No matter how awful a movie is, it will always have its defenders. I’m still astonished at how many people actually liked I Am Legend. So theoretically, the barrage of hate I got should discourage me from daring to say other movies suck in a public forum, but you know what? I don’t care. As long as you can coherently argue why something is terrible, you’ve got every right to your opinion. And as I’ve said before, my opinion always happens to be right.
I point you to the year 2008. This was a year that had some amazingly good trailers, but the final product often left much to be desired. There’s nothing worse than going into a movie with high expectations and being let down, and I blame when this happens on too-well-edited trailers like these:
1) Vantage Point
The Trailer: This this had me rocking out for month, I even downloaded the song to listen to on my iPod (it’s a remix of a Tyler Bates song from 300). It really did look like a great international thriller, and it had a pretty decent cast on top of the explosive unrelenting action sequences.
The Movie: Simply put, Vantage Point was a mess. The “each person has a vantage point” hook got really old after about the third time you had seen a scenario from a slightly different camera angle. People would audibly groan in the audience every time the clock was reset. The plot made little to no sense and the “twist” you could see coming from a mile away. The traitor is the only guy whose vantage point they didn’t show. Sigh.
Trailer Goodness to Movie Badness Ratio: 10-1
2) Max Payne
The Trailer: Video game movies are never supposed to be good. Ever. So that’s why this trailer gave everyone just a tiny glimmer of hope that Max Payne could possibly be the first. It had Sin City meets the Punisher type visuals, featured demonic angel vultures and also co-starred the goddess that is Mila Kunis.
The Movie: Well, it managed to break double digits on Rotten Tomatoes, I’ll give it that, and that’s more than can be said for a lot of video game movies. The action was repetitive, the story was uninteresting, the dialogue was shoddy and the end surprise wasn’t a mystery to anyone. Insert an infinite number of “this movie was certainly a maximum amount of pain” jokes here.
Trailer Goodness to Movie Badness Ratio: 3-1
3) Pineapple Express
The Trailer: Possibly the greatest trailer of that year, and yes, I think it comes pretty close to The Dark Knight, although it is a bit like comparing apples to dark, gritty oranges. The trailer made M.I.A.’s Paper Planes a blockbuster smash hit, and was probably the most appropriate song choice in the history of trailers. The movie truly looked like an instant classic.
The Movie: Look, it wasn’t the worst movie ever, but it just really wasn’t that funny. It was far to reliant on B-movie slapstick, and the best moments had in fact been put into the trailer, as cliche as that is to say. James Franco was amazing and Seth Rogen was Seth Rogen, but the supporting cast was simply idiotic. I perhaps had the highest expectations for this movie as I ever have had for any other comedy, and I was deeply, abysmally disappointed.
Trailer Goodness to Movie Badness Ratio: 20-1
4) The Eye
The Trailer: Alright, so even with this trailer, nobody really ever expected an Asian horror remake starring Jessica Alba to be good. However, this trailer is masterfully done with the right blend of imagery and soundtrack, and thankfully no dialogue. It’s truly a great horror trailer, but alas…
The Movie: I mean it was an Asian horror remake starring Jessica Alba for godsakes, of course it was terrible. To be fair, I don’t even think the original version was that great, so when you toss in Jessica Alba to the mix, you can’t expect good things. And to think, all would have been forgiven if she had just done a nude scene…
Trailer Goodness to Movie Badness Ratio: 2-1
5) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
The Trailer: It really did seem like we might be able to get back to the Indy glory days didn’t we? It might seem like a pipe dream now, but when we first saw him pick up that fedora, we all got chills down our spine.
The Movie: Unfortunately the trailer was designed to shield us from all the CGI monkeys, prairie dogs and aliens that were to follow. I didn’t hate the movie as much as most did, I thought it was fairly well done, but it was nowhere near what it could have been with some relatively minor tweaks. Expectations were in the stratosphere for this movie, so it really did have nowhere to go but down.
Trailer Goodness to Movie Badness Ratio: 5-1
6) Burn After Reading
The Trailer: A mish-mash of A-list celebrities and clever writing made the trailer a fun little mini-movie in itself. The timing was spot on, the premise seemed hilarious and Brad Pitt was a douchebag dancing machine, what else could you want?
The Movie: It’s the Coen brothers, come on! They made that Oscar winner right? This thing has to be good! Well, people may remember No Country for Old Men, but they should also remember they were behind The Ladykillers too. Ick. Burn After Reading just ended up being rather retarded. It’s about stupid people doing stupid things that are so stupid that in the end none of it even mattered at all. The Coen brothers’ swings are legendary.
Trailer Goodness to Movie Badness Ratio: 8-1
7) The Happening
The Trailer: Most people had all but given up hope on M. Night Shyamalan after his subsequent disasters that were The Lady in the Water, The Village and the end of Signs, but The Happening trailer gave everyone hope again. His first R-rated feature would surely be even spookier than his previous offerings, and the trailer showed a worldwide suicidal apocalypse that really wasn’t like any end-times scenario we had ever seen before, and did look truly terrifying.
The Movie: Plants. We’re talking plants here. That was the explanation as to why everyone was killing themselves. Mother earth got angry that it kept being polluted on, and plants decided to rebel and kill everyone with pheromones. No twist ending, no jump moments, just an slap-in-the-face environmental message. God, I can’t even watch a horror movie these days with out being told to go green? The action sequences were literally Mark Wahlberg and his friends running away from the wind which was carrying the pheremones of doom toward them. Add on top of that some of the worst acting reciting some of the worst writing ever recorded on film, and you’ve got my absolute least favorite movie of all time (and I don’t say that lightly), The Happening.
Trailer Badness to Movie Goodness Ratio: 50-1
I swear if anyone actually tries to defend The Happening, I will personally drive to your house and punch you in the face.