The Trailer Park: Rise of the Mediocre

With spring just around the corner, we prepare for the upcoming slate of hopefully good movies that are supposed to come with an improvement in the weather. Sadly, the following trailers promise more rain and dark clouds of boredom.


Originally, the thought of seeing another ‘Ghostbusters’ installment really excited me, and reading that it would feature an all-female cast in the roles of legendary misfit parapsychologists did not bother me in the least. However, after watching the first official preview of the end product, my excitement has suddenly grown into nervous hesitation. Although I like the gag of the Ghostmobile now being a Cadillac hearse, the jokes are downright dumb and are pretty much dead on arrival, feeling more like some extended ‘SNL’ skit than a full-fledged motion picture. Based on the trailer alone, I’m not really sure if this is a new installment to the existing franchise or a remake/reimaging since much of what we see appears similar to the first film. In the end, I’ll wait for initial reviews before deciding whether to watch this on the big screen or at home.

‘Hardcore Henry’

My immediate reaction to this predictably idiotic mess can be summed up in one word: Ugh! The trailer features an incredibly generic plot laying all its bets on an extremely stupid gimmick. This dumb little stunt of shooting the entire movie in first-person perspective has already proven to be both disastrous and pointless. The closest the p.o.v. device has ever come to working is in the “Found Footage” genre, and even there, the scheme wore out its welcome some time ago. You know the idea is basically a ripoff of first-person shooter games anyway. So, why in the world would I want to pay to watch someone else play a videogame?

‘Midnight Special’

The trailer for the new (presumably) emotional rollercoaster from writer/director Jeff Nichols immediately erupts with explosions and action, as if trying to snap viewers awake. Or, more like it’s begging for their attention. Frankly, there really isn’t much going on here. The clip leaves me somewhat indifferent and bored. The plot, which Nichols also wrote, feels a lot like a reimaging of 1984’s ‘Firestarter’, except with better visual effects. The only thing generating a tiny bit of confidence is the fact that Nichols’ last two features (‘Take Shelter’ and ‘Mud’) were impressive in spite of weak trailers. Here’s hoping that he’ll once again surprise me when I catch this on Blu-ray.

‘Finding Dory’

Finally, the preview for the ‘Finding Nemo’ sequel doesn’t do much to generate interest.

For more of the latest movie trailers, check out our trailers page.


  1. njscorpio

    While I like the idea of the changes made to ‘Ghostbusters’, to separate itself from the original, I’m growing less and less comfortable with it being described as an “all female Ghostbusters”. Perhaps that is exactly how the film makers intended it, but I think to myself…isn’t this going backwards? What if other franchises were rebooted/continued, with such broad and absolute changes to the cast? Such as an “all Latino ‘Nightmare on Elm St'”, or an “all black ‘Breakfast Club'”? “All Korean ‘Saturday Night Fever'”. These things may actually work, but they come off patronizing, both to the minority group and the fans.

    • Why shouldn’t an all-woman cast, or an all-Latino cast, or an all-black cast, or an all-Korean cast, be allowed to remake whatever they want to remake? All-white casts have certainly remade enough movies from any and all of those other groups.

      I don’t have a problem with the casting. These are all funny ladies. What bothers me about the trailer is its appearance of being a straight-up retread of the original movie without much new added besides a greater reliance on improv riffing. However, Paul Feig has directed several very funny movies (and a lot of very funny TV). Last year’s Spy in particular was really terrific and showed that he can balance humor with action. As I recall, early trailers for that movie looked pretty awful, as if it were nothing but a string of fat jokes with Melissa McCarthy bumbling through various international locations. The actual movie was nothing like that.

      So, I’m inclined to hope that this is just a bad trailer put together by some hack in the studio’s marketing department, and that the actual movie will be better.

      • Shannon Nutt

        The problem with the GHOSTBUSTERS trailer isn’t that the original cast has been replaced with four women (or even the highly offensive fact that – once again – the African American character is the non-scientist), but the fact that it’s NOT FUNNY. Not one laugh in that whole trailer. Unless you’re into third-grade humor.

        • garethcallenby

          To be fair, since the white ghostbusters are parapsychologists, none of the ghostbusters would be considered scientists in real life.

          • Shannon Nutt

            Venkman had a degree in psychology (as well as parapsychology).

            Egon had a degree in physics.

            Ray’s degree is never mentioned, but he’s believed to have multiple degrees, including one in occult sciences.

            All three men have their doctorates – they’re scientists. 🙁

      • njscorpio

        I just take issue when it appears that the whole production feels like it is hanging it’s hat one gimmick…and if that gimmick is a minority group, then all the more bothersome. To be clear, I’d only say it was a production gimmick if the movie itself is bad, in the straight-up retread manner you are talking about. At that point it is just, Lady Ghostbusters.

        “Why shouldn’t an all-woman cast, or an all-Latino cast, or an all-black cast, or an all-Korean cast, be allowed to remake whatever they want to remake? ”

        The tone here implies that the minority-centric cast is a reflection of the director/writers/producers. What I’m describing is, a studio has the rights to a franchise but wants to tap into a popular minority subculture to either expand the market or latch on to a trend. Their generic writers write generic jokes using clichés, and the whole thing comes off like “Let’s cast a bunch of cats!” instead of an ethnic recreation and reinvention of a franchise.

        It’s the difference between laughing with, and laughing at.

        • In this case, what the studio wanted to make was Ghostbusters 3 with the original cast, but Bill Murray wouldn’t return anybody’s phone calls and has famously thrown all of Dan Aykroyd’s scripts in the trash without reading them. Then they wanted to make a Ghostbusters: The Next Generation with Seth Rogen and some of his palls, but that didn’t pan out. Paul Feig brought them the all-woman cast. That wasn’t a studio mandate. Feig had made three very successful movies with Melissa McCarthy and female-driven casts, and Sony gave him the greenlight to put that spin on this franchise as well.

          This movie is certainly not being targeted only at women. If that’s the only demographic that turns out to see it, Sony will consider it a huge failure. Too much money is on the line. Not to stereotype here, but female audiences are traditionally not drawn to action or visual-effect tentpole movies, at least not in the numbers that will be needed for a movie this expensive to turn a profit. This will need to be a crossover hit that appeals to all audiences.

          I agree that this trailer isn’t selling the movie very well, but I’m not willing to write it off just yet, because I think Spy proved that Feig has the chops to pull something like this off.

          • Trond Michelsen

            Based on everything I’ve read about the ideas for Ghostbusters 3 over the last – how long’s it been? – 15 years? I’m pretty sure that there’s absolutely no way this movie can be worse than any of the possible Ghostbusters 3-movies.

            I’m not impressed by the trailer, though. And it even looks like they’re going to do the only thing I was absolutely sure they’d be able to avoid – having the actors play caricatures of the original cast.

            I hope I’m wrong, and I really, really hope the movie is a lot more different from the first movie than it seems like now.

          • Chaz

            Sure they have the same intellect, but none of them seem like caricatures of the original characters, the Egon girl isnt anything like him from the trailer, quirky dressing up, licking her guns, sexy winking, Egon was way more awkward than that and the rest are very different too, I really dont see any Peter, Ray, Egon or Winston in these girls, maybe there will be some of those quirks in the whole film but I didnt get this vibe from the trailer at all outside of their particular set of skills……;)

      • Opinionhaver

        Oh please. Yeah the trailer is bad, downright embarrassing, but all that bad embarrassing stuff is still gonna be in the final product. When has a bad trailer ever previewed a great or even good movie? You’re telling me Spy didn’t have any fat jokes with Melissa McCarthy bumbling through various international locations?

        • njscorpio

          I gotta agree with Josh that Spy was much better than the trailer led me to believe, and that the reason why I enjoyed Spy so much was the noticeable lack of “fat jokes”. There were plenty of jokes about McCarthy not being as well suited or capable for field work as the other spies, but I never felt that it just harped on her size. It could have been Kristen Wiig as the star with little modification to the script.

          • Plus, she actually turns out to be a super-competent spy. When her boss (Allison Janney) sees the video footage of her training, she questions why the hell McCarthy would want to stay behind a desk. The only thing keeping her from doing field work is her mental block that she doesn’t think she’s good enough. When actually put into service, she kicks all sorts of ass.

        • Bolo

          Sometimes trailers misrepresent the quality of a film. I would say Woody Allen’s movies typically don’t trailerize well. Even his best ones don’t look like good movies based on the trailers.

          Other times trailers are simply misleading as to what elements they emphasize.

          Take the upcoming ‘Suicide Squad’ movie. It’s had a couple of trailers with totally opposite tones. One looks like some dark, scary, depressing wannabe David Fincher crime flick; the other looks like a rowdy smartassed ‘Con Air’ type of movie.

          Do a search on youtube where that guy re-cut ‘The Shining’ into a trailer to look like a heart-warming dramedy. There’s a lot of room for misrepresentation.

          • Opinionhaver

            Misrepresentation and misleading are one thing, content is another. There’s a world of difference between a trailer not interesting you in the movie and a trailer that has awful content within it. So I ask again: when has a bad trailer – not a misleading trailer, not a misrepresenting trailer, but a BAD trailer – ever turned out to be a good movie?

          • Two points:

            1) You’re watching the scenes in this trailer out of their proper context. They may play better in the actual film than they do isolated in the trailer.
            2) It’s not at all uncommon for a comedy (especially a highly improv’ed comedy) to feature footage in the trailer that won’t make the final cut for the finished movie.

            Yes, I will go back to the trailer for Feig’s Spy, which included footage of Melissa McCarthy falling off a moped played up like a stupid fat joke about how clumsy and awkward she is. Oh, look at that fat lady, she can’t even ride a stupid scooter without falling off, ha ha ha… In the actual movie, the joke isn’t about her being fat at all (the moped is stuck in wet cement and anybody would have fallen off it the same way), and the scene is very funny – especially since it’s surrounded by other scenes of her being a really good spy.

  2. Bryan

    That Ghostbusters trailer looks horrible. I wanted to like this movie, but now I’m just hoping it will at least be watchable. (And can somebody please teach Leslie Jones how to act … everything she does on SNL is the same exact character, and she just continues that trend in this.) She was funny the first 2 or 3 times I saw her, now she’s just annoying.

  3. Csm101

    I feel like I’m the only one excited for Ghostbusters. I texted one of my movie buddies the trailer the other day and he texted back, “meh”. I like what I’ve seen in the trailers and I’m sure it will be full of surprises. Pleasant ones, I hope. This is one of the few movies I’m actually looking forward to this summer. I’ll take my daughter to see Dory if she ‘s interested. The rest of the trailers can wait for blu rental or blind buys.

  4. Chris B

    I think Hardcore Henry looks awesome myself…definitely more interested in seeing it than the new Ghostbusters, which like E says looks to be a 2 hour SNL skit. Even though the first Ghostbusters was a comedy, you still felt like there was something at stake, our heroes had to save Manhattan or else. This version just looks like they upped the camp and done away with any kind of seriousness.

  5. Chaz

    There is a new International trailer up for Ghostbusters now and it makes things look considerably better, for one they fix the intro where in this trailer it states that 4 scientists saved the world when thats obviously not the case, Winston was never a scientist and I have no idea how Sony missed that. Next they left out that terrible possession scene, which in itself wasnt bad but the jokes used after that were awful, Jones yelling and slapping Melissa and her screaming, “Ow thats going to leave a Mark” How many times have we heard that and who actually says that when someone hits them, I could think of a billion things that would be more funny. But the newer trailer seems to have a better tone and a few funnier bits especially the end clip with Hemsworth trying to help figure out a logo for them, its on the nose because of the cast and its funny that way 🙂

    But I’m all in, Paul Feig hasnt let me down yet, Bridesmaids was hilarious and so was Spy and The Heat, loved them all so I’m thinking this will turn out much better than the trailers let on

    Hardcore Henry looks awesome, dont care what anyone says, cant wait to see that one!

    And of course I’m all in for Finding Dory, I LOVE Finding Nemo and more of that is a good thing in my book 🙂

    • njscorpio

      Question: This is the first appearance of the new Spiderman reboot, correct? Traditionally, the origin story has Peter making his own suit. The animated eyes give me the impression that this suit is far more advanced than a kid could stitch together in his bedroom. I wouldn’t just write off the animated eyes as a “comic” effect, and actually assume that since enough of the MVC is grounded in reality that the suit actually does have morphing eyes. So my question is…since he is on Tony Stark’s side, could it be that Stark developed the Spiderman suit?

      • Shannon Nutt

        Correct…and Spidey in the trailer (and most of the movie, I hear) is CGI. Actor Tom Holland said he spent VERY little time on the set of Civil War.

      • Chaz

        I believe in the comics (dont quote me on this as its only what I’ve heard) that he has the Iron Spider costume when he’s on Tony’s side, I think he does things on both sides but I’m not sure what they will do with him in this one, I dont think he’s in it much since the filming of the movie was pretty much done when they got this deal pushed through, he was kind of added right at the end, but his costume here is a mix of a couple of different comic designs, which I found out watching a reaction video from screen junkies and some comic nerds 🙂 Which is great and it shows Marvel knows what true comic fans want while also pleasing everyone else. His morphing eyes might not mean anything in particular because in all of the cartoons and such his eyes move so he’s more expressive, it just worked wonders with Deadpool and I’m on board with Spidey doing this as well, static eyes and muffled voices like the previous Spidermans had is going to be gone and I’m all good with that

  6. CC

    Finding Dory really looks like one of Disney’s VOD sequels pushed out into theaters.
    I am most excited by Jeff Nichol’s MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. He described how how was wanting to make a film that was equal parts CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, STARMAN, and E.T.
    That is very ecouraging.

    • Yeah, I’m not really sure what the point of making Finding Dory was. It looks exactly like Finding Nemo. Even the animation doesn’t seem to have progressed at all in the last 13 years.

      • njscorpio

        I guess it’s like how they had a sequel to Cars…but, similar to how they did Planes, I’d be more interested (if at all) if the sequel within the Nemo universe was about shark children.

        • Timcharger

          “I’d be more interested (if at all) if the sequel within the Nemo universe was about shark children.”

          I read that as “the Stark children. ” Now that I would see.
          Pixar’s Game of Thrones?! Sign me up.

          • njscorpio

            Like Tiny Toones….but live action, staring child versions of the Avengers, under the guidance of Howard Stark. Marvel Babies, so to speak.

        • Chaz

          Planes wasnt Pixar, that was Disney trying to capitalize on Pixars “world” But I actually enjoyed Cars 2 quite a bit, a spy thriller wrapped in a Cars tale, completely different than the first, I’m sure if they made it too close to the first everyone would have bitched then too, damned if you do and damned if you dont, they could have had more focus on the other characters though, but since Mater was probably the most popular character from the first film (with the masses), I can see why they chose to make a movie around him but Cars was an ensemble cast almost and most of them were missing almost the whole movie and thats where it had issues, overall though, I still liked it 🙂

      • Timcharger

        Part of why Cars 2 sucked was that it
        was more about the comic-relief, supporting
        character, Mater, than the main characters that
        made Cars 1 so popular. Sounds much like
        Finding Dory. But at least Finding Dory is clearly
        advertising it and naming it that way.

        And with Dory’s memory condition, I wonder if
        it will be an unearned, had the solution in my
        pocket the whole time, deus ex machina plot.

  7. Eric

    I, too, am most anxious for “Midnight Special”. Early buzz for the film is excellent, and the director’s previous films were outstanding.

  8. T.

    Not sure if anyone mentioned it, but the original Ecto 1 was a Cadillac ambulance/hearse combo. Don’t notice any difference between the two designs myself.

      • The original Ecto-1 was a 1959 Cadillac Professional. The new one is a 1989 Cadillac Brougham.

        Ghostbusters Ecto-1

        The old one is all 1950s curves and tailfins. The newer one is 1980s boxy and sharp angles. The point in either case is that the car is supposed to be an old clunker.

  9. William Henley

    I have been trying, every since I saw it, to figure out how to describe how I felt about the new Ghostbusters trailer. I think M. Enois hit the nail on the head – it feels like an extended SNL skit. Like many, the thought of a new cast didn’t bother me (my brother was complaining, but I was like “do you really want to see Bill Murry and Dan Aykroyd now?”), and I had been excited about this movie. But this trailer left an awful taste in my mouth – it felt like a really poorly done SNL parody sketch rather than a serious movie.

    Some of the CGI was also pretty bad – if you can make something look better doing it optically, why even bother doing it with CGI? The ghost librarian looked AWFUL. On the other hand, Slimmer looked really good.

    The hearse joke was pretty bad – I though this movie was supposed to be a continuation of the previous two, but this trailer made it look like a remake, which I am not okay with.

    The point of a trailer is supposed to be to excite you about the new movie. This trailer for most people did the opposite. I am now not even sure if I want to see this new movie.

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