Trump Made Kim a Movie Trailer. We Made It Better.

Donald Trump showed Kim Jong-un a trailer casting both leaders as heroes. The Times’s Opinion video team cut a more honest makeover.


Comments: 70

  1. I don’t know. NYT. It’s funny — but when you call the original video “slick” rather than “obsequious and deeply embarrassing” on your front page... I wonder where your priorities are.

  2. Thank you RB. I am slack jawed hearing so many folks in the media refer to a stunningly amateurish video as a secret weapon that only a “master brander” could create. I think most 12 year olds with a laptop could top the White House. But why should video be of any better quality than the typo-ridden, incoherent statements we’ve seen for two years?

  3. Do you think "slick" is a positive word in this context? It's a pejorative. Does that help?

  4. 2 words:
    GENIUS
    SIZZLE

  5. Thank you for this. This is perhaps your finest work. This made my night.

  6. Priceless! Easily the best comedy of the year. "Everyone's saying so!"--Anonymous world leader.

  7. This fake movie trailer, about North Korea, brought to mind another fake movie, "Argo", about Iran, which was itself made into a real movie. Hmmm. Odd.

  8. Kim likes basketball and movies...Trump is finding common ground and a way in. While it might seem weird for a trailer to be a negotiation strategy, the fact is decades of "experts" pushing their recommendations have failed. This snarky take on their meeting disheartens me. I'm a democrat and did NOT vote for Trump. However, this Opinion video represents everything that I dislike about my own party and a reason that Trump could win a second term. I love the NYT but this was wide of the mark.

  9. I think you a valid point, overall, but personally I believe there have been/will be more appropriate contexts in which to make it. But, I guess that is because I disagree with you that this particular event should be looked at as an example of "Trump doing good."

    "the fact is decades of "experts" pushing their recommendations have failed. " This depends on your definition of the term "failure" (and "success") when it comes to such a complex matter and how it is handled. I don't argue that past attempts failed, I argue that this one - at such an early stage - cannot and should not be seen as a success, not even a baby-step towards the goal. Why not? Because simply sitting down with the man to negotiate future actions amounts to what "decades of experts" "achieved" which is.. words. And that is being objective, really. To me, this only further proves that anybody - celebrity, school-shooting victims, evil dictators.. et al - as long as they can get Trump alone in a room, can charm, captivate, and ultimately sway the president of the United States to see things their way/ to take their side. If only for a day, until the next name gets a one-on-one who has a differing opinion - big changes can happen in short time when you have that kind of influence over a person with such power.

    So, just words - but, taking that further, those words even looked at hypothetically as "actions" are not what I see as a "success." He takes Kim on his word to denuclearize, and we withdraw troops

  10. Yes, this was clearly an attempt to establish rapport and connection. Providing an 'in person' meeting certainly gave recognition, status and acceptance of Kim in a way that no other American President has done.
    Maybe this was the'missing ingredient' for a constructive change in regime towards cooperative collaboration. May this bring real benefit to all.

    The images on the original video were undoubtedly created to be influential, meaningful and dignified and geared towards Kim's preferences. That was brilliant diplomacy actually. Bravo to whomever created that video.
    Bravo too to the NY Times for creating a satirical version, noting that these images can also be seen by some as cheesy, a method of 'tinseling' to avoid real issues and concern.
    Both videos serve positive purposes and both are cleverly designed to appeal in different ways.
    This NYT video addresses realities' that not so long ago many American, INCLUDING DT were focused on until the 'tables turned' as they tend to do pretty quickly with this mercurial President.
    This NYT video is brilliant, funny, spot on and excellent. as it addresses meaningful concerns that until VERY recently were also the Presidents. America is great because NYT is still free to exercise the right to be clever, sassy, satirical. Use it and never lose it!

  11. This is the man who believed the Military Budget was too small; the military is decimated...Now- complaining about the tremendous costs of "War Games"? This is the man who went to North Korea in hopes of getting prime beach property for Trump Hotels; nuclear weapons & human rights....leave that to another administration.

  12. This will be his excuse to start lobbying again for his dream giant military parade. It will be in honor of to his great, "the best in history", victory.

  13. hilarious. but the NYT has gone out on a long limb.

    Lets hope the thin-skinned president overlooks this with all the other tweeting he has to catch up with, because I don't to be around when and if he views it.

    He might do more than order Justice to surveil the sources via emails going back years from a NYT reporter--he might try to shut you guys down altogether.

  14. Stop being a scaredy cat. The Times has helped bring down a corrput president before, and they are up to the task again.

  15. A real contender for the Oscars in the "Funny (and quite Scary) 'cause it's True" category.

  16. In a world, where Republicans really think Trump can wrest control for life, this is the President we get.

  17. Clever, funny, and not fit to print by the New York Times.
    We need more objective, wide-ranging and no-holds-barred investigative reporting, and we needed it years ago already. Leave the cutesy film clips to Youtube, and the internet mining to the unscrupulous fast-buck-makers of Silicon Valley. The antidote to Trump is not emulation. The most important role of the free press is independent scrutiny and insight, not reflexive entertainment.

  18. This incisive satire is exactly what's needed to confront the rank but dangerous idiocy coming from today's White House, and the New York Times very much needs to spearhead the confrontation.

    If not the Times, then who?

  19. Disagree. There is plenty of the content you desire in the Times - and also room for some parody. It doesn't all have to be vegetables.

  20. I laughed that is good. I hope that all turns out well for our two countries. It is such a turn around for me to see Trump flashing the peace sign with flowers in his hair saying “ war is easy peace is hard” If we can’t poke fun at our leaders snarky or otherwise then I am disheartened.

  21. He’s a great guy, he’s funny, he’s smart...does this mean he’s just as vacuous as trump? Maybe we can nominate Supreme Leader Kim for the Nobel, instead of trump. He deserves it as much as trump does. Lest my meaning be unclear, for those who don’t get sarcasm, both these men have human rights abuses that should disqualify them from consideration for anything having to do with peace.

  22. Hilarious video! Thanks!
    So, our Reality Show Pres made peace with an evil dictator who starves and exterminates his own people and family who oppose him.("old news "since yesterday.)
    Regardless, transforming enemies into buddies is an art and awesome. Dropping the past and moving towards solutions, even if vague, undefined and uncertain are way better for all those impacted by these leaders.
    It's plain to see these two have always had more in common than meets the eye. Their mutual appreciation for showmanship is impressive. as is their desire for greatness.
    This is without doubt an amazing and transformative association.
    Dennis Rodman undoubtedly served as diplomat to help 'make the connection' between what a Fox reporter called 'the two dictators!' ( Whoopsie!)
    His 'photo op' with marijuana bitcom logo prominently displayed along with the red "Make America Great' hat is the latest 'show of peace-force!' The question remains: Will DT's white nationalist base be willing to "put this in their pipe and smoke it?!"
    I can't WAIT for the internationally aired 'reality TV show' starring' "Great Donald and Kim the Great." It has GOT to have the 'other Kim' and Kanye, Dennis, Rosanne, Angela Merkel, Wanda Sykes, Bernie, Putin, Whoopie, Sara H.S. George Lopez. Mueller, & a Fox, and MSN newscaster.
    Bravo on this action Trump, Kim, Dennis and all who worked behind the scenes to make this possible..and to the fun pokers!

  23. That about sums it up. It was not a cutesy film clip and we should all be very afraid of Trump and the power he just gave to Kim Jon Un, and for that matter, Putin.

    I’m sure there is more than a shiver of fear reverberating through South Korea as well, now that the “war games” have ended.

    With every passing day, I detest the GOP members of the House and Senate more than the day before and hold them responsible for the moral, environmental and national security collapse of our beloved nation.

  24. While true, it is not Putin who won, but Xi in China who got all they wanted. Of coursr Putin will gain secondarily as U.S. power and prestige wanes throughout the entire world.

  25. Horrifying and would have been hilarious if this weren't so serious.

  26. Remember during the first month of the Trump administration when meetings are held in the dark, lit only by phone screens because nobody can figure out how the light switches work in the White House?

    The Trump sizzle reel is as funny and sad as that.

    Indeed, the NYT version is Criterion Collection-worthy compared to Trump’s.

    So much winning, folks! So much winning!

  27. George Orwell's classic "1984" comes to mind. We're all doomed!

  28. Oscar-worthy! Thank you so much, video team. You gave me a much needed laugh after days of angst. All it needs is a cartoon reel in front with a Donald Duck Trump stamping around the G7 having a hissy fit because Canada and France refused to play doormats. Oh, and a few tweets...everything, especially serious diplomacy and economic policy are better with tweets. Why be sane, sober, focused, prepared, consistent, thoughtful or effective when you can just lie, deny, bluster, flatter despots and spit on your allies? Please pass the popcorn and rack up that video again.

