Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
If you’ve become exhausted by Auto-Tune remixes and cat videos, Honest Trailers is the future of YouTube entertainment. The entertainment website Screen Junkies has developed a new format that blends film footage with hilarious jokes and honest commentary. They skewer popular and unpopular movies alike, pointing out plotholes and cataloguing the lamest and most awesome parts of movies.
Here are the 10 Best Honest Trailers we've yet to see.
10. The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyAptly titled The Hobbit: A Totally Expected Letdown, this trailer points out one obvious fact: This franchise is shamelessly stretching out one short novel into three insanely long movies. It also gives the best recap of the film so you can skip it to catch the much better looking The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
9. Dragonball Evolution At best, the Dragonball movie is highly forgettable. It’s a horrible adaptation of a popular kid’s television series. The bizarre plot, bad acting, and worse special effects make you forget a pre-Shameless Emmy Rossum and Justin Chatwin starred in this flop. And yet, this trailer somewhat redeems it with a hilarious recap and calling Chow Yun-Fat "Crouching Tiger, Dead Career."
8. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace This trailer is so spot-on at both making fun of the film and making the trailer look 1980s cheesy. It points out the corniness of the plot, the horrible special effects, and the batty performance by Margot Kidder.
7. Prometheus Ridley Scott couldn't really decide if he wanted to make an Alien prequel or not with Prometheus. The film is wrought with frustrating plot-holes and unsympathetic characters.
6. The Matrix The Matrix is an amazing piece of film history... and yet, the sequels were horrifically bad. This trailer quantifies how bad the sequels are and has a hilarious AOL reference.
5. Star Trek J.J. Abrams did a decent job at rebooting the popular space franchise, but he really did leave us with a couple of major plot holes. The trailer also jabs that the film is pretty much Abrams’ reel for his upcoming Star Wars film.
4. Home Alone In the 20 years since this film came out, logic has become a major part of filmmaking. When rewatching the movie it’s a little hard to ignore the neglectful family members, torture porn moments, and the nostalgia of childhood in the 1980s and 1990s.
3. The Dark Knight Rises This movie has a ton of plot-holes, a confusing timeline, and not enough Batman. This trailer asks all the questions you wrestled with after watching and has a hilarious cast list including My Cocaine… er… Michael Caine.
2. Les Miserables This trailer pokes fun at the film having no dialogue by being entirely set to song. The best part is the trailer mimics the cast’s distinct singing voices to point out some of the craziest issues with the plot.
1. The Lord of the Rings This trailer is the best and most memorable by far. It points out all of the madness of Peter Jackson’s overwrought trilogy, the unpronounceable names, and the super low stakes. It also has the best cast list of any Honest Trailer so far.
Last year director Garry Marshall hit upon a devilishly canny approach to the romantic comedy. A more polished refinement of Hal Needham’s experimental Cannonball Run method it called for assembling a gaggle of famous faces from across the demographic spectrum and pairing them with a shallow day-in-the-life narrative packed with gobs of gooey sentiment. A cynical strategy to be sure but one that paid handsome dividends: Valentine’s Day earned over $56 million in its opening weekend surpassing even the rosiest of forecasts. Buoyed by the success Marshall and his screenwriter Katherine Fugate hastily retreated to the bowels of Hades to apply their lucrative formula to another holiday historically steeped in romantic significance and New Year’s Eve was born.
Set in Manhattan on the last day of the year New Year’s Eve crams together a dozen or so canned scenarios into one bloated barely coherent mass of cliches. As before Marshall’s recruited an impressive ensemble of minions to do his unholy bidding including Oscar winners Hilary Swank Halle Berry and Robert De Niro the latter luxuriating in a role that didn’t require him to get out of bed. High School Musical’s Zac Efron is paired up with ‘80s icon Michelle Pfeiffer – giving teenage girls and their fathers something to bond over – while Glee’s Lea Michele meets cute with a pajama-clad Ashton Kutcher. There’s Katherine Heigl in a familiar jilted-fiance role Sarah Jessica Parker as a fretful single mom and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as the most laid-back cop in New York. Sofia Vergara and Hector Elizondo mine for cheap laughs with thick accents – his fake and hers real – and Jessica Biel and Josh Duhamel deftly mix beauty with blandness. Fans of awful music will delight in the sounds of Jon Bon Jovi straining against type to play a relevant pop musician.
The task of interweaving the various storylines is too great for Marshall and New Year’s Eve bears the distinct scent and stain of an editing-room bloodbath with plot holes so gaping that not even the brightest of celebrity smiles can obscure them. But that’s not the point – it never was. You should know better than to expect logic from a film that portrays 24-year-old Efron and 46-year-old Parker as brother-and-sister without bothering to explain how such an apparent scientific miracle might have come to pass. Marshall wagers that by the time the ball drops and the film’s last melodramatic sequence has ended prior transgressions will be absolved and moviegoers will be content to bask in New Year's Eve's artificial glow. The gambit worked for Valentine's Day; this time he may not be so fortunate.