Musings on the case of Great trailers, bad films & Bad trailers, great films

TedSaydalavongBanner

Movie trailer is the greatest selling tool in marketing for Hollywood. Heck even tech start-up companies today are using short trailers to sell their product. Case in point, a start-up company I’m involved with just got done with a short intro/trailer about the product, I saw it and I thought it was awesome, well maybe I’m biased since I’m part of the company and I designed the site. Anyhoo, back to movie trailers, they’re meant to get audiences excited and film bloggers, critics and cinephiles everywhere will talk about it for months before the actual film hits theater.

PrometheusHDtrailerThink back to last spring when Fox unleashed the trailer for Prometheus, many people got excited and said it’s going to be the greatest sci-fi film ever and so on. Well when it finally hit theaters, those same people were disappointed and blame Fox for duping them into thinking the film was going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Well that’s their goal, to dupe you into theaters and pay to see the film, they don’t care if you like or not, they already got your money. Heck I got duped into seeing two bad films because their trailer looked great, the remake of Total Recall and The Bourne Legacy.

Ruth’s note: Now, just as I was prepping this article, another trailer for Pacific Rim came out. I like Idris Elba but I thought the trailer is terrible, and Ted aptly called it ‘Transformers meets Godzilla’ ahah. We’ll see if this would end up in the ‘Bad trailers, Good Movies’ category.

Once in a while though studios tend to release some not so great trailers but the actual films were quite good. Anyway, here are some good examples of what I’m talking about:

Great trailers, bad films

Mission: Impossible 2

First off I would like to confess that I enjoyed this film but I also have to admit that it’s a lousy film. The trailer made it look like it’s going to be a non-stop thrill ride but most of the action scenes didn’t happen until the last 40 minutes of the movie. I like the concept of IMF team taking on the evil pharmaceutical company and a rouge agent but the love triangle between the hero, villain and heroine just didn’t work and it’s way too cheesy. But I love the motorcycle, cars and helicopter chase near the end and Anthony Hopkins delivered the best line in the film: “It’s not mission difficult Mr. Hunt, it’s mission impossible. Difficult should be a walk in the park for you.”

Star Wars Episode 1: Phantom Menace

Nothing much to say here since most of us have seen the film and we’re pretty much in agreement that the film sucks. But the trailer was pretty great, hearing that famous theme music by John Williams, seeing light sabers and space ships just got everyone excited. Unfortunately the actual film was filled with bad dialogues and wooden acting. But the light sabers battle between Darth Maul, Obi Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn was pretty great.

Fun fact, the trailer played in front of Meet Joe Black and a lot of Star Wars fanatics paid just to see this trailer. I took my then girlfriend to see Meet Joe Black and I remember a few people left the theater after EP1 trailer finished. Just FYI young readers, this was few years before internet trailers became the norm, people would actually paid tickets just to see trailers, I know it’s stupid and I’ve never done it myself but that was the only way to see trailers of big films back then.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

After the awful X-Men: Last Stand, Fox was hoping this film will reboot the franchise in the way that Batman Begins did for Batman. With Hugh Jackman back as Wolverine and a respectable director behind the camera, all of X-Men fans expected greatness. Of course our excitement jumped to new heights when a trailer debuted a few months before its release. The trailer made it look like the film is going to be a gritty take on the popular character, I must’ve watched it like 10 times when it debuted.

Unfortunately when the film finally opens, it was an incoherent mess; there were rumors that Fox didn’t like the dark tone of the film and demanded director (Gavin Hood) to make changes. Whatever happened behind the scenes really destroyed what could have been a great film about Wolverine’s origin.

The World Is Not Enough

The last Bond film of the 20th century looked great and since I’m a Bond fanatic I was stoked to see this film. With the promised of a new great villain and a respected director, many thought this could be an excellent Bond film. Even with the silly casting of Denise Richards as a scientist, I was still convinced this could be a great film and after seeing the trailer, I got super excited.

Well as we all know the actual film was pretty bad, I actually thought the franchise might be over because of this film. Of course I was wrong since it’s a box office hit and it took another awful Bond flick to convince the producers that they need to reboot the franchise.

