the Long Tail

Adventures in the Low End of the Demand Curve

Monday, February 20, 2006

Little Plastic Trees

I'm going to do something different today. Instead of reviewing a particular piece of media, I instead would like to highlight something that I'm seeing more and more of on the old Internets; it was something that was pointed out to me a couple of weeks ago, and since then, I've been unable to get them out of my head.

What I'm talking about are re-mixed (spoofed might actually be the correct term, but I'm going with remixed) movie trailers, especially the ones that put the movie into a completely different genre. Imagine Fight Club as a romantic comedy or Sleepless in Seattle as a stalker-horror movie, and you've got the idea.

None of the movie clips are doctored in any way, except to be completely taken out of context, with different voiceover and background music.

I'll leave you this time with some of the better trailer re-mixes that I've found.

1) the Terminator

2) the Shining

3) Fight Club

4) Big

5) Sleepless in Seattle

6) Say Anything

7) Taxi Driver

Note that some of these contain violent or raunchy content, just in case that concerns you. I'll post more as I happen to find them.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Mystery Men

Back in the summer of 1999, a small movie was released that I thought had the potential to be a big hit. It was about a group of misfit super-heroes, and their journey to save the world. It was marketed as a parody of regular super-hero movies.

Upon seeing the movie, I realized that the movie and the characters in it took themselves way too seriously for this movie to be considered parody. Instead, what we have is a fable about underdogs rising to the occasion.

The story begins with Mr. Furious (Ben Stiller), the Shoveler (William H. Macy), and the Blue Raja (Hank Azaria) attempting to save a nursing home from an attack by the Red Eyes, a local gang of Hooligans. The situation soon escalates beyond their talents, and Champion City's resident super hero, Captain Amazing (Greg Kinnear), swoops in to save the day.

Later on, the insane super-villian Casanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush) is released from prison, who soon captures Captain Amazing, and begins hatching a plan to destroy Champion City. Sensing an opportunity to make a name for themselves, Mr. Furious, Shoveler, and Blue Raja hold a recruiting drive to fill out their ranks. However, the recruitment drive is a bust. They haven't even settled on a name for themselves, how can they can take on Casanova? It is at this moment that the legendary Sphinx shows up, to train them (and a couple of hangers on) in the art of being a super hero. Nothing they learn is anything new if you've ever read any sort of self-help books. Be yourself, believe in those around you, and have faith in what you're doing.

The heroes soon realize that they are the city's best hope for salvation. Instead of running away, and leaving Champion City to its doom, the heroes make preparations to take on their greatest challenge. They transform themselves into the heroes they've always imagined they could be, and for the first time, learn how to perform as a team, instead of individuals with a common interest.

I don't believe that its a great spoiler to say that our heroes are able to save the day. For those who want to see it, this movie has a great inspirational message about the power of a positive self-image and that anyone is capable of rising to the occasions that are thrown at them. It's not a super-hero parody. Instead, it's the essence of being a super-hero.