Iron Man 3

The Half Dozen: 6 Most Interesting Looking Trailers For April 2013

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Not sure if I’ve talked about this before, so apologies if I have, but the genesis of this blog came out of not just a love of film, but a very specific set of circumstances. In 2010 I went to a conference for work, where one of the speakers gave a talk on the benefits of setting yourself long term goals. Returning home inspired, I set myself a group of five goals to try to shape the next five years of my life. I had a view of achieving them somewhere between “when I’m 40” and within that five years. When I’m 40 is next February, and five years will be April 2015, so some of these have longer to run than others. The goals I set myself were as follows:

  1. Do something with my professional body. My actual body is, as I claimed on Bums On Seats when discussing This Is 40, like a bag of badgers, all disturbing bulges and discomfiting noises. Thankfully what I’m referring to is the organisation that provides recognition for and training to people like myself rather than my own physique; in real life I’m a call centre planning manager, thankfully more exciting than it sounds. So far: diddly squat progress on this one, although they are now offering postgraduate courses which still have me tempted if my employer would ever be willing to pay for one.
  2. Run at least a half marathon, possibly more. In an effort to address my badger body I have also attempted to overcome my lifelong inability to succeed at any form of competitive sport or exercise and take up running. (You are reading the blog of a man who joined a gym for his wedding and put on fourteen pounds.) I have managed to run as far as 10k on a regular basis (and 9k without stopping), but am currently under treatment by a physio for a nasty heel injury which has kept me off the road for six months and is now leaving me increasingly frustrated.
  3. Start a movie blog. Well, duh. Three years to the month from that conference and I’m still going strong. In that time I’ve watched over 500 films at the cinema, expanded my horizons, visited festivals and special screenings, helped with and hosted Q & As and now regularly place my Bum on a Seat on local radio. More exciting developments to come this year, hopefully.
  4. Get more going with music at church. I am an Anglican Christian (which I won’t go on about here other than to say that other religions, and indeed not believing in an omniscient sky wizard and his magical son, are available if you’re not so inclined), but as part of that I conduct in and sing with choirs. Over the past two years I’ve begun composing my own music and completed a course in music ministry. Another tick.
  5. Get the bathroom re-done. Sadly the bathroom suite we inherited when we moved into our current house is still with us, due to a complicated layout which will require about fifteen years’ cinema ticket budget to put right. If anyone has several grand burning a hole in their pocket, my e-mail address is on the home page.

The one constant on the blog over the last three years has been the trailer page. Each month, and in occasional specials, I’ve collected the most interesting looking trailers around, in an effort to support the evangelism activity that is my reason for being here. So here’s this month’s run-down of the good, the bad and the decidedly ugly, as per my selectively applied rule of excluding those films I’ve already seen (sorry, Spring Breakers, The Place Beyond The Pines and The Gatekeepers).

Scary Movie 5

Here’s bad to kick us off. I’ve included the shortest trailer I can find, and the reason for including it is simple: I will go to watch anything with Mrs Evangelist that she wants. Anything. Three Alvin And The Chipmunks, two St. Trinians and Beverly Hills Chihuahua often get quoted as examples of this, but I’ve also realised thanks to the light of my life I’ve also seen all four Scary Movies at the cinema. The third one’s not utterly dreadful but the rest are, and now Mrs E is threatening to take me to this one. She’s at work this week, so I’m praying it’s out of cinemas before next weekend.

Simon Killer

I would love to have the finances to be able to spend huge amounts of time at the London Film Festival, but sadly only managed a three film taster last year. I still have the Cambridge festival to keep me entertained, but Simon Killer was one of many films that the privileged who live in London and have money would have been able to see six months before me. Maybe this year…

First Position

I’ve always envied people with physical and athletic gifts, but this is the kind of documentary that reassured me the life of a couch potato is at least less stressful.

The Evil Dead

I said good, bad and ugly and this might a bit of all three. (This is the red band trailer, so be warned that it’s not for the faint of heart.) I’m re-watching the original trilogy this week in an effort to be able to successfully compare and contrast, but I can’t help thinking this is yet another unnecessary rehash of a horror standard, even if Sam Raimi himself has been involved.


A couple of years ago, a movie starring Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey would have been about as appealing as licking stale popcorn off the floor of the cinema, even if it was directed by Richard Linklater, but the former’s ability to occasionally find the right roles and the latter’s career rehabilitation make this a much more enticing prospect.

Iron Man 3

And April marks the true start of  blockbuster season. Oblivion might have kicked us off this weekend, but the Marvel movies are where the big money’s at, and I couldn’t be more excited for a threequel than one involving the singular talents of Mr Shane Black. Hopefully this will also mark my first proper IMAX visit of the year.

