The Golden Compass Preshow

Before watching The Golden Compass, I got to sit through lots of ads and trailers.

Citizen Soldier

The National Guard has a new and appallingly bad recruiting campaign, featuring a (commissioned?) "song" and "music video" by allegedly "popular" alternative rock band, 3 Doors Down.

The video, which is over four minutes long, cuts between shots of the band performing on a blasted heath under a tenebrous sky (complete with bad, fake anamorphic lens flare), shots of National Guard soldiers helping recovery efforts in a disaster area of uncertain origin and locality (complete with obnoxious narrow shutter effect, a.k.a. the Saving Private Ryan Effect), and shots of American and British soldiers in a revolutionary war reenactment, mostly in slow motion. All overlayed with floaty text saying weird stuff like "I fired the shot that started a nation."

You can watch it here. And if you are an American taxpayer, you should. The National Guard spent an awful lot of your money on it.

I see what they're doing. They think they can appeal to the young kids by using the popular music. But did they have to do it quite so cheesily? And last time I was an angsty teenager, authoritarian adults trying to "speak my language" was a major turn-off.

That, and "alternative rock" just sucks.

The Spiderwick Chronicles

This is apparently also an adaptation of a popular young adult novel series. I haven't read this one, and from the looks of it, I won't be.

Inkheart

Yet another novel adaptation. They're all starting to look exactly the same. The premise in this one is that Brendan Fraser has a special power - every story he reads aloud comes to life. Somehow, he brings a maniacal, power-hungry, world-dominating villain to life. Why, oh why did you do that, Brendan? Dumbass. Could be an interesting vehicle for other issues, but the premise is just a bit too fantastic for me.

Semi-Pro

Dear Will Ferrell,

Enough with the sports comedies, already. They suck, and you aren't funny.

Love, Qwertz.

Speed Racer

The cartoon was one of the first Japanese anime to be imported to the U.S. The dialog was cheesy and stilted because the translations were clunky. But there's no excuse for the cheesy, stilted dialog in this trailer.

There were other things, but nothing memorable. I'm depressed that there's so little out there forward to which to be looking.

Tom G Varik