Why Someone Needs to Make a “Flowers of War” Trailer That Makes Sense

The Flowers of War trailer was released today.  If you’re not familiar with it, this is the Chinese-made, Bale-starring film that was previously titled Nanjing Heroes, 13 Flowers of Nanjing, The 13 Women of Nanjing, and Christian Bale is: The Warrior Priest of Nanjing.

The problem isn’t that the trailer shows too much.  The problem is more that it’s extremely dizzying to watch.  Also extremely violent.  And the violence is just randomly spliced in.  It feels exactly as if someone was told “Americans like sex and violence and Christian Bale.  Take a bunch of that and put it in random order over two minutes.” And then the person giving the order added: “And they like how versatile of an actor is: reassure everyone that he has various lengths of facial hair in this film and that he is both happy and very angry in it.”

Unfortunately, the trailer is one of those trailers that both shows you everything in the film in a confusing mess of seemingly randomly chosen images.  The 2.5 minute trailer tell us: 1) Bale is a priest in Nanking 2) there are lots of explosions and shooting 3) there are kids 4) kids die or get hurt 5) Bale yells at people 6) Bale gets drunk and smokes a cigarette and spreads his arms Christ-like in front of a stained-glass window 7) Bale, despite being a priest, sleep with women 8)  Bale saves prostitutes and children and argues with the other white guy in the movie about whether he should do this or not 9) a guy gets shot in the head 10) Bale gets drunk again 11) Bale gets mad again  12) There’s a guy with a sword, more people die, more sex, more yelling, the guy who got shot in the head is still alive, more Bale yelling….

Okay, just watch it:

Someone needs to slap together a trailer that shows less violence and less of the film as a whole.  The US release date is still TBD, but really: right now, it’s not exactly a very appealing film as of now.  Were it not for Bale, I doubt I would have made it through this trailer.

At least we have this poster, which mostly just tells us that Bale is a confused priest with a very faint mustache, and that there is a woman and that the two of them are in danger?  Is that it?

Let's hope he doesn't spend much of the movie looking directly into the camera, as he does on this poster.

We also have this poster, which is, somehow, not a joke or fan-made:

Rest assured, folks. This movie doesn't just have Christian Bale in it. It has Christian Charles Phillip Bale.

Let’s hope that by the time this movie makes it to American theaters, it makes more sense than the marketing efforts that have preceded it.

Also, the part where Bale is apparently thanking himself in the mirror is likely to be the best part in the movie.


  1. Funny, but not as much as previous posts 🙂

    I agree the editing of the trailer leaves a lot to be desired, specially the part with the guy getting shot in the head and then coming back again, and the credits at the end are pretty cliché, but I don’t think it gives away that much about the film, actually I think it brilliantly misdirect the viewers into the conclusions you’ve gotten out of it, but the movie will show something more to make the story so much richer (I can tell from the spoilers I’ve read about the movie, not just fangirl wishes)

    After the awful poster, I think the trailer was actually great! LOL. I like action movies, so I’m all for the violence, and let’s be realistic; a movie about the Nanjing massacre it’s not gonna be a road of roses, I would be offended if it was.

  2. Yes, the trailer is amazing when the poster is used as a lowest common denominator. And the movie certainly should be violent – I just think that it doesn’t make sense to show this level of violence in a trailer. Violence in a trailer is usually the sort that makes you want to see a movie – not make you want to look away.

    I think it’s a good thing that Flowers of War is going to be violent in this manner – it is reassuring that it’s not glorified popcorn violence, but rather the kind that upsets you and makes you look away.

    Also, to be honest, the ending credits in this are bad, but they’re really no worse than the ones in The Dark Knight Rises teaser.

    Overall, I’m very much looking forward to the movie. Thanks for the thoughts!

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