Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Avengers trailer: not as good as the "Phoenix Jones Vs. LadyShoe" video

The trailer for next summer's !B!L!O!C!K!B!U!S!T!E!R! superhero adventure The Avengers has been released. I can't stand it because of all the anticipation. Can you believe that you have to wait all the way until next May to actually watch the film in its entirety?

I admit my anticipation level for this film was extremely low before. It's lower now. I'm pretty sure I've already seen this film, about five hundred times. As if to illustrate my point for me, someone at Empty-V's movie blog gave the above trailer "multiple, careful viewings" and made a list of a few alleged "interesting things that stand out, by the numbers:"
3: Gratuitous "suiting-up" shots, wherein we see Cap/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) checking out his new uniform and then trying out his new shield; Thor (Chris Hemsworth) getting ready with a grip on his trusty hammer Mjolnir; and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) checking into his fancy Iron Man suit.

13+: Number of "looking coolly off into the distance or deeply into someone's eyes" moments. Whether lost in thought or in someone else's gaze, the trailer is packed with meaningful looks.
It's possible the Empty-V blogger is being farcical about her excitement level over a trailer that looks almost exactly the same as every other superhero movie trailer ever released. But I kind of doubt it. As Terry Gilliam so eloquently put it,
What’s so funny is because of growing up with comics, and always wanting to do that kind of movie, I have no interest in them at all now. That’s what I wanted to do, and now everyone else is doing them, so I don’t do them. I don’t even go now. I see the trailers, and I think, I’ve seen that trailer for about 20 years now! The same shots, the same dilemma — what are we doing here? Who’s going to make the leap that makes it different?
Will The Avengers make that leap? The trailer does not give us hope.

It's unfortunate for the people at Marvel that the above trailer happened to be released around the same time as the arrest of real-life superhero Phoenix Jones. Compare the trailer with the video that I posted yesterday, of Mr. Jones, armed only with a rubber suit, a can of pepper spray, and a whole lot of moxie, taking on a shoe-wielding woman on a dark night in Seattle:

Phoenix Jones Stops Assault from Ryan McNamee on Vimeo.

That features real danger, real tension, real interest. What's going to happen next in that video? It's unpredictable.

Everything in The Avengers trailer is completely, utterly, sadly predictable. The marketing people have this down to a science: They know exactly how many tracking shots of actors in costume raising their head and staring off in the distance to place in these things, and how many explosions to intersperse between them. Even worse, the fans know exactly how they're supposed to react, and they do. Obsessive examination of more of the same, treated like it's brand new.

Give me more Phoenix Jones.

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