche ramping edit, wonderfully accompanied by the SUPER OBVIOUS USE OF TRON SOUNDTRACK!!! I don’t mind the music itself, but you could be a little less obvious with it…please.

Overall, it has no flow, mostly due to the abysmal start it gets from the product placement.  In fact, if you watch carefully, until the end there are no two shots that link together thematically or visually.  There literally isn’t a connection between each clip other than Jokavich, which leaves me with no understanding of what the film is about. Good job not spoiling to much, but you have to give me something.

Really the only interesting thing about it is the complete oddness of it.  That franchise lost me years ago at Apocalypse when Alice turned all superhero, and this latest…trailer does nothing to bring me back to it now. Just like Alice, this trailer is a mutant abomination of an experiment that goes horribly wrong.  METAPHORED!!!

Rating:  0//5

Moonrise Kingdom

Coming off of the first zero rating I have ever given here on Art of the Trailer, let’s move to better things, shall we?

Moonrise Kingdom is an upcoming film by one of my favorite filmmakers:  Wes Anderson.  Since learning of his existence, I have come to really enjoy his quirky character arcs and his fantastic visual style.  So, when I heard that this was on its way to the cinemas, I got very excited and the trailer does not disappoint.

The trailer focuses primarily on exactly one thing:  This is a Wes Anderson Movie.  Everything about the trailer from the music, the clips, the dialogue we hear, even the font, scream the whimsical stylings that brought us Life Aquatic and Fantastic Mr. Fox.  I love how it opens too!  Almost like a visual transition, we start on birds (i.e. – Animals) and move from the film he just made (Fox) into this new kingdom.

The dialogue cut together is beautiful, condensing a long conversation into it’s most basic elements and doing so beautifully.  From there the trailer again focuses on the visual color scheme which Anderson loves to manipulate and the literal journey of the characters.  I love the nods to other films such as the Lighthouse from Life Aquatic and the Shawshank Redemption joke sparsed in.  The odd French music transitioning into the classical works beautifully and builds on the theme already well established.

Overall, it is a beautiful, hilarious trailer that sells the film perfectly to anyone familiar with Anderson’s work.  To those unfamiliar, it creates a space for them to find something they have never seen before.  It does it’s job and I can’t wait for the film to come out.

Rating:  5//5

Amazing Spiderman

To end off this Quickee series, I want to look at a very highly anticipating trailer that is already making waves about a film most of us had already written off.  So, please enjoy the first full trailer for The Amazing Spiderman:

In short, this trailer does what it badly needed to do:  distance itself from the original series.  I had no interest in this film until the trailer showed me that this won’t just be a rehashing of something already done.  That is the strength of it – it shows me that the tone and the take on it will be something that honestly is an untold story (at least compared to the Toby Maguire ones).

It goes a long way to make sure the audience sees that fact too.  The trailer assuages a lot of issues fans had with the original franchise:  the invented webslinger rather than the superpower, Parker’s hyper-intelligence, the fact that he finally LOOKS LIKE A HIGH SCHOOLER!   At times it gets a bit pushy, flaunting the message of “It’s different, see?  It’s not the same….do…do you get it?”

Still, as much as I like the new tone they put forth, we simply see to much.  There isn’t really a good cut-off point I can point to, but there is clearly over a minute of footage too much. It just spoils too much to the point that I know a lot of how this film is going to go down.  I like the new look and all, but just give me a taste, not the whole cake.

Overall, I would say that the flow of the trailer is good, it does a great job of setting the tone of the film – not as a reboot but as a new thing all together, and generally piques my interest at it.  Thus, I have to give it props for flipping me from against it to at least willing to give it a shot.  However, it could have been a lot stronger had they cut out all of the spoilers and extraneous stuff.  While I am glad to see the webslinger back in action, I am afraid that this trailer doesn’t wow me in the way the old ones did.

Rating:  4//5

Alright!  Sorry for being brutal with these trailers but I feel that you ought to do it right or not do it at all.  Just saying. I am really proud of my first Zero rating ever, for either movies or trailers!  So fun!  Anyway, thanks for sticking with me for so long.  I hope to get a new one up soon because I have two great trailers I want to get to.  So, be looking for some new content on Soontobeangel soon, and hopefully next week I will be getting to the fascinating indie film trailer for Iron Sky and the recently released, truly awesome trailer for The Bourne Legacy.  Thanks!

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About Tyler D. Welch

Filmmaker, Storyteller, Scholar View all posts by Tyler D. Welch

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