Tagline: “Between love and lust.”
Translation: More lust than love, actually.
The Gist: This sexy snippet ends with a simple surprise: “By Director Woody Allen.” The trailer for Allen’s Cannes hit, starring Jonathan Rhys-Myers and Scarlett Johansson, is full of steamy seductions, kisses in the rain, and screaming love-triangle tirades. In other words, there’s not a quirky Allenism in the montage, which, after his recent flops, could be a good thing. There’s hope that our neurotic dog has learned a new trick. Finally.
Tagline: “Get in the game.”
Translation: Video-game violence is good for you.
The Gist: This breakneck teaser doesn’t mention the notorious first-person-shooter video game that the film’s based on, but it keeps the name, and, better, the tech. Many scenes—full of beasts, big guns, and the Rock—are shot to look like the video game, right down to the famous first-person POV. The bobbing camera reminds you of what’s so exciting about Doom: the fear of what’s lurking around the next corner. And the thrill of blowing away whatever it is.
Memoirs of a Geisha
Tagline: “A story like mine has never been told.”
Translation: When this story was first told, it sold a gazillion novels in airports.
The Gist: The trailer sets up Rob Marshall’s Orientalist adaptation as a lush period epic, peppered with World War II air raids and child slavery. Gong Li, Ziyi Zhang, and Michelle Yeoh all look fabulous, dressed to the brocaded nines. They argue like the catty man-haters of Marshall’s Chicago and occasionally shout something feminist like “I want a life that is mine!” But all that matters is that the film looks sumptuous: A preview’s beauty, after all, is barely skin deep.
Tagline: “Life and death, and life!”
Translation: Cameron Crowe will rip open your rib cage and squeeze your heart until you cry.
The Gist: Saccharine road-trip images clash with quirky Southerners and cheesy Crowe-isms (“This is your life; let’s do something different with it”). And Orlando Bloom, as a grieving son who returns home, is as stiff as his late father’s corpse.
Get Rich or Die Tryin’
Tagline: “Truth became his music.”
Translation: Exaggeration became his movie.
The Gist: Further mimicking his mentor Eminem, 50 Cent now has his own 8 Mile. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have an anthem like “Lose Yourself” to sell it. Instead, he’s left with pretentious setups such as “Being an artist, man—it’s always telling the truth.” The thing is, truth is an odd selling point amid over-the-top gun-blazing. 50 Cent raps, “Close your eyes and see my vision.” A better idea: Just close your eyes.