  29. I am surprised by the naysayers on the NYT's calling attention to the Trump Hero propaganda film that was shown to the G7. Two "heroes making history" indeed! I applaud the NYT for the Rotten Tomato critique. I would bet that the cost of producing Trump's film short came out of taxpayer contributions, just as the whole mockery of the Singapore Summit. The people of NK got nothing. WE got nothing. After burning the bridges on decades old alliances at the G7, Trump now stabbed his own military and S Korea in the back by excluding them from the decision to give Kim his ban on the joint military exercises, and apparently also promises of lifting sanctions as reported by another news agency. Today Trump is on the tweet with a campaign for his Nobel Prize. Meanwhile back at the ranch (the USA), Sessions is doubling down on inhumane treatment of amnesty seekers (condemned bu the UN), Jared and Ivanka made $82 million last year (how much did YOU make?), and most of the GOP Congress is weighing whether they should do their jobs vs. "waking the bear" by voting on legislation Trump doesn't like. Trump's film was appalling....this one is giving me nightmares. Where is MY America?

  30. Scathing. Valid. True.

  31. The video reflects the cheesiness and cluelessness of this entire administration. It's as if they all crawled out of a 1974 time warp.

  32. I was speechless too when I saw the original for the first time.

    Agreed with some commenters here that while the video is funny I’m baffled by its inclusion in the NYT; it’s a video more at home on John Oliver (who I believe uses this same narrator for his clips) than the Times.

    Will the NYT opinion board be making more comedy videos like this or was this a one off?

  33. This isn't a comedy video--it's a satire. In this case it's using humor to evoke a greater sadness. It seems to me that the rational person, when confronted with Trump's video, has either to weep or laugh. There's room in the NY Times for both.

  34. This makes me cry. ...this looks so weak, imagine the image Putin projects to the world, now re-watch this video: Russia is winning (so is China).

  35. This remake, as well as the original, should come with a complimentary supply of motion sicknss pills.

    P.S., ‘Triumph of the Will’ it ain’t. But Stephen Miller’s working on it.

  36. A great way to get back at Justin and Angela–keep 'em jealous when they see you on Insta. I used to make fun of those doomsday preppers on National Geographic. Used to.

  37. Really - this what the presidential negotiation team came up with to impress the North Korean president? It is no wonder that trump stated that he didn’t need to prepare for the meeting.

    Well I guess when you have a reality TV personality for a president then this could be considered normal. I am disappointed that The NY Times is falling inline with this ridiculousness.

    I don’t think an MTV video is needed as part of a negotiation between two countries discussing denuclearization.

    NY Times: why are you buying to this?

  38. Like an ad for Trump University, steak, vodka...

  39. Tremendous, really great critic people say!

    But kinda disappointed you couldn't get a shot of Dennis "the Worm" Rodman crying into it

  40. The original trailer upon which this biting satire was based is so idiotic, cheap and amateurish as to be a national embarrassment. Not as embarrassing, though, as the president himself and the whole sorry administration he heads.

    More NY Times! We need more! (the satire, I mean, not the cheesy Trumpian trailer.)

  41. Dear All - Did you watch The Rachel Maddow Show - TRMS - last night? Check it out.
    When movies were accompanied by a live Wurlitzer organ, the bass would rumble menacingly to signal danger.
    TRMS doesn't need the Wurlitzer. Underlying facts speak for themselves.
    Trump publicly droollng over all that beach front real estate begging to be developed, but no mention of
    that handy bridge to Russia!
    It boggles the mind and chills the heart, yes?
    Just wondering.

  42. Nicely done. But Trump cultists will probably see it as an homage. Because that's where we are today. It would be interesting to have some written commentary on how we got to the point where Trump supporters value appearance over substance.

  43. No exactly Triumph of the Will

  44. Did you use the voice guy from the YouTube channel Screen Junkies (Honest Trailers)? Sounds a lot like him.

  45. Maybe the G7 (well, G6) should make a video like the original one for Trump. Out of the darkness can come the light of hope! What if a people that share a common and rich heritage can find a common future? A man is presented with one chance - what will he choose? Vision and leadership? or to randomly offer personal attacks against his long-time allies and friends? A new world can begin, with friendship, respect, good will, investment from around the world! innovative technology! an abundance of resources! The world is listening, anticipating, hoping... will Trump choose to advance his country and be part of a new world? or will he choose isolation...? Featuring President Donald Trump and almost literally the entire rest of the world. We await the answer with bated and more than slightly alarmed breath.

  46. I am beyond embarrassed the world has to witness this farce of our 'leader'.
    God bless us all.

  47. Now that New Jersey has sanctioned medical marijuana, we who suffer from Trump - "He did/said what?!!! " - overload neurosis can at least ingest some cookies to temporarily make it all go away without fear of arrest :-)

  48. Eye candy for Trump-haters. Look, it's a shame your beloved Hillary lost. So there-there now, here's a popsicle. Don't cry, Aunt Nancy and Uncle Chuck and Uncle Bernie will make mean that ol' boogieman Trump go away and you will feel all better.

