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Dissecting Trailers: Action Movie Madness

There’ve been an awful lot of new trailers suddenly released this last week or so, probably to do with Comic-Con. I didn’t get to go to Comic-Con this year. I’m not bitter. Anyway, a whole bunch of trailers came out that I want to discuss and instead of trying to break down each one beat by beat, I’ll just hit some of the high notes.


It must be written into the law of Mission Impossible that once per movie, Tom Cruise gets thrown forward by an explosion. And looks like he does it on two different occasions. This movie should be called Ethan Hunt Outruns Death 4. That or Ethan Hunt Climbs Up Stuff Unnecessarily 4. Also, can a movie legally have Jeremy Renner AND Josh Holloway in it? Won’t there be hundreds of cases of women fainting in theaters? My mother will surely be one of them. Simon Pegg looks like he gets to be a badass in it, which makes me happy and the overall action looks insanely fun, thanks to it being directed by Brad Bird, director of the Pixar classics The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Why they used an Eminem song in the trailer, though, is anyone’s guess.


I’ve chosen to discuss this trailer with a little skit I’ve written.
Pitch Man: “I have an excellent idea for the new Spider-Man movie, boss.”
Sony Executive: “Oh? And what might that be?”
Pitch Man: “So you know how Sam Raimi’s first film less than a decade ago set the bar for superhero movies and then its sequel raised the bar impossibly high, and both movies were praised for their frenetic action as well as their wry sense of humor, making us connect to Peter Parker’s trials and tribulations even more than we already would?”
Sony Executive: “Of course I do. I loved those movies when I was in Junior High.”
Pitch Man: “Well, what if we take out all that and make it all angsty and subdued and sort of make it look like The Social Network and even get one of the guys who was in The Social Network to be the lead and then end the trailer for it with a weird, ambiguous quote that doesn’t actually mean anything?”
Sony Executive: Are you going to do another emo-Spider-Man? Market research shows nobody really liked that.
Pitch Man: But in this, he’s going to be extra emo, and there won’t be a dance number.
Sony Executive: I like it! Here’s a bag of money. Give as little as possible to the writer.


Steven Soderbergh can literally do anything he wants. In only the last couple years he made, a four-and-a-half-hour biopic about Che Guevara, a non-porn movie starring porn star Sasha Grey, a comedy with a fat Matt Damon, and another Goddamned Ocean’s movie; why the hell wouldn’t he make a sexy action thriller starring real-life MMA fighter Gina Carano where she beats the tar out of a number of recognizable actors? The stones on this guy. I do think it’s a bad idea to show basically every scene where she kills a big star. Sort of takes some of the intrigue away. I also like that Banderas is doing his impression of George Clooney in Syriana.


I remember seeing bits of a miniseries on PBS of the same name starring Alec Guinness. It is now official: Gary Oldman is the Alec Guinness of today. I have nothing particularly snide or disparaging to say about this trailer, mostly because I think it looks incredibly awesome. What a cast! Is it even legal to have Cumberbatch, Hardy, and Firth in the same movie? My mom’s going fainting again.


Okay. I know 300 made a shit-load of money. Fine. But can everyone stop blatantly making that movie again? And then they have the gall to actually say “From the producers of 300” as if it’s a good thing that these people can’t branch out. Why is Mickey Rourke in this movie? He certainly doesn’t LOOK like he belongs in an Ancient Greek period piece. He certainly doesn’t SOUND like he belongs in an Ancient Greek period piece. So what the fuck is he doing there? It can’t merely be his love of wearing bonnet-like helmets with teeth on them, effectively making him resemble a large, hellish baby. This goes for movies in general: Can we just agree to stop doing the “Today, we live in infamy, we walk in eternity, and celebrate our independence day!” speeches? Let’s just take as read that the troops are rallied and they’re winning one for the Gipper. Wait! What is Stephen Dorff doing in this movie? He certainly doesn’t LOOK like– Oh, fuck it.

So these are new action movie trailers! Yay? Next time, I’m gonna do the upcoming horror movie trailers. As is my wont.


-Kanderson loves you all… but only if you follow him on TWITTER. He’s a dick that way.

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  1. PapaFrita says:

    I had no idea that Singh was involved! I can’t really blame the studio, though. He only has two movies known in the States, and The Fall didn’t get much attention, so adding his name to the trailer wouldn’t have much of an effect.

  2. Kristina says:

    The ad campaign for Immortals is INFURIATING. Tarsem Singh directed this sucker, and so far as I can tell “the producers of 300” is actually just one dude, of 13. Arg. I’ll watch this, because Tarsem has the most amazing visuals…ever, probably.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Cumberbatch (squee!)

  4. Hickspy says:

    I seriously need a straight-forward Spider-man movie just to bleach my brain free of all the stupid crap Raimi threw into his movies.

    And I’m not just talking about 3. I mean everything.

    Looking at you, woman who had to scream at the camera for 10 seconds straight because she saw Doc Ock climbing a wall.

