The article highlights "red-band" trailers for the upcoming films Beowulf and No Country for Old Men, in which sex (in the former) and violence (in the latter) are used for marketing purposes. Paramount Pictures first showed 20 minutes of footage from Beowulf at Comic-Con, as our own Kevin Kelly reported from the scene, and an international version of the trailer, featuring Angelina Jolie naked, quickly hit the web; the official "red-band" trailer for the US soon followed. More recently, the sexy advertising has hit billboards and bus stops.
The Times article comments: "To be sure, Angelina Jolie is not going to be nude in the [PG-13] movie, but the restricted trailer allows the studio to highlight the sexiness of her character in ways it couldn't in a green-band trailer." Can we be more direct and say "bait and switch"? And what happened to the days when brief nudity was permitted in PG-13 movies?
At least the sensational No Country for Old Men trailer, available at the film's official site, doesn't promise anything the movie itself can't deliver. The "red-band" version starts with a shot to the head (not as bloody or explicit as the one on the highway in Fargo) and includes a lot more gun shots, body blows and blood-splattered clothing than the family-friendly version that's now showing in theaters. Both Beowulf and No Country for Old Men open in theaters next month.