Old MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Trailer Good (Little Children), Trailer Bad (The Guardian)

Check out Devin Gordon’s Newsweek/MSNBC show and tell piece about movie trailers, good and bad–the ones that tell you all but the very ending (hello there, Kevin Costner in THE GUARDIAN) and those that intrigue (LITTLE CHILDREN) without dropping in a line of dialogue. THE GUARDIAN reveals every plot twist in this waterborne TOP GUN actioner — and maybe that’s how TOP GUN nostalgists want it.
The highbrow literary adaptation LITTLE CHILDREN has but little dialogue, yet it conveys a powerful mood. With attractive leads eyeing each other up–with desire, with suspicion–and the sound of an oncoming train, this picture perfect suburban setting seems strangely ominious. Interesting what else is suggested: anxiety over the innocence and safety of children (the implicit neglect of the solitary little girl pictured toward the beginning of the trailer–that entire unsavory plotline, a big one, is not mentioned. Probably because it’s disgusting. Perhaps it’s enough to tag LITTLE CHILDREN as the work of “the director of IN THE BEDROOM — aka “Granola DEATH WISH — to indicate that somebody’s going to end up in the casualty ward. Or worse.

Most creepy, in this season of scary movies, is the preview for THE GRUDGE 2. Yes, it’s a sequel to a remake of a Japanese chiller: Familiar stuff. But this clip from Trailer Park manages to unsettle with unpredictable sound effects and an offbeat rhythm. As Gordon writes, all the expected shocks arrive — but they’re half a beat before or after you expect them.

Be Sociable, Share!

3 Responses to “Trailer Good (Little Children), Trailer Bad (The Guardian)”

  1. Sam says:

    I despise spoiler-laden trailers so much. I don’t know why marketers think that’s a good idea. Some inexplicably insist that people want their movies spoiled for them, but the fact is that I’ve skipped movies spoiled by trailers because I already felt like I’ve seen them.
    The Little Children trailer is a perfect example of how you can make a great trailer without giving anything away. Not that Little Children is destined to be a big moneymaker, but plenty of blockbusters have been successful with trailers content to suggest atmosphere instead of telling the story.

  2. Yes, do check it out. Before someone flags it as innapropriate. I can’t put a name to it, but there’s something so wrong about that mashup trailer.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon