Thursday, July 26, 2012

An Open Response To Charles Hurt

(Charles Hurt's original open letter can be viewed here)

Dear Mr. Hurt:

You recently penned an open letter addressed to director Christopher Nolan, actor Sean Penn, and Warner Brothers Pictures. While I am not associated with, nor do I speak for, any of the intended recipients, I feel compelled to take advantage of the nature of an open letter and write my own open response.

Saying the shooting was “carried out almost precisely from the scripts” of Christopher Nolan’s films is wildly inaccurate and would indicate that you yourself have never seen any of the movies in question. Having seen all of Nolan’s films, I can confidently state that not a single one contains a scene that has any parallels whatsoever with the shooting. As a matter of fact, though I can’t claim to have seen every movie ever made, I have seen a great deal of them, and I’m drawing a blank when trying to think of a movie that features a shootout in a theater. The closest in my mind is the apprehension of Lee Harvey Oswald at a theater in JFK, which was a historical event (though one does wonder what movies Oswald saw that inspired him to assassinate John Kennedy).

You attack Nolan for sharing his thoughts on the Aurora, Colorado shooting, and his belief that “the mere words of the English language […] are simply not up to the task of describing them,” which I believe to be a mischaracterization of the intent of his statement. I imagine his intent was to show support and solidarity for the victims of the tragedy; to let them know that, while no words can correctly describe or diminish the depth of their suffering, those associated with the film share their grief and are keeping them in their thoughts and prayers. While this may seem like a meaningless gesture to you, I believe some level of comfort is bestowed upon the victims, knowing that high-profile celebrities – people we often view as larger-than-life entities – have also been touched by this terrible event.

You also mention statements issued by “half-rate actors,” presumably referring to members of the Dark Knight Rises cast who released statements in response to the shooting. While the quality of an actor’s work can be rather subjective, I think it worth mentioning that the top-billed members of the Dark Knight Rises cast have 15 Academy Award nominations and 5 wins between them.

Though I’m no fan of Sean Penn, I’m puzzled by his inclusion in your letter. Yes, the trailer for his film Gangster Squad, which includes a scene of a shootout in a movie theater, appeared before screenings of The Dark Knight Rises, it’s a stretch to say it depicts “orgiastic bloodshed,” considering there isn’t a single on-screen appearance of blood throughout the entire trailer. And while I would agree there are similarities between the scene in question and the actual events that occurred in Colorado, I would argue there are just as many differences; to my knowledge, the suspect is neither a member of the Mafia, nor is he a gangster living in 1949, and is not alleged to have used a Tommy Gun in the shooting.

You criticize these individuals by saying that they are the “inspiration” and the “architects” of the Colorado massacre. This is patently absurd. Christopher Nolan and Sean Penn’s films can no more be accused of inspiring the shooting than the Pirates of the Caribbean films can be accused of inciting Somali pirates. If movies were a common and direct basis for real-life events, Knocked Up, The Terminator, and Ghostbusters would be responsible for rashes of unplanned pregnancies, shootings at police stations, and startups of businesses focusing on paranormal investigations and eliminations, respectively. But you take it a step further, saying that Nolan and Penn have “inspired mass murder” and that they combine to form “the Osama bin Laden of this travesty.” It is not only insane but borderline offensive to compare the acts of a single alleged shooter – James Holmes, whom you do not mention a single time in your entire letter – to the leader of a group of international terrorists responsible for the deaths of nearly 3000 Americans.

Four times in your article you mention that one of the victims was a 6-year-old girl. While tragic, I fail to see how the ages of any of the victims are the concern of your addressees. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) film ratings are designed to notify potential moviegoers of the content that can be expected when seeing a particular film. The Dark Knight Rises received a PG-13 rating, which indicates that parents are “strongly cautioned” that “some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.” For this film, the MPAA cited “intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language” as reasoning for the rating.
It is not my desire to point fingers or assign blame, but if you’re concerned about why a child of that age was present at the midnight release of a movie featuring the content mentioned above, I would first question the girl’s parents.

