Trailer Mash

'Wanderlust' and eight less objectionable opening movies, all in 60 seconds

Dissolutely plugging away at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, you realize it is far too much like hard work. It is like a second job. Luckily you have a roommate who is one of those swivel-eyed gamer loons and can get you through all the firefights you've lost interest in. You hand him the controller. Somebody made a movie out of that. Act of Valor is a military recruitment video in which actual real-life Navy Seals play out actual scenarios based on actual missions that look exactly like Call of Duty. There are ghillie suits, flash bangs, sky diving and Soap MacTavish-style catchphrases such as "All clear," "Target secure" and "Stay frosty" (maybe). There can be not a shred of doubt that this is Call of Duty the Movie, except the wrong sponsor has been attached. Inexplicably, the trailer ends with an ad for Battlefield 3. If you know what a ghillie suit is, none of the above will read like gibberish.

Had enough of Amanda Seyfried yet? God, you're fickle, but I know what you mean. It's getting to that point. Anyhow, in Gone she's ditched the fey ingenue bit to play a tough and damaged woman with 12 hours to track down her sister who's been abducted by someone the police don't believe exists. Yep, Amanda has turned into Kiss-the-Girls-era Ashley Judd overnight. That said, this is an exceptionally well-cut trailer. Amanda's exquisitely furrowed brow is exploited to the full in extreme close-up after XCU, and tension is ratcheted up almost as though the movie were not entirely predictable. The real mystery comes from wondering if Amanda carry a movie. To be determined, but she can certainly carry a trailer.

By the way, life isn't about how much we get, it's about how much we share. That is the lesson of the trailer for Tyler Perry's Good Deeds in which Tyler Perry, dusted lightly in Tyler Perry's Facial Hair, plays an extremely rich and successful man who performs a good deed, Tyler Perry's, that makes his life even more perfect. If not as perfect as Tyler Perry's Good Teeth. Tyler Perry's Thandie Newton plays the recipient of Tyler Perry's Good Deed, but then she also played the girl in Eddie Murphy's Norbit.

Had enough of Paul Rudd yet? Yeah … if you are doubtful that this week's list of releases so far is beginning to look like a spiraling vortex into a hell of sub-ideas bashed out by hallucinating maggots, then Wanderlust delivers all the confirmation you need. Paul Rudd, Phoebe's boyfriend from Friends, is married to Jennifer Aniston from Friends. He loses his job and they end up in a hippy commune, where if you're Paul, beautiful girls offer sex and you can't sit on the toilet without an audience. If you're Jennifer, you barely get a word of script, just a gallimaufry of reaction shots which mostly have the effect of making you look as though you are desperate to be anywhere else doing anything else. Even a personalized perfume promotion could not be worse than this.

The story we can garner from the trailer materials for Around June is as follows: Back in 2007, a website promoting the film was set up and featured a trailer competition. From the various submissions that remain on YouTube, there remains the suggestion that the film is a love story between a boy and a girl for whom the words shampoo and peroxide are interchangeable. There also seems to be something to do with an older relative with a bad temper. That's about it. Why this historical artifact is seeing the light of day in 2012 must have to do with the actress playing the girl, Samaire Armstrong, and her abiding hold on the attention of fans of The O.C.

Hereafter your hopes for cinema may improve. Look up the trailer for This Is Not a Film and you get "This Is Not a Film Trailer," which, evidently, is not true. In fact, this is a very fine trailer for a movie about moviemaking. It's the story of a director considered so dangerous by his government he is held under under house arrest as he awaits trial. If the sentence against him is passed, he will be disallowed from working in film for 20 years. On the plus side, he notes, he won't have to read any scripts. Since he can't make a film, he decides to tell one, and with a giant iguana as a writing partner, his story unfolds within his own four walls. If you needed another argument against the censorship of art, Jafas Panahi's life in contemporary Iran is it.

When you see a trailer for a film like The Forgiveness of Blood, you immediately identify yourself as a member of one of two groups of people. You are either the kind who will see a glimpse of an innocent Albanian boy eager for a modern life but caught in the unyielding grip of an ancient tribal grudge, and immediately you will want to know more. Or you are the kind who will get halfway through reading the title and doze off. For the first kind, this looks to be a very fine example of exactly the film you like and feel you should see. If you are of the second kind, go catch Wanderlust.

The Fairy trailer has a hotelier seduced by an angular woman who claims to be, what else, a fairy. Their union results in a baby seemingly dropped from the heavens, whereafter slapstick shenanigans ensue. This has the glow of a more innocent and magical time, gentle jokes, primary colors, interesting faces, surreal slapstick, Pernod cocktails and a gentle hit of true love. Ahhh, Belgians.

[Trailer below is NSFW.] Drawing on a not-dissimilar palette is the trailer for Hipsters, which has nothing to do with Brooklyn and everything to do with growing a quiff and playing saxophone in what is presumably 1950s Russia. Apparently a melange of ropey subtitles, seizure-inducing editing, and populous song and dance sequence, Hipsters may well be a mashup of 1984 and Rent. It could even be the greatest film ever made, but it is impossible to tell, at least according to this kaleidoscope of a trailer. 

Publish date: February 24, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT