Honest Trailers (Written by a Robot) is the 243rd episode of Screen Junkies comedy series Honest Trailers. The credited writers are Spencer Gilbert, Joe Starr and Dan Murrell, however the script was written using previous Honest Trailers scripts and Botnik Lab's predictive keyboard. It was narrated by Jon Bailey as Epic Voice Guy. It parodies the Honest Trailer series itself. It was published on May 1, 2018 shortly before Screen Junkies Movie Fights Live Extravaganza fundraising event for the charity Women in Film. The trailer was unlocked as a stretch goal reward when donations reached $20,000. The video is 4 minutes 32 seconds long. It has been viewed over 1.5 million times. This video is one of the most critically well-received Honest Trailers of all time, with many reviewers praising its use of meta humor.
"Loved by sarcastic children and hated by the crying nerd, because sweet Jesus, you're in the movie equivalent of a mind that made a bad movie!" ~ Honest Trailers (Written by a Robot)
From the technology studio which created classics like The Irresponsible Englishman and The Brave Little Lawyer, and the key grips who worked on small movies about all the strange Hollywood choices of legendary director Mike Potions, presents the first trailer that is literally a spy.
Steve Trevor: "I am a SPY!"
Honest Trailers: Ancestors of the Future.
Imagine a female lead superhero movie in a dystopian society...
Lori Petty: "Hi."
...where everyone is always quoting House....
["Everybody lies" said by various characters]
...but only one Jonathan dares to ask, who made that call?
Jonathan LIpnicki: "Who is it?"
Man in the bath: "Who is this?"
Because light saber negotiations have guns now, hunky professors invented new ideas about Mulan, and snake cars are always coming out of the road.
Featuring: Elvis Kyle, who is here to give to most cringe-worthy performance of all time, and everyone else is just there to watch. Margo Montage who makes the audience think about their weirdest cousin. You know, the one who loves weed, Jon Snow, and polite European robots?
C3P0: "Excuse me sir!"
This impressive dog and his terrible son who are clearly just there to sell iPods. The only cool shot of minerals that no one will ever forget! Seriously? Why weren't there more minerals in there? An Oscar worthy performance by the Brooklyn Bridge. Amy Puppet's original soundtrack that's so cute, there's definitely lots of magic campy dance holograms. And a climax so epic, you will stop worrying about the helicopters descending on your home
Ray Liotta as Henry Hill: "You see that helicopter? I think it's been following me all morning."
Of course the real reason everyone is seeing this movie, the Yoda vs. Dennis the Menace fight sequence, which will have you saying, 'All of our fragile egos are gonna have sex!'
Rodney Dangerfield as Al Cervik: "Hey everybody, we're all gonna get laid!"
But maybe you will not enjoy this horrible film about the problems of every lame movie.
Sarah Jessica Parker as Dolores Fuller: "You're wasting your life making s***!"
Followed by my 40 year man voice over, loved by sarcastic children, and hated by the crying nerd, because sweet Jesus, you're in the movie equivalent of a mind that made a bad movie!
So witness the magic of people yelling exposition....
Keanu Reeves as Jack Traven: "There's a bomb on your bus!"
Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag: "We gotta cut her heart out!"
And whispering character names...
Logan: (whispers) Laura.
Balem Abrasax: (softly) Kalique.
Cipher: (softly) Dom.
Sarabi: (softly) Simba.
Wendy: (whispers) Peter.
Voldemort: (whispers) Harry Potter.
This awesome car chase will be in the movie, and so will this scene where 2 characters sit and read a magazine! Until finally, a strategically timed tank rolls over a few of the main villains nicely. Can someone tell me why the original Shrek is playing on EVERY TV IN THIS MOVIE?! So suit on and strap up for this underwater tween adventure that makes The Smurfs look like a f***ing masterpiece!
*cat laughs and falls down*
Starring: Lana Del Toro; Beetlejuice Bueller; You Better Turn Out!; The same shots of Wolverine sitting on computers over and over again!; Unlikeable Jane Lynch; This Guy Chasing a Car; Nazis Playing Pokemon Snap!; Sugarman: The Little Guy; Tuck Grandpa;,The Millennium Dustin; Innuendos that are memes that are also metaphors...
Jonah Hill as Schrader: "Ask me about my wiener!"
...Some Loud Boy who really shouldn't talk;
Shia LaBeouf: "JUST DO IT!"
...Manny Canyon as a very sarcastic bug; The Smirking Baby that Goes to Hell; THIS Scene:
The Terminator: "Hi, I'm Chief Master Sergeant William Candy." [Holds up bust of own face] "Ooh, it's me!"
