Ian Casselberry is a freelance writer, currently based in Asheville, NC. He is an editor at The Comeback and Awful Announcing

Previously, he has been a contributing writer for Yahoo! Sports' Big League Stew, and SB Nation. In addition, he was a lead baseball writer for Bleacher Report. 

You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook, where he craves your attention.

He still plans to write that novel someday. 

("Pearls Before Swine" © 2005 Stephan Pastis)
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Entries in trailers (5)


25 years ago, 'Batman' hit theaters

On June 23, 1989, Tim Burton's Batman was released. I wrote about the movie (which holds up pretty well) and its cultural impact for The AP Party, which is something I've been eager to do for a few weeks. 

I saw the movie at the old Ann Arbor I and II theater on Fifth St., which no longer exists. (What is it now? Office space? I know it was a hookah bar, then a nightclub at various points.) I took the bus downtown to see the very first show.

I still remember the feeling of awe and anticipation when the opening credits rolled and the camera navigated through what looked like some kind of old tomb or lair, but turned out to be a stone cutout of the Batman logo. I don't think I'll ever have that feeling again at the movies. 

But check out the original trailer for the film. It's terrible — just clips from the movie assembled haphazardly. There's no story or flow to it. Trailers have come a long way, so much so that they're sometimes better than the actual movie. 


The 'Interstellar' trailer tugs hard on nostalgia

When the teaser trailer for Christopher Nolan's next film, Interstellar, hit the internet on Saturday, I was a bit underwhelmed. There's so little footage from the actual movie.

But this is supposed to be a teaser, and I much prefer a hint as to what a movie is about than two minutes of five-second cuts of footage that compel movie websites to screen-cap everything in an attempt to find some gem or speculate as to what we were being shown. 

According to IMDB, this is what Interstellar is about: "A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage." 

OK, so there's none of that in this teaser. But the trailer does capture something. That sense of wonder, of possibility. Like when we were kids and wondered what it would be like to go into space, to be an astronaut, to fly the Space Shuttle. Obviously, this also portrays a different time, when we as a country actually achieved a new frontier. 

That was enough to pull me in. But I just hope Nolan takes that vibe into the movie, rather than just try to tease by tugging on nostalgia. 

One other thing: To me, Nolan has become a master of the teaser. The best in recent years was the teaser trailer for Batman Begins. Is this a crime drama? A psychological thriller? A globe-spanning adventure? Yes, but it's also a Batman movie! 


The Oscar for Best Hair goes to Bradley Cooper!

I don't tend to think of David O. Russell as an "A-list" director. (What makes a director "A-list" is probably a whole other blog post.) But if he's promoting the release of a trailer — five months before the film hits theaters — on Good Morning America, he must be A-list. 

Russell has that status now after The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook. Given how much I enjoyed those two films (in addition to one of Russell's previous efforts, Three Kings, being one of my favorites), I'm eager to see his next project, American Hustle.

Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale's hair look Oscar-worthy! I'm not sure Jeremy Renner has followed up The Hurt Locker with another great role (yes, even though he was Hawkeye in The Avengers), so I'm rooting for good stuff from him here. And who doesn't love Jennifer Lawrence? C'mon. 


Digging the 'Only God Forgives' trailer

I'm pretty late to the party here, but Only God Forgives looks fantastic based on its latest trailer.

Kristin Scott Thomas is unrecognizable. I was shocked to see her name among the credits! Wow. Definitely not an ice queen in this one. Don't worry, I recognize Ryan Gosling. 

The music in the trailer is pretty compelling too. I just downloaded the song "2020" by Suuns onto my iPod. Am I late to the party on that too? 

I know I'm late to the party on Nicolas Winding Refn's movies in general. I still haven't seen Drive, despite its availability on Netflix streaming and frequent encouragement from my friend A. (I'm embarrassed to admit that.)

I need to watch Valhalla Rising, starring Hannibal Lecter Mads Mikkelsen as well. Bronson is probably what convinced Christopher Nolan that Tom Hardy could play Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.

OK, OK — I will get to it. I will get to all of it. Eventually. Maybe after watching this trailer a few more times. "Wanna fight?"


Ender's Game: When to give up and just wait for the movie

My friend A. has been on me for years — years — to read Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game

I've purchased it. The novel taunts me from my bookshelf. I know it's a classic. I know I should read it.

Even a cashier at Greenlife (which is a local version of Whole Foods — at least it was until Whole Foods bought it, so now it's basically a Whole Foods) has gotten on my case to read Ender's Game.

She was one of those excessively talky cashiers who's nice to encounter when you're in a mood to have a conversation but annoying when you just want to buy your shit and get out of the store.

The first time, she asked me how I was doing; I asked her how she was doing. She told me she was happy because she just finished Ender's Game. I admitted I hadn't read it, which prompted a gasp and a finger-wag. 


"You should read it," she said.

"I know," I said. "I've been meaning to for years." 

"You will not regret it."

I went home, reminded myself that A. has been telling me to read Ender's Game for years and rationalized that she might be hurt or a little pissed that I finally decided to start reading a book because a total stranger asked me to, rather than following the recommendation of a dear friend. 

So I didn't open the book. Out of consideration to A., who's only been telling me to read Ender's Game probably since I first met her. I think that was more than 15 years ago. 

Now a movie adaptation of the book is coming out. It's set for a Nov. 1 release. 

On one hand, that still gives me plenty of time to read the book. I always feel like a better person if I've read the source material before seeing an adaptation. Maybe so I can just say, "Ah, the book was better." As if anyone wouldn't guess that response. 

But honestly, as a writer, I'm fascinated by adaptation from book to movie. What did the screenwriters cut out of the story for time purposes? Are the characters any different? Above all, was the movie faithful to the book even if it didn't follow every word of the text? 

Over the years, however, I've come to believe such things might take me out of the movie-watching experience. Am I really enjoying the movie for what it is if I'm too busy thinking about the book? 

Of course, that's surely just a lazy rationalization for not reading. 

At this point, maybe I should just wait for the movie and judge that on its own merits. (By the way, that includes not holding a grudge against the film — or the book — because of Card's abhorrent views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.) 

That approach worked out for me fine with Game of Thrones. A. has also nudged me many times to give George R.R. Martin's books a whirl, but I just never got around to it. Then HBO came along to help me out. Now A. and I can talk about the series!

Unfortunately, I haven't watched a single episode of Season 3 yet. And we're eight episodes in, with only two left to go. 

I am a terrible friend.