Trailer Trash Returns!! [The Elysium Games: Steel Wolverine]

Trailer Trash is Austin Schumacher and Jake Cannon.


And we’re back!!  That’s right, the two guys you love best are back to check out the newest trailers and let you know what works and what doesn’t.  This time, we’ll be discussing the newest trailers for Elysium, The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire, The Wolverine, and Man of Steel.  I must admit, we’ve got some really good stuff going on here, but also some, well, not so good stuff.  Plus, unfortunately for yours truly, that other guy (Jake) felt like he needed steal all the fun ones for himself, so read on for one more ride inside our twisted minds…..if you dare!!

Elysium – Austin Schumacher

All right, let’s start this show off right with a fantastic trailer.  Well, sort of.  First of all, I do like a the reference made with the title.  Those who have seen Gladiator before may remember that Elysium is a kind of heaven where heroes favored by the gods go.  In this case, we do get a bit of an idea of the context simply based on that title.  We have the elite and the privileged pitted against those who are on Earth, who supposedly rebel.  Maybe?  Honestly, this trailer really doesn’t give us a whole lot, and is rather disappointing from that aspect.  Sure, it presents us with a date (the future) and a picture (“heaven” and earth), but it leaves the story completely out of the picture.  Yeah guns, explosions, Matt Damon, woo-hoo!!  However, why is he doing this?  What’s his motivation?  The movie gives no indication as to why it’s even being made.  In the world of cinema, story is king, and this one gives us nothing whatsoever.  Jake did have some speculations about potential themes and whatnot having done a little research on the flick, and he mentioned that it might be a very politically oriented film based on class warfare.  The website seems to be poking jabs at those against illegal immigration with Jodie Foster declaring, “You and your kind [immigrants] are not welcome here.”  Overall, decent effects but what’s the basis?  In that, this trailer really leaves you hanging and feels pretty empty, especially for a first trailer.

The Hunger Games – Jake Cannon

Upon first watching this trailer, the infamous Lionsgate banner appeared. Austin immediately paused the trailer and asked, “It’s Lionsgate…who’s gonna die?” I replied, “It’s The Hunger Games, everyone’s going to die.” Hoping to piggyback off the success of the first film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire looks to be a decent transitional film. I myself have read  The Hunger Games trilogy while Austin has not, so it left me wondering why they didn’t include that last 2/3 of the book in trailer. It seems like they are trying to hide the big ‘twist’ in the trailer but they do allude to it in the final seconds. Even though this was the length for a full movie trailer, it felt more like a prolonged teaser. I understand they are setting up the hype, but this trailer could have been a lot better if they included more action. From the trailer, it seems to be more character driven (as the book was) and less action oriented (which the book was in the last 2/3). All in all it was a decent intro trailer but we’re looking forward to the next trailer to see how they approach the latter half of the novel.

Man of Steel – Jake Cannon

Before previewing this trailer, I wet myself out of excitement).

There are only three reasons why you need to see this film:

  1. Hans Zimmer
  2. Zack Snyder
  3. Christopher Nolan

That’s it. Even if you hate or don’t know who Superman is, go see this film based on the sheer amount of awesomeness that helped make this film. Austin agreed whole-heartedly. But how did the trailer look? Imagine the most awesome thing in existence then imagine that most awesome thing in existence being multiplied by infinity. That’s this trailer. It starts out beautifully with a glimpse into Superman’s back-story and slowly builds into Superman discovering his ‘purpose.’ We noticed that the progression of the Man of Steel trailers (first and second) has been superb. They have revealed bits of information really well (such as the “S” on his chest not being an “S”) and are still surprising us without giving away too much. That being said, they are really playing up the humility of Superman. He has no reason to be since he has ALL the powers EVER created, but they’re really pushing his humanness in this gritty reboot. Gritty seems to be the new black in Hollywood. Christopher Nolan did it with Batman, Marc Webb did it with Spiderman, and now Zack Snyder is doing it with Superman. The directorial style seems extremely different than Snyder’s previous films (300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch). Snyder has been known to be very stylized, but this seems to showcase that Snyder can handle a genuine, gritty storyline very well. Austin and I figure he was influenced by producer Christopher Nolan. Which in all honesty is the best thing to ever happen to this movie. Looking ahead, this is going to be huge and all we can do is pray they deliver.

Sidenote: With Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner as your fathers, how can you not be Superman?

The Wolverine – Austin Schumacher

I must admit, I was fairly excited about this one.  Though not super pumped about this particular movie, I am enjoying the superhero reboots, and want good stuff to continue.  However, once again, I must be the bearer of bad news when I must say that my face fell after watching this trailer.  It has come to my attention that Wolverine is obviously the most popular character in the X-Men series.  The powers that be are trying to push another X-Men movie into the spotlight given the recent flux of superhero movies.  Unfortunately, they seem to be struggling.  Thus, the solution is to make MORE movies about Wolverine!  The appearance of this trailer is that they are trying to keep X-Men alive by coming out with pointless films about individual characters to the point that is simply an action film with a mutant in it.  It ends up feeling like a money grab by the company.  Honestly, Trailer Trash is not amused (or impressed).  From a purely critique side, the trailer flashes the phrase “When he’s most vulnerable…he’s most dangerous.”  Yes, it clearly references the animalistic side of Wolverine.  When an animal finds itself caught and vulnerable, it is likely to lash out.  Makes sense.  However, it also references Wolverine’s supposed lack of ability to heal himself.  Having said that, the shots following that phrase show him healing himself (i.e. Doing the very thing that was supposed to make him vulnerable).  Really, guys?  All in all, this movie looks rather disappointing, which actually makes me sad.

** BONUS **

Thor: The Dark World – Austin Schumacher & Jake Cannon

Yes, we do know that we filled our quota with the typical four trailers (i.e. two per person).  However, just as Jake geeked out over the Superman trailer, this is my turn.  Ergo, for those of you who could stand us for this long, we give you a bonus feature!  That’s right, MORE STUFF!  However, I do promise that this will be more interesting as the two of us actually disagree on how to rate this trailer.  Now, let the battle begin!

Jake: Ugh. Sorry Thor, but ugh. I myself was a fan of the first film considering it was the first time we were introduced to Thor and it was a cheesy, good story. Looking at this trailer, it seems to be using the same old superhero formula used in every movie about a superhero EVER made without doing anything unique. The bad guy (the darkness) appears to threaten Earth and Asgard, and Thor returns to take his beau up to his kingdom to escape. But…Thor’s beau is kidnapped and he has to enlist the help of his crazy brother Loki to stop the darkness from overtaking all worlds. They do, the universe is saved, break out the champagne, roll credits. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited for this movie. It looks really well done. Then again, I was excited to see Green Lantern and that turned out well (insert sarcastic emoji). In all seriousness, the battle sequences do look epic and I’m excited to see more of Asgard. But I don’t think that will be enough to save the story line. At the end I’m expecting a twist, maybe it appears to be a happy ending then BAM something happens. Predictable right? It has to set up for The Avengers 2 so something has to happen. Plus, the trailer looks like it marks the appearance of the villain Malekith which would be plausible seeing as Austin brings up the dark elf world Svartalfheim. Anyways, long story short: same superhero formula, impressive visuals, but will it work this time around? Also, will we get a glimpse of the universe that the next Marvel space adventure is set in, à la Guardians of the GalaxyTo you Austin.

Austin:  Dear Jake, please allow me to strongly disagree with you.  Still, what would be the fun if we agreed on everything?  Anyways, the trailer for this new movie really has me going as you might have guessed since it’s being added on as a bonus feature.  Right from the start, I really do like the effect with using Thor’s cape as the background for the Marvel insignia.  Props for creativity.  From there, I think that the trailer gives a good idea of what we’re going to be looking at story-wise.  Unlike Elysium, it’s not just a mash-up of action scenes strung together.  We actually see some plot as well as a plot twist in here, which helps keep audiences’ attention.  Although a fan of the first one, I have to admit that I did feel that it was rather cheesy at times.  However, this sequel seems to have left a lot of that behind.  Here, we see a more mature Thor, which, though he had a bit of a chance to show that in The Avengers, let’s face it, there were several other characters to show in that movie, so none of them could shine through to their full extent.  This time, we’ll actually get to see the change that has come about since the first movie, and I really like what I see.  In addition, there is potential for good exploration in this movie.  The “darkness” appears first on earth, but then looks like it attacks Asgard as well.  Furthermore, there are battle sequences in a place that looks neither like Earth nor Asgard, but is probably Svartalfheim, the realm of the Dark Elves.  Thus, there is a third front/planet that we will get to explore.  Finally, the dynamic of Thor and Loki working together could be quite interesting not only from a character/story standpoint, but also from the words that Thor uses:  “…when you betray me, I will kill you.”  There is no “if,” only a “when.”  While some may argue that this may be part of their plan, Thor seems pretty adamant that Loki will die.  Now, I know that I have crammed a lot into a bonus here, but that may just be some of my geek bleeding through.  I know that Jake disagrees with me on this one, but hey, everyone is entitled to their own wrong opinions (sorry, Jake, I had to).



  1. Seriously? The “Elysium” trailer doesn’t give any story? That was the exact OPPOSITE problem I had with it. I’m an enormous Neill Blomkamp fan and it annoyed me to no end that so much of the story (which is about illegal immigration and the way the wealthy do what they want and ignore the consequences among lower classes) was given away in such a brief trailer. “District 9,” Blomkamp’s previous masterpiece of a science fiction film, also dealt with a very heavy, very serious topic (Apartheid, obviously), and none of its trailers gave away this much. We were all richly rewarded because we didn’t know what to expect going in.

    As for James Mangold’s (3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line), I couldn’t disagree more. The trailer is sparse and doesn’t show much, but they seem to actually be treating the character in the right way. Mangold was brought in because the famous Wolverine in Japan storyline plays like a Western and as a director Mangold has proven his incredible strengths in that genre. The story deals with a man who Wolverine saved from the nuclear bombing of Japan in the 1940s trying to “help” Wolverine by making him mortal. Wolverine doesn’t know if that is what’s best for him or not, though, and when he loses that regenerative ability, things go very, very badly for him. The effects look iffy (all $100 million films’ effects look iffy this far out from release, though; the final cut’s aren’t even done, how could the effects be?) so far, but Jackman has always been a good fit and Mangold’s clear insistence on ignoring as much of the atrocious “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “X-Men: The Last Stand” as possible instills a lot of hope in this here film critic. We’ll not know for sure until it drops, of course, but it’s far, far too early to rule this one out, especially considering this is merely a teaser trailer, not even a full theatrical trailer.

  2. Concerning the Elysium trailer, my argument with it is not that it doesn’t give any basis for a story. Quite the opposite, in fact. It is clear that the focus is going to be on immigration, like you said. In that, I certainly agree with you. The part that I do take issue with is that they don’t give the main character any motivation for moving. There is not a change, a spark if you will, to break the stasis. We see the two locations and we can understand why the main character would possibly want to rebel, but what makes him move? Did they kidnap his daughter, shoot his son, steal something from him directly, etc? I would rather that they would present his motivation for attacking rather than giving away so much, as you say, of the overall themes.

    Obviously really early to be ruling any of these out completely. The movies are still very early in the release process, and it will be interesting to see where they go from here. I myself would really like to see “Wolverine” take off, but these are our observations at this time. Still, great thoughts, and I love the conversation!

    • I agree to a point, but does any trailer (other than for terrible Nic Cage straight-to-DVD action flicks or Taken sequels) ever give the main character’s backstory and motivation away? I’d hate to see that in trailers. Trailers are a mess of spoilers and wasted surprises these days. I want more trailers like the original teaser for “Alien” or “The Shining.” In recent memory, the very first teaser for Abrams’ “Star Trek” comes to mind. That’s how all teasers should be. One minute, minute and a half at most, as little footage as possible, just build anticipation. Hollywood panders to this ADD generation, the classiness and sense of suspense is all gone.

      Also, how about that “Thor: The Dark World” trailer? Eccleston looks GREAT as Malekith the Accursed! Better yet, I know the script calls reference to the fact that Thor was on Earth for The Avengers and never got in touch with Jane! He’ll be in the doghouse for sure! Alan Taylor is a fabulous director, as his excellent work over at HBO proves. This one’s going to a keeper.

  3. And in response to Jake, it’s been known since before Avengers released that Malekith would be the baddie here. The day Christopher Eccleston was announced, it was announced as “Eccleston to play Malekith!”

    And trust me on this one, guys, the plot is far from as predictable as the teaser would make it seem. That’s why we call them teasers (though most have strayed from that sadly).

Leave a Reply to M.H. Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here