Some may find them frivolous, but there’s something wonderfully profound about movie mashups. They represent both the ability of an audience to reshape the art they admire as well as the commonality that all movies seem to share, no matter how radically different they appear on the surface. Turning Mrs. Doubtfire into a horror film via trailer only solidifies how the core storytelling tools passed down through thousands of years have stayed the same even while delivery methods have evolved and shifted.
Okay, and they’re pretty frivolous.
Mashups are fun. This generation’s mix tapes, they blend together our favorite moments of pop culture into a new monster. Of course, as the best mashups of 2012 show, they can also be poignant reminders or someone’s work, a vivid look at the sheer weight of all the movies of one year or a marked criticism of the way film marketing has ossified and overloaded us with too many images before we sit down in the darkness to be entertained.
Taking on the titans of 2012, here are the best mashups of the year:
12. Jack Reacher as Knight Rider
Even if it hadn’t been as slick, this would have made the list solely because of the look it gives us at the possibility of a Knight Rider movie starring Tom Cruise. It loses points for not heavily featuring Mr. Feeny, but the potential for fans of the television adventure series is ripe. Maybe Hasselhof can play the bad guy? Or just cameo? Just cameo. Smart call.
11. The Goonies: An Unexpected Journey
The epic nature of The Goonies and The Hobbit provide a solid base, and the Sean Astin connection is a nice nod. With faded maps, deep caverns fraught with danger and a long road spreading out toward gold, the Goonies will have a tale or two to tell when they get back. Plus, Gollum gets to wear a Superman shirt in this version.
An honorable mention goes out to shoving Bilbo and friends into the Nazi-killing world of Inglourious Basterds, but this classic journey given the 80s treatment (all over again) wins the day.
10. Iron Buzz 3
The suit. The action. The snarky attitude. Buzz Lightyear has it all, and after recently revealing himself to the world as billionaire playboy Tony Stark and saving the planet when Loki and his crew descended on New York, he’s ready to protect what’s most important to him (even if that means teaming up with a talking piggy bank).
9. Drive: The Romantic Comedy
A new look at a favorite from last year. It’s easy to see Ryan Gosling cast in a romantic comedy. It’s a little bit harder to see him crushing a dude’s skull in one. Taking an unflinchingly violent film and shoving into the conflict-free environment of schmoopy glances and sweet romance, this mashup feels a bit like when Fight Club came out on Blu-ray with the Never Been Kissed main menu screen.
8. Ridley Scott’s Star Wars: Episode VII
Someone’s gotta direct the next Star Wars movie, and ComicalRuns gives us a good idea of how Ridley Scott would pull it off Alien-style. Of course, the inhabitants of George Lucas’ universe are probably used to aliens by now, but who knew there were that many shots of people looking pensive on the Death Star?
7. A Tribute to Tony Scott
Not all mashups have to be funny. Staying in the Scott family, this video is a slick tribute to Tony Scott, featuring a rock guitar, images from a lot of his movies and an excellent closing bit from an interview the man gave in 2009.
6. 2001: A Modern Space Odyssey
Go ahead and cry foul since this is one of ours, but there’s no denying the impact that Sleepy Skunk’s (aka Chuggs the Monkey) video had on fans of Stanley Kubrick and people tired of trailers that hide what a movie is really like with dubstep.
5. Groundhog Loop
So beautifully obvious, yet executed so well. There’s nothing like traveling through time, only to wake up to Sonny and Cher. “Now put your little hand in mine…”
4. Avengers ‘78
Paul Lynde forever. More proof that nostalgia lives on and that popular history simply repeats itself. But why is KISS in this? Because – why wouldn’t they be?
The Avengers were a popular part of the mashup equation this year. No surprise there, and an honorable mention needs to go to them sharing a spotlight with another famous superhero group.
3. Gotham High: The Dark Knight Prequel
A slow clap and a standing ovation go out for the sheer inventiveness at work here, but it’s the way all the actors line up so beautifully that really knocks it out of the park. Combining Ten Things I Hate About You (which featured Joseph Gordon-Levitt and a much-feared, slightly crazy Heath Ledger) with high school movie shots of Anne Hathaway, a young Christian Bale, a youthfully violent Tom Hardy, a football captain Aaron Eckhart, a creepy Cillian Murphy, and a perfect Mr. Freeze was ingenious.
They got Hathaway talking to a cat and Anthony Michael Hall being told to shut up reporter style. This is dedication.
And…I’m pretty sure I’d actually watch this.
2. We Need to Talk About Kevin McCallister
Pretty much the same movie. Keep the change ya filthy animal.
1. The Amazing Spider-Man in 25 Minutes
Without a doubt, the biggest mashup of the year, here’s another entry from Sleepy Skunk. It could have been his comprehensive look at hundreds of the films of 2012, but this one wins out for two reasons. One, it’s a mashup of one movie (which is damned impressive), and two, it pointed out a wholly modern problem with how much marketing we’re inundated with before a movie comes out.
One of the few mashups to make a point, it combined scenes from the US trailer as well as several international trailers to point out that, in the age of the internet, releasing something means releasing it to everyone.
Oh, and it’s also a fully plotted mini-look at the entire movie given freely to us by the studio. Spoilers and all.