,,,

Bad trailers, great films

Batman Begins

With the huge success of The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, most people often forget that the first film in the series was a modest success. In fact, this film’s opening weekend was a measly $47 mil. When Warner Bros. announced they were going to reboot the franchise, I was super excited because Batman is my favorite comic book superhero and I needed to get the bad memory of Batman & Robin out of my mind. With a young and upcoming director Chris Nolan behind the camera and a new Bruce Wayne/Batman, all Batman fans everywhere were super excited.

Unfortunately when the trailer came out, I was very disappointed. I thought it looked clunky and wasn’t well put together. The pacing was a bit off, too much of the plot were revealed and it just didn’t flow well. Compare that to The Dark Knight’s and The Dark Knight Rises’ trailer, Begins’ trailer was quite weak in my opinion.

The Bourne Supremacy

In my opinion this film is the best of the franchise but when I saw the trailer, I thought it looked awful. Just like Batman Begins’ trailer, it wasn’t well-edited, very clunky and sort of gave away too much of the plot. Again fortunately the actual film was great.

Blade Runner

Most trailers of older films tends to give away too much of the story and this one is no different. Seriously this trailer is over 3 minutes long! If I was old enough around the time this film came out, I might’ve skip seeing it in theater. I thought the final cut trailer that came out back in 2007 was much better, see them for yourself.

Original trailer


Final cut trailer

– Post by Ted S.


So those are some examples and I know there are tons of other great trailers, bad films and bad trailers, good films out there. Feel free to share your own list of trailers in the comments section.

THIS JUST IN! John Hillcoat’s ‘Lawless’ Trailer

The first time I heard about this movie was when there’s news circulating about Shia LeBeouf and Tom Hardy clashing on the set and got into a bar brawl. Now, I don’t really care about what’s really going on between those two, but the movie they’re working on does sound intriguing. Formerly called The Wettest County in the World, which is a bad title but at least not as generic as this new one, is one of those movies I’d watch just for the cast! Besides the two I’ve mentioned, we’ve got Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain!

Now check out the brand new trailer:

Hardy, LaBeouf and Jason Clarke play three brothers who find their bootlegging business under threat in Prohibition-era Franklin County, Virginia. The story is based on the true-life tales of Matt Bondurant’s own grandfather and great-uncles, who were the inspiration of the events in his novel The Wettest County in the World.

Man, that’s a pretty intense trailer! I’m guessing this’ll be a hard R like most of Hillcoat’s previous films, i.e. The Proposition, The Road. The Aussie director seems to have a penchant for the utterly dark and bleak stuff. I do like the setting in the Prohibition era, there’s something so riveting about that period and the true-story aspect of it certainly adds to the intrigue.

I think we can expect some fine performances as well as some really bad ass shoot-outs! Hardy looks like he’d steal the show here, but LaBeouf actually doesn’t look too bad. I think he gets a bad rap after Transformers like R-Patz with Twilight, but I think he’s got potential. The main draw for me are Hardy and Chastain whose career are stratospheric to say the least, as well as the two veterans Oldman and Pearce, the latter is barely recognizable here with that hideous haircut. We’ll see who’ll be chewing the scenery the most between those two.

This movie will be premiering in 2012 Cannes Film Festival this May, and the US release date is set for August 31.


What do you think of this trailer? Will you be watching this one?

THIS JUST IN: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter First Trailer!

Here’s one of those movies with an idea so bizarre it’s bound to get you at least curious enough to check it out. One of America’s legendary presidents is a highly-trained vampire assassin?? What? What? When I first heard about it back in April when Rufus Sewell was cast as the lead vampire, I learned that the movie is based on a historical fiction of the same name by Seth Grahame-Smith, the same author of the equally wacky Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Relative newcomer Benjamin Walker who actually played yet another US president in the rock stage musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is playing Lincoln.

