Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby gets a truly hilarious trailer.

Back in 2004, I cut a series of fake trailers for my personal amusement.  My favorite of these was a trailer I cut for Pay It Forward which sold the film as a tense and violent thriller ("On October 18th... no good deed goes unpunished!").  I used the music from the film and footage completely from the movie, only cheating by using the Backdraft theme for a closing action montage.  If I can find a copy of the thing, I'll put it on the site eventually.  It's choppy by today's standards, but this was before the whole 'satirical trailer mash' was a thing.   This Great Gatsby trailer feels like the same kind of thing, attempting to sell a somewhat reserved adult romantic drama as an uber-glitzy and action-packed melodrama.  Of course, since Baz Luhrmann's at the helm, that's probably not a false sell.  Depending on your feelings regarding the original novel and/or your thoughts about Luhrmann, that may be a good or a bad thing.  I liked the novel when I read it once in twelve grade, finding it a fine deconstruction of the whole 'girl who got away' myth that still dominates romantic melodrama.  But if Luhrmann wants to play around with it, have at it.  

On the surface, this looks like Warner Bros. trying to sell a classic novel, one that probably 90% of today's kids have to read in high school, as an in-your-face sizzle fest.  But I know better than I did as a younger film pundit.  Back in late 1996 when his Romeo and Juliet came out, I took personal affront to the idea that kids today could only enjoy Shakespeare if it were turned into an MTV music video.  This seems like the same play, but I'm too old to be offended at this idea anymore.  Besides, at this point, it's clear that the ritzy-sexy-glitzy shtick is more Luhrmann's personal quirk than any attempt to pander to today's kids.  Anyway, this trailer is pretty funny, not only using contemporary music but using the same song that Universal used prominently in the Safe House campaign just a few months ago.  Tobey Maguire actually looks younger than he has since the first Spider-Man while Leonardo DiCaprio has to be wondering if he'll ever look old enough to play an adult.  Anyway, The Great Gatsby (in 3D!!!!) opens on December 25th, so teachers assign those book reports BEFORE Christmas!

Scott Mendelson    


Kyle Leaman said...

I know it's Baz, but I'm amazed at how terrible this trailer is. It's filled with interesting costumes and sets, but it's such a blur and odd mix that it leaves none of the costumes and sets memorable or tantalizing.
I rarely feel bored halfway through a trailer, but I did here. I've lost all interest in this film based on this

Houking said...

Jesus, what shite! Loved the trailer and I'm 65 years old. You guys need to perk up. Egads, boys, you've been stuck in the library too long. This looks like it could be really interesting, as opposed to previous attempts to make this book into a film, which generally bored the heck out of me. I suspect Fitzgerald would not only have agreed with the way it looks, he would have wanted to take part in it. He was a heckuva lot more fun than you fellas.

moskow said...


Scott Mendelson said...

I'm closer to your line of thinking than you'd think. Great Gatsby was a novel I liked but didn't love back in high school, so I really don't care if this new film version plays around with the basic text. Again, in my younger days I might have taken offense at this, but today I think it looks like a somewhat trashy good time. Now if Tom Hopper screws up Les Miserables this December, then I might have some choice words. But if Luhrmann wants to play with The Great Gatsby, have at it. And, if the 3D is as good as I've heard, I may have to sample Men In Black in 3D on Friday in the hopes of sampling this trailer in its intended format.

Lee said...

I don't care how "terrible" the trailer for this latest version of "THE GREAT GATSBY" was. At least it was more entertaining than the 1974 and 2000 adaptations of the novel.

Rick said...

Doing a faithful adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" is hard enough as is. But doing it like this just looks, well... awful

Rick's Cafe Texan said...

One: I WON'T see it in 3-D (seeing that as the work of the Devil). Two: it's true--Ziegfeld is misspelled in the trailer as "Zeigfeld". Maybe there'll be a scene where they see "Fannie Bryce" and "Billy Burke" on stage... If nothing else, it will be splashy, so are they aiming for Art Direction/Costume Design nominations?


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