It Trailer #2 Thoughts

 

The summer movie season is winding down, and after seeing Dunkirk, there are still a few films I am excited to see. I still need to see Baby Driver and War of the Planet of the Apes. I have some reservations about Justice League but the fanboy in me is still very excited. However, the film I am most excited about at this point is IT. 

The book is one of the first Stephen King ones that I can remember reading, and I definitely plan to re-read it before this film comes out. The book involves a group of eleven year olds known as the Losers Club: Bill, Ben, Bee, Richie, Eddie, Mike and Stan.  Together, they try to combat IT, a supernatural entity in the fictional town of Derry, Maine. IT has the ability to transform into any child’s worst fears, but often takes the form of Pennywise the Clown. The book also follows the Losers Club thirty years later, returning to Derry to combat IT again. From what I understand, a second movie will focus on the Losers Club as adults.

Cary Fukunaga, the director of the first season of True Detective, was originally slated to direct during the film’s long stay in development hell. Andres Muschietti (Mama) was finally brought on board in 2015 to give us the film we’ll see in September.

The marketing campaign has been amazing so far, preceded by promotional images and the two trailers (technically one teaser and one trailer) that preceded. Everything from the music, to the more restrained use of dialogue and images of The Losers club and Pennywise has kept the film mysterious but also interesting.

I usually avoid watching too many trailers so that I don’t spoil the film. Fortunately, this third trailer doesn’t appear to give away the film’s best moments.

We do hear Pennywise speak for the first time, “Here…take it.” His voice was one of the things that book fans speculated about most, and these few words leave me happy that Bill Skarsgard will be able to embody the role.

 

There are more shots of Pennywise this time, and some shots leaves me slightly worried about an overuse of jump scares. Most of the memorable images in the trailer come from its use of unsettling music or imagery and I believe those are always the most effective scares in horror films. Looking back on all the moments that scared me as a child, they were never jump scares. However, I don’t want to rant about jump scares too much since the editing of the trailer itself can make them appear more plentiful than they will be in the actual film.

Bill’s dialogue at the beginning of the trailer, about losing the feeling of being protected as you grow older hits close to home and is a microcosm of the book’s themes about the loss of innocence. I am sure the film will cut out the orgy (yes, really) that happens in the book so it will be great to see this theme portrayed in other ways.

Along with the scenes in the previous trailers, Bill’s lines make me less worried about the child actors’ abilities. I wasn’t worried about Finn Wolfhard specifically since I already saw him as Mike Wheeler in Stranger Things. There are exceptions, but there are numerous times when child actors are either a weak link among stronger actors, or are absolutely dreadful. The Jungle Book (2016) comes to mind.

Let’s move back to the film’s most divisive element, Pennywise himself. YouTube and Instagram are littered with comments by people pining for Tim Curry’s version of Pennywise from the 1990 miniseries. This happens with pretty much every adaptation or remake. Some people didn’t want to see Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man before Amazing Spider-Man came out, some people thought no one would ever top Jack Nicholson as The Joker etc. People get attached to the adaptations they see first. Some people might grow up with Tom Holland as their first Spider-Man, and maybe they won’t want to see anyone else in the role if a new series is made twenty years from now. Likewise, this may be the first Pennywise for many people and if another IT adapdation is made in thirty years, they’ll refuse to accept another version.

I don’t like the attachment mindset, but I can understand it. What bothers me more is one of the biggest complaints brought up by Bill Skarsgard detractors. Tim Curry’s version wasn’t as faithful to the books, in terms of his look or his behaviour. He behaved like we expect a clown to. He was energetic and jovial. Lots of fans of the miniseries miss this sense of humour Curry brought to the adaptation and interpret this one as too grim or trying too hard to be scary. However, 2017’s IT (from what we see so far) is what we got in the book. There was no dancing or whimsy. Adaptations typically try to emulate their source material, not just other adaptations. The people who criticize this Pennywise for being too serious make it clear they never read the book. Also, we get little dialogue from Pennywise in the marketing so we can’t judge his level of whimsy just yet.

 

Moving on from misinformed people, I have to say that the music in the trailers continues to stand out. We get more of the creepy chimes from the first trailer, but also get the chants of “You’ll Float Too” throughout the latter half. The chants get louder as the trailer progresses, and your heart beats faster to match it. The music might not scare you per se, but it gets you excited. It’s the horror version of pump up music.

Hopefully, this trailer will be the last. At the very least it will be the last one I watch, I don’t want anything else revealed before I see IT, hopefully on opening weekend.

The Power Rangers Trailer Is Not Too “Serious”, “Dark” or “Gritty”

The first trailer for the Power Rangers (2017) was released over the weekend and in short, I think it sucks. I wasn’t intending to write about the trailer at all since I was underwhelmed by it and figured that this would be another film that would come and go under the radar for me. However, a friend on Facebook linked to an article that criticizes the trailer as being too serious and dark. If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know that this is one of my most hated criticisms. I always thought that the mindset that films need to be “fun” was limited specifically to comic book films, but it seems that it is becoming more widespread.

power-rangers

The writer also criticizes the abundance of night-time scenes, as if she doesn’t realize that “dark” does not usually refer to the lighting, it refers to the tone. This just made me think the article is satirical, similar to The Onion. Even if the writer is joking, the comments are serious and many of them share the view that the trailer was too dark.

Nothing in this trailer struck me as being “dark” or “gritty” in any way, shape, or form.  The trailer has a Breakfast Club meets Chronicle vibe, beginning with the rangers in some sort of detention program, then cutting to them finding the rings and discovering their powers. There is grade B acting and some cheesy humour, which just makes me wonder what it takes for a film to be regarded as “fun” if it doesn’t have a Marvel logo in front of it. The trailers for Doctor Strange are much more serious than this, yet Doctor Strange doesn’t have droves of people saying that it’s too serious. Maybe the trailers need to start with the actors doing a stand up-routine, Seinfeld style.

seinfeld-plane-family-guy                                                                                                             And what’s the deal with the villain anyway?

 

I was hanging out with a friend this weekend, and he remarked that the poems on my @wmoviegrapevine Instagram account are dark and depressing. I didn’t mind him saying that, but it made me realize that I may have a different perspective than some people when it comes to my views on entertainment. Since I am used to writing dark stories, maybe I am less sensitive to “darkness” than the average person. This is a valid point but I think that some of my previous arguments about the “make it fun” mentality still stand. Everything is relative when it comes to entertainment. People see DC as dark in comparison to the MCU films, and it appears that people think this trailer is dark in comparison to the old tv show.

For anyone who remembers the tv show, or is bothered to look up a clip on YouTube, you will see that the show was ridiculously cheesy and campy. It seems like people are comparing the tone of this trailer to the tone of the show. So of course, anything that isn’t as campy will be viewed as too serious, “dark” or “gritty” in comparison. There are plenty of people complaining that the trailer doesn’t have any of the cheesiness or “fun” in the original tv show. My question is, why would you want this film to have the same cheesiness as the show? It makes me wonder if people thought Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) was too dark when it came out, since it wasn’t as “fun” as the Adam West show.

We should strive to copy the same tone if it fits the story and the characters, not just because we want to copy the original. The trailer does have humour and some lightheartedness (although the dialogue and some of the acting sucks). A film as cheesy as the tv show would be horrible. People need to stop thinking that “fun” always equals good. Batman and Robin was fun too. Batman and Robin also captured the tone of the original Adam West tv show, but that didn’t mean it was the right way to go