Sunday, April 3, 2016


I really, really thought I was done with this topic. I wrote the definitive anti-trailer rant years ago on this blog, here you can see for yourself, got the link right here:

See, you read that. Yeah, that was years ago, one of my earliest blogs that got attention. I didn't even realize I could change the size of the youtube clip to fill out my blog back then, but boy is it a strong, reasonable argument that trailers and trailer analysis is just pointless and useless and any/everybody who partakes in the practices in noticing/caring/analyzing/getting excited for/talking about a movie's trailer would simply be asinine relics of a foregone era. The last person who hung on to his MC Hammer pants, way past their exploration date. That's what trailer analysis is, or should be. In-stEAD!

How many times do I see, "Oh, did you see the "Star Wars" trailer? Oh, can you be that trailer? What do you think of that trailer? Oh my God, there was (INSERT WHATEVER) in that trailer! Oh my God, can you believe how awful the new "Ghostbusters" trailer is? I can't wait for the next trailer for...-" AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!

It's the fucking, trailer! Why are you remotely even paying attention to it?! It's not even, the movie, it's just, the trailer, and of course it's gonna be good, that's what trailers do, make the movie look good, so people will see it, it's a trailer! It's a literal commercial for the movie, it's not the movie, which you still have no fucking idea if it's gonna be any good or not, just the trailer!-, I feel like I'm Allen Iverson trying to explain how it's okay to miss a practice. Now granted, he said it badly, but no he's not wrong, it's just a practice, and he was a world class professional athlete who gave it all on the court, during the game, so, no I didn't give a shit (LAWYER'S NOTE: David Baruffi is a longtime Philadelphia 76ers fan, any/all opinions on current/former players/coaches/front office people including Allen Iverson is subject to bias).

(Rubbing head roughly) It's hurts my head to hear people, still raving and craving and discuss-ing, of all things, trailers, and then, this happened:

Look, I respect the hell out of Doug Walker, and deeply admire his Channel Awesome empire, and normally, even when I do disagree with him, (I still have no idea what the hell he's talking about with the "Juno" backlash, it's still amazing and still should've won the Oscar that year) I don't really bother writing a response or bringing it up, 'cause, it's an opinion, and typically even when I do disagree, he makes thoughtful and analytically interesting points, but, no, we all don't like doing this. I hate doing this. I hate trailers! Well, I don't hate trailers, I hate that they lead to all this fan discussion, that I absolutely despise. And, no I don't see it as fun, getting into trailers. If anything, getting excited by trailers is the epitome of asking to be disappointed. And that's not to say that trailers being good is a bad thing, but they lead to expectations, and if you ask me, expectations, especially for movies, should always, ALWAYS, be tempered as much as possible. I-eh, maybe this is just a complete philosophical difference between me, and what seems like everybody else in the free world, but the higher one's expectations is, the more likely and greater, the disappointment. Rarely are expectations ever met, and frankly the energy involved in building up expectations is just, a waste. Now, tempering those expectations, if possible, having none at all, will lead to actually being able to enjoy a good or a great movie even more, and lead to a more enlightened perspective that hasn't been effected by so much pre-movie hype, or bias. The experiences I've had watching movies with this approach far, far, FAR outway the experiences I've had where I got sucked in by commercial expectations, even when it's a bad movie. In fact, since I don't go in with expectations and hopefully with as little prior knowledge as possible, I'm not usually as disappointed by a bad movie. Frustrated, annoyed, perhaps pissed off, yes, but not disappointed. I mean, other than the fact that I wasted two hours watching a shitty movie, but at least it's just a shitty movie, it's not a shitty movie you devoted all that time beforehand gearing up for and getting excited about. Honestly, it makes me feel so heavy and partially out-of-breath and puts a bad taste in my mouth, just thinking about it. Just thinking about how people actually do think about it, gives me all these feelings.

But you know, Nostalgia Critic, isn't entirely wrong either. It is okay to watch trailers, it is interesting to look at trailers and try to analyze the quality of a movie, hell, trailers themselves are a hell of an art form. The Golden Trailer Awards, actually once aired on network television. (Well, CW, so sorta on network television, but still....) You can get work in Hollywood by editing together a good trailer, hell, I highly recommend doing it in fact. If you're good at that, send your work in to people, you're needed. There is an artistry to it, there's style, there's design, there's artistic decisions, like using a voice-over narration, how much of a movie to show, what to show, what to hint at, I get it, if you want to look at a trailer artistically, you can do that, that's totally valid. I don't think that's what this is though. If that was the case, then people would just go around watching every trailer around, hell they'd have entire channels just devoted to showing movie trailers.-

