Archive for the ‘Trailers’ Category

 

For a parody to be successful, it has to be both good and first.

The official trailer for Men In Black III (shown here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyaFEBI_L24) went online two weeks ago. My animator sent me a link and asked what we could spoof about it. I had a script done in two days. Within two weeks of the trailer being online, my video is online (shown here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC-x0KkLjS0)

If you search “Men In Black 3 parody” in YouTube, my video is the first to come up. And it’s the only one that’s really relevant.

What I’m hoping by all this is that by being first to the party, I’ll get a head start on views. The script is good, and I especially love the ending. And the video is first, or at least among the first if I missed the others.

So, take a look at it, and let me know if it’s successful. Thanks!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC-x0KkLjS0

 

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Abduction = Bourne Identity + The Face On The Milk Carton

Before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2, there was a trailer for this movie called “Abduction.”

First of all, the minute I see Taylor Lautner, a) I already sign off on not seeing the movie and b) flagellate myself for knowing his name. (Maybe I’m being mean. I’m sure he’s a swell guy.)

As the trailer hints at the plot, and the girl shows him the age-progression photo, I think that’s not a bad little scene. Then I remember “The Face On The Milk Carton,” a story by Caroline B. Cooney about a kid who learns he’s been abducted.

But then, VIOLENCE!

Suddenly there’s shooting, and who do you trust? And he’s jumping around like he’s got spider-powers. And seriously, can we just get back to “I Know My Name Is Steven?”

Because what this looks like to me is that he’s been involved in some kind of super soldier program, genetically bred to be better than the rest of us, and kidnapped to be programmed, but maybe programmed for good rather than evil and instead of having any real emotional story it just descends into bullets and screaming and trailer scenes.

 

For my (sometimes offensive) humor videos, visit:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge?feature=mhee


The only reason I haven’t seen Green Lantern yet is because the trailer was very…busy…

Parallax. Hector Hammond. Sinestro. The Corps.

I understand you’re trying to start a franchise, but this could be bad.

 

Green Lantern and all his amazing friends

When I first started collecting comics, I knew nothing about GL except what I learned from the SuperFriends cartoon. Then, without really reading the books, I learned that Hal Jordan got his ring when an alien crashed on Earth. That was good enough for me. Then, I learned that it was because Hal is fearless. OK, now I’m very interested.

Now, as I read a few Green Lantern graphic novels a year, I learn that Atrocitus the Red Lantern caused Abin Sur’s ship to crash. And that Parallax was contained inside the battery, creating an impurity. And on and on….

It’s almost as if all the new stories are actually backstories.

Yes, I’m very glad that they explained the weakness to yellow. Yes, I’m happy for the details being filled in.

But my question – not a criticism, really (This is the first time I’ve ever questioned Geoff Johns) – my question is how elaborate is too elaborate for an origin story?

How much of it is story, and how much of it is explanation? Can you sum it up quickly while still retaining its power?

Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider which gave him spider powers. He failed to use his powers to stop a burglar. That burglar later killed his beloved Uncle Ben who always told him “With great power comes great responsibility.”

You don’t really need much more explanation than that for Spider-Man.

What I Learned: You have to keep the beginning simple. Make them want more.

I can’t say I’ve really learned this. I make this mistake all the time. I started a comic book with a time travel story, for crying out loud.

As a writer, you want to sink as much depth into your creations as possible. Then, you can’t wait to show your hand. But you’ve got to hold out, slow bet, up the ante, then go for the big reveal.

So, maybe what we should achieve in an origin story is a sense of wonder: We should be as wide-eyed and amazed as the hero. These wonderful/scary things are happening and we are just along for the ride. And we only learn as much as the hero does.

 

For the record, I like Kyle Rayner more than Hal Jordan. (Sorry!)

 

 

 

Disclaimer/background: I’m a traditionalist. I don’t think people should break rules of storytelling unless there’s a good reason. I write comic books, short fiction and children’s books. Just to put my comments in perspective, these are my interests and favorites: My favorite superhero is Spider-Man, and I also like Justice League and Batman. My favorite comic writers lately have been Kurt Busiek, Peter David, and Geoff Johns. I am a huge Transformers fan. In children’s books, I go either simple or meta: either really simple stories or books about stories. In movies and books, I am more impressed with something small that makes me feel something rather than something I’m told is a “must-read” or a must-see.”

I make silly videos and post them here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge

Hangover 2 trailer review

The Wolfpack is indeed back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYL_T7f59o8

It’s strange that I’m excited about Hangover 2. It’s not my usual kind of movie. I’m a little late to the party. I only saw the first movie in April. So I already knew about Mike Tyson and some of the other gags. The first one had a great premise, and – as opposed to lots of movies – the payoff was just as good. The acting was pretty good, and I’m beginning to like Zach Galifianakis more each day. One day, I might just let him out of my basement.

I saw the trailer of Hangover 2 in front of Scream 4 (which I reviewed here: https://whatilearnedbywriting.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/scream-4-a-spoiler-free-writers-review/)

First off, I knew they were going to shoehorn in Mr. Chow, that annoying Asian gangster from the first one (Ken Jeong). This time, Stu’s getting married. Which means in part 3, it will have to be Galifianakis.

The trailer was strong in that it didn’t give anything away. Just little snippets and hints. Like the first scene after they wake up. Pieces of the puzzle.

The difficulty in making this movie is that it had to be bigger and crazier than the last, which is quite a feat.

So how does a writer make something that’s bigger and crazier? Some people have complained already that this movie has the same plot. Others have said “Who cares? It worked the first time.”

Really, this is not the type of movie that needs to reinvent itself. Maybe the key is to know your audience, and what their expectations are. And play with those expectations.

One criticism, and it’s a very minor one, is that I fear that too many of their issues might stem from some crazy sex or drug thing. A little too cliche. I’d like to see instead a bevy of strange things that happened the night before, but they should be strange without being just about sex and drugs.

Here’s the following things I want to see them wake up to in their hotel room:

$2,000 worth of Girl Scout Cookies.

A chocolate fountain, but it’s not filled with chocolate.

An alarm, slowly ticking down to something, but they haven’t figured out what yet.

A signature by a celebrity, and they’re trying to make it out. Maybe Ringo Starr signed Zach Galifianakis’ breast.

An empty gun.

One end of a 200-foot rope leading to….?

I actually don’t remember too much about the trailer. Fitting, I know. Perhaps they were trying to make you feel the anesthetic haze. Parts of it are blending with the trailer for the next installment of the Fast and the Furious. By the way, it shouldn’t have been called Flash Five. It should have been called Furious Five, and that way it could have starred Grandmaster Flash.

Disclaimer/background: I’m a traditionalist. I don’t think people should break rules of storytelling unless there’s a good reason. I write comic books, short fiction and children’s books. Just to put my comments in perspective, these are my interests and favorites: My favorite superhero is Spider-Man, and I also like Justice League and Batman. My favorite comic writers lately have been Kurt Busiek, Peter David, and Geoff Johns. I am a huge Transformers fan. In children’s books, I go either simple or meta: either really simple stories or books about stories. In movies and books, I am more impressed with something small that makes me feel something rather than something I’m told is a “must-read” or a must-see.”

I make silly videos and post them here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge