Movie trailers today, whether the ones playing to multiplex crowds or the slightly gorier redband variations we're looking up online, are generally infamous for two things: saying too much, and being, in essence, all the same. This mock trailer for the upcoming Superman/Batman crossover movie, whipped up in a few days by an intelligent fan and harvesting elements from several different movies, does a frighteningly convincing job of mimicking the look, feel, and most importantly, sound of a modern event-movie preview.
Watching this trailer, cleverly and superbly made and seemingly put together with nothing but the most honourable motives, accidentally sums up too much that's wrong with the cookie-cutter nature of how modern films are packaged and sold to us (not to mention the films themselves, but that's another argument). The relentlessly "momentous" style of trailer, with portent-laden music and overtones, its lack of fun, or play, or wit in selling a film about guys in spandex pummelling each-other, has essentially taken over modern pop culture, to the extent where now its influence has spread far further than just movies, for instance now inflecting sports telecasts, turning coddled, steroid-maddened, overpaid nitwits into Olympian heroes engaged in primal struggle.
This put in me in mind of when, a few months ago, I purposefully tracked down some of the best examples in my memory of trailers that set out to do the opposite, that is, make merciless fun of themselves, and appeal to audiences by undercutting cliches of advertising:
#1: The Wizard of Speed and Time (Mike Jittlov, 1987): "It's the kind of film you would make if you didn't have anything better to do!"
#2: When the Cat's Away (Cedric Klapisch, 1996) "Yeah...stars galore. I mean they're stars in our neighborhood. Not the whole neighborhood, but our street. Especially Number 15."
#3: Sleeper (Woody Allen, 1973) "Basically it's an intellectual film. Most of the scenes in it are of a cerebral, almost didactic nature, and there's very little overt comedy in the film."
Bonus track, not quite in a class with the above, because unlike those ones which are selling comedies, this one hopes to garner interest of camp trash fans for the sake of creating some audience for a notorious flop: assembled for a home video release:
When Time Ran Out (James Goldstone, 1980) "You said that already!"