Star Trek, Beyond: Even the Big Guns Suck at Marketing

Over at ScyFy, Simon Pegg has been bemoaning the atrocious marketing job done for Star Trek Beyond. He’s particularly scathing about the trailer above.

…It used ‘Sabotage,’ which was our surprise moment in the end. It was supposed to be a very fun and heightened twist, and something that was a big surprise, and they blew it in the first trailer, which really annoyed me. They also made the film look like a boneheaded action film. And they were scared, I think, of mentioning the 50th anniversary. It was fumbled as a thing; they didn’t know what to do with it, and it’s a real shame.

Now here’s a bigger shame: I didn’t even know there was a Star Trek Beyond, at least not as a stand-alone film. As far as I can tell from the series’ marketing to date, all of the new Star Trek movies are completely interchangeable, without any unique selling points, and all essentially one big recycled drama about the tense three-way between Kirk, Spock and Uhuru. Plus some “beam me ups” for good measure. And I had no inkling whatsoever that it was the series’ 50th anniversary.

So you see, sometimes even the Big Guns really suck at movie marketing.

The World’s End

You know what I loved? Every single, uproarious moment of Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. It would still have been brilliant as a bittersweet, wry, finely observed Mike Leigh comedy about five school friends who reconnect for a pub crawl through the small country town they grew up in. But – a big but – add in some ink-blooded alien bodysnatchers, some brutally epic fight scenes, some Rosamund freakin Pike, and sixty pints of lager, and you’ve got a hilarious instant classic.

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Simon Pegg is actually completely brilliant here, and the rest of the gang – Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan – are pitch perfect, It’s Nick Frost though, completely playing against type as the uptight lawyer who is standout here. And did I mention Rosamund Pike? Brilliant.

So I laughed out loud. A lot. And loudly, too. And do you know what? You can even do the pub crawl in Welwyn Garden City next time you’re in Blighty. Seriously. Fantastic.

Paul

Oh I so so so nearly loved Paul. Nearly, but not quite. It’s about two harmless British sci-fi geeks who’re attending Comic Con in San Diego (actually Albuquerque Convention Center) and then heading off on a road trip to some of the American South-West’s most iconic sci-fi sights and sites. Heading towards Roswell, New Mexico in a camper van, they inadvertently rescue a lippy alien called Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) from some bad guys and set in motion a ridiculous, silly but smile-worthy cross country.

So Paul’s got Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who are sweet and nerdy and sympathetic and likeable. Current it-girl Kirsten Wiig is in it too, as an odd-ball Creationist who kind of has to have a re-think, faced with the short, green body of evidence before her. Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, David Koechner, Jane Lynch are in it too and of course Seth Rogen; all it needed was Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell and Catherine Tate and it’d be a real self-congratulatory Who’s Who of trans-atlantic funny folk.

New Mexico obviously features strongly as a location; the scene where Paul goes shopping in disguise was shot on Bridge Street in Las Vegas, NM – not Las Vegas NV. I’m guessing in Las Vegas NV, Paul would’ve fit right in.