(Bang my palms into my head three times, hard. Then three more times, hard. Gutteral silent growl)

I'm gonna pretend that doesn't exist for the purposes of this article. And, yes occasionally you can actually determine the quality or potential quality or lack thereof of a movie by watching the trailer, and I don't have any issue with that. The issue I have, is with how much, we do that. How much we obsess over and analyze these things. The fact that I ever hear about trailers scares the hell out of me. How we, know better, or at least we should at this point, know better than to get so caught up and excited or intrigued by marketing and yet, all it seems I hear people talk about is, "How good a movie looks like, it'll be, because of the trailer." Like we're five-year-olds and we see a commercial for an animated movie. Or a box of cereal, or whatever the hell they sell to kids now.

And then, huge shock and disappointment over the fact that, the trailer, oh dear god, (gasp!) was misleading! (McCauley Culkin face slap)

You see, we don't need to be watching or analyzing the trailers to see if the movie is good or not, because.... (clears throats, ahem)

WE HAVE FREAKING FILM CRITICS TO DO THAT FOR US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah this, right here, this is what really upsets me at our insistence on watching and analyzing trailers, if this was literally the only way we could actually tell or try to determine what movie to watch or whether a movie is gonna be any good then, fine, all this would totally be okay with me, but no, we have fucking film critics, you fucking dumbasses! Those who actually go and see the movie, and many of them have seen many more movies than you or I have, and probably know a little bit more than we know about movies, then certainly know more than us, we are just watching a goddamn TRAILER!!!!!!!!!! OHHHHHHHHHHH! OHHHHHHHHHHHH! OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! (I am channeling Sam Kinison as I'm writing this and getting more and more frustrated so, if I start talking about the hell of being married for two years to some bitch, not true) I'm not even talking about me, I mean real critics, ones that work for the newspapers and the magazines and trades and had done this and been payed for it for decades, Yeah, there's a couple I don't particularly care for, I've mentioned one or two of them before, but most of them, especially the big names, they're pretty good at this and they provide the service of suffering through the worst and shittiest movies of all-time just to tell us not to see 'em, and also point us towards the movies we really should be seeing instead.

Yeah, you see, this has come up since, what the hell is this movie, "Batman vs. Superman" something... (Checking IMDB) "Dawn of Justice", since this film came out, and it's started all over again, the arguments and debates over the quality of the film, and something that's come up, is, at least among the people who love the movie, is how the "Critics", don't seem to like it, or vice-versa or whatever. I keep seeing posts about how "Critics aren't comic book people so they don't get it!", which is just bullshit, 'cause most critics are comic book people, although I am not one of them. most are, Roger Ebert's even written about his love of them, so (Middle finger) bullshit, to all these posts about "How the critics got it wrong?" or how, I saw one post "The ten times critics got it wrong", and listed all these movies that the critics were wrong about, which, A. half the time, they were using a pretty limited sample and B. Seven out of the 10 films they listed as being good, I agreed with the critics on and thought they were and still are crap! So clearly, the critics weren't completely wrong all the time. And anybody who tells me, "The critics never like the movies I like anyway," has clearly, never actually looked it up, 'cause I swear to God, most of the movies that people actually like or think are good, are widely and critically acclaimed. I'm not saying all, but I'm gonna say, 90%, there's outliers for everybody, but you really think the critics were always wrong and "White Chicks" is a goddamn masterpiece, or you know what, let me make it easy for you:

That link above is to the Wikipedia page that shows the list of every movie on Rotten Tomatoes that got a 0% rating, meaning that literally, not one critic, who has reviewed the movie, liked it. Now, not all of these are widely-reviewed, and not all of them I'm sure are reviewed by some of their top critics, but of all the movies on here with ten people reviewing it, point to me the masterpiece that every critic was wrong about. Go ahead, I'll wait. Go look at the list, show me the one that's an undeniable masterpiece.

(Whistling, looking at watch for five minutes)

Yeah, I didn't think so. You see, the fact is that more often than not, critics are pretty accurate. If most critics seem to like it, it's probably a good movie, if most critics hate it, it's probably a bad movie, if the critics are split, then usually, it's a movie that's eh, somewhere in between, and that's okay. And when you look at metacritic, or just read the reviews and actually check, how much the critics like or hate a particular movie and not just whether or not they actually like it, period, it's even more consistently accurate. There's no formula to critical acclaim, other than, have it be a good movie, those who think otherwise, outliers aside, are just delusional. They've somehow convinced themselves that movie critics don't know anything, 'cause they're not me, and they don't respond to things I like the way others do. And yes, once in a while, this happens, but seriously, it's once in a while, and usually a long while.

