Yesterday, seemingly out of nowhere, the trailer gods granted us a once in a lifetime gift. Most people experienced it in the form of a tweet by comedian Jenny Yang. “Just watch this movie trailer without knowing the title and let the feeling move you,“ 她写了.
The trailer is bizarre. 更重要的是, it is a trailer for a film that comes out today. An entire film by 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley was written, cast, shot and edited, and the sum total of its publicity campaign is a single trailer squeezed out just hours before the movie itself, which was immediately seized upon for the purpose of mockery. This doesn’t just point to a bad film; it points to a film that exists in a sphere of such rarified badness that it deserves to be protected. Museums should hold permanent collections of this film. Monuments should be built to it.
To the trailer. Leslie Odom Jr is married to Cynthia Erivo, and their union seems perfectly blissful. That is, until Erivo’s ex-husband Orlando Bloom turns up and announces that he likes time travel now. That in itself would be a movie, just Orlando Bloom zipping to various time periods and reacting to them all with the same vaguely blank facial expression. But no. There’s more. Orlando Bloom announces that he’s still in love with Erivo, and that he plans to manipulate the entire chronology of the universe in order to win her back from Odom.
At this point, I should say that someone on Twitter suggested “Time Cuck” as a title for the movie. Which would have been better than the actual title, but we’ll get to that soon.
反正, Bloom achieves his stated goal. 作为回应, Odom chooses to also go back in time, to stop Bloom from ever going back in time to prevent Erivo from falling in love with Odom. But in doing so, he sets off a calamitous butterfly effect that results in, not the survival of dinosaurs, not a deadly plague, not an Allied loss of the second world war, but him being married to Freida Pinto instead of Cynthia Erivo. 哪一个, considering all the options, doesn’t seem all that bad. 尽管如此, Odom vows to win Erivo back.
然后, after this cavalcade of stupidity, comes the title. You might think that announcing the title of a film 400 words into a 700-word article about it might set expectations too high; that no movie title is dumb enough to shoulder all that weight. But you’re wrong, because this film’s title is Needle in a Timestack.
Needle in a Timestack. A timestack. You know what a “timestack” is, 正确的? It’s like a haystack except it’s made of time. It makes sense. It does. Stop questioning it. It does. And it is the best title for any film since Steven Seagal’s 2002 feature Half Past Dead.
Remember when the James Bond series went through that weird phase of adding the word “die” into phrases that didn’t traditionally include the word “die”? Tomorrow Never Dies, Live and Let Die, Die Another Day, that sort of thing? They must be absolutely kicking themselves. Needle in a Diestack was there for the taking all along, and they missed it. What a goof.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m tickled by the thought of Leslie Odom Jr, Cynthia Erivo and Orlando Bloom – brave, incredible, Oscar-nominated actors (and Orlando Bloom) – sifting through mounds of scripts all begging for their participation, only to stop at one entitled Needle in a Timestack. “Get my agent on the phone!” they presumably barked at their assistants. “I’ve finally found that film about timestacks I’ve spent my entire career searching for!”
Needle in a Timestack is released today. Please don’t go and see it. Seeing all two hours of Needle in a Timestack would only serve to dilute the giddy joy of the trailer. The Needle in a Timestack trailer is Needle in a Timestack in its most perfect form. It sets up an absurd premise – basically, “Doctor Who wants to shag your wife” – only to top it with a title so incredible that it must have fallen to Earth wrapped in golden ribbons. Please, remember Needle in a Timestack like this.