On Trailers (Or: Monkey Pandemonium and Karen O)

Posted: June 16, 2011 in Jeff Holland, Threat Quality
Tags: , , , , ,

This has been noted elsewhere, but the trailer for Rise of the Planet of the Apes is both an absolutely brilliant 2-minute movie, and an utter failure as an advertisement for a movie.

It’s one thing to see the X-Men: First Class trailer and think, “Oh, well I know all the major story beats there, what’s left?” because it’s advertised as being about two characters with increasingly opposing viewpoints. There is a story to be told there, regardless of already knowing the outcome.

RotPotA (or “Rotapota” because it’s fun to say) is straight-up about one super-intelligent monkey making an army of super-intelligent monkeys, and then sticking it to The Man. 

The ostensible draw of this movie is the question, how did the apes get into power by the age of PotA, and the trailer flat-out tells you that it’s the fault of Scientist James Franco (and you just knew his hobbies would doom us all one day, didn’t you?).

So, unless this movie turns out to be a fascinating rumination on the responsibilities of a scientist (and part-time performance artist, I assume) who – apparently never having seen how poorly Deep Blue Sea went for Samuel L. Jackson – is too ignorant to realize that keeping a super-intelligent animal around is just bad news, the only REAL reason to see this is: CGI Monkey Attacks.

And look, I like a monkey attack as much as the next guy – and if you ratchet that up to “monkey pandemonium,” then you have certainly piqued my interest – but I’m still not sure there’s a wide audience for a movie where the last half-hour is just an army of monkeys running on top of things. And the alternative – monkeys get nuclear launch codes – is maaaybe stretching it.

On the other hand: Rotapota, my brothers and sisters. Rotapota.


The self-proclaimed “Feel-Bad Movie of Christmas,” Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, released its insanely intense teaser trailer full of brief images that would mean absolutely nothing to you if you hadn’t already seen the original Swedish movie.

The entirety of the trailer is to entice the audience by going, “Remember this? Huh? What about THIS! Yeah, you do! And This and This and This!”

(On the other hand, If you’ve never seen or read GwtDT, I don’t recommend it because it’s based on some pretty hinky logic-leaps. But if you’re wondering just why it’s so “feel-bad,” I’ll give you a hint: it is because the bad guys are a family of Nazis who are also rapist-serial-killers. And I mean, if you’re gonna go for the most Eeeevil bad guy you can think of, Nazi-rapist-serial-killer could only be worse if you added “velociraptor.“)

Still, that Trent Reznor/Karen O Zeppelin cover? That is a badass cover.

  1. Bah! I’ve not seen the Swedish film and those images meant absolutely nothing to me but I still loved it. It just looks so beautiful. And yes, Reznor and O covering “Immigrant Song” was worth it.

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