So what about, "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice"? is that a good movie? I don't know, I haven't seen it yet, probably won't for awhile, it mostly got negative reviews, so I'm probably not gonna put it at the top of my watch list in the immediate time being. But, everybody is vehemently responding to the movie, as though having one side or the other is life or death and it's dividing everybody. Which is strange considering that one of the last movies that people reacted this way to was "Man of Steel" the movie that this is a sequel of. I say strange, 'cause I saw that movie, wrote a review of it, and would have never thought about the damn thing again unless everybody else had kept on goddamn BRINGING IT UP!!!!! and ARGUING OVER IT!!!!!!!! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Yeah, seriously, I gave it 3 STARS, it was fine. Not great, not bad, it was, fine. It's a Superman story, one of the better film version they've done, but it's Superman, it's not that interesting. Even at it's best, in any incantation Superman has rarely been particularly interesting or really, really good, I'm including the original Christopher Reeve movie in this. ("Superman II" however, is still the best of the movies and is pretty awesome, it's the outlier in this scenario) If there was ever a movie I watched and just, immediately didn't care one way or the other, it was probably "Man of Steel", and yet, this movie divided everybody else? WHY? Well, part of it was the critical response, the other huge part, the expectations, the trailers, etc. I mean, the buildup, the reason it rings more in everybody else's mind, whether it was an epic failure or an epic masterpiece, is because you built it up long before you ever watched it, so you find more vehement defenders and detractors  of it, meanwhile, if you actually look at the movie, outside of all that, it's...- it's okay. Take everything you were built up for out, and then go into it, and it's an interesting film, with some good ideas, good performance, a bit over the top, some things didn't really work, some things really worked well, etc. etc., but... yeah, I forgot it after I saw it, I'm a bit amazed everybody else didn't.

Well, now Zach Snyder's made the sequel, and it's garnering mixed reactions, and now we're getting this all over again, and now this time, the critics are being brought into the mix. Yeah, I know the trend is to watch the movie first and then check the reviews, hell, I do that, but I do it because I write movie reviews now and I don't want the bias effecting me, other than that, no, it's a stupid trend and it should STOP! Yeah, ignore the experts who tell you it's shit, waste the money and the time off your life, just to find out, hey, it's shit, and now because you've all seen it and made the people who made it, rich, they're making a sequel to the shit.... Yeah, yeah, to paraphrase an old Billy Crystal joke, I'm a critic, I have to, but you...?

You don't even have to wait to read me, like, I'm not that self-obsessed and sadistic, at least not today, but you know, read the ones that actually know what they're doing, at least read your local critics in the newspapers and alternative magazines. I mean, it's not like there aren't hundreds of movie critics out there, professional names and otherwise, it's not that hard to find good ones, and nowadays, with the internet, there's more access to critics than ever before..., and that doesn't even mean, read the reviews and if they're negative don't go see the movie, go see it if you want. The best critics will always try to write their reviews in a way that, even if you disagree with the critic, they'll reveal enough to give you an indication of whether or not you'll like the movie, without giving away too much, and it's not a bad general rule either. I always try to get the feel of the movie across while writing my review, as oppose to just describing the actual content, so as to help out the reader in determining whether you'll like it, a lot of critics do that. And, they don't come out with the reviews months before the movie's ever released, so there's not that much buildup, and again, tempering expectation, it helps, it really does, I cannot stress that enough. (And you don't even have to read the critics either anymore, [although I still recommend doing it] there's a lot of very good online critics who post in video form too, and many are just as professional as the more traditional print critics)

But, you get why trailer analysis and fascination/obsession offends me, 'cause it's the less accurate and less qualified bias perspective of the same service that the film critic offers. And, here's the other thing, I know, that should be enough, for me to despise it, but it's more than just, ignoring critics in favor of trailers, there's one, ever really worst thing about this, and it's the fact that, well, the trailers are kinda irrelevant in terms of the goal of, "Trying to get people to go see these movies" at least in this context, because, most of the time, when people do obsess or anticipate over the trailers of a movie, it's a movie you were probably gonna see anyway, no matter what, not every movie trailer, it's just the, particular ones that.... Yes, this is fandom, once again, I'm going after, and no, as I've said many times before, I'm "Not a fan", and I don't take a fan's perspective, and this right here, the outright rejection of the critics, and the over-obsession of such unimportant menial aspects like trailers, this is everything wrong with fandom, basically in a nutshell. You get excited for the trailer, because you were going to see the movie anyway. Not, "Holy shit, that movie looks good, I should remember to go see it." That doesn't happen that often anymore. It does, but, no, no, no, not the way it's being discussed and done here; if you're just obsessing over something just to obsess over it, that's a fetish, not analysis. That's the thing, critical reviews will actually get people to see a movie, while trailers, um, they don't do that as much, they're just, I don't know, foreplay? No, they're not even the foreplay, they're the photo on the profile page of the other person, except you've already know you're dating them. This is superfans getting their instant gratification pressed in their heads and trying to pass it off as something that's actually worth analyzing or discussing.

