Wednesday, September 02, 2009

TRAILERS: Youth in Revolt vs. The Men Who Stare at Goats

This is really a contest of which trailer is weirder. Both of these films are adaptations of books. Both of these films have bizarre plots. Both of these films star men who have an uncanny ability to execute deadpan humor. But which one is weirder?

In Youth in Revolt, written by C.D. Payne, Michael Cera plays an awkward teenager who is so in love with an unattainable and beautiful girl (newcomer Portia Doubleday) that he creates an alternative persona in his mind that convinces him to do and say things to keep her interested. Now, the director, Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl), could've gone many ways with this. We could've just been hearing a voice. Nope. We actually get to see this alternative persona. What's the difference between the geek and the god, the dork and the dude, the clutz and Casanova? Sunglasses, a mustache, a cigarette, and a French name. Add an unhelpful best friend (the hilariously underrated Adhir Kalyan from "Aliens in America") and commence laughing.

Then there's The Men Who Stare at Goats. The title alone is something to cock your head at. Written by Jon Ronson, it stars George Clooney as a retired spy, who was trained to develop paranomal powers in the U.S. Army's First Earth Battalion. When he's reactivated for a mission, an eager reporter (Ewan McGregor) tags along to uncover the top secret story. Oh! Why the mention of goats you ask? Because the spies were forced to stare at goats for hours, trying to use telekenisis to knock them out. And it (would seem that it) worked. My favorite part of the trailer, besides all of the ridiculous attempts at walking through walls and driving blindfolded, would have to be when Clooney's character runs over a prisoner after saying, "It's okay, we're Americans. We're here to help you." It's almost like they're trying to poke fun at the fact that Americans often hinder more than they help when they interefere in foreign affairs. Funny and topical.

Okay, so which one is weirder?

A lovestruck teenager with an alternate rebellious personality
A spy who thinks he has super powers?

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