Home of the Brave
Tagline: “Hey, sweetheart, I’m coming home.”
Translation: We’re updating The Best Years of Our Lives, an American classic—with 50 Cent.
The Gist: Okay, you might get away with casting 50 Cent or cover girl Jessica Biel (who’s not a bad actress) or teen-flick cutie Chad Michael Murray as a vet returning from Iraq, but you cannot get away with all three—especially when Samuel L. Jackson is hamming it up. And how does 50 feel about the Dave Matthews soundtrack?
Tagline: “The first chapter of the Inheritance Trilogy.”
Translation: We’re not just selling one ticket—we want you to buy three.
The Gist: This is a trailer for a film based on a popular fantasy novel written by a teenager, and it looks it—with a floppy CGI dragon, a “ruthless king” (John Malkovich), and a blond British hero from central casting. There’s nothing remotely memorable here, but that didn’t hurt Narnia.
Tagline: “The thousand nations of the Persian empire descend upon you!”
Translation: Dude, this is so badass you gotta check it out.
The Gist: No overkill is too much to sell this goth-action epic, inspired by Frank Miller’s gruesome graphic novel 300 (and, apparently, Nine Inch Nails, Troy, The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings, and Blade). In Sparta, it would seem, every line of dialogue was either screamed or growled. We’re left worrying that this will play more like the lame, overblown Chronicles of Riddick (which it resembles) than Miller’s stylish, overblown Sin City.
Tagline: “In America, it’s bling-bling, but out here, it’s bling-blang!”
Translation: A shoot-’em-up with a conscience.
The Gist: Shockingly, Warner Bros. doesn’t use Kanye West’s “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” to sell this African thriller, but it still booms—with gunshots mostly. Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou co-star, but Leonardo DiCaprio steals the trailer, nailing an Afrikaner accent. A sharp sell.
Tagline: “He knows the score. He gets the women. And he kills the bad guys.”
Translation: Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, blood and breasts.
The Gist: Fanboy expectations have been sky-high for this B-movie mash-up, and this overstuffed trailer doesn’t disappoint: Naveen Andrews threatens to cut off a man’s testicles, zombies abound, and the “Crazy Babysitter Twins” paint each other’s toes. Sure, Rose McGowan replaces her amputated leg with a machine-gun, but the fans already knew about that. The revelation is Machete, a vicious hero who frolics with topless babes and wears an absurd overcoat lined with—well, hazard a guess.