Behold the International Trailer (updated 2/15):


Here’s the full synopsis per Daily Blam!:

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a re-imagining of the 16th President’s life that depicts him as an axe-throwing, highly accomplished killer of vampires — an obsession of his since those bloodsuckers supposedly took the life of his mother. Lincoln eventually learns that the vampires have fled to the southern states of the U.S. and are concocting a plan to conquer and enslave the entire country — this in turn leads to the Civil War between the Union and the Confederacy, the latter of which the vampires are aligned with.

Directed by Russian director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) and produced by Tim Burton, it’s a return to the vampire genre for Bekmambetov who made two vampire thrillers set in Moscow, Night Watch and Day Watch. The gothic atmosphere set by the poster is certainly very Burton-esque, and it’s likely to be full of brutal, slo-mo Matrix-style action sequencesmixed with 19th-century period set pieces. Well whether Timur does a good job with this remains to be seen, but one thing for sure, you probably never saw this bad ass, axe-throwing side of Lincoln before.

Here’s more info about the cast:

  • Dominic Cooper (The Devil’s Double) – Abraham Lincoln’s mentor
  • Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) – Will, Lincoln’s best friend
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgim VS The World) – Mary Todd, Abe Lincoln’s love interest and eventual wife
  • Andy Tudyk (Firefly) – Stephen A. Douglas, a strong but respected adversary of Lincoln within the Republican Party.

I can’t see most of the cast in this first trailer as there are just so much going on and the cuts are just too fast, but I guess this is more of a teaser to get us a glimpse of what to expect.

Updated 2/15: 20th Century Fox now has also released the Featurette, check it out below:



So folks, are you game to see this one in 3D come June 22?

The Avengers extended Superbowl XLVI spot is geekgasm worthy

Fan-made poster courtesy of Superherohype forum

To be frank with you, I’m kind of on and off about this movie. I mean this whole idea of jam-packing a friggin’ boatload of superheroes into one movie is worrisome. Just how in the heck are they gonna pull this off?? But after reading more about this project, especially seeing that Josh Whedon seems to have a good grip on the storytelling (Per Castor’s post, The Avengers will be told from Captain America’s point of view), I’m willing to give this movie the benefit of the doubt.

Well now this new trailer actually gets me all excited about this one. Check it out and let me know what you think:


Loki: “I have an army.”

Stark : “We have a Hulk.”

Say what you will but that facetious last part out of the whole trailer is my favorite part! I LOVE Tom Hiddleston’s Loki for one, plus Robert Downey Jr.’s  snarky-ness is always a joy to watch. Tony Stark’s surely gonna have tons of fun one-liners in this movie! I just think that if Whedon just not take this whole thing too seriously, more in the spirit of the first Iron Man, it should be a massively enjoyable action flick.

Btw, on January 31st, Marvel Studios sponsored a Global Tweet Chat where fans can chat with Whedon and cast members Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg and Tom Hiddleston via Twitter. That’s awesome, I wish I had known about it but most likely I gotta work at that hour 😦 Screenrant has some of the Q&A from the event here if you’re interested. As I’m a big fan of Loki, I’m pretty excited to see him answer this question:

For TH: Might we see a more mischievous (rather than mostly just evil) Loki in the The Avengers?

TH: ENTIRELY. More mischievous. More evil. More hubristic. More delusional. More damaged. More badass.

All right, bring it on team! May 4th can’t come soon enough!


What say you folks? Are you excited for this movie?

THIS JUST IN: ‘The Cold Light of Day’ first trailer

As you know by now, our new Man of Steel Henry Cavill has been on my radar for a few years now. So a new movie starring him is ALWAYS a good thing. Throw in Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver into this fast-paced thriller and I’m definitely game!

A young American (Cavill) uncovers a conspiracy during his attempt to save his family, who were kidnapped while on vacation in Spain.

It’s been almost 3 months since I posted the official poster and full synopsis, and now the trailer is finally here, check it out below:

I must say that if it weren’t for Henry’s casting, I probably won’t be as enthused about this one, but you know what, this trailer actually looks pretty exciting. I like the fact that it was shot on location in Spain which gives it an International flavor. Henry sure kicks ass in this one, but then again his dad is John McClane, ahah. Still, with Ripley er I mean Sigourney as the lethal villainess, Henry just might have his work cut out for him! In all seriousness though, no wonder he was close to be cast as James Bond before the role went to Daniel Craig, he was too young at the time but in a couple of years he definitely could do it if he choose to, though I’d rather see him do other roles.

