I adore sweeping, historical romantic epics. Out of Africa is my mom’s favorite movie of all time, and for much of my childhood I simply assumed it had to be the be-all-end-all of cinema. So you can imagine my twitterpation for Australia, the sweeping, historical romantic epic from director Baz Luhrmann out this November. But I gotta say, I’m far more of a fan of the film’s first, theatrical trailer than its newest one (embedded below). Gone are the cool period fontage and lush orchestral scoring, in favor of far less quirky type and modern music — complete with an electric guitar and bombastic choir — that would work underneath a trailer for any number of interchangeable big-budget Hollywood schlock-fests. Yeah, we’ve still got those opulent costumes, panoramic shots of vivid countryside and Out of Africa-y moments of budding romance by the campfire. But once those Japanese zeros begin dive-bombing, the film this trailer evokes most for me is 2001’s Pearl Harbor, a film I somehow doubt was Luhrmann’s primary artistic influence when he decided to take on the filmmaking style of traditionalist David Lean. Wah wah.
Then again, Luhrmann has made his career taking things that felt impossibly old — ballroom dance, Shakespeare, movie musicals — and transforming them in films that felt impossibly new, so maybe that’s all that’s going on here, instead of, as I suspect, some marketing suits deciding the film needed to appeal to a younger demo. I certainly still plan to see it, but how ‘bout you PopWatchers? Does this new, more up-to-date trailer still get your old-fashioned Hollywood costume epic heart all a pitter-patter?