Periscope Depth

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Having talked about The Dark Knight at length, I will now talk about all the trailers I saw before The Dark Knight.

The Spirit: Holy hell, this looks like the worst movie ever. It takes a real piece of work like Frank Miller to look at the 40-year history of Will Eisner’s most celebrated character and say, “You know what this guy’s all about? He’s all about the fuckin’. That’s what he’s all about.” So we have some mediocre actors jumping in front of green screens, a guy I’ve never heard of murmuring the kind of dialogue that Frank Miller finds sexy, and Samuel L. Jackson screaming and waving machine guns, made up like Boy George in full kabuki regalia. Who would want to watch this garbage?

Body of Lies: How mediocre does a movie directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Leonardo diCaprio and Russell Crowe, have to look to turn me off? This mediocre. Ho hum, spy betrayed by his masters, starts pointing guns at people. Wake me up when we hit 2002, would you?

Bolt: Wow. I got really excited when I thought this movie was about a superpowered dog, and then promptly lost all interest when I realized it was a Homeward Bound knock-off. Who makes that choice? Who, when presented with two possible stories – one about a dog with a supersonic bark and unnatural strength and the kickass adventures it has; and one about a dog, a cat and a hamster traveling across the country – decides that the one that’s been told two thousand times will put more asses in seats? A Hollywood producer, of course.

The Day The Earth Stood Still: Looks far better than any remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still starring Keanu Reeves has a right to. The trailer suggests that the latter half of the movie should kick the audience’s ass; I make no promises to anything else. The original 50s movie dripped with ham-water preaching (well, sure, I feel like a jackass for shooting the compound that cured all diseases out of your hands, but you could have let us know what it was a few minutes earlier). I hope the remake retains the sentiment and heightens the tension while letting up on the moralizing.

Watchmen: I see that the “visionary” director of 300 has decided to use a graphic novel as a storyboard again, which sort of puts the lie to the adjective “visionary.” This made sense for 300, as crisp, glossy CGI trumps Frank Miller’s jagged chicken-scratch any day of the week. But considering that Watchmen was already one of the best illustrated graphic novels in the history of the medium, what will a movie add? Instead of reading a panel where Ozymandias hits an assassin with a bronze pillar, now we’ll see him actually pick it up and swing. We also get to see actors who don’t sound like the people we imagined when we first read the book deliver abbreviated versions of the dialogue we loved.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ll probably see it anyway.

Terminator: Salvation: I have no feelings either way regarding this movie. I fell out of love with the Terminator franchise around T3 (I thought the director made a few daring choices and a lot of staid ones). Christian Bale, okay. Whatever. Does nothing for me.

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