Posted on Friday, January 22nd, 2010 by Christopher Stipp
Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?
This is where the kidnapping is introduced.
Things take a quite serious turn and I am throttled by the punch I didn’t see coming. From a bunch of rubes going into a forest to indulge in behavior some would say is weird but harmless to this turning into a serious case of someone on the verge of getting violently hut I am in for this roller coaster ride. The music, as well, should be praised in helping to bring any artifice of comedy down to the ground. Thrilling stuff in here.
Readers of this column should know that I do loves me some films about America that are filtered through the prism of a foreigner.
A few weeks ago I looked at the trailer for Jerry Cotton and saw some of the funnier peculiarities of American life. This new movie from director Markus Goller and writer Oliver Ziegenbalg looks like it’s going to continue the tradition of taking the metaphorical air out of American tires. And, why not? If we want to be the world’s bullies and insinuate ourselves into situations where we’re often not wanted and stay for longer than expected then I think it’s just natural for people to point a finger and have a little laugh.
What better place to start than with David Hasselhoff?
I wouldn’t normally be so fast to include a trailer completely in another language but it is genuinely funny and it does cut through linguistic barriers as the trailer makes clear we’re not only in Germany but that this begins at the time of the Berlin Wall coming down. We go from black and white communism to full color liberation as Hasselhoff sings a song about freedom, resplendent in a jacket illuminated by tiny light bulbs. Sigh.
This has something to do with two young Germans making a trip here to the USA, the film’s IMDB page saying that “a young man from East Germany travels to San Francisco to search for his father, who fled 12 years ago,” and honestly this is worth watching if only to see American customs officials think, because they’re German, that they’re Nazis. And why shouldn’t this be funny to Germans who might project their feeling that some in the U.S. might go straight to the Nazi association; again, it’s the perception and prism that we see these things play out which make it amusing. The love doesn’t stop there as American security forces also seem to have a propensity to strip search possible Nazis as well. Yes, this is all done for the sake of comedy and I couldn’t be more amused. I loved seeing these nuances blown up to satirical proportions. This looks like a movie along the lines of Todd Phillips’ Road Trip as these kids are also looking to hook up while here in the State.
It should also be noted that this is a a movie that takes them from NYC all the way to the west coast in what should be one of the longest, literal, road trip movies ever made, but it does shake things up a bit. We’ve got your standard mistaken sexuality as our boys find themselves in a gay bar, your usual hook-up that ends with a firearm being discharged by someone really mad, an interesting look at our country’s obesity issue, and, in a weird twist for a comedy, the movie has some heartfelt moments that involve tears.
It looks like this film is just pure fun for fun’s sake and, coupled with the sociological breakdown, I could not be more interested in seeing what I’ve missed by never taking German in high school.