Trailers of the Week: Battleship, Rock of Ages and (gulp) What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Rock of Ages (May 23)

Dan Silver: The heavy use of Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian” makes it almost impossible for me to look at this trailer with anything but ire. As far as I’m concerned, that song should have been retired after Boogie Nights. It’ll always be synonymous with “Cosmo, he’s Chinese”. But the film is directed by Hairspray’s Adam Shankman, and has assembled a noteworthy — even for a non-musical — cast. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Russell Brand aside, I am curious and pumped to see Alex Baldwin, Malin Ackerman, Paul Giamatti and Tom Cruise flex their vocal muscles. Despite its popularity, I’ve avoided seeing the Broadway musical this film is based on because I consider the sole use of previously produced music to be a lazy cop out to wrap a narrative around. But in a cinematic structure, where covers of library music flourish, and with the talent attached, consider me reservedly pumped for this film.

Rembert Browne: Silver, you need to dig up that platinum blonde curly wig and mesh tank top that I know you have in a box labeled “Speedwagon” and go see this film with me.

Battleship (May 18)

Browne Before Silver says something super intelligent about this film, let me get air a few unimportant thoughts. One: Riggins and Landry from Friday Night Lights are in this movie and their relationship seems unchanged. Two: Rihanna has about 30 percent of the lines in this trailer. Three: I think there should be a moratorium on “end of the world” movies until we get through 2012. I’m starting to get scared/I’m starting to think our screenplays are giving aliens ideas of how to best destroy us. Okay, that’s all, Silver you’re turn. Enlighten the people.

Silver: This could either be the first Transformers movie worth watching or be the cinematic equivalent of a sensory root canal mixed with the Ludovico treatment from A Clockwork Orange.

What to Expect when You’re Expecting (May 11)

Silver: I’m assuming What to Expect when You’re Expecting marks the transition point in the gazillion stars in one movie genre (I think we can call it that now), and we’re starting to move away from “holidays” and are now onto “milestones”. I honestly can’t wait to see Bar Mitzvah, written, directed, and staring Billy Crystal. That said, not sure if it’s because I’m a fan of many of the film’s cast members or the fact that it’s directed by a Brit, but for some reason this trailer gives off much more of a Love Actually vibe than a New Year’s Eve one. I found myself not cringing at every forced comedic moment (Dads with strollers slow motion walking to Biggie’s “Big Poppa”) and cutesy one liner (“She’s like a magical pregnancy unicorn”). So as I see it, if I have to “let the wife have one” and sit through a Cameron Diaz, Chace Crawford, Jennifer Lopez, and Matthew Morrison rom-com, then at least see one that also has Elisabeth Banks, Rob Hubel, Anna Kendrick, Thomas Lennon, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Chris Rock in it.

Browne: I see your Bar Mitzvah/Billy Crystal and raise you Mom Got Tenure, starring Taraji P. Henson as Mom. As for the 12-person tenure committee: Idris Elba, Salma Hayek, Helen Mirren, Nas, Billy Ray Cyrus, John Larroquette, Gideon Yago, Alfre Woodard, Bernie Williams, Carlos Mencia, Cedric “The Entertainer”, and Catherine Keener.

Perfect Sense (February 10)

Browne: Based on the trailer, this film is about a disease that strips you of your senses, one by one, until you’ve got nothing left. Take that, throw in a love story between Ewan McGregor and Evan Green and you’ve got Perfect Sense. Based on the 2+ minute clip, the only way to battle this disease is to have sex everywhere, which I can’t say is a ridiculous way to go out. Sure beats not having sex everywhere. Losing my senses has always been a fear of mine, so I must admit this trailer will haunt me until forever, but at least there is some everywhere sex to temporarily distract me.

Silver: I’m kind of digging the, “It’s not a pandemic movie, it’s a love story with a pandemic in it” positioning. It feels like a fresh take on an otherwise tired device.

The Lucky One (April 20)

Silver: The only surprising thing about this trailer is that it takes 1:47 seconds to get a shot of Efron with this shirt off. Come on marketing team, you’re selling a film 5-6 years past the point of relevance and originality, give the folks what they really want.

Browne: The only surprising thing about this trailer is that it takes 1:47 seconds to get a shot of Efron with this shirt off. Come on marketing team, you’re selling a film 5-6 years past the point of relevance and originality, give the folks what they really want: Charlie St. Cloud 2

Kill List (January 4)

Silver: The trailer for Kill List is utterly unsuccessful in helping me figure out what the actual film is about. I don’t have a clue. But the ominous tone, disjointed yet captivating images, and bold critical quote selections have me immensely intrigued. I’m a big proponent of seeing films in a theater with a captive audience feeding off of each other, but some films just feel like they’d be better served when they’re intruders in safe and private spaces. Like a darkened living room. So the fact that this film is only being release in the states on VOD could actually work to its benefit.

Browne: I couldn’t watch this film at 1pm in a sunroom. Based on the ongoing list of quote selections in the trailer, however, it is good and will leave you with day and night terrors for weeks. If that’s your thing, see this film. I, on the other hand, will be watching Pretty Little Liars, alone and happy.

The Expendables 2 (August 17)

Silver: I believe The Expendables 2 is the only film that could have released a trailer with just typed names running over black, and audiences would still go bananas. Luckily, we do get a brief look this testosterone and nostalgia laden prom of an action movie. I honestly could have done without the throwaway moment with Willis (speaking in his best patented whisper) and a stoic and grimacing Stallone, and just watched the names roll out — Stallone, Statham, Li, Lundgren, Norris, Crews, Couture, Hemsworth (Huh? Who?), Van Damme, Willis, and Schwarzenegger. Plot? Who cares? I’ve now screened this trailer twice, once with and once without sound, and it honestly doesn’t make a difference. My excitement is as high as Stallone’s HGH levels.

Browne: I really thought Jacoby would make the cut in this one. Too bad. Someone go buy him something pretty and tell him he’s still expendable to us.

Daniel Silver is the Director of Development for ESPN Films. Follow him on Twitter at @Danielsilver11. Rembert Browne is a writer for Grantland. Follow him on Twitter at @RembertManX.

Filed Under: Battleship, Trailers of the Week

Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ rembert