In closing, you refer to The Dark Knight Rises as a “snuff film,” indicating that you don’t understand the definition of the snuff film, nor the fact that the existence of a genuine snuff film has never been confirmed.

Overall, I find it incredibly ironic that the Dark Knight film trilogy should be singled out and subjected to blame for a mass murder. After all, Batman has only one rule: no killing.

Everyone has the right to their own opinion, Mr. Hurt. I just wish that yours was rooted more in facts than in broad mischaracterizations, misappropriated blame, and hyperbole.

Monday, February 6, 2012


I know your favorite part of the game Battleship. I know because it's my favorite part of the game Battleship: when it's over. I bet I know your second-favorite part of Battleship. It's when the aliens come down and demolish the earth.

Instead of tackling that, let's examine the overriding issue. They've made a movie out of a game? Far be it for me to criticize the adaption of other forms of media into games. That's why the Academy Awards choose to honor both the best Original and Adapted Screenplay each year; some of the best movies are based on other sources -- usually books, but not always. A sampling:

The Shawshank Redemption (short story)
The Godfather (all three parts; book)
12 Angry Men (play)
The Dark Knight (and every other Batman film; comic book)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (book)
The Lord Of The Rings (all three; book)
Fight Club (book)
The Silence Of The Lambs (book)
Forrest Gump (book)
Apocalypse Now (book)
The Shining (book)
A Clockwork Orange (book)
To Kill A Mockingbird (book)
The Green Mile (book)
2001: A Space Odyssey (book)
Die Hard (book)
Sin City (comic book)
Jaws (book)
The Wizard Of Oz (series of books)
The Grapes Of Wrath (book)
Gone With The Wind (book)
Stand By Me (short story)
Harry Potter (all of them; book)
The Exorcist (book)
Beauty And The Beast (fairy tale)

You'll notice this list contains no movies based on games. That's because a list of movies based on games looks more like this:

Mortal Kombat
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
The House Of The Dead
Street Fighter

The difference is that all the movies on the first list are great and all the movies on the second list suck.

The movies on the second list were all based on video games, which generally have stories and characters, just like movies. The problem with board games is that they lack both stories and characters. How is it possible to make a movie based on a board game lacking these important ingredients? Make up a bunch of shit and slap the Battleship name on it!

From the looks of the trailer, Battleship is a smorgasbord of plot points, technology, and action sequences stolen from successful science fiction films. Haven't you always wanted to see Star Wars/Star Trek on water? Me neither.

The trailer ends in dramatic fashion, with a character screaming at the top of his lungs to "fire everything" at the enemy. I've never heard this line, nor could I imagine it being delivered with such force.

How about the giant spinny spiky metal ball things that kickoff the adventure that is this trailer? They look like the bastard love child of destroyer droids, Hailfire droid tanks (those things from Revenge Of The Sith), sentinels (those squid things from the Matrix sequels), and Optimus Prime.

And what about that shield thing the aliens put up that doesn't let anything in or out? This is a completely new concept that I haven't seen used recently.

I do have to give the filmmakers some credit; they've created villains with a sleek, futuristic look I haven't seen depicted elsewhere.

No matter how many times I watch this trailer, I can't seem to shake the feeling that the entire movie is designed to sell action figures. I wonder why that is.


Well, at least this will be the first movie that's really just a two-hour commercial for toys.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3

Well, at least these movies have been trending in the right direction. By the time Paranormal Activity 6 rolls around they might actually be scary. Because, let's face it: the first one was scary for about two minutes. A door opening is not scary. Flour on the floor is not scary. Micah, while not scary, was an asshole. Also, nobody knew how to pronounce his name correctly. It could've been scarier, but they decided to ruin the ending in the trailer. A-whoops!

But while the scare quotient is heading the right way, the time period is hightailing it the other direction. I know that prequels have become more of a trend recently, but do we really need a prequel of a prequel? This is really going to confuse the kids when they go to the local video rental establishment or online digital video streaming service searching for the newest in all things boogeyman. For all his faults, at least George Lucas was smart enough to postdate the Star Wars movies so they're numerically correct with regards to the passage of time.

To help with any confusion, I've constructed a handy timeline to figure out what the hell is going on:

Make any sense to you? Me neither. Why did the filmmakers decide to jump back in time yet again? Because they're idiots.

Take a look at the new footage shown in the trailer. Just look at it. Aside from some artificial snow and grain the talentless editor added during postproduction, the picture quality is just as good as was presented in the first movie. Which, if you'll recall, was shot on a consumer-grade (albeit high-end) digital video camera. Where do you suppose two young girls got a digital video camera in 1988? Assuming that this movie won't feature time travel as a prominent subplot, their daddy must've purchased something that looks like this:

And the footage shot from said camera would look something like this:

Even if the footage was found later and transferred over to a DVD, it would still look something like this:

Somehow, though, this family was able to record their exploits with a camera that recorded VHS footage of the same quality of high-end digital videos taken 20 years later.

What really hurts these presequels is that the premise for even having the footag in the first place is becoming more and more contrived. The fact that Micah -- after having spent too much money on a camera he didn't need -- would want to record every moment of his dull life is completely believable. He was, after all, a douchebag. But consider Paranormal Activity 2: in order to have a reason to be able to see what happens to the family, the writer decided to have their house ransacked at the beginning of the film (it's implied that the ransacking was done by the demon. Try and wrap your head around that one). The family's completely implausible response is to install video cameras covering every inch of living space. What, exactly, will that do to prevent your house from being invaded again? Sure, they could've installed what we in the business call "locks," or invested in a high-tech security system, but those behaviors wouldn't fit with the warped sense of character psychology being applied to the movie.

So now in Paranormal Activity 3 we're supposed to believe that a couple of small children are able to properly maneuver, set up, and operate a camcorder?

Speaking of which, how old are these girls? The oldest is what, ten? Twelve? Her sister's even younger. There's no way these kids are using that camcorder. There's also no way they're actually playing Bloody Mary, even if it is a ruse by the older girl to scare her sister. And I hope they don't try and make this Bloody Mary thing into any kind of major or minor plot point, because I've seen that before, and it didn't turn out well.

And what's that supposed demonic presence supposed to be in the background? Bloody Mary? Noob Saibot? John Cena's mystery opponent?

Actually, any one of those will probably be scarier than what's actually in the movie.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Amazing Spider-Man

This is what it's come to. Instead of making any new movies, we're just going to remake the same movie over and over and over and call each one a reimagining or a reboot when it's really just a rehash. Sony will churn out three new Spider-Man movies, then they'll decide it's time to reboot the series. In 2022 they'll reboot the series again and start all over. Warner Brothers is already planning on rebooting its Batman series, despite the fact that Christopher Nolan's trilogy has a decent shot at being the best film series ever.

We do not need a new Spider-Man series. Sure, Spider-Man 3 left a bad taste in a lot of fan's mouths, and a lot of people are quick to point the finger at director Sam Raimi. But it's not his fault Sony made him shoehorn Venom into a film that already had two villains.  He did the best he could with what he was given, and Sony decided to repay him by handing him a pink slip.

But let's not dwell too much on the past when there's plenty to criticize in the present.

Turning our attention to the trailer: what is this bullshit? The first thirty seconds is like a trailer for a lousy mystery/thriller. Little Peter Parker is all anxious because his parents are going someplace. "There's something your mom and I have to do," Daddy says. I know what you're thinking. It's the same thing I was thinking: Who gives a shit about Peter Parker's parents? They're a total non-issue in every regard. They play absolutely no role in anything. The formula has always been very simple: Uncle Ben = Dad, Aunt May = Mom. Peter Parker has never, until this film, had any problem with his parents being gone because his aunt and uncle essentially are his parents. You know what he does have a problem with? Uncle Ben getting blown away. That's the father figure he misses and pines for. Not his actual father. Besides, Peter's dad probably couldn't make rice like Uncle Ben.

You want to know the real reason why Peter's parents are featured so prominently in this trailer? The desire to draw comparisions between this film and another film about a boy losing his parents, living with his aunt and uncle, and getting all angsty about it.

They may have been trying to make Andrew Garfield look as much like Harry Potter as possible, but in the end he just looks like a hipsterprep douchebag. Peter Parker is a brilliant science geek. Peter Parker does not use hair product.

Speaking of looks, have you seen this new outfit? It's terrible. It looks like a cross between a childrens' ice cream bar and something you'd see at a BDSM club.

And what's this nonsense about trying to go young in this new series? I get it; at 36, Tobey Maguire was getting a little old to play Peter Parker. This new movie will give us Spider-Man in high school, which thye're trying to pass off as a new idea, ignoring the fact that Raimi's first Spider-Man (2002) starts off with Peter in high school. So, naturally, they hired a guy who's 27.

We get a scene of Peter eating dinner at Gwen Stacy's house. Denis Leary, who is apparently her father, would like to know a bit about the young man. Gwen answers for him: "Peter lives with his aunt and uncle." Who gives a shit? That's the worst possible answer. It says nothing about him. It's the kind of answer Gwen would give if she wanted her dad to hate Peter.

We're going to see Peter get bit by that spider again. Because if there's one thing people don't know about Peter Parker, it's how he becomes Spider-Man. It's a story we must tell again. Except in this version he gets bitten in what appears to be a laser tag arena. Why does this fancy science lab have its own area for laser tag? And why is a spider playing? Because this movie sucks.

In another effort to distance itself from the previous Spider-Man series, the middle of the trailer features some music that sounds exactly like the beginning of Danny Elfman's Spider-Man theme from the last three movies. Way to be original, assholes.

The trailer ends exactly how any trailer should: with a continous thirty second first-person perspective shot of Spider-Man jumping around like an idiot, rendered in mediocre CGI. What is this, a commercial for the poorly-done licensed tie-in video game?

One final thought: the trailer leaves me wondering a few things. Most important? WHO IS THE VILLAIN?! This is a superhero movie. Superhero movies need two things, a superhero and a supervillain. I get that Harry Potter is the superhero. Who's the goddamn villain?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Thing

On the long list of movies that don't need to be remade, The Thing is near the top. The story and acting are fantastic. The feeling of isolation, the distrust, the paranoia are elements most horror, thriller, or sci-fi directors would love to have in their films. The special effects, brought to us by Rob Bottin and the late, great Stan Winston, look amazing despite the fact that they're nearly thirty years old. Why, then, are we being subjected to a remake (excuse me, "prequel")? I imagine the conversation went something like this. "Hey, people might be vaguely familiar with the idea and/or name of this film! I bet that's worth some money right there!"

As a side note, John Carpenter seems to be the king of remakes. The Thing will be the fourth of his films to be remade, following The Fog, Assault On Precinct 13, and Halloween. There'll be a fifth, mark my words; they've been trying to figure out a way to redo Escape From New York (1981) for years.

Who has been charged with the task of fighting off the Thing in this new film? Who better than Ramona Flowers? Answer: just about anyone.

Yeah, she's got Thing killer written all over her. The idea of having a female protagonist is so mind-numbingly stupid it's borderline insane. Do you remember how many women were at Outpost 31 in the original? A grand total of zero. But in this age of political correctness, can you imagine the shitstorm the filmmakers would have to go through if they released a movie featuring a team of all-male researchers?

The halfassed reason given for why Ramona will be the main character is because the filmmakers didn't want to have to compete with the pure badassery of Kurt Russell's R.J. MacReady. That's understandable. MacReady is one of the smartest and toughest characters ever committed to celluloid. Instead, they wanted their protagonist to be more of an Ellen Ripley type. So instead of comparing and contrasting her to MacReady, they want us to compare her to the strongest female protagonist in the history of film. What a wonderful idea.

Judging by the trailer, Mary Elizabeth Winstead's character will not only be leading the forces in opposition to the Thing, she'll also figure out everything about the creature. So she's really some awkward combination of Ripley, MacReady, and Wilform Brimley's Dr. Blair, who did the figuring and calculating in the original. The guy who wrote this movie must've been sitting in front of his computer wearing a pair of Bad Idea jeans. The only way Mary Elizabeth Winstead's character should be able to make any kind of a dent in the Thing is if it takes the form of Michael Cera.

