This year, we’ve created our very own 2011 Movie Trailer Awards. Yep, we love The Golden Trailer Awards. They’re comprehensive and brilliant and startling accurate. But we decided that normal category nominations such as “best sound effects” and “best movie trailer voice over” just wouldn’t cut it for this year’s quality contenders. So we’ve erected some new pillars of notoriety that will undoubtedly come off as either arrantly awesome or blatantly offensive—so much so that they’ll make your stomach “Flip” (get it? Flipsy? We thought that was clever too). Either way, you’ll have a strong visceral response to the insanity that follows. And hopefully you’ll appreciate the unapologetic arrogance and flagrant disregard for talent, artistic prowess, and any minutiae of credible critical analysis. Enjoy.
My Week with Marilyn — As talented as I think Michelle Williams is (one of the finer actresses of her generation), I literally cannot look at her without making a direct association with the high-profile back story of her private life. My brain sifts through countless US Weekly covers, TMZ.com photos, and Entertainment Weekly articles. Coaxing the audience to suspend disbelief is pretty much a prerequisite when it comes to delivering an authentic, character-driven performance (especially one that channels such an iconic, recognizable pop culture figure such as Marilyn Monroe), and in no way, shape, or form, am I even slightly able to conflate the identities of these two women. And it’s not just the back story association either, it’s her high profile status as an actress. In biopics like this, sometimes it’s best to pick an actress/actor whose highly-publicized persona will not eclipse the actual object of the biopic.
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Stop rolling your eyes for a second and admit to yourself (and to your self-help group) that you’re at least the tiniest bit curious as to whether or not Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart actually end up having sex in this film. We’ve been patient enough to tolerate the chastity-crazed storyline that has been mercilessly woven throughout the fabric of 3 excruciatingly sexless films, that exist, as far as I’m concerned, only as forensic foreplay leading up to the main explosive event that is bound to take place in the final installation of this highly-overrated film franchise. In fact, the first half of this trailer is a flagrant testament to this very argument (literally, the first 1:15 of this trailer looks like it’s been pulled straight from a strangely-family-friendly soft-porn. If you don’t believe me, time the trailer as you watch it and see for yourself). But beyond the unabashed and shameless campaign for teen sex, everything about this trailer screams over-stimulus. First we have the much-anticipated vindication of the vampire/human consummation, then there’s the pregnancy, then the pregnancy may kill Kristen Stewart, which may in turn spawn a war between werewolves and vampires, which may effectively destroy Kristen/Robert’s marriage, which simultaneously catches the eye of the evil vampire council, potentially spawning a world war between vampires, humans, and werewolves. I mean, come on! There’s only so much we can take in one two minute trailer. I can’t possibly imagine that the film handles the ridiculous over-dramatization and fantastical complexity with any more skill or panache.
J.Edgar – Um. Yeah. I just wanted to create a category that gratuitously and inappropriately promotes the utter awesomeness that is Judi Dench. Good thing dame Judi was actually in a trailer this year, otherwise I would have had to post a poorly-edited, low-budget (I knew I installed iMovie on my Mac for some reason!) video of a tasteful cross-dressing community theatre actor impersonating Judi Dench impersonating Cuba Gooding Jr. in this year’s highly-coveted, post-modernist tasteful re-make of Boyz n the Hood (Ok I made that part up, but I’d have to pull some kind of misdirection stunt to get this category the well-deserved attention that it should.
Jack and Jill – Nope you guessed wrong, it’s not The Rum Diary (come on, do you really think we’d be that obvious?). I picked Jack and Jill because if I have to sit through 2 minutess of Adam Sandler’s double-sex buffoonery, it’s the only way I can really watch this thing. Alcohol is clinically proven to minimize a bad movie-induced gag reflex. PS: The Church of Scientology has Katie Holmes on a pretty long leash with this one.
Sleeping Beauty – The unapologetic exploitation of Emily Browning’s “not so hard on the eyes” physical assets seems to have become somewhat of a pattern in Hollywood as of late (um, can you say Suckerpunch?). Come on Hollywood casting directors – give this girl at least the smallest chance to have a long-lasting career that’s not purely and solely dependent upon her capacity to pucker her already over-sized, collagen-rampant lips. Just because the voice-over invokes the illusion of a high-brow, and erudite artsy salutation, doesn’t mean we’re in the least bit fooled. This honestly feels like a loosely strewn-together talent reel for an up-and-coming model trying to get cast in some hipster’s re-furbished Andy Warhol tribute exhibit in So Ho. We get it. Your movie is so sophisticated that only .001% of the population is sophisticated enough to understand its sophisticated sophistication. The same .001% of the population that stares at back-alley walls for hours on end trying to derive crucial meaning from the existential nature of hacky-sacks amidst the chaotic-yet-organized order of the universe.
American Reunion – I was going to name this category, “Best job riding off the coat-tails of previous franchise films’ successes,” but this seemed slightly less bellicose. When the trailer first opens, I felt only a slight knee-jerk upchuck reflex, until the music picks up, and Jim is immediately emasculated, Stiffler makes a chauvinist quip remark to a couple just-out-of-the-sorority colleagues, and Kevin has turned into a house-husband. I suddenly found myself strangely interested in the character development of my favorite teen-clan of losers-turned-egomaniacs. How far will the creators of the American Pie franchise actually push the envelope with the situational shock-value humor this time around, since they’ve all but drained the proverbial keg of pee-poo-semen-awkward-sex jokes via the first 3 installments. After all, you can only regurgitate the same gag-evoking humor, ludicrous character quirks, and right of passage story-lines so many times… or can you? If one thing’s for certain, it’s that we can absolutely expect our underdog cast of boys-turned-men who are perpetually striving for sexual vindication to cross all new boundaries of sexual inappropriateness that was previously not within comedic grasp: pedophilia. After all, it was the objectification and exploitation of young, ripe high school girls that made the original such a smash hit in the first place, so why fix a formula that ain’t broken? As Dazed and Confused’s creepy-but-lovable Wooderson (or was it Lao-tse?) so eloquently put it: “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.” A nugget of wisdom from the highest order of truth.