Sometimes the best part of going to the movies is watching the trailers ahead of time. Often when a friend comes back from the movies, I’ll ask him or her about the trailers before I ask about the feature. Trailer editing is a special art unto itself, and I’ve seen many amazing trailers of mediocre movies.
This is not going to be a blog post about amazing trailers of mediocre movies, but that would be a good topic some time down the road.
I had a great time at the movies the other night, and it had all to do with the trailers. We saw two back-to-back that I’d like to talk about.
The first one was for “The Impossible”. It stars Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts who play husband and wife on vacation. The first part of the trailer is them swimming and eating at resorts and whatnot, and I turned to my wife and said I could watch a whole movie of Ewan McGregor eating buffet and going for swims. I really could. But then the damn tsunami hits and everything goes to hell. But this is where the movie trailer gets awesome, because they use a cover version of U2’s “One”. I didn’t recognize the version or the artist, but I loved it in this context. It made me want to see the movie, which I guess is the job of the trailer. I don’t know if the song appears in the movie or not, and it doesn’t really matter, but that trailer did its job.
The next trailer was for the new version of “The Great Gatsby” starring Leo. I have mixed feelings about this movie, but until this trailer I had not seen one of bit of it. It is going to be in 3D, which is a bit weird, but it’s done by Baz Luhrmann, for whom I have a secret affection. It looks the way you’d think a Baz Luhrmann movie set in the 1920’s would look, visually stunning and all that. Do the characters sing in it? Is it a musical? Can’t really tell from the trailer, but I CAN tell you that there is a hauntingly beautiful cover version of ANOTHER U2 song. This time it’s “Love is Blindness”. Again, bravo to the trailer editors, “The Great Gatsby” has just gone on my list of movies to see this Spring. Maybe it’ll be out in time for my birthday in May?
When I got home, I googled the artists and was surprised to find out that both covers were taken from Q’s Achtung Baby cover album in 2011. Q magazine commissioned a special CD of other artist’s doing Achtung Baby in celebration of that album’s 20th anniversary. Being my favourite U2 album BY FAR, and maybe being my favourite album PERIOD, I was determined to get the issue that included this disc.
I was soon disappointed to find out that it was only shipping with UK editions of the magazine, and I’d have to special order, no guarantees, etc etc. Maybe the magazine appeared in North American at some later point, but I never saw it. As luck would have it, a coworker of mine was heading to London in December and promised to look for it when she was there! This was my best chance, but as it turned out she was a week late. The next issue was already on the stands and no one seemed to have any old issues lying around.
I eventually did find a streaming feed of the album online. I don’t know if it was sour grapes because I couldn’t find it, but I was pretty underwhelmed with the final product. Listening to it just made me want to go get U2’s original and listen to that again. Why try to recreate perfection?
But now that I’ve heard Damien Rice’s “One” and Jack White’s “Love is Blindness” in new contexts with fresh ears, I love them to bits. I’m willing to give Depeche Mode’s “So Cruel” another go and Snow Patrol’s “Mysterious Ways” another listen, IF ONLY I COULD GET MY HANDS ON THAT DAMN ALBUM.
So fanbase: there’s the challenge. Find and burn me a CD of this album (I don’t need to know your methods) and I will reward you with a special mix tape of U2 covers and rarities carefully curated by me (I haven’t made this disc yet, but I will UPON SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF YOUR TASK).
As you were.