Possibly the biggest problem with this film is that they're claiming that, rather than a remake, it's a prequel focusing on what happened at the destroyed Norweigian base visted by MacReady and company near the beginning of the original film. Did you count how many characters in the trailer are speaking in a foreign language? Norweigian my ass.

Look at the sets. Familiar, no? They look an awful lot like all the sets from the original. The director says he used Carpenter's film as a guide for what the Norweigian base should look like, doing his damnedest to make them ring true. You know what Carpenter used for the Norweigian base? The American base after it was blown to hell. So, for all intents and purposes, this movie will be using the exact same sets.

In just two and a half minutes of trailer it can be presumed numerous sequences from the original movie will pop up in this new version. You know, like what happens in a remake. A dog is seen trying desperately to break free of its pen, probably in an effort to escape from the Thing. And since it's established that the creature must transform itself into a dog in order to be a dog at the start of Carpenter's film, it can be assumed that we'll be subjected to a similar but less-interesting dog pen transformation sequence.

We also get a shot of a computer readout explaining the process the Thing uses to destroy and imitate other lifeforms. If this is truly a prequel, it would have to look like it was made using 1982 computer technology. Fortunately, we know exactly what this technology looks like because it was already presented to us by Wilform Brimley in The Thing. Unfortunately, this new computer readout looks like it could've been on CSI last week. Prequel my ass.

Have you ever heard of a sequel or prequel using the same name the original movie? It almost never happens because, when trying to talk about or make reference to one of the movies, confusion would undoubtably occur. At least when Final Destination (2000) did it they added an article to the title to make in semi-different, thus giving us The Final Destination (2009). You know when an identical title is used? When remaking a movie. For example: Halloween (1978) and Halloween (2007); The Fog (1980) and The Fog (2005); Assault On Precinct 13 (1976) and Assault On Precinct 13 (2005). Another example: The Thing (1982) and The Thing (2011).

If you're remaking a movie one thing you may want to include is music from the original, especially if said music was particularly memorable. Like, for instance, the music from The Thing. Director Matthijs van Heijningen, Jr. (what's up with this dude's name?) has brilliantly decided not to include Ennio Morricone's score from the original film. Of course, even if he had wanted to include it, it would be impossible seeing as Morricone's score doesn't exist except as background music for DVD releases of the original movie. He turned it in, Carpenter told him it sucked (which it does) and then rewrote it himself. Carpenter gave Morricone the credit on the film just because he's a nice guy.

This is what it's come down to. Hollywood won't even admit that their lousy remakes are lousy remakes. They've got to hide behind the term "prequel," hoping it will fool you into thinking the movie doesn't suck for a few moments longer.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (Trailer #2)

You know what's always a good idea? Trying to revive movie franchises from the 1960s. Especially when the original series included five films (with the original being the only good one), and when there's already been both a  failed remake/relaunch, Tim Burton's Marky Mark-infused Planet Of The Apes (2001) and a failed television series. Which brings to mind a question: is this a prequel to the original film, or the remake, or a relaunch of the series? I don't know! I'm a caveman, that's the way I think.

Just for poops and giggles, we can come up with some names for inevitable sequels for more Apes movies. Pizza Place Of The Planet Of The Apes? What Do They Have In The Zoos On The Planet Of The Apes? Are Monkeys Second-Class Citizens On The Planet Of The Apes? I Bet The Body Odor Is Pretty Bad On The Planet Of The Apes? I can go on forever, baby.

Moving on to the trailer, though, it's just awful. We've got James Franco running around -- it looks like he's grown back his other arm, though, so that's good -- talking to a boardroom of people about how he's developed some sciencey fluid that can make you faster, stronger, better, something like that, which we all know is going to be improperly formulated/wrongly used with disastrous results.  For some reason he keeps this development in sealed canisters that look like the ooze from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II (1991).It's an original concept; that doesn't bring any other film to mind.

