Don’t believe the box office. None of these movies are real. [June 17, 2011]

I know, I know. I sit there and gripe for two weeks about how all the movies in May suck, and, then, right when the summer season finally hits, I just drop off the face of the earth. This is, after all, the time you guys need me the most. The only time that could be considered more important than the summer trailer season is the Oscar trailer season. So, I’m sorry that I left you, and it is completely irresponsible. There is no excuse for my actions. That being said, I do have a few excuses. First, if anyone wants to give me a MacBook Pro preloaded with After Effects, Photo Shop and Final Cut, as well as a quality portable microphone, then maybe I can continue to keep up with my blog on the road. Though I probably won’t because when I’m not working, I get pretty lazy. Anyway, I think only four people have ever looked at this blog, including me, and I talk to the other three on a regular basis, so I guess I’m not really letting anyone down.

It is sad that I missed out on covering some quality trailers, though. We had Dreamworks Quietly Dismantling Another Solid Animated Franchise With a Sub-Par Sequel, Marvel Squeezing All It Can out of its Best Comic Book Franchise, and JJ Abram’s Take on The Goonies (Which Obviously Has to Include Aliens). You’ll notice I left out the major re-release of The Hangover. That trailer was already covered perfectly by DOB over at Cracked.

So what can I say about this week? Well, once we take away the eighteen documentaries that are apparently inundating the independent cinemas, we’re left with a handful of trailers for movies that can’t possibly exist in this plane. Example 1:

Green Lantern or It Is Scientifically Impossible to Take Ryan Reynolds Seriously as an Actor

I don’t want to be misunderstood. I have nothing against Ryan Reynolds as an actor…except for The Proposal, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Smoking Aces, Just Friends, Waiting, The Amityville Horror, The In-Laws, and Van Wilder. He isn’t necessarily a bad actor in any of these roles; they’re just really, really bad movies. You would be hard pressed to find an actor who has worked as consistently with such a terrible body of work.

I said consistently, Beek!

I don’t put too much stock in critics, but, of Reynold’s 21 reviewed films on Rottentomatoes, only seven are over 60% fresh. You might be saying to yourself: “Well, that’s not bad. After all, a .333 batting average gets you into the hall of fame in baseball.” Well, we’re not fucking watching baseball! We’re watching movies that are almost as hard to watch as baseball.

That is, if you're a Mets fan like me...

Take into consideration that of those seven positively reviewed movies, no one remembers him in Dick, no one saw The Nines, no one has heard of Finder’s Fee, and he was in Harold and Kumar for one scene. This means the highest grossing, positively reviewed film Reynolds has ever starred in was Definitely Maybe, which grossed 32 million in theaters. Not exactly hall of fame worthy.

Next, we should note that The Green Lantern is actually Reynolds’ second foray into the comic book world, having originally held the role of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: [How Can We Make More Money Off of] Wolverine. I guess his portrayal of Deadpool wasn’t going to lead to a major franchise (can’t figure out why not), so he switched boats to Green Lantern.

All of this brings us to the most unbelievable point of all: they’re making a movie based on the Green Lantern. The Green Lantern isn’t so much a superhero as it is any random being who is wearing a gaudy green ring. The ring holds power to create whatever the bearer imagines, but the ring loses all of its power if 1) it is removed, or 2) the intended target is yellow.

I have inserted this yellow image to ward off any Green Lantern fans. Go away.

I know superheros are preposterous by definition, but this is the most boring and least cool acquisition of superpowers I can imagine. No radiation, no gene manipulation or mutation, no explosion, not even a tiny spider bite. He doesn’t acquire the ring through his own actions, be it pure mistake or pure intelligence. Nope, a random alien just hands him a ring that would make Libarce blush, and that’s it.

Wow, all of this setup, and I haven’t even addressed the trailer yet.

The trailer is ridiculous for two reasons: it stars Ryan Reynolds, and it’s about the Green Lantern. Based on this alone, I can’t believe that The Green Lantern is an actual film. No self-respecting production company would ever waste so much money on such a terrible superhero, then go on to headline it with a star that does not have any box-office draw. This is clearly a trailer made by someone very clever who is simply illustrating Hollywood’s recent trend to adapt anything that has ever been printed in a comic book.

If this was a real film, would they cast Peter Sarsgaard as the villain?

He makes a very ferocious looking...professor...

If this was a real film, would the producers honestly believe that make up like this…

Barney and Rocky's bastard child

…and graphics like this…

I got nothing. I just think this looks lame.

