What's fresh and new in the world of two-and-a-half-minute movie advertisements? Nothing, probably! But you never know! So let's take a gander at the trailers that have been weighing heavily on our minds this week and give out some awards -- hey, everyone is a winner.
Best Use of Ninjas: 'The Warrior's Way' (in theaters Dec. 3) -- in which, according to the trailer, a noble warrior refuses to kill a baby and is exiled to the Old West, where he meets up with Geoffrey Rush and many, many ninjas. This trailer also serves as a reminder that someone probably isn't much of an "international superstar" if you have to tell us that he's an "international superstar."
Most Effective Use of Counting: 'I Am Number Four' (in theaters Feb. 18). See, there's this dude narrating what happened, and he says, "There were nine of us who escaped," and then he says what happened to Number One, Number Two and Number Three. And you just know that Number Four is going to be next, and sure enough, he is, and it turns out that the guy talking is Number Four. It's perfect. If he'd been, say, Number Seven, then we'd have gotten bored by the time he rattled off the first six. But four! That's right in the sweet spot. The nine in question are apparently teenage aliens who go to high school, and we're guessing Number Four falls in love with a moody local girl who's friends with an Indian werewolf.
Most Flagrant Refusal to Give Any Clues About the Movie's Story: 'For Colored Girls' (in theaters Nov. 5). We know that Tyler Perry adapted and directed this drama based on the successful stage play 'For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf,' and that the title was shortened to make it slightly harder for people to make fun of it. Thanks to the trailer, we know that the cast includes Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg, Anika Noni Rose, Kerry Washington, Mrs. Huxtable and 150 other people. What we do not know is one damn thing about the plot, characters or premise. Also, is it just for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf, or would other people enjoy it too?
Best Use of Corporate Synergy: 'Gnomeo and Juliet' (in theaters Feb. 11) is a shameless ripoff of 'Toy Story' -- but that's OK, because 'Toy Story' came from Pixar and Pixar is owned by Disney and Disney made 'Gnomeo and Juliet.' Plus, the songs in the movie are all Elton John tunes, and Elton John composed music for Disney's 'The Lion King,' so now Elton John belongs to Disney. He lives at Disneyland and plays the piano for company parties. Disney probably didn't even have to tell him they were using his songs for this movie.
Most Thorough Commitment to a Gimmick: 'Saw 3D' (in theaters Oct. 29), the seventh film in the series, claims to be the conclusion to the epic saga about a man who died three movies ago yet somehow continues to set traps. No one believes that this really is the last one, but the trailer is sticking to it, using phrases like "the final cut" and "the last act." Surely this is akin to the stores that are forever having "going out of business sales." The trailer also plays up the 3-D effects and asks the question: "Will you survive until the end?" Well, sure we will. Why wouldn't we? The chainsaws and hatchets aren't actually flying out into the audience; that's just a 3-D illusion. Even if the film really were dangerous or deadly, why would that be a selling point? "Come see this movie and there is a very good chance you will be murdered!" No thank you, movie! We will pass on your offer!