And the name of this miracle cure? Why, The Cure, a phrase which doesn't have any additional unwanted connotations whatsoever.

If there's one thing this movie's got going for it, it's John Lithgow, who loves Creedence and would like to see something really scary. Also, General Striker, who apparently hasn't learned his lesson from the first time he mixed science with animals.

It looks like a good chunk of the early parts of the film will be footage of monkeys doing un-monkey-like things. Such as reading books! Drawing with crayons! Spelling names (even though the monkey's name is Cesar, not Jacob. Maybe he's a big Twilight fan)! Normal monkeys cannot do these things. Which is why it's interesting.

As the film progresses, conflict will arise when the company supplying the monkey brain juice gets ornery over who owns the rights to the primates. So the monkey is RoboCop and the scientists are Omni Consumer Products. It's not an ordinary monkey; it's cyborgmonkey. It's their product. Also, in this analogy the viewer is still the viewer, but has been bilked out of $9.75 plus any money spent towards snacks and drinks.

Pay attention to the CGI used for the monkeys. Doesn't it look terrible? It just looks bad. The dinosaurs in Jurassic Park looked more realistic and that CGI is eighteen years old. Also, dinosaurs are extinct. Why didn't they just get real monkeys? Monkeys can be trained. For a good example, watch Two And A Half Men.

I presume the ending of the film sees the monkeys growing increasingly pissed until they start a monkey uprising and begin hurling enormous wrenches at police cars. And according to the trailer, they will also all become Mighty Joe Young.

There were be a twist ending, though, when the monkeys somehow win. Because, really, you know what's a good way to put down a monkey uprising? Shoot the monkeys! They're monkeys! Just shoot them!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Has The Laziest Trailer I've Ever Seen

The process of crafting a trailer for an upcoming film is as much an art as crafting the film itself. In a time span of less than 150 seconds a trailer must make a film appealing enough to viewers to compel them to reach into their pockets and shell out money to see said film when it's released. There are plenty of ways a trailer can do that: establishing the movie's plot; identifying popular or well-known actors, directors, and producers associated with the film; using popular, well-known, or otherwise catchy music.

The recently-released trailer for the American remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo fails on each point.

The easiest failure to analyze is the use of music. The trailer uses a single piece of music, Led Zeppelin's 1970 single "Immigrant Song," which in and of itself is a fine choice. What isn't a fine choice is using "Immigrant Song" as interpreted by Trent Reznor, a guy who looks like he should be renting me cars, and Karen Orzolek, who should be arrested for the theft of Moe Howard's haircut.

Covers are like remakes; either bring something radically new to the table or don't bother doing it. Anyone who allowed this version of "Immigrant Song" to be created should be physically harassed by Jason Bonham, or better yet, John Bonham's corpse.

But there are deeper issues at play than just using a version of of a song that makes one want to listen to the original, better version of the same song. For instance, the failure to identify anyone involved in the creation of the film. I've always felt that an interesting story should be the driving point of any trailer because, with very few exceptions (Christopher Nolan, Michael Bay), the relative goodness of a new movie is not guaranteed by the past accomplishments (or lack thereof) of the film's director or stars. Because great directors, like Steven Spielberg, can put out some duds -- A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) -- the same way that bad directors, like Michael Bay, can put out some hits -- Armageddon (1998). That said, linking an upcoming title to the past successes of directors and actors can be a very valuable marketing tool. A valuable marketing tool that the ad whizzes who came up with this trailer decided not to use.

Rooney Mara will be playing the girl with the aforementioned dragon tattoo. Not using her name to promote the movie is understandable because nobody knows who the hell she is. She played the female lead in the Nightmare On Elm Street remake (2010) and appeared in The Social Network (2010), the made-for-TV movie about the rivalry between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. That's it.

A name you may want to throw out would be the director, David Fincher, well-known for his movies Se7en (1995), Fight Club (1999), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008), and The Social Network. The other lead, however, is played by Daniel Craig, a man who's kind of a big deal. He's James Bond. You may want to tout that when promoting what appears to be an action movie.

