Sunday, January 15, 2006

Movie Trailers - Why So Hard To Do Right?

(Some of this might be redundant to other posts, but I'll post it anyway...)
Making a movie trailer is more of an art than a science, I’ll bet. Might explain why some directors / studios come out with fantastic trailers and others just…well…don’t. The first Sin City teaser trailer; the very, very first Kill Bill trailer (when it was still supposed to be one movie); and the 3rd Punisher trailer (the one that starts with Mark Collie in the diner) are prime examples of how to do a trailer right. It also shows just how important the music is to a trailer. It’s what gets your attention and when done right, it’s the glue that holds the various movie scenes together.

If you want an example of a really, really bad trailer, watch the one for the upcoming flick Date Movie. Now, I like Alyson Hannigan, so I watched the trailer. Yikes. No flow, makes no sense, bad music, and basically – if the trailer is this bad, I can only suspect the movie would be worse. Bloodrayne is also up there on the list of trailers that don’t make you want to see the movie.

I also need to vent on the issue of almost every trailer that comes out giving away major plot points or best scenes. The goal of a trailer is to make me want to watch the movie. If I already know what’s going to happen because of the trailer, why would I go see it? As much as they gave away in the X3 teaser, I’m not entirely sure I want to see the main trailer when it inevitably comes out (though I probably won’t be able to help myself.) Watching the teaser for Miami Vice, however, and I’m thinking – “Ok, what’s going on there, why is he doing that? Who is that? The look is just so cool, I have to go see this!” Now that’s a better teaser…

So, being as lists are all the rage, and the deluge of trailers over the last two months, here’s my list of best trailers for upcoming movies. Mind you, I’m rating the trailers themselves, not how good or bad the movie might be:

1. Miami Vice – Smooth coolness, just like the show, with no major spoilers, and good music.

2. X-Men 3 – Spoilers, yes, but a very cool look to it, and considering all the bad press this has gotten, it did what it needed to do and got people (me included) excited to go see it.

3. Mission Impossible 3 – did the impossible: got people talking about something related to Tom Cruise in a good light, though I’m crediting Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Michelle Monoghan and JJ Abrams at the helm as reasons I want to see this, and not so much Cruise.

4. Tristan & Isolde – the trailer got me interested in a movie that after reading reviews for I have no further interest in seeing. That’s got to say something for the trailer…

5. Ultraviolet – hadn’t really been on my radar till I saw the trailer. Don’t know much about it, but now I want to see it. If only they hadn’t thrown in a spoiler.

6. The Sentinel – Michael Douglas, Keifer Sutherland, Eva Longoria, Kim Basinger – yes, this movie is stacked. Looks like my kind of action thriller – a rogue Secret Service agent, framed and on the run. Then as I watched the trailer again tonight, I noticed something – was that Sledge Hammer in the role of the President?! I think it was! How’s that for irony?

7. The Da Vince Code – I had no interest in reading the book, and still don’t, even after all the hubbub over it. However, the trailer to the movie got my interest, didn’t give anything major away that I could tell, and made me Google info on the book to know more. Not bad.

8. Superman Returns - And now the big surprise, as far as trailers go. This was a trailer I really wanted to see, and it really fell flat for me. My interest in the movie has never been as high as others, but I wanted to see what Bryan Singer would do with it. It looks good, but sounds bad. The voiceover speech draws Messianic parallels that I was just not expecting. I’m not an expert in Superman lore, but I have no clue where some of that comes from. Oddly enough, watching the teaser really dropped this movie down on my list of must see for ’06.

Oh, and I can’t end a post about trailers without bringing up another beef – why do they use scenes and dialogue in the trailer that they don’t use in the movie?! Yes, I’m talking about the trailer for A Man Apart. I’m still ticked about that…what a ripoff…

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