I went out and saw 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' over the weekend, and while I don't know that I'm ready to write about the movie, I'm interested in writing about the trailers a bit. No trailers for 'Man of Steel' or 'Star Trek...INTO DARKNESS!' (I've decided that this is the correct way to write the title), but we did get some interesting ones. Random thoughts follow:
1) Were the makers of 'The Lone Ranger' going for an emotional sensation of "sad and empty inside, except maybe with a quiet ache that tells you you've given up on joy"? Because if it was, they freaking nailed it. Every moment of that trailer looked joyless, mechanical and dull, compensating for a lack of emotion with sound and fury. And it's also a classic case of Hollywood whitewashing, with Johnny Depp getting dressed up like a Native American so that they have a "name" actor in a major role. This screams "terrible" to me.
2) 'Warm Bodies' looks cute, but I'm not sold on the idea of "super-evil zombies" for the regular zombies to show how nice they are by opposing. Still, it does look like an entertaining parody of the "paranormal romance" sub-genre that has become a bit too prevalent since 'Twilight' hit the stands. (This is not to say, by way of clarification, that I am against them in principle. There are some great writers out there doing paranormal romance stories, like local author Mary Janice Davidson for example. Just saying that they're cranking them out a bit.)
3) 'Epic'...at this point, I kind of feel like the non-Pixar studios (Dreamworks, Fox Animation) have solidified their position as the bland, generically acceptable time-waster alternative to Pixar. Want a kid's movie that's CGI and kind of funny and exciting, but don't want to worry that actual quality might challenge your kid's mind in some way? Spend two hours in front of a film by the creators of 'Ice Age'! It'll be like they never watched anything at all! Basically, I'm saying that there is a very narrow band of quality to a picture like this, and this probably is going to be neither bad nor good. It will be there.
4) I was really surprised to find out that 'After Earth' wasn't a very clever reworking of the narrative-free, but extremely cool book 'After Man' into an actual science fiction movie. I thought I actually recognized some of the animal designs from the book. Now the only real reason I had to see this is gone. (Clever stunt casting, though, making Will and Jaden into an actual father/son team.)
5) Is it just me, or does 'Oblivion' feel vaguely like every other movie you've ever seen? Just something about every scene seems to conspire to give you a vague sense of deja vu. Underground rebels, Tom Cruise as One Man Determined to Find Out the TRUTH, creepy laser drones...it just all seems kind of "been there, done that".
6) I like the idea of 'Pacific Rim', but it does kind of feel like it'd be hard to stretch out the concept beyond what we've already seen in the trailers. I mean, they show us that big monsters climb out of a hole in reality that opened up under the Pacific Ocean, they show that they rampage a bunch, and they show that human beings build giant robots to fight them. Isn't that pretty much the movie, right there? I mean, is there a plot twist that you could wring out of that, or is the only bit we didn't see in the trailer going to be, "And the humans win. The End!"? (I felt kind of the same way about 'Real Steel', by the way.)
7) Wow, we got a lot of trailers. In addition to all those, we also got 'Beautiful Creatures', which felt like your bog-standard "Hey, that 'Twilight' thing is doing pretty well. Let's find something kind of similar to that, then adapt it and make a few million!" I don't think I'd enjoy this. Then again, I don't think I'm the target audience.
See any trailers you liked last weekend? Talk about them in the comments!