French-Tunisian director Mabrouk El-Mechri is helming the project, he did the Jean-Claude Van Damme’s biopic JCVD a few years back. I’m certainly glad that at least there is one Henry Cavill movie to look forward to soon since the Superman movie won’t be released until 2013! Man, that is such a long time to wait, but I am convinced Henry will do such a great job as Supes.

As displayed in Immortals, no doubt he’s a capable leading man with a trifecta of star formula: good looks, screen presence and talent. Even his American accent is quite convincing which always helps him be competitive with fellow US actors his age. I sure hope Cavill continues to be cast in Hollywood movies!


What do you think folks? Will you be seeing this come April 6th?

THIS JUST IN! The Dark Knight Rises full trailer is here!

Woot woot! The moment all Nolan fanboys/girls have been waiting for is here! It’s been over two-and-a-half years since The Dark Knight was released in Summer 2008, and now we’ve got the first official glimpse as to how the Batman trilogy will conclude next year. Well, it certainly looks pretty bleak with our hero getting all banged up and Gotham in utter disarray. Check it out below:


Man, I got goosebumps by the time Hans Zimmer’s score came on as the title’s revealed. All right folks, I’m gonna say it: this looks epic!! Ok, now that I’ve got that out my system…  now it’s quite obvious from the official poster that the fight between Batman vs. Bane won’t end well for our tormented hero… his cowl is all smashed up on the floor as Bane walks away. There are even more glimpses of him in a far-from-triumphant state as Bane looks down at him, muttering something about giving him permission to die… and at the end the tagline clearly says: this is it… the legend ends here. That’s quite a fascinating contrast to the title which (seemingly) implies that our hero is to rise above his enemies. Well, will he?? Of course that is for all of us to figure out come next Summer, a friggin’ long seven-month wait (thanks a lot Nolan!)

Btw, Ted and I also saw the 6-8 minute prologue in front of MI4 at IMAX on Friday. Here’s Ted’s reaction to the prologue:

I’ve seen the prologue on IMAX twice now and I can’t get enough of seeing the action on the six-stories-tall screen. Nolan said the reason he shot the film with IMAX cameras was because he wanted the audience to experience the golden age of cinema when films were being shown on Cinerama or 70mm screen back in the 50s and 60s. I think he accomplished that with The Dark Knight and now The Dark Knight Rises.

If there’s a true IMAX theater near you, I highly recommend you check it out on the tall screen. With that said, I thought the prologue wasn’t as good as The Dark Knight‘s opening scene; it felt rushed and yes Bane’s voice was hard to understand but the montage after that scene was great. It’s nice to see Catwoman in full costume and the new Bat jet. I’m quite sure they’ll fix Bane’s voice before the film opens next summer.

Yep, I think we’ll take another trip to IMAX next Summer, Ted! I also agree about Bane’s voice… seriously, you’d think it couldn’t get any worse than Batman’s intelligible growl?? Yes, Tom Hardy’s Bane cuts an intimidating figure but if we can’t understand a darn thing he’s saying, it’ll just be downright comical!

Anyway, I’m not as thrilled as the guys about Catwoman, I mean I don’t really have any strong feeling one way or the other about Anne Hathaway, I just think she lacks the sultriness of Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns but I’ll defer judgment until I see the movie. As I mentioned here a long while ago, I much prefer Marion Cotillard in that role. She’ll be playing Miranda Tate in this one, which according to Wikipedia, miss Tate is a Wayne Enterprises board member eager to help a still-grieving Bruce Wayne resume his father’s philanthropic endeavors for Gotham.


So folks, what are your thoughts on this trailer? Are you as excited about this one as I am?

THIS JUST IN! Pixar’s BRAVE first trailer

Yet another trailer post in a week? Another fairy tale, no less. Well, normally I reserve only one trailer post per week but this