  5. John Pavlich says:


    Right on! I’m with you on this one! We have a new Spider-Man for two very important reasons: 1. Raimi screwed up, and the world needs to fall back into love with Spidey, the sooner the better. 2. Hollywood is in trouble, due in large part to the rocky economy. Movie studios need a sure thing, something they know will bring in money so they can keep working. I mean for crying out loud, MGM filed for Bankruptcy and we nearly didn’t get another Bond film, which is a longstanding franchise that also makes a ton of money.

    But I digress. The Amazing Spider-Man looks like great care was taken to produce a good product. I’m always appreciative of that, as it happens so rarely these days. Speaking of comic shop cynicism, why are people once again complaining about the costume? I’ve got to be honest, this new one at least LOOKS as if a resourceful young man made it, using common materials, as opposed to a Hollywood design/wardrobe department with loads of cash. Also, I find the variations on the design rather apt and charming. I wasn’t crazy about the gloves at first, but I get it. A young adult in this generation WOULD go for something like that, I think. I’m totally fine with Spidey having angst. Dealing with his problems at such a young age, it makes sense. I don’t want him being all flippant, disaffected or campy. I wouldn’t like him then, or be able to identify with him on some level. It’s important to feel sympathy and empathy for Peter. It’s why Spidey has been around for so long and is still so beloved.

  6. Dedwerkz says:

    To be honest, I’m excited by the new Spiderman. I loved the comics back in the day because he was a bit of an angsty teenager, he had the same problems and insecurities I did. He rose above it but it was through tragedy and loss at every turn. Peter is too angsty and emo? Fuck, its called being young and a nerd.
    Why is everybody suddenly cheerleading for Raimi’s movies as so perfect anyway? Raimi underused Willem Dafoe is that damn helmut, he rewrote history with Mary Jane and Gwen Stacy and he shortchanged the very concept of Venom, ’nuff said. Why reboot? Spiderman 3 destroyed the Raimi franchise from going forward with a new cast because the story and characters were neutered by camp. Raimi pulled a Schumacher and his touch and influence were deservedly removed.
    We got a couple pictures and two minutes of footage, can we drop the comic shop cynicism?

  7. Lucy says:

    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy will be seen…mostly because I love the cast. *cough*Cucumberpatch*cough*

    Might see MI4 just for Simon Pegg. Might.

  8. Kelly says:

    The only reasons to see MI4 are Renner, Holloway, and Pegg.

    Torn on the Spiderman movie. Liked Garfield in Who, but do we really need ANOTHER Spiderman reboot when the last one isn’t more than a few years old yet?! The last one wasn’t good. Doesn’t exactly set a good precedence here, regardless.

    And yes, I will see the decidely camp and bound to be truly awful, terrible, and probably no good Fright Night, purely because the 10th Doctor will have some time on a movie screen in the US. Oh, and Chekov from Star Trek. A girl gets one guilty pleasure this summer….

  9. Mike says:

    Is Immortals based on putting 300 in a blender with the old Saturday morning D&D cartoon?

  10. Josh Halloway IS


    Coming December 2011.

  11. shay says:

    the only fainting I will be doing watching MI4 is when Simon Pegg is on screen … and maybe if Josh Holloway is shirtless

  12. Anthony Groen says:

    i’m sorry, has it been long enough for a spiderman reboot? what the hell man, and that 1st person parkour video game scene. goddammit.

    tinker tailor looks amazing though.

  13. Robert says:

    Why doesn’t somebody come out and say it. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy plays like a tight-to-the-chest parody of a cold war movie.

  14. Ian says:

    You’re missing one, just released on the 25th. A movie called “In Time” that looks pretty badass, despite starring Timberlake. It’s also got Cillian Murphy, Matt Bomer, Vincent Kartheiser, Johnny Galecki, and Amanda Seyfried.

  15. Amanda says:

    When I saw that Mission Impossible trailer in theaters, I was hoping you’d do some commentary on it. Wish fulfilled!

  16. Sawyer says:


    *I’m legally obligated to yell that, what with him portraying one of my favourite characters on tv and inspiring my nick and all that.

  17. Jon says:

    ok, not to defend Immortals (which will certainly be shit…i may see it anyway), but Rourke is not supposed to look like a legitimate Ancient Greek solider. These sorts of movies are (obviously) heavily stylized and deal more with the Greece of myth and legend. So as a creepy bad-ass mythical warrior, I think he kind of works.

    But really, I’d see Rourke in just about anything these days. He even managed to make small parts of Iron Man 2 not horribly suck.

  18. Rob says:

    The first time I saw Andrew Garfield’s work was in Doctor Who and I’ve enjoyed his work since. The rest of these movies look like crock.

  19. Kyle Anderson says:


    Well, at least you told me.

  20. Reginald_Charming says:

    TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY gave me chills

  21. alisaj29 says:

    I will be feigning complete ignorance to the beautifulness (just go with that word ) of Jeremy Renner AND Josh Holloway while in the presence of my husband who will inevitably drag me to the movie.

    I hate the new Spider-Man actor… That is all.

    As for The Immortals, casting seems to want to add Mickey Rourke in EVERYTHING now, again?? Curse you Iron Man. However I want to watch it so I can faint at Henry Cavill, or Superman which ever you choose.

  22. I'm a D-BAG says:

    Hey, I stole your Mickey Rourke thing and commented on the YouTube page. Yeah, I’m a dick.