Giant robots vs. fracking
January 5, 2013 3 Comments
I saw The Hobbit for a second time New Year’s Day. There were some cool trailers. More often than not, these previews are much better than the movies they advertise. The greater delight come from teasing the imagination with a few catchy lines, the best part of the score, and a couple of towering shots. When the full film rolls around, we tend to be disappointed with a waste of artistic resources. As hard as it is supposed to be to break into screenwriting, why are the dialog and plot of most Hollywood films so terrible?
As for most of the trailers I saw last Tuesday–including Pacific Rim, The Host, Oblivion, and After Earth–there was a decidedly apocalyptic theme. It’s pretty hard to get me excited about an epic-scale special effects film. I liked the aesthetics of Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise. But the plot looked trite. Pacific Rim seems promising, though. Because who doesn’t want to pilot a gigantic armored robot into combat? And if nations have to unite for world peace, manufacturing such robots to fight gargantuan monsters would probably be the least annoying reason.
The outlier of the preview batch was Promised Land, starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski. I believe the plot is effectively summarized in the second panel of the comic above. I trust Michael Medved’s review when he dismisses it as cartoonish “anti-corporate propaganda.”
Such a film calls to mind the inexhaustible parade of earnest, shameless, liberal agitprop that has marched forth from Hollywood for decades. Films like The Constant Gardener, Lions for Lambs, Ferngully, and Avatar. You don’t need to watch these movies to know the slant, just the trailer. Thankfully, the folks who make those short clips tend to do the job right. If only as much could be said for most screenwriters.