Now that 2012 is one month shy of being in the books, and we’ve seen every trailer for films that are going to be released this year, I thought it was time I introduced two new columns I hope to write every year: The Five Worst Trailers of 2012, and the Five Best Trailers of 2012 (coming soon).
By way of introduction, my set of criteria for the “worst” list is basically this: how terrible do I think the film will be, based on the trailer? For instance, the trailer for Gangster Squad is a pretty terrible trailer in and of itself, but I also know that it stars Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, and Emma Stone, and it is directed by the visionary man who gave us Zombieland, so it makes me think it won’t be a totally terrible film.
And that’s pretty much the extent of it. Other than that, please be aware that I conducted way more research than was necessary here in order to give you the best possible list (I watched A LOT OF CRAPPY TRAILERS). Hope you enjoy.
#5: What to Expect When You’re Expecting
It was a tough call at #5 between the two barrel-scraping ideas that somehow got made into feature motion pictures this year: this film, and Battleship. I can imagine an old studio exec, fresh out of creative ideas, saying this: “Yeah, well...I do have a couple of ideas, but I think they’re kinda lame...see one is based on a hit board game in which you guess numbers to sink the other team’s boats...and the other, I don’t really know what it’s about but there’s this book everyone reads when they get pregnant and I think it would make a great, catchy title for a film...”
And somehow, those are the two ideas that get made into films.
The trailer itself isn’t so offensive that it shocks the conscience, but the tired “get me the epidural!!” joke did nothing to win me over, nor did the obligatory playing of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa” as the group of husbands enter with strollers in tow. Then when Glee’s Matthew Morrison made his appearance and a woman literally sneezed her baby out of her vagina, I didn’t feel like watching the rest of the trailer; but I’m assuming that one of the dads gets hit in the nuts at some point, or a toddler screams something really inappropriate (at which point the audience laughs uncontrollably), or Cameron Diaz does something that 35-year old women think is hilarious but everyone else is confused by this, or whatever. Anyway, I don’t plan on catching up to this one anytime soon.
Hey, look everyone! Tim Burton made another film adapted from black comedic material! Whoa, hold on, is that...Johnny Depp in the lead role, playing some sort of idiosyncratic weirdo?! No way!! Wait wait wait, don’t tell me Helena Bonham Carter is in this also, playing some sort of freak with frizzy hair...that would just be unprecedented!
Seriously, Tim Burton’s paycheck could not be sticking any further out of his back pocket. The guy has made two good movies in the last 10 years, Big Fish and Sweeney Todd (the latter mainly being because he left Sondheim’s musical mostly un-bastardized). But he and Disney keep making bank, so why would anyone try to improve what they’re doing? He is the definition of mediocre.
This wouldn’t be a respectable list of any sort if there weren’t a film starring Academy Award Winner Nick Cage!! (I just loved that they threw that in there). In apparently what was the rejected first script for the movie Taken, badass Cage is a former criminal (but the crime he committed was probably a misunderstanding and I’m sure he has a great heart) whose daughter is...wait for it...STOLEN...and he must steal $10 Mil for the ransom demanded by his former partner who probably should have spent a little longer in the makeup department finding a wig (while I’m at it, can we just stop for a moment to mourn the death of Josh Lucas’s promising career?). What are the odds that a studio executive somewhere just goes all-out and develops the idea for a film in which Liam Neeson AND Nick Cage’s daughters are simultaneously kidnapped and then, in a shocking twist of events, the former criminal and the intelligence agent must work together to get them back? The film would obviously be called TAK3N: STOLEN YET AGAIN.
#2: This Means War
Two white, male, ultra good-looking CIA Agents (aren’t they all, in movies?) discover they are dating the same hot white blonde and instead of being mad at her for being a cheating skank, try to screw with each other for the next hour and a half while you wonder how, exactly, your girlfriend dragged you into seeing this and whether or not she will still aptly reward you later if you are checking basketball scores throughout the movie. Your interest level is unaffected when the two agents realize that they must work together to solve an imminent international crisis (after some crotchety old and/or probably black boss tells them he doesn’t care about their personal s*** because they have a job to do), and then probably have some witty back-and-forth bantering about the love triangle as they are being rapidly fired upon in their final mission.
Also, there’s probably an explosion and somehow the white skank gets involved in the mission and put in harms way and one of the agents saves her. (I just made up that whole plot, but it sounds pretty plausible, right?)
#1: That’s My Boy
Film criticism of Adam Sandler movies has become a living organism all on it’s own, to the point where I think some critics go out of their way to apologize for his films in order to go against the grain; still, every time a Sandler film is released, the best part of my day is firing up the ole’ internet and reading every review I can get my hands on. If I had done this column last year, there’s no doubt in my mind that Jack & Jill would have taken the top prize in this contest, what with its barrier-breaking commentary on cross-dressing and all (wait, no? oh).
Anyway, whatever greatness Jack & Jill may have brought to the table, the trailer for That’s My Boy demonstrates Sandler’s uncompromising, stubborn determination to constantly improve upon himself with each passing film. Where Jack & Jill gave us cross-dressing jokes, That’s My Boy gives us pedophilia humor*. Al Pacino in a cameo? Psshh, we’ll give you Rex Ryan in a cameo! Other things we’ll just throw in for free here: a chick catching a fly ball in her cleavage, tattooing your 8-year-old son’s back, ripping off your own drunk voice from your Billy Madison character, strip club after strip club, ripping off the “waaazzzzuuupppp!!!” voice from the decade-old Budweiser commercials, more strip clubs, and did I mention pedophilia humor?
THE SANDLER DOES NOT SETTLE FOR MEDIOCRITY!!
*As long as we are all aware that if this was a female student who was in a relationship with a male teacher, the public outcry would be deafening and all kidding aside this is a ridiculous double-standard being promoted here.