Movie Article

Trailer Trash

Why recent film trailers look so familiar -- Teasers for upcoming movies ''I, Robot,'' ''Catwoman,'' and ''Little Black Book'' steal images and music from a Bjork video, ''The Crow,'' and ''Working Girl''

No one would ever accuse movie trailers of being original. The whole point of these little previews (other than to ensure the immortality of ''Walking on Sunshine'') is to evoke a prior cinema experience, hopefully a positive one. That said, a few recent trailers seem to be relying a little too heavily on deja vu -- and we're not talking about the millionth use of Smash Mouth's ''All Star.'' (That event passed months ago, without incident.) Herewith, a quick and free-associative analysis of a few recyclables you'll be receiving for the price of your ''Spider-Man 2'' ticket.

I, ROBOT Internet geeks and sentient machines alike are buzzing with talk of the eerie resemblance between the robots in this upcoming Fox blockbuster and those amorous droids in the video for Bjork's ''All Is Full of Love,'' directed by Chris Cunningham. (And don't tell us all robots look alike, you filthy cyber-racists!) But so what if ''I, Robot'' helmer Alex Proyas took a page from his colleague Cunningham? Imitation is, after all, the sincerest form of flattery. And besides...

CATWOMAN ... it seems as if Proyas has been Xeroxed as well. Consider this voice-over from the ''Catwoman'' promo: ''It's been said that when a person dies, a cat can bring back their soul to make the wrong things right.'' Now sample this line from Proyas' 1994 film ''The Crow'': ''People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead.... The crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.'' And we think her outfit is made of leftover ''Crow'' leather.

LITTLE BLACK BOOK We tried really, really hard to find evidence of some sort of ''Crow''/''Catwoman'' Axis of Rip-off in the trailer for this upcoming Brittany Murphy flick. But the best we can do is note the featured presence of Carly Simon's ''Let the River Run,'' an anthem from another tale of life and love in the big city, 1988's ''Working Girl.'' (The singer also cameos in ''Little''.) We get it -- both plots hinge on high-concept snooping. Busted!

Originally posted Jul 16, 2004 Published in issue #774 Jul 16, 2004 Order article reprints
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