Monday, February 12, 2007

Movie Trailers

Jen and I have been avid watchers of Heroes for the past several weeks. It's a fun show, and has a coherent and (apparently) well thought out multi-episode story arc. We started out watching it online on a coworker's recommendation, and for the past two weeks we've actually caught in on broadcast TV, which is the first time I've done that in a while (I think most recently was the West Wing, and that's been a while).

Which is all quite irrelevant; what I really wanted to talk about was the fact that I saw a trailer for a new movie adaptation of Bridge To Terabithia today. I don't know if you've read this book (of course I don't: I have no idea who exactly you are), but it was a children's book about a pair of middle-schoolers who construct an elaborate fantasy universe. There's some tragedy, some learning, some make-believe, and the like. I remember liking it a lot (and thinking it was really sad, too). What I don't remember, though, is anything that would merit the choral score and Lord-of-the-Ringsesque atmosphere that the trailer bestowed upon the movie. I mean, there was no explicit combat in the trailer or anything of the sort, but it had your traditional fantasy epic soundtrack, with a rousing string section and chorus of stirring vocalists, while sweeping camera shots of fantastical beasts looming above the camera added this very martial sense to everything.

Which, as I recall, is very out of place for the story. I guess it's all a byproduct of the popularity of the Lord of the Rings, just like the (to all appearances) godawful Ghost Rider is an unfortunate side-effect of X-Men and Spiderman. I guess I don't see the point of so willfully misrepresenting a movie like this. Are they just hoping to snare a couple of unaware teenage guys who'll go see the movie without doing the research first, or what? I suppose I would naively assume that the point of a trailer would be to make a movie as attractive as possible to its most likely audience, rather than to target a (presumably) completely uninterested demographic. But I guess that's why I'm not a marketer, huh?


  1. From what I hear - there was a lot of rumbling about this on a children's books list I'm on - the fantasy angle is way hyped up in the trailer (rather like it is in the trailer for Pan's Labyrinth ... but I digress) and in the film it's clear that all the fantastic elements are products of the kids' imaginations. So I'm sort of hoping it won't suck desperately after all. -Molly

  2. Holy crap. I had no idea you were still reading my blog, Molly.

    I'm not too attached to a Bridge to Terabithia movie, so I guess I don't care too much if it sucks (I liked the book, but I liked Charlotte's Web, too, and I have no intention of seeing that when it comes up). I was just flabbergasted at how the "martial fantasy epic" meme had so completely overwhelmed and subverted the actual content of the story.

    I agree with you about PL. I really liked it, but I was kinda expecting a little more "magical fantasy world" and a little less "gruesome images of violence". It might have altered somewhat the list of people I invited to see the movie with me... :-)

  3. I hated Bridge to Terebithia. Hated it. Hated, hated, hated it.
    Or, more accurately, the little boy who read it did. I remember having to read it in elementary school a month or so after my mother died, and for some reason I remember screaming at my teacher about how it was a stupid book and how I didn't want to do anything with it. I wanted to read the Phantom Tollbooth instead, so I read that.
    Anyway, Bridge to Terebitha has always reminded me of that, even though I hardly remember a thing of it. The irrational part of me who remembers it hopes that the movie will bomb in an explosion of dramatic money-loss, and we will never hear from its kind again.
    But, to be fair, its probably a perfectly fine book and I was just a really, really fucked up kid when I read it.
    Can I say that I'm hoping Ghost Rider will be a good beer-and-pizza movie? I mean, the guy has a skull for a head! It's on fire! There's a motorcycle! It's also on fire! Sam Elliot's moustache appears to figure prominently! What's not to like?