If you’ve got a QuickTime player, you probably visit trailers.apple.com for an occasional fix of gravelly voiceovers and exploding helicopters advertising the latest Hollywood releases.

Currently the big genres are still barrel-scraping comic book stories (The Punisher, Alien vs. Predator), unfunny chick flicks (Laws of Attraction, Pieces Of April) and historical epics (The Last Samurai, The Passion of the Christ).

In the last category, yesterday evening I re-watched the trailer for Troy that I saw at the cinema a few weeks back with a Harvard PhD friend, a friend who is proud not to read books for fun. In the sampler there is one truly awe-inspiring shot. The camera pulls away from a single warship until the screen is filled with an ocean of (no doubt computer-generated) sails.

My companion: “That’s a lot of ships.”
My reply: “Yes, a thousand.”
My companion: “Huh?”