Trailer Mash

Turn it up to 11 with 'No Room for Rockstars' and 'Last Days Here,' along with this week's other opening movies

The overture and finale of rock 'n' roll's ruthless arc is the subject of our impressionistic mashup this week (see above). At one end, there's the view through the shiny eyes of the eager kids on the tour bus in No Room for Rockstars; at the other, the pinned perspective of former metal god Bobby Liebling during his attempt to reclaim a life onstage in Last Days Here. (Video mashup by Kate Rose.)

Sneaker maker Vans sponsors an annual music tour called the Warped Tour—200 bands, 43 cities, 17,000 miles, "a pretty eclectic tour," says one voice, inaccurately. From this trailer for No Room for Rockstars, the tour seems pretty much exclusive to people with tattoos and interesting hair, whether on or off the stage. Def Tones, Kid Rock, and Eminem all began their careers as Warped acts, so we are told, but in case this doc's intentions are not crystal clear, someone saw fit to record a band offering a variant on "Hello Cleveland." The Spinal is clearly there to be Tapped.

A genuine fossil from the Spinal Tap generation is no bad subject for documentary so long as you have an obsessive prepared to find out everything. Such a documentary is Last Days Here. Bobby Liebling of '70s band Pentagram, an American version of Black Sabbath, lives in his parents' basement and imbibes a lot of non-prescription drugs. Cue a young metalhead determined to bring Bobby back from the living dead. Evidently culled from years of footage, there seems to be an arc from sofa bed to stage going on, and for those so inclined the music certainly is metalicious.

Mercilessly skewered by Stephen Colbert for preaching a green message while carrying at least 70 promotional tie-ins, The Lorax sees its trailer immediately self-sabotaged by the words "From the Makers of Despicable Me." This is a sales pitch written by someone who has not seen Despicable Me. The dead-eyed look of the characters, the pointlessly vertiginous camera swoops and the irritating eagerness to please of a second team that knows it (i.e., not Pixar), are all very familiar. What this most looks like is an anti-depressant spot, an effect redoubled by the use of advertising's favorite band the Polyphonic Spree as the soundtrack.

There is a moment of high comedy in the classic British gangster movie Get Carter when would-be tough guy Cliff Brumby returns home from a night out to find his teenage daughter having a wild party for her friends. It is during all the running around and trying to throw the kids out that a real tough guy, Michael Caine's Jack Carter, shows up for a little chat. The mood changes swiftly. Project X is the latest version of the kids' party that goes wrong while the parents are away, but this time with an entirely modern Girls Gone Wild meets reality TV aesthetic. If you have any adult hair on your body at all, this should hold no appeal whatsoever. Even if you don't, sometimes it's OK to be too cool for this crap.

Robert De Niro and Paul Dano, the kid from There Will Be Blood, are an estranged father and son. They are both writers (tortured writers, of course, this is a movie), and the conceit appears to be how they each tell the story of how they meet up after Dad becomes homeless. Good on De Niro for attempting an acting role after all these years of gurning for checks, but about halfway through, this trailer for Being Flynn becomes a tad overwrought, with searing strings, choppy close-ups of shouting faces and an awful lot of De Niro's shirtless torso. The multi-millionaire lifestyle is evidently an ideal way to emulate the toned physique of a homeless bum.