Trailer Park: Prequels, Sequels… and Salmon

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Welcome to “Trailer Park,” our regular Friday feature where we collect the week’s new trailers all in one place and do a little “judging a book by its cover,” ranking them from worst to best and taking our best guess at what they may be hiding. This week’s seven trailers include several big-franchise sequels and (sort of) prequels (we think); check ‘em all out after the jump.

Wrath of the Titans

Hey, remember that Clash of the Titans remake last year that nobody liked? Well, it somehow grossed nearly $500 million worldwide, which says something about the human race we’d rather not contemplate, so here’s your altogether unwanted sequel, and (surprise!) it looks just awful. Two thoughts: Have we reached the saturation point yet on the use of Marilyn Manson’s “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” in trailers? It’s like the “Bad to the Bone” of wannabe emo in movie promotion. And secondly, we’ve got a feeling that just as the first Titans is primarily remembered for its bad 3D, the second will mostly be recalled for Sam Worthington’s Billy Ray Cyrus hair.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Look, this one is full of people we like (Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Ewan McGregor), and the script is by the great Simon Beaufoy, who wrote The Full Monty, Slumdog Millionaire, and 127 Hours. But it’s also the work of director Lasse Hallstrom, the corn merchant behind The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, and Dear John, and while we realize that marketing departments have to use a trailer to sell the movie quickly and efficiently, do they have to make a movie like this — with its “I’m a facts and figures man” dialogue (WONDER IF THAT’LL CHANGE) and obvious visualization of the swimming upstream metaphor — so utterly transparent?

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

It’s a lonely business, holding a passionate lack of interest for anything Lord of the Rings-related; it feels as though your author’s spent the past decade making excuses and shrugging and scrounging for an explanation beyond the simple fact that I went to the cinema, sat through The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, found it a loooooong dull slog, and had no desire to return to the series. So you can understand why I’m not all that worked up about the trailer for next year’s first of two prequels (“I told you the truth — I may not have told you all of it” — oh prequels!). Here it is, though. If you like that sort of thing. As for me, about the only thing of interest here is Tim from the original Office in a starring role. That I can get behind.

Bel Ami

If you’ll pardon this quick peek behind the scenes, it’s always a bit of leap down the rabbit hole when you go looking for a trailer on YouTube that has anything to do with anyone involved in the Twilight franchise. You’ve got to dig out the official one within the scores of “fan-made” trailers, “tributes” with stills and weepy music, and “reaction” videos of teenage girls watching “Rob” gallivant around Paris, bedding married women. It’s all rather more amusing than the trailer itself; though it does include Kristin Scott-Thomas, Christina Ricci, and Colm Meany (and we’ll see just about anything that any of them are in), you’ve also got Uma Thurman doing one of her “serious acting” (with an accent!) turns, which is always unfortunate, and then Mr. Pattinson, who seems a dull-witted fellow with an appeal that simply eludes me. Maybe some of those videos can explain it.

Casa de mi Padre

It’s easy to forget, now that Anchorman is a beloved pop-culture touchstone and the source for a good 40 percent of the quotes that you and your friends throw around, what an odd premise that movie presented the first time you heard about it: a big-screen satire of… 1970s local TV news. Bear that in mind as you watch the trailer for Will Ferrell’s latest, a full-length spoof of Mexican soap operas, done entirely in the native tongue (even by Mr. Ferrell, who turns in an entirely Spanish-speaking performance). Kudos to those involved for getting Y Tu Mama Tambien co-stars Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal in on the action, as well as Parks & Rec’s Nick Offerman; the whole thing looks weird and somewhat inexplicable, but also very funny.

Prometheus

In all frankness, our first reaction to the Prometheus trailer was colored a bit by the frustration over Ridley Scott’s coyness about exactly what the hell Prometheus is. Is it an Alien remake? No. A sequel? No. A prequel? Maybe, sort of? QUIT PLAYING HARD TO GET, RIDLEY SCOTT. So when Twitter exploded yesterday over how mind-meltingly awesome the Prometheus trailer is, we went into a bit of a defensive crouch. Yes, fine, it looks cool. And it’s got Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender in it. And Idris “Stringer Bell” Elba. And Noomi Rapace, and Guy Pearce. And Lost’s Damon Lindelof co-wrote it. Fine, uncle, we’re going, okay.

The Dark Knight Rises

Is there anything left to add at this point? Yes, this, perhaps: this trailer marks our first indication of the whole “Bruce Wayne is the 1 percent” angle (aside from that scuttled talk of shooting down at Occupy Wall Street), and we’ve got to say, we’re really intrigued by where Christopher Nolan is going with this — particularly in light of those pseudo-Patriot Act overtones in The Dark Knight. Could the biggest movie of the summer also end up being Hollywood’s first tackling of the Occupy movement? Discuss.