If it doesn't even matter for it's intended purpose, then why are you supposed "fans" obsessing over it? (Frustrated sigh) You know, I hear this comparison all the time about how, I don't know what the word is, comic book people, nerds, whatever, I don't know, whatever word I use sounds wrong, they always compare how they over-obsess over movies and TV shows to sports fans, and why is it so normal that sports fans can wear jersey and collect memorabilia and cheer and whatnot but we cosplay and obsess over movies and tv shows we love, but we're made fun of for it? And, yeah, there are people who are overly obsessed with sports, I get that, and you can become too addicted to sports.  I've seen it, I know about it, but here's the thing though, it's Spring training for baseball season, the NFL Draft is coming up, you see, the things that my Phillies or Eagles do during this time period, they actually end up mattering and help alter or change or determine in some cases a lot of what will happen during the season. This though, this is getting overly excited for something that, you cannot change, you don't have any control of what-so-ever, (And the few times the studios did change things for the fans, it seems like it was for the worst, which shows, good or bad, don't take control of what the filmmakers are trying to do, you don't actually know what you want until you see it!) and you don't know if you're gonna like it, plus, it's not like, even if it turns out it sucks, there's another season next year; once it's out, it's out. And then what? Plus, it's usually just your fandom, at least with a sports team, they represent something, usually a city or a place like an alma-mater, and we're not simply cheering a bunch of millionaires payed by billionaires to throw a ball around, there's a symbolic value, there's people coming togetherness around of a sports team, around a city, around a place, it brings people in, even people who aren't sports fans, if a team in their town does well, they come out, they cheer them on, they're happy; it's a good thing. And it's competitive and we don't know how it's gonna play out, so there's actual real-life tension and drama. And take that out even, you don't have to over-indulge in the world of sports to enjoy a game. It used to be, you wouldn't have to do that to enjoy a movie either, but it's getting harder and harder to believe that, because fans themselves are becoming over-obsessed over things that frankly, they don't need to over-obsess over it and it's all I ever hear about anymore. (And shame on the studios for indulging it so much) And it's not as inclusive as they think it is, it's not the coming together to celebrate, it's-, well I've called it a fetish a bunch of times, but seriously, that's what it is. You fans who obsess over these things aren't like sports fans, you're like, very open-minded sexually-adventurous people coming together to have an orgy, usually the kind that involves costumes and toys and things. It's people gathering together because it's just something you like, and I get how that can be fun, I'll bring the rope and nipple clamps if you want, I can enjoy, but it ain't everybody who participates, and it ain't for everybody, and it ain't always harmless fun, and it's getting to the point where, even if it's something I like or god forbid, think is good, it's hard to be associated with it, 'cause there's a difference between liking something, and the stigma of fans that like what I/you like. There's a reason we keeps those things behind green doors, it's not because you should hide your fetishes, it's just that, it's not the only thing out there and you shouldn't shove it in everyone's face as though they are also apart of it and it isn't a strange kink. (Well, now that I'm describing it, is sounds as much like a religion than it does a fetish, but I'll stick with it being more like a sexual fetish, that'll get me in less trouble) It's narrowing your and others world views and cinematic experiences, not expanding upon it.

Trailer analysis, isn't even about trailer analysis, it's an excuse to let your id walk through something that you're already predetermined to liking, or already have biases towards. That's what upsets me most about this. Good trailer, bad trailer, good casting choice, bad casting choice, good draft, bad draft, I don't care as long as it's good. Same way I don't care what my teams do as long as they win, or we at least if we win the fight in the parking lot. (Philadelphia fans are sick and twisted even among sports fans, just trust me) Yeah, if this is what trailer analysis is leading to, then Mr. Walker is wrong and perhaps we shouldn't keep analyzing trailers, and certainly not using them as the main determining factor of whether or not we're going to like a movie, assuming anybody actually analyzes trailers for that anymore.

Let me put it another way, just because it's "fun" to do, and relatively harmless in the grand scheme of things, doesn't mean that's enough of a reason to actually do it.

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