Incongruous Trailers: Threat Level Alpha

When I went to DOA, I saw trailers for what will be a buckwild mainstream success (Talladega Nights), a children’s movie with a good cast (Storm Breaker – Bill Nighy!), and what is guaranteed to be purely horrid which, when last I checked, had a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes: The Covenant. (I just checked again: 2% now.)

The calibre of the movie you go to is going to affect the calibre of the trailers you see, with exceptions made for indisputable films that everyone is guaranteed to go and see (except, strangely enough, I can’t remember ever having seen a legitimate full length Dead Man’s Chest trailer, only a couple of teasers).

No other movie I’m going to see in the coming weeks is going to have a trailer for The Covenant, I can guarantee you that.

Talladega Nights, on the other hand, featured a trio of trailers I did not expect to see, plus one trailer that Americans will never see but was a perfect fit for this particular film.

The most understandable was Casino Royale, which is looking pretty damned good. I have my reservations about Judi Dench playing M in a story where M has been in the position longer than Bond has been a double 0 agent, but that’s really a quibbling argument when you consider just how awesome a Dame she is.
As a side note, the Casino Royale theme song, “You know my name”, leaked onto the internet this week: it’ll have to grow on me. I was looking forward to a big title song rather than just a theme song. I mean, who remembers Rita Coolidge’s “All Time High”, from Octopussy? No one, that’s who! (We’ll take on the world and win/So hold on tight/Let the flight/Begin)

Next up was A Good Year, the new comedy type film from Ridley Scott starring Russell Crowe. Beyond the fact that Crowe is box office poison and that Cinderella Man deserved to do much better than it did, do the audience going to Talladega Nights want to see a film about Russell Crowe – using his Antipodean accent, no less – rediscovering what it means not to be a bastard in France? I honestly can not tell you if I’m interested in seeing it, but Crowe does look somewhat personable and does not have to be offset by Renée Zellweger.

The big surprise of the selection was Children of Men, the trailer for which can be found here. (
Or, here’s YouTube (curse your usefulness, demon site!):

Children of Men is a dystopian film based on P.D. James’ novel of the same name. In a future where no children have been born for eighteen years, humanity is dying out and the world is at war. One pregnant woman has been discovered, and she must be delivered to safety.
I think that sounds interesting enough, but then it was revealed that the hero was Clive Owen, who has impressed me in the few movies of his that I have seen (Inside Man was particularly good). Then they cracked out the big guns: Julianne Moore, with whom I have become infatuated after absorbing Far From Heaven into my bloodstream over the last few weeks, and Michael Caine, about whom nothing needs to be said other than that he is awesome.

Children of Men came out last week in the UK, comes out here next month and, for reasons that I’m not going to begin to fathom, December 25 in America. (Boxing Day is the biggest day for movies in Australia; but does anyone actually go on Christmas Day?).

Children of Men, in being promoted at Talladega Nights, caught my attention. Yet it seemed out of place there, being promoted at a movie set in a hermetically sealed fantasy world where nothing bad ever happens – and if it does, it certainly doesn’t stick.

I suppose that the lesson I’ve learned is that a trailer doesn’t always need to fit with the movie that it accompanies: if it can make someone aware of, perhaps even interested in, something that they would otherwise be blissfully ignorant of, I suppose that makes everything worthwhile.

(For the record, the one trailer that made complete sense was that for the new Australian film Boytown, about a boy band reuniting in middle age to sing songs about the issues of the middle aged. It actually looks pretty funny, and is an Australian film that might get audiences in.)

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