I say "what appears to be an action movie" because the trailer fails at it's most important job: giving the viewer an idea, any idea at all, about the movie's story or plot. There is no shred of anything that resembles a narrative flow to the trailer or the film itself; it's a succession of brief scenes from the movie, the word "brief" being used generously: there are 167 cuts in the 99 second trailer. That's one cut every 0.59 seconds. In order to truly understand the ridiculousness presented in this trailer, I will break down my assessment of what's happening during each and every shot presented, then attempt to piece them together and figure out what the movie's about.

So we start out turning onto this road. It looks kind of like the road Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise walk down in Rain Man (1988) except much snowier. A pair of glasses is sitting on a painting or a drawing or a photo of some plant. Or a sprig of parsley. Or something. James Bond is exiting someplace, possibly a courthouse, followed by some other people. There's some reporters, so whatever he finished doing must've been interesting. There's that girl! The one with the dragon tattoo. She's on some stairs and talking on the phone! That promises to be exciting. Isn't that the bridge that collapsed in Minnesota a few years back? Some guy, Bond I think, is wandering around some more pictures of something. There's a few lights on, but it's still pretty dark. Someone should turn on some more. Oh, this is what those pictures are. More parsley or holly or mistletoe or something. Alright, here's some old guy. I think this shot was lifted directly from the ending of The Godfather Part II (1974).

Here's Bootstrap Bill Turner without all that sea crap on his face. This looks like a search party in the forest. They found some box. What's in it? Maybe Jumanji? Bond's roaming the streets. Here are some old pictures of some girls ranging in levels of attractiveness. This guy looks like my boss, but I don't know why he'd be in this movie. Let's have a look at this old picture. What's with the magnifying glass? What is this, Sherlock Holmes? There's that girl again. Just standing around. Some apartment complexes. Riveting. Also, someplace called Egaraget. Is that like the Swedish Target? Bond and Bootstrap look at someone on a bike, possibly Trinity. Here's a family dinner with people dressed like it's 1958. Someone is coming out of what appears to be a highway rest area. This makes me think there could be some homosexual activity in this movie. Highway rest areas were the bathhouses of the 90s for many, many, many gay men. Who is this guy? He looks like the bearded love child of Patrick Swayze and Robert Wuhl. There's that old guy again. This shot makes me think of some of John Huston's scenes in Chinatown (1974). Daniel Craig is having an adult beverage. Maybe he IS James Bond. Oh, we're back on the road. I wonder where we're going. We're back in the 50s again and this guy looks like he's outraged about something. Hey, nice driving, pal. That is some accident. Also, I think this is the first time this trailer's cut away to the same scene. Bond's walking back up from the lake. He may have just gone swimming. Here's the road again. This road shows up more times than the one in that movie The Road (2009). Oh, some woman's back. That tells me a lot. A couple maids. Stimulating stuff. We're not moving down this road very fast. A cop boat? So, the police are involved... A sprinkler? Somebody's in the parking lot of what appears to be a Swedish convenience store. I don't know who Sjostroms is. I can tell there are going to be a lot of umlauts in this movie. Who is THIS guy? Again with the road. Somebody's looking at something. Most wanted posters? Missing persons posters? Bond looks pissed about something. Oh, it was that dragon girl. I have a feeling that this fellow is a terrible hunter. Racing by on a motorcycle at high speeds! That's exciting! Look at all the different modes of transportation depicted in this movie! Bond, in addition to being very cold, is taking notes. Bring out your dead? Looks like some people are gathering for something. A meeting perhaps? They're probably all evil, as indicated by them all driving black cars. Two girls kissing! That'll get people to the theater! See, I was right about that homosexual activity. Here's some guy. Maybe Bond? It's hard to tell. Someone should turn on a light. Hey, there's that dragon girl again. She could use a little sun. How many shots of cops on a bridge are in this movie, anyway? Dude in a telephone booth that's been spelled phonetically. Oh, it's Bond. I wonder who he's talking to. Hey, this guy's on a phone! Maybe he's the one Bond's talking to! Some dude, possibly Bond, in a fancy apartment with two people making out in the back there. The owner of the apartment is either an astronomy nut or a pervert. Someone on a bike again?! This is going to be as exciting as Fast Five (2011)! Who is THIS guy?! Bond is out on a hill someplace. Dragon girl is doing a bunch of research on something or another. Looks like she's in a pretty swank hotel, too. This guy looks like he's auditioning to be the next Most Interesting Man In The World. Sean Penn's ex-wife is in this movie, too! Oh, so dragon girl and Bond know each other! Maybe they should've focused on that plot point a little more in the trailer. Bond was reading USA Today but got distracted by something. A parade in 1958! I think this relates to the plot somehow, but I don't know for sure because this trailer won't tell me. What a lovely bunch of homely-looking girls. Bond needs glasses. The road. Again. Whoops, he doesn't need them anymore, so he's taking them off. We're really spending a lot of time on this damn road. And it really takes Bond a long time to take his glasses off. There's Homely again. Back and to the left. Back and to the left. Back and to the left. Bond's being shot at! Gunplay! Everyone likes a little gunplay! I wonder who shot at him! Dragon girl has a gun too? Maybe she's the one who shot at him! Now Bond's running down a hill. Is he being chased? Is he the chaser? Who are you? Maybe he's just running as part of his daily workout. It seems like they're trying to establish the girl with the dragon tattoo as an important character. Of course, I already assumed that since the name of the movie is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. There's THAT guy again. Who is THAT?! Who is THIS?! Some of the shots of Robin Wright look like they're taken directly from Unbreakable (2000). This old guy must have trouble breathing. I think that's the back of dragon girl's head. And somebody's touching it. Bond had a few too many vodka martinis. Is that Toht from Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)?!

