Courtesy: San Diego Comic Con website

Courtesy: San Diego Comic Con website

I have a love-hate relationship with movie trailers. Have I been known to disappear down an internet rabbit hole of movie trailers from time to time? Yes; 100 percent. I have blown off rehearsal dinners to watch movie trailers. I have faked illnesses to watch director’s commentaries. I used to tape (like with a VCR) the show “Coming Attractions” on the E! channel. Movie trailers are kind of my thing.

But without question, they ruin movies. Earlier this week, Chris Ryan wrote a piece for The Ringer advising people to stop watching movie trailers. He’s not wrong: Movie trailers make good movies seem great and bad movies seem good.

In either case, the bar is set too high. Walking into the movie theater, the thought of “I hope I haven’t seen all the best parts of this already,” is hanging in the air, and walking out of the movie theater, the feeling of being swindled sticks to your feet along with gum, popcorn, and various other concession stand left-behinds.

Trailers make going to the movies seem predictable, which is the last thing you want from a $12.00 ticket to escapism.

Having said that… movie trailers are the best, right?!

This past week, the San Diego Comic-Con wrapped up and in the wake of the SuperBowl of nerd culture, we got a batch top-notch expectation raisers. Let’s dissect the best of the best and hand out some Movie Trailer Superlatives:


“Kong: Skull Island”

Based On The Trailer: A movie with a cast this strong, that looks like a cross between “Saving Private Ryan” and “Apocalypse Now,” with special effects this good, stands a 0.0 percent chance of living up to the hype. Warner Brothers is pushing all of their chips into the middle of the table with this potential franchise starter, which means the script probably got rewritten into oblivion.

Having Said That: I will be seeing this movie

The Bar Has Been Set: Too High. No way it can be this good.


“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”

Based On The Trailer: “What is this, when does it take place, how did I get here, and when can I leave?” are all of the thoughts I had in the first three seconds of this trailer. As far as I can tell Jax Teller is King Arthur, but it’s set in modern day London, only it takes place in a universe where modern day London looks like the 12th Century.

Having Said That: I will catch this on a plane and be excited about it.

The Bar Has Been Set: Adequately. I do not and will not understand this movie because it has obviously not been made for me. It will however do hundreds of millions of dollars in Europe.


“Wonder Woman”

Based on the Trailer: This might be the first DC movie of the Zak Synder era to not look like it was filmed exclusively to push merchandise at Hot Topic and Newbury Comics. Wonder Woman is the best chance at being DC’s version of Captain America in the sense that:

  • It will be both the anchor and the spirit of the DC cinematic universe for the next decade.
  • It is an origin story that takes place in the past, jumps to the present, and bridges the gap between the casual viewers and comic book truthers.
  • Gal Gadot looks like she belongs in the lead role, Chris Pine is there to be a male Bond girl, and if I’m not mistaken, she’s fighting in World War I. Lots going on, but that’s fine — the golden lasso is pretty cool looking.

Having Said That: I will see this movie after the internet makes its judgement call, which will inevitably ruin the movie for me.

The Bar Has Been Set: Lower than it should be because I do not trust DC comic book movies.


“Justice League”

Based on the Trailer: This looks like less fun “Ocean’s Eleven.” I want this to be good, I really do. I’ve been pulling for Ben Affleck ever since he was the bad guy in “Mallards” and seeing Khal Drogo get to be the Khal Drogo of the ocean sounds great on paper, but I don’t know. There are a lot of ideas jammed into this sizzle reel and I’m not sure there is a steak underneath it.

Having Said That: I will mean to go see this for two months and never go.

The Bar Has Been Set: Insanely too high. Even if this movie is “Ocean’s Eleven,” the hype surrounding every post-“Dark Knight”-Trilogy-DC-project is insurmountable.


“Doctor Strange”

Based on the Trailer: So this is part “The Matrix,” part “Inception,” stars Sherlock Holmes and is based on a Marvel Comics property? I’m in. They made me care about a walking tree, a talking raccoon and turned the fat kid from “Parks and Rec” into a half-Indiana Jones, half-Han Solo mega star. Marvel Comics is on a David-Ortiz-retirement-season hot streak; this will most likely be fantastic.

Having Said That: I will see this movie opening weekend and the think-piece I write about it will be packed with hot takes.

The Bar Has Been Set: At the formulaically perfect height. Marvel knows what it’s doing at this point; this won’t push any new boundaries, but it will be a mega-enjoyable 120 minutes.

Blog Author: 
Padraic O'Connor

Cover bands aren’t always great. Bands doing covers? That’s a different story.

With the exception of really crusty and stubborn people, anyone can appreciate a good cover. Artists can take their favorite songs and completely reimagine them, or they can pay tribute by trying to replicate the original. Neither practice should be considered superior to the other, though shot-for-shot remakes are often pooh-poohed.

On Tuesday, pop group MisterWives released a cover of “Same Drugs,” a wonderfully delicate-yet-ambitious ballad off Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book” mixtape. The original is below, followed by the MisterWives version.

Aside from taking the song up a whole step to accommodate for a female singer, this rendition would probably fall into the category of a shot-for-shot remake, yet it isn’t. If anything, MisterWives doing a cover close to original helped to highlight the brilliance of Chance the Rapper’s process.

Structurally, both versions are the same. Aside from the aforementioned key and Mandy Lee jumping up an octave in the second verse, MisterWives doesn’t play with the song’s main elements. Even the percussive scatting that opens the piece is there, and it’s just as charming as it is in the original.

Yet they do the song like a pop song, which is what it’s dying to be (side note: this song was also dying to be sung by a woman; more on that below). MisterWives’ traditional pop approach is where it strays from the original most; that’s where Chance The Rapper should receive even more praise for his performance.

The MisterWives version sees Lee’s vocals treated with the reverb accompanies nearly every pop vocal. That reverb should be there; it isn’t on the original. Lee gives an honest, straightforward vocal performance. Chance sits behind the beat on the melody throughout.

Therein lies the song’s majesty: Chance wrote a touching pop song and, dynamically speaking, recorded it like a rap song.

Interestingly enough, the only well-known pop artist who might do such a thing (and does such a thing often) is Regina Spektor, who originally sang on the Coloring Book version before being cut.

In this respect, Spektor and Chance have long seemed to be a perfect fit for a collaboration. At the very least, they’ll be heard on the same project when “Hamilton Mixtape” comes out later this year.


Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
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