  49. If you're enjoying your empty-headed , corrupt thug strongman, go ahead and enjoy him. The rest of us won't and don't have to. History will be very hard on those Americans who supported this aberration of a human being, and cheered while our hard-earned Democratic norms were being attacked.

  50. Please tell me Trump's remark about putting condos on the beach while showing North Korean firepower wasn't true, though I have to believe it was.

    Why, I never knew a murderous dictator could be so warm, friendly, and trustworthy! It took a President like Donald to show us.

  51. Hmmm. Think 45 got the idea from Leni Riefenstahl? Next up a movie where he's his own superhero. Would be funny if it wasn't so chilling.

  52. I watched the real one. It's an embarrassing display of what Trump's administration is all about -- amateur production team trying to look like they know what they are doing. Kim Jong-un laughed himself to sleep.

  53. Coming soon to a theater near you! Starring Alec Baldwin as Trumpy, Robert DeNiro as Kimmie and a cast of thousands from North Korea’s very own concentration camps! Hurry! Theaters are limited.

  54. Stop with the articles and videos explaining Trump and the North Korean "deal". Call it and him what it is a sham, a con being proffered by a con man acting as a fake president.

  55. This Is Spinal Tap or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

  56. Oh how the mighty NYT has fallen. Now dwelling in tabloid territory shilling for the progressive masters of the universe.

  57. A Shamglobe award winner for sure. Make sure it's required viewing at the White House.

  58. The Times parody made me laugh for the first time in a long time; the original Destiny Pictures trump-trailer made me feel so sad. The U.S. government has sunk so far in less than two years under this administration; all it has left are a vague script and stock footage of what the government imagines must represent the good life. I am departing soon to visit as many national parks and monuments as I can in two weeks. I'm concerned that they may not survive this administration.

    "Have you seen the Palace?"
    "No, but I certainly intend to."
    "Ah, you must, you must! It won't be here much longer, you know - they are cleaning it." -- Firesign Theatre

  59. The Monty Python mantra, "My brain hurts," becomes more relevant with every passing moment. The daily news has become a free fall into nightmares, and now the White House is showing movie trailers (what movie was it touting?) to heads of state to persuade them to drop their nuclear arms capability. When they came up with such a wacko idea, shouldn't they have hired some real movie making pros? Or even just some skilled admen?

  60. Doubtful the Trump team could find anyone in the entertainment business who would work with them in producing a film since Harvey’s no longer in business. But the NRA probably could have helped, but only if it ended with the mushroom cloud and the smiling face of Putin, their major benefactor.

  61. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, Mockery is the sincerest form of flattery that The Times can pay to Trump.

  62. It's all too obvious that the NYT should stick to the PAPER format. You failed to even include a scene where Trump and Kim run in slow motion hand in hand through a meadow.

  63. This made me laugh so hard, thanks for "improving" the original!

  64. Thanks for the LOL.... I needed that.

  65. I like the NYT's video better. Trump plays the fool for the world. Trump like to say, "I think......". No, the problem is he doesn't think or is incapable of doing so.

  66. Funny, but:

    It takes NYT out of news and into anti-Trump propaganda. Mocking he who mocks others is merely outdoing Trump in bad behavior. While I passionately dislike Trump, and feel he deserves as much derision as he dishes out, my feeling is that you did nothing more than stoop to his level.

    It gives him and his supporters another opportunity to say the NYT (or professional media in general) make things up and are out to get him. If this came from Monty Python I'd forward to all my friends. But I feel the NYT, even the editorial section, should stick closer to news.

  67. This is my first political post ever:

    I humbly disagree with you all. I think that although Trump is a terrible president, and we will suffer from his presidency in many ways for many years in the future, he may actually have a strength here. Underneath it all he, Trump, is a thug and a bully. He Instinctively understands how to deal with someone who is a thug and a bully… Ingratiate yourself, complement the other person, and perhaps get what you want from them.

    Agreed, the video was laughable, but in this case it might be effective.

  68. I wonder if you would have been so critical if Obama had been the deal maker? I also wonder if there’s any deal that Trump could have made that would have made you happy?

  69. how come there is no scene with trump shooting somebody on 5th avenue?

    isn't that the sort of thing that would impress kim jong-un? it's the sort of thing he does all the time.

    the sequel needs a scene with somebody sitting down properly, whatever that means.

  70. I'm not a Trump fan, and as cheesy as the video seems, the original video is actually a work of genius. For better and for us, no other US leader would have come up with something like this--filled with subliminal messages about how the North lags behind Korea, and how Kim's decision to de-nuclearize is key to changing the fate of NK forever.