...and Academy Award Winning Actor, Solemn Philip.
School of Ripoffs
Wait, where did all the puberty cops go? They're just gone now? Ok, ok I get it! You wanna be wet. Geez.
- This Honest Trailer was produced as part of the Movie Fights Live Extravaganza benefiting Women in Film. Screen Junkies ran the charity fundraiser after multiple allegations of sexual harassment were made against their former colleague Andy Signore. The Screen Junkies community donated far more than the team expected, necessitating the creation of multiple stretch goals, including this Honest Trailer.
- Zach Dunn from Botnik labs joined the writers for their commentary and explained how the Honest Trailer was created. Head writer Spencer Gilbert sent copies of every single Honest Trailers script he had to Botnik Labs. Botnik Labs broke the scripts down into basic sections (such as intro, starring, comments, etc) and uploaded the text to their predictive keyboard. The app analyzed the linguistic patterns within the text and throws up a range of predictive text options. Botnik Labs writers then select the funniest words from the options given.
- Screen Junkies heard of Botnik Labs after they released a chapter of Harry Potter as written by a robot. The chapter was called "Harry Potter and The Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash."
- The "viewer comments" at the end of the trailer were also robot generated.
- Writers Spencer Gilbert, Joe Starr and Dan Murrell were impressed that the robot managed to imitate the rhythm of an Honest Trailer and coin phrases that sounded almost like a Honest Trailer, but not quite, for example "suit on and strap up."
- One phrase that the robot came up with was actually used in a real Honest Trailers. The line "characters shouting exposition" was used in Suicide Squad.
- The editing process for this video was the most complex and time consuming of any Honest Trailer by far. Editors Kevin Williamsen and TJ Nordaker had to find video clips that somehow matched with the nonsense that the robot had spouted out. They ended up pulling clips from literally hundreds of movies.
- Screen Junkies have also produced several other Honest Trailers that rely heavily on meta humor, including Deadpool, Deadpool 2, Logan, Transformers: Age of Extinction, After Earth and Kong: Skull Island. See list of Honest Trailers for more.
Honest Trailers (Written by a Robot) has a 88.2% approval rating from YouTube viewers, which is the lowest rating ever given to an Honest Trailer. Media sites were incredibly positive about the video and particularly praised its bizarreness and meta humor. Digital Spy said the video was "incredibly weird" and "very meta." Geek Tyrant said "The whole thing turned out amazingly funny and weird! I would love to see a movie with a Yoda vs. Dennis The Menace fight sequence!"
Screen Realm noted that while the video was funny, it was also incredibly confusing and difficult to characterize: "The result is… bizarre. It’s also pretty funny, confusing, and kind of awesome… maybe." Slate commended the video for the same qualities, describing the video as "a disorienting and hilarious variation on the Honest Trailers formula."
Slash Film used their glowing write-up on the Honest Trailer to praise Screen Junkies more generally:
"While we’re supremely against all the nonsense that Cinema Sins puts forth in their recurring video series, we appreciate what the folks at ScreenJunkies put forth every week with their Honest Trailers. At the very least, they’re clever in their humorous observations about critiques, plot holes and we love the new title they give to all their targets....The Honest Trailers Honest Trailer is like a fever dream of cinema that is goofy, paranoid, joyful and just insane. It’s like someone left the Family Guy reference machine on overnight and it just went into overload. Also, holy shit, who doesn’t want to see that Dennis the Menace vs Yoda fight sequence?" (Ethan Anderton, Slash Film, May 2nd, 2018)
Production credits Edit
Voiceover Narration by Jon Bailey
Title design by Robert Holtby
Edited by Kevin Williamsen and TJ Nordaker
Supervising Producer: Warren Tessler
Production Coordinator: Tina Choi
Edited by Kevin Williamsen and TJ Nordaker
Post-Production Supervisor: Gracie Hartmann
Post-Production Coordinator: Carolyn Croce
Assistant Editor: Emin Bassavand
- Honest Trailers gets an Honest Trailer written by a robot - Digital Spy article
- Here's a Hilariously Weird Honest Trailer For Honest Trailers That Was Written By a Robot - Geek Tyrant article
- LOL: The Honest Trailer for Honest Trailers Written by a Robot is Totally Bonkers - Slashfilm article
- Watch the Bizarre Honest Trailer a Robot Made for Honest Trailers - Screen Realm article
- Get Bizarrely Meta With This Honest Trailer for Honest Trailers - Slate article