I know you are busy. A very busy person with much to do and something on the stove and no time for flossing, no matter what your dental hygienist says.
That is why we are going to try something new. Something that is perfect for those of you who just don’t have the time for non-automatic flush toilets or Steven Soderbergh genre films.
We will call this new thing “Prognosticontemplation.”
What is that? You think that is a bad name? Shut up. Just because you are right does not mean you can be mean.
What Prognosticontemplation will be is pithy commentary on film trailers. Our thoughts, if you will, on what is to come.
The best part is: no spoilers! It’s all in the trailer, so suck it.
The Life of Pi
Oooh! Ang Lee! He made some good movies, like, uh, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon? Sense and Sensibility? And who could forget Hulk. Wait. I forgot about Hulk. That one sucked. The only thing worse than an incomprehensible superhero movie is a boring one.
But look at this trailer! It’s…well. Is it a cartoon? It’s sort of hard to tell, isn’t it? At first I thought Life of Pi was the sequel to the Lorax or something, then I remembered that I read the book. It was very popular. I read it. Yep. It was a book all right. Full of words. And I liked the beginning. Then there was some weird island and someone kept hitting me in the face with symbolism.
Anyway. I read some stuff on the web in which people said good things about this trailer, but I hate it. Hate hate hate it. Why? Because it’s awful.
We start on a boat in a storm. Our lead character dives underwater! There’s a zebra! He’s sitting on a lifeboat that falls as he raises his hands and screams! What is he—an idiot? Hold on moron. There is a storm and you are in trouble.
Then he rides some CGI waves and watches the boat sink. I’m starting to get the impression that at the start of this film, there is some sort of marine accident. Let’s not jump to any conclusions, though.
Next, the sun comes up and he’s somehow been transported to a My Little Pony play set. The titles helpfully suggest that “When all you’ve ever known is lost, find your courage”, and holy shit! It’s a fucking tiger! A fucking CGI tiger on the fucking lifeboat in the My Little Pony play set! Never get into the boat! or Never get out of the boat! Which is it? Where’s Chef and Clean? Forget the mangos!
Whatever. The inspirational music starts. You know, the stuff that they play when they want you to leave the restaurant because it’s closing? Some Indian women dance and the guy and the tiger have some laughs and there are some pretty landscapes that all look like Shrinky-Dinks on acid or something.
And then—I swear, you should watch this thing (and floss your teeth)—there’s a massive glowing whale orgasm.
That’s how it ends. With a massive, explosive, terrifying, glowing whale orgasm.
So… I’m guessing that I’m supposed to feel uplifted by this, but really it makes we want to lock Ang Lee in an elevator full of rotting donkey corpses.
I bet this shit wins seven Academy Awards. It looks like a cross between Castaway and What Dreams May Come. If you liked either of those films, you should watch this and then paint yourself blue and pretend you’re a Na’avi having sex with some glowing whales. Don’t forget to plug in your magic hair braid or you won’t pair bond for all time.
Prediction: I do not see this movie. I do not even watch it if I’m on the plane and it’s this or Jack and Jill.
Man of Steel
Superman, I guess, works on a fishing boat somewhere near the mines of Moria. I’m assuming that because this trailer uses Howard Shore’s score from The Fellowship of the Ring. You know, the choral part right after Gandalf dies fighting the Balrog.
It was very sad. All the hobbits cried. Even Eddard Stark got misty. They had to make at least five more movies just to calm everyone down.
Right. Man of Steel. This is a film by Zack Snyder, whom everyone loves because he’s got a subtle touch and true vision and he can make everything seem just that much more like a gay porn video. Did you see Sucker Punch? No. Me neither. MC frontalot saw it though, and he said it was absolutely ghastly. So terrible he had to rinse his eyes out in a glass of Vanilla Coke afterwards.
But we’re open minded. I didn’t despise The Watchmen, which Snyder directed, and this film has Michael Shannon in it. Shannon is really good unless he’s on Boardwalk Empire, which has created the worst part in the history of mankind for him to torture us with.
The Man of Steel teaser trailer opens with the sound of dying wizards. Socks dry in the wind. A bird soars low above a farm or something. We’re near the sea. I can smell it. There’s a boat yard and a scruffy dude. He’s on a boat, setting lobster traps. Or maybe they’re Balrog traps? Hurry up! Gandalf is dying!
Then the voiceover starts. I’m guessing it’s Superman’s stepdad. And… yes. You are right now cursing and saying, ” You idiot! That’s Ol’ Mr. Kent! One of the main characters in the Superman mythos!” Relax. I don’t care. Superman is a dumb character. I know this because now he is hitchhiking in this teaser trailer. That’s unsafe and fairly pointless when you can fly.
We go back to the farm now. Some kid, let’s assume it’s wittle Superman, is trying on a cape, pretending. His mom must not wear any underwear because I see no dainties on the line. Or maybe she just doesn’t wash them? Weird.
Then: boom! Superman is flying straight up into the clouds. He breaks the sound barrier. I hope he has ear protection.
The imposing voice over continues:
You’re not just anyone. Someday, you’re going to have to make a choice. You have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be. Whoever that man is, good character or bad, he’s going to change the world.
Then there are the credits. I watch this thing three times before it sinks in. Superman’s stepdad? Mr. Kent? Kevin Fucking Costner. Oh christ. We are in for a shitstorm of epic proportions. I don’t even know where to begin. I know: with everything.
Take the choice of music: what are they trying to do to us? Howard Shore is scoring Man of Steel, so it’s his own music they’re bootlegging, but why? Sorrow plus loss plus the voice of Superman’s stepdad equals…
I’m not that slow. I know the Supe loses both his real dad (Jor El? Kal El? Beth El?) to an unfortunate planetary disaster. His stepdad, Pa Kent, has a heart attack because he lives in the American heartland and eats way too much saturated fat. Except this is not the heartland. This is Maine or something. It must be bad clams.
But Zack Snyder is telling us that Superman is motivated by sorrow and loss. He’s a man of the earth (but not this one) who works hard jobs (even when he doesn’t need to) and who struggles with what kind of man he should be.
I wonder how it will turn out.
Supreme Being wrote enough about origin stories earlier this month. Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel certainly seems to be yet another version of the same old story we all already know. Let me guess. Lex Luthor is going to be the bad guy. Him and some clams. I’m sure it will be a stunningly refreshing re-boot. It sure looks gritty and that’s all big now that Christopher Nolan has hung up his utility belt. But… Superman? Gritty? That’s like the Care Bears knife fight film. A GREAT IDEA but one that will never happen.
Just once I want to see Superman do something truly wrong. I don’t know. Molest a kitten. Push grandma down the stairs. Work in telephone sales. Something horrible and inexcusable. Otherwise, it’s just the big blue schoolboy again and not only that, but a version of him re-envisioned by the visionary guy who made the visible film 300 in a visionary way. Maybe Man of Steel will be X-Ray visionary? I doubt it. Mrs. Kent ain’t wearing any undergarments.
Prediction: This is the sort of movie someone will insist I have to see, like The Amazing Spiderman, and I’ll shrug and go, yeah, whatever, sure. But then I wont see it until it hits Netflix streaming.
Next week, I’m going to review cereal box copy. And whatever’s written on the back of the seat in front of me on the bus. Chances are they’ll make that into a movie soon, too, the way things are going.
Perhaps next week I will also find and comment on a trailer for a movie that looks promising. That seems unlikely. Let us keep our fingers crossed.