…would be taken seriously by audiences in today’s summer blockbuster market? They even have one of those “responsibility” lines:

Here is what I think is going to happen when this film is released on Friday: tons of stupid people who don’t read comic books but claim to know everything about them are going to show up, pay for their tickets, buy popcorn, sit through the trailers, run out of popcorn before the last trailer ends, curse themselves for buying any popcorn in the first place, and, then, just after the lights fade out, instead of showing an acceptable movie, it’s just an hour and a half of a producer sticking his thumb in his ear and laughing at you.

Or something along the lines of this asshole.

 Mr. Popper’s Penguins or A Movie with Penguins and a Guy named Popper that has NOTHING to do with the book, Mr. Popper’s Penguins

I saw the poster for this movie a few months back and thought it was a joke. I saw the trailer a few weeks later, and it still looked like a joke.

Chances are, if you passed the third grade and lived sometime in the 20th century, you’ve heard of and quite possibly read the book Mr. Popper’s Penguins. It was written in 1938 by Richard and Florence Atwater and is commonly included in elementary reading curricula to this day. A winner of the Newbery award, it is considered by many to be one of the best children’s books of its time. The book follows the life of a poor painter and family man in a small town who is given a penguin as a gift by a friend.  This book has nothing to do with the movie. At all.

According to the trailer, Mr. Popper is a single, New York City businessman who wakes up one day to discover that there are a lot of penguins in his apartment. At one point he teaches them how to dance. That’s pretty much all there is.

This has to be one of the strangest trailers I’ve seen in a long time. First off, it’s only 1:15, which is nearly half the length of typical trailer. The first 30 seconds consist of a single, uncut shot of Jim Carrey praying over his food with his penguins before starting dinner. I think this shot is supposed to have a dual effect of “oh, it’s a Jim Carrey Movie!” and “oh, look at the cute penguins!” Instead it comes across as “wow, Jim Carrey is getting pretty old,” and “why the hell is he sitting down for a civilized dinner with penguins [which of course are cute because penguins are always fucking cute]?”

Can you pass the salt? Oh, that's right. You're a fucking penguin.

After this, we cut to a scene where he calls in sick to work because he has “a pest problem.” There is then a montage of penguin hi-jinks in which an old man informs Carrey that his “house is full of penguins” (though he is clearly living in an apartment, dumbass). Finally, there’s a twelve second shot where Carrey teaches the now CGI penguins how to dance. End of trailer.

Again, this is another movie which simply cannot exist in this dimension for a litany of reasons:

1) It stars Jim Carrey. Every movie Jim Carrey has made since Eternal Sunshine does not actually exist. True story.

2) It’s a summer release. Why would you have a movie about penguins as a summer release? Penguins are associated with cold, and I would imagine that alone would make the studios rewrite the script (as if they stuck to the original story in the first place) and somehow make it a Christmas movie. They would be able sell more tickets, and people would think “oh, well, this almost makes sense.”

3) There is no indication of any sort of plot or story. We aren’t introduced to any characters besides Jim Carrey (unless you include the penguins), and there really isn’t any conflict. There’s just the premise of a city guy who has penguins in his apartment. That, by itself, can barely hold one’s interest for more than 1min 15sec. Hell, with exception of the establishing shot of NYC, we never even leave the apartment building. If you took a Flip video of real penguins in a New York apartment, I guarantee it would hold your interest for at least twice as long as this trailer.

4) Did I mention the old man saying “Pull yourself together! Your house is full of penguins!” I believe I did make reference to him. This line can’t come from a real movie.

Each of these points is undeniable proof that someone made this trailer as a farce. They obviously only had one star actor and one location; you get someone to bring in penguins, and you can shoot it all in one day. It’s a simple formula: preposterous yet (marginally) comical situation + adorable subject = instant internet sensation. It’s been done dozens of times before. But not, to my knowledge, with penguins.

I hope I’m right, I really do. Jim Carrey has dissolved into monotony over the past decade; making a farcical trailer where he dances with CGI penguins could help restore some of his previous respect. However, if this trailer turns out to be a honest, feature-length movie, I’m afraid I’ll have to forget Jim Carrey ever existed.

So long, Fire Marshall Bill

Father’s Day or Pure Awesome Grandeur

Father’s Day is a movie that is simply too incredible to come out on June 17th. Screw any weekend moviegoers that might drunkenly stumble in to your theater Friday or Saturday night. This movie has to be released on Sunday because, if it wasn’t released on Father’s Day, it wouldn’t make any fucking sense. And sense is what this movie is all about.

There isn’t a single decipherable plot point in the entire trailer. After watching it, there are only two characters that I can distinctly remember. One has an eye patch,  and the other is the only woman they show. There are pretty much only three things that this trailer gives away about the movie: 1) It’s full of violence, 2) it has something to do with Father’s Day, and 3) the entire movie was produced on a $1000 budget and a freighter full of balls.

A third of those balls went into the titles

If you watch the trailer (which I strongly encourage you to do, but probably you shouldn’t do it at work), you will likely think that this is now the third fake trailer of the week. Perhaps you’d think it was an homage to the trailers that ran between Rodriguez’s and Tarantino’s Grindhouse features back in 2007. You wouldn’t be too far off. The only difference is Father’s Day is a true grindhouse film, or as true as you get in this day and age. It was produced by Troma Entertainment, which has been making crap like this for so long they have their own film festival you’ve also never heard of. I’ve admittedly never seen any of their films, but I have a strong urge to now. I also have a strong urge to use this as an online Father’s Day Card:

For those of you that actually want to know something about the film, I went and looked up a synopsis. It’s about a murderer who rapes and kills fathers on Father’s Day. Why is this not the biggest release of the weekend?

The Art of Getting By or The Movie I Almost Completely Forgot to Mention

You know the #1 thing the world doesn’t need? More hipsters. Sorry, let me correct that. The world doesn’t need any hipsters. Apparently, the L train, which runs between midtown Manhattan and Williamsburg, was down while I was away last week, and millions of hipsters were left stranded in Brooklyn. I’m sad I was out of town because I hear Manhattan was very pleasant for a few days. Williamsburg, on the other hand, suffered greatly; their thrift stores were ravaged, millions attempted (but ultimately failed at) suicide after the PBR ran dry, and bicycle accidents shot up 400%.

Because their stupid fixed-gears don't have any breaks

Anyway, I neglected to look up anything about The Art of Getting By because the trailer reads like a pamphlet recruiting kids to become hipsters. I found this rather annoying.

R or The Trailer That’s Really Hard to Find

It took me about five minutes to find the trailer to this movie. I know it doesn’t sound all that long, but, in internet time, that is years. Why would they name their movie after a single letter in the alphabet? That’s just confusing.

It was totally worth it, though. It’s a Danish film, and the only movie I can name out of Denmark is Prince of Jutland, which I believe the country is still trying hard to bury.

As are Christian Bale, Gabriel Byrne, Helen Mirren, Kate Beckinsale, Tom Wilkinson and Andy Serkis...

While Jutland was undeniably the worst period film ever made, R appears to be a very strong prison drama. But that’s not why I find the trailer entertaining. I like the it because I get to play a game of Mad Libs with the subtitles:

I hope they bleep the subtitles in the feature, too! That could make for the world’s most epic Mad Libs game.

George Lucas Strikes Back or Why Isn’t This a Real Movie?

This is, hands down, the trailer of the week. I don’t care if there is no real movie associated with it. I want to see this movie. I would punch a bear in the kidneys to see this movie. I would headbutt a unicorn just to get this into production. Tell me this wouldn’t be the biggest movie of the year if it came out. Very seldom are fake trailers worth watching, let alone worth making, but this trailer needs the full Machete treatment. George Lucas, if you have a sense of humor and still have a soul, please consider giving this movie a chance. It would do nothing but make you look like the god you should be.

Instead of "Mr. Turkey Neck"

The Rest…

So, I said there are eighteen documentaries opening this week. I lied. There are only four. It sucks reviewing documentary trailers, though. I don’t want to make fun of real people (as opposed to Hollywood people, who are obviously fake). Plus, documentary trailers are usually good. Anyway, here are the docs coming out this week:

Buck or The Real Life Horse Whisperer (See? How Can I make fun of this?)

Page One or I Hope the Inside of the New York Times Building Isn’t as Ugly as the Outside

Jig or The Best Any White Person can Hope to Dance

The Battle for Brooklyn or Hipsters Trying Hard to Make a Difference. And Failing. (Because they’re Hipsters)

And here are the rest of the movies with opening dates this week that I just didn’t care enough to write about:

Kidnapped or If it’s a Really Good Horror Film, I’ll Go See it Before Hollywood Fucks it Up With a Remake

If it’s not a good horror film, then this trailer is a bit of a disappointment.

Beginning of the Great Revival or The Biggest Film Coming Out This Century if You’re in China

Seriously. This movie has everyone in Chinese Cinema. It’s about the Communist Revolution, though, so we’ll never see it.

My Afternoons with Marguerite or I Couldn’t Find an Subtitled Trailer, so Here’s a Picture of a Kitty

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