I swear this shot is from Unbreakable too. Who are these characters?! How many bridges are in this movie, anyway? More motorcycle ridin'. I don't even know what's happening here. Yes, I'm led to believe dragon girl will be a central figure. Toht's looking pretty good for a guy who had his face melted. Ten bucks says she rolls down the window and says, "Get it." Grainy security footage. That tells me a lot. Bond contemplates something. Maybe the trailer. One, two, Freddy's coming for her. And we're back in 1958. Somebody, possibly dragon girl, looks to be having some sort of sexual encounter, possibly against her will. I'm almost positive this happened in one of the Bond movies. Overwhelmed by a sense of deja vu, Bond drops his glass. Dragon girl demonstrates what to do in the event of an earthquake. It looks like someone was murdered while in the throes of passion. This is the weirdest tattoo parlor I've ever seen. The focus is on the subject, but through a camera aimed at the subject rather than the subject itself. How artsy. I really hate this house. People ride motorcycles in action movies! What is so special about this damn house?! Just cruisin'. There's so many shots of the house in this trailer you'd think it was for the movie House (1986). Or that show House. Enough with the bike already. Enough with the house already. None shall pass. NONE shall pass. Bond's in a hurry to get somewhere. It's amazing how many of these shots are just people looking at something. That SUV really doesn't want to get passed. Is this that same house without the snow? Nice car. People drive nice cars in action movies. Is that dragon girl? It looks kinda like her, except she's got blonde hair. Hey, is this a trailer for Salt 2? Why is there all this camera equipment? Is this a behind-the-scenes photo? That was the look on my face through most of the trailer. I almost forgot that Bootstrap was in this. I didn't almost forget that dragon girl was in this. That's a lovely piece of scenery. Bond is hitching a ride someplace. And apparently nobody is people him up. What's wrong with your faaaaaace? Cripes, the house is back. Whoops, we're a little closer now. Bond's looking out the window. Is he in the house? Taking a knife out. That could be exciting! Knives can be used as weapons! They can also be used to dice okra. I get it. We're moving closer to the house. Far too many house shots. What's he looking at? Why is he upside down?

Immediate conclusion: What the hell is this picture about, anyway? Over 10% of the entire trailer is shots of that house! Also, I was right about the boat shot.