TrailerBytes: The Dictator and more!

TrailerBytes with Dan Spritz

The Dictator

Wait … this is a fish out of water movie? Anna Faris is in it too? Did she get cast last week? What’s going on? I was getting excited for an hour and a half of possibly racist caricatures of various Middle Eastern dictators. This trailer frames that as just being the prologue to General Aladeen’s (Sacha Baron Cohen) trip to speak at the UN. Once there, he’s taken captive by … Homeland Security? Instead of interrogating him, they cut off his beard and release him back into the city. Besides the multitude of issues that must pose in relation to the Geneva Convention, how could that possible make sense as a counter-terrorism strategy? I am befuddled, and we’re only halfway through the trailer. Instead of finding his way back to his hotel, Aladeen gets a job at a store, and hilarity allegedly ensues. This is a very strange turn, and is only saved by the repartee in the helicopter at the end.

The Dictator

House At The End Of The Street

I’ve been all in on Jennifer Lawrence for some time, so I would’ve been excited for this trailer even if it didn’t arrive amidst The Hunger Games supernova. So, by releasing this trailer this week it’ll get picked apart far more than is normal. While there isn’t a lot to pick apart, there’s also not a lot to highlight. It seems to be a fairly straightforward plot, “there was a double murder in this house, now the inhabitants of that house are haunted.” While the presence of chloroform at the beginning hints that there is something more nefarious than ghosts going on, that could just be because the ghosts are demanding payment or something. I don’t know. Not helping the trailer’s cause is that it goes backwards chronologically as it progresses. That’s some Memento shit there! But not really. Going backwards just makes the trailer more confusing, and that’s not a good thing for a trailer to be.

People Like Us

Look at that, another Hunger Games person had a trailer come out this week. I can’t imagine the chances of that, although I’m excited for the trailer for Wes Bentley’s one-man show to come out next week. This is a weird one, insomuch as it plays up the potential incest angle far more than is socially acceptable. Chris Pine is some sort of high-powered whatever, but he’s also mired in some sort of intractable debt. Student loans? Poor investments? Drug connections? Whatever it is, he apparently needs to pay it off immediately. Enter the deus ex machina that is his father’s death. Pine is bequeathed $150,000, which is apparently enough to cover his debt. Instead of immediately covering said debt though, he waits long enough that he learns he has a half-sister, played by Elizabeth Banks. They interact for a while, and he assures her that he will never hit on her. This is reasonable because they’re half-siblings, except at that point she doesn’t know that they’re half-siblings. He doesn’t want to tell her, because he wants to keep the money. Instead, they become engaged in some sort of pseudo-romance, despite the fact that he is going out with Olivia Wilde (criminally underused in this trailer). Now, the issue is that he finds out he has a half-sister who needs money at the precise moment he gets enough money to pay off all of his own debt. Why does he need to pay it off immediately? He makes almost $90,000 a year, can’t he spread his debt out over a few years? Also, if the money came from his father’s estate, why wasn’t it given to him at the will reading where he learned of Banks’ existence? Furthermore, how did being at that reading not clue her in to his existence? His money HAD to have been mentioned, right? Isn’t that what wills are for? Was it some sort of secret stash of money? What possible reason could there be for that to exist?

Rise of The Guardians

Jesus fucking holy hell, what is this? First of all, it has nothing to do with the owls of Ga’Hoole. Instead, it seems to indicate that the Easter Bunny, Sandman, Santa Claus, and Tooth Fairy are fighting the Boogeyman and are somehow benevolent overseers of the world’s children? Why are we deputizing these holiday barons? Even more, how is this a children’s movie if it features a bunch of characters kids think are real doing patently not-real things? I can’t even handle this. Let’s move on.

The Avengers

Teaser trailers don’t get much better than this. Focused primarily on a conversation between Loki and Tony Stark, it lays out everything there is to expect, highlights all of the film’s principles, and alludes to the film’s plot without really giving anything away. Tom Hiddleston is deliciously evil while Robert Downey Jr. is as charismatic as usual. On top of that, we get to see what Loki’s army looks like. Apparently, the enemies in The Avengers will be the prawns from District 9 once they’ve returned to their home world to hit the gym for a while. Also, they have gold crowns for some reason. All around, this is a great trailer. Watch it on loop.

Dan Spritz / Cherry On Top / @DanSpritz

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