The Half Dozen Special: Super Bowl Trailers 2013

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The half time conga line seemed like a good idea at the time, but when it was still going three hours later...
The half time conga line seemed like a good idea at the time, but when it was still going three hours later…

Super Bowl XCMPLL (or something) last night again desperately tried to live up to the hype of being the world’s biggest sporting event, and with it brining an entourage of nonsense that would make J-Lo look positively understaffed. But for those in the UK deciding to sit up all night and take in the “entertainment”, they will have to wait for the one thing that makes each year’s Super Bowl a guilty pleasure for me, and that’s the trailers. Yes, American Football might be the dullest sport in existence – it’s not the game itself, which isn’t as good as any other kind of football, from gaelic to Aussie Rules, but the fact that a game divided into four fifteen minute periods typically takes around three and a half hours from start to finish (don’t get me started, just don’t) – but it does provide not only an annual popular music concert, but a host of pocket-bustingly expensive commercials.

The going rate this year at peak time was around $7 million dollars a minute, so only the über-rich studios can afford more than the standard 30 second package. It pains me to think about how many actual independent films you could make for that kind of money, but it’s best not to think too hard about that on a morning like this. The asking price did put off a number of big studios, so nothing here for the likes of Pain And Gain, The Hangover Part III, The Great Gatsby, Man Of Steel, Despicable Me 2, Pacific Rim or Monsters University, and of course you’ll see that saving passed back into your ticket price when those films get to cinemas later in the year. (Disclaimer: not bloody likely.)

Those studios that have got more money than sense have splashed the cash, but is it all worth it? What can we actually learn from thirty seconds or a minute of footage with more edits in it than a year’s worth of Michael Bay’s dreams? Let’s find out.

Oz The Great And Powerful

Learning points:

  • Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should
  • You can spend huge amounts of money on CGI and it still looks as authentic as a toy shop
  • Any excitement about Sam Raimi doing flying monkeys is instantly killed when immediately followed by the words “Rated PG”

World War Z

Learning points:

  • People still think the “getting hit by vehicle from out of shot” schtick has mileage in it
  • Those people are wrong
  • Apparently one of the great unexplored zombie themes in movies, after slow and fast zombies, is Worker Ant zombies
  • That there is some kind of mystery to the zombie plague (if the final exchange in the trailer is important enough to feature here)

Iron Man 3 – Extended Look

Learning points:

  • Robert Downey Jr is some kind of god (not The God, but probably a god of sorts)
  • This year’s fashionable in-thing is holes in planes that people will get sucked out of
  • That each Iron Man suit undergoes rigorous testing (so as to understand how many people it can carry)
  • That testing doesn’t stretch to protection for the user, given how badly cut up Tony Stark is despite being in a powerful metal suit


Learning points:

  • That putting The Rock in your movie doesn’t necessarily make it interesting
  • That an old cynic like me can’t help but snigger when a father and son look lovingly into each others eyes
  • That if that’s the best action from your movie for a thirty second highlights reel, that you’re probably not going to keep my attention for much longer

Fast & Furious 6

  • That Fast & Furious 6 knows what worked about the last one, and takes no shame in giving you more of the same
  • That it absolutely, positively is in no danger of taking itself seriously any time soon (and amen to that)
  • That you can drive a car out of the nose of an exploding plane without seriously damaging the car, unless it then rolls over
  • That cars are cool, but tanks are cooler

The Lone Ranger

Learning points:

  • That Johnny Depp might not be The Lone Ranger, but he absolutely is the star, making Armie Hammer the most undersold lead since Michael Keaton’s Batman
  • That Pirates Of The Caribbean is enough of a thing now that you can express it with a picture to save time
  • That the schtick of men outrunning giant fireballs also hasn’t got old in Hollywood yet
  • That apparently it takes seven people to executive produce this stuff these days, which is a lot when it looks a lot like Pirates but in the Old West

Star Trek Into Darkness

  • That Benedict Cumberbatch can do everything better than you. But you probably already know that. (Also, is it just me that wants to see him and Chris Pine in a remake of Annie, Get Your Gun? Okay, just me. Moving on…)
  • That sometime between now and the 23rd century, St. Paul’s Cathedral will have to be moved further away from the river Thames (it looks miles away in that trailer). Maybe it’s global warming or something
  • That if planes with holes in are the equipment of choice, then London is the must-see destination of this summer / the future (see also Faster & Furiouser)
  • That we are apparently supposed to still be guessing who Cumberbatch’s “John Harrison” actually is. (If it’s not either Khan or Gary Mitchell, then I’ll eat my phaser. And of those two I think the former much more likely.)