Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Trouble With Trailers - Star Trek Beyond

Yesterday, the trailer for Star Trek Beyond was released. It is a poorly made trailer that had fans in uproar. I personally don't think this reflects the movie itself as much as it reflects the negative changes throughout the industry in recent years.

Trailers have been sucking for several years now. They either reveal too much of the plot and content (Batman vs. Superman), or too little of it (The Good Dinosaur), or are created to appeal to the most generic demographic (The Fast and Furious trailers, or any action-y trailer really). I think this Star Trek trailer falls into the last two categories.

2009 was the year the first J.J. Abrams Star Trek film came to theaters, and it was also the year Disney's Tangled was released. I remember how cringe-inducingly awful the Tangled trailer was. Scored by P!nk (first red flag) and using such phrases as, "She's been grounded...for like ever." *facepalm* Yet, Tangled ended up being one of my top favorite Disney animated films. If I had simply based my expectations on the trailer, I never would have believed that to be possible. This is just one example of many times I've been surprised by a film, for good or bad, because its trailer was not to be trusted.

New aliens...
The trouble with trailers is the three categories, as I mentioned, and usually the third category comes from the mindset of appealing to the lowest common denominator. I know I'm going to sound like a puffed-up snob when I say this, but this Star Trek trailer was fodder for the lowest common denominator, and the studios producing it KNOW that. It's a rude truth to acknowledge, but it's still the truth. Action! Space ships! Aliens! One-liners! *sigh* I know a lot of people complained about the song used too, but it was the song from the first film that played when young Kirk stole the car from his abusive stepfather, so it was surprisingly one of the few choices in the trailer that actually made sense. If you haven't yet seen the trailer you can do so HERE

Regardless of how lame and typical this trailer is, I am still excited for this movie based on the other things the trailer didn't reveal. Firstly, that it was written by a team. Occasionally, that can be a bad thing, but usually if it's a team that loves the material we're in the clear. Simon Pegg (who plays Scotty in the films) is one of the writers this time. Aside from being an incredibly clever man and an already established writer/filmmaker, he LOVES Star Trek and I believe he would do his best to nurture and protect the material. Roberto Orci is a very seasoned and talented television writer and has worked with J.J. Abrams for years. The rest on the team I don't know much of at this point, but there's at least one other seasoned television writer among them.

Poor McCoy~ Though I love them all, he's my fave. ♥ 
The trailer doesn't tell us much, but what I could decipher seems more like the format of the original show. Though the original show was often more bad than good, I loved the format and the character building, especially between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Seeing the new alien peoples, as well as the planet pictured with my beloved Karl Urban (above), there is very much a throwback to the old worlds in the original series. My hope is now that we've established these characters on film, we can treat them in a more episodic sense. Maybe that won't ultimately work for cinema, but it's personally what I've been hoping for from the reboot.

Bottom line, yes, it may be unfortunately directed by the man responsible for bringing Fast and Furious films into the world, but it's okay. J.J. Abrams is still producing, the writers are good and love the material, and the cast is still the amazing cast. They are actually one of my favorite ensembles ever. In addition, they've brought none other than Idris Elba to the table, so that alone has me intrigued. In the wise words of that old ent, Treebeard, "Don't be hasty." We won't know until we see it, so let's just chill.

I love them! ♥
It's getting to the point now where I don't even want to see trailers anymore. I feel like they are becoming their own entity and spoil the film regardless of how much or little they reveal. I know a couple of people who have told me they don't even watch trailers anymore, they just look up the synopsis or movie information online and go off that. For them, it brings back the magic and mystery to the viewing. That may be hard to do in overblown media culture, but it's starting to sound more and more like a good idea.

What do you guys think? Are trailers getting in the way of your viewing experience? Leave me a comment below. I really want to know how people feel about this topic. Thanks!
- Alexis