Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sorry Silver Surfer Sequence

The new Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer trailer is made up of a single action sequence, not the typical series of flashes, brief beats and "highlights" that make up the majority of trailers. Does the approach work?

Well, not in this case. A trailer can pretty much reveal how a film has been put together at a visual level, and give you a solid idea of the mise-en-scene employed - a full scene trailer like this gives away even more. You get a solid idea of the film's montage style, of the director's capabilities with screen direction and geography, short-term pacing and sequence development. Sadly, if the news is bad, the trailer is going to linger as evidence.

Performing an analysis of a trailer like this is like having a whole heart to biopsy, not just a few cells from under the fingernails, a scraggly hair and some bloody saliva. Both types of sample will contain the dna, the whole organ will provide even more information, more rapidly, and require a less rigorous process of interrogation in order to decode any number of the whole film's secrets.

Of course, you may not agree that film can be seen this way. But it can.

The new Fantastic Four film, now definitively revealed to have action scenes as perfunctorily conceived and crafted as the original (though they might be, very possibly, more numerous or expansive), will be released in the summer.

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