To me, this trailer could be a short film. If some kid in filmmaking school turned this trailer in as his senior thesis film I would build a pool in his backyard just so that I could fill it with money. Why? Because only experts with amazing potential can make things this beautiful. And I’m not even talking about the action sequence, just the beginning. I know I’m usually sarcastic or bitter in Trailer Trash, but for real, the first half of this trailer alone to me is beautiful. The simple clean visuals, shots of railroad tracks leading to a railroad crossing to a classic trucks vs. a giant train. All beautifully Americana. The sound of the train and railroad bells, a crackly walkie talkie and that “OH MY GO-” . It pushes my every button and I love it. It’s classic filmmaking at it’s best. Comfortable, with a ton of intrigue.
Then we get to the action sequence, yes, but it’s not all smash and trash explosions. You’re not watching to see how f’d up the train will get, you’re watching something unfold. You want to see “why.” That’s talent. Of course, this film has that in spades thanks to Steven Spielberg, who is apparently back to his bread and butter, unleashing aliens in small town USA. Yes, he’s letting J.J. Abrams take the helm, which is probably why the aliens are scary tyrants instead of misunderstood E.T.’s and musical spaceships, but either way, it’s the inventor of the blockbuster and the current king of blockbuster working together. It’s pretty exciting.
After the action, we have the aftermath, my favorite part. It’s like going through a really cool ride at a theme park. We glide through as the destruction settles, hearing odd noises, maybe almost animalistic sounds? And pounding. Something pounding. And that last shot of something desperately trying to get out of that steel train door with the old Air Force symbol on it? That access hatch wheel spinning faster and faster…. Awesome.
Steven Spielberg invented the blockbuster with Jaws because he knew how to suck us it. Pray on our collective thoughts and fears and dreams. J.J. Abrams knows how push all that to the next level. Sure, I may be putting some words in this trailer’s mouth and making some bold assumptions about an hour and a half film based on a minute and a half trailer, but I think this is gonna be grand. It will not only a huge hit that’ll look amazing, which I can almost guarantee, but I be this ends up being a great, classic movie. The only think that sucks about this trailer? “Next” Summer instead of “This” Summer. Oh, Spielberg, you tease.
Mike Betette (aka 4theluvofham and Berry of Fran and Berry) is a writer/improviser/actor living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. He has performed improv across the country with Mission Improvable and on a cruise ship around the world with The Second City. Mike has written for Blackbookmag.com, Superdeluxe.com, CurrentTV's Supernews! and has co-produced two improv game show pilots for CBS starring Craig Ferguson. Mike will also be appearing in the independent, improvised film, "Hitting The Nuts: The True Story of the 2009 Scott County Series of Poker" due out this summer.