For some reason this approach to movie reportage continues to amuse me, so forthwith, my up-to-the-moment, indispensible reviews of…the trailers preceeding The Matrix Reloaded. Beware, it’s a pretty ugly sight:
- Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde — Remember the famous scene in “A Clockwork Orange”, where Malcolm McDowell is strapped into a chair with his eyelids pried open with calipers, and one of the doctors is carefully dripping saline solution into them from an eyedropper to make sure they didn’t dry out? Well, replace the saline solution with paint thinner, and you’ve got a rough idea of what watching this was like. Granted that I am about as far removed from the target audience of this film as it’s possible to be while still living in this country, but who, exactly, thought that “Ms. Barbie Goes to Washington” was a concept worth paying $30 Million to execute? When the trailer (which contained multiple seperate shots of Luke Wilson looking Supportive And Earnest in his role as The Supportive And Earnest Boyfriend) was over, the entire row in front of us broke out into boos…and then the rest of the audience applauded the booers.
- LXG: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen — That weird, almost-inaudible keening sound you hear coming from over the Atlantic ocean? That’s Alan Moore, screaming, as yet another of his brilliant, whimsical and detailed graphic novels is turned into unwatchable dreck. Sean Connery, I’m convinced, is on some unstated mission to avenge his treatment in The Avengers (wherein he was cast as a weather-controlling supervillian who liked to dress up in a day-glo teddy bear suit, and I am not making that up) by playing that same character in every movie since then.
- Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines — Managed the seemingly impossible feat of making this movie seem even less interesting than the previous trailers; this was probably compounded by the fact that it was running in advance of an action/sci-fi movie about a dystopian future ruled by machines that people actually wanted to see. The really scary part? T3 was part of a two-picture deal: unless this film completely tanks, we’re locked into a T4: Boy Howdy There’s A Lot of Terminators Here. But that “unless” is looking less and less unlikely: the audience was visibly bored. So was I.
- Kill Bill — The downside: same exact trailer as Miramax released two months ago. The upside: it’s a damn good trailer. Not sure if I buy Lucy Liu as a martial artist (someone please tell me that Michelle Yeoh was tragically unavailable?), but whatever: I can’t pretend that they don’t have my money already on this one.
- 2 Fast, 2 Furious — Every single last shot in this trailer had something in it to remind you that this film was EXTREME! And TO THE LIMIT! And WICKED! And OVER THE TOP! So why was it so BORING, GENERIC, and UNINVOLVING? I swear to god I heard crickets chirping in the back rows. A direct-to-video sequel that somehow escaped its VHS containment cell.
- Freddy vs Jason — This of all things got the best reaction from the audience, and I can’t really blame them. Sometimes a concept just sells itself, and normal laws of taste, consideration and basic sanity stop applying. Sure, it’s stupid, completely unnecessary, gratuitous and at its shriveled little heart, kinda lame… but it’s Freddy…versus Jason. Like that reunion tour of the original KISS lineup, its position as a signifier of adolescent glory for a certain time and a certain place completely overwhelms any niggling questions about whether it’s a good idea. Not, mind you, that there’s a chance in hell I’m paying money to see this.
- The Last Samurai — Mene, mene, tekel uparshin… Remember in The Producers, the shot of the entire audience with their jaws in their laps after the “Springtime for Hitler” number? Yeah, like that. While I realize that there is no force in this universe that can break Tom Cruise’s satanic contract for guaranteed box office success, if there were any justice at all, this helping of warmed-over James Clavell nonsense would do it.
Oh, and there was that damned Powerade Matrix commercial, which I’m a little embarrassed to admit I found amusing. Yeah, tacky to prepend a film with one of its own commerical tie-ins, but sometimes a good deadpan is enough to make me giggle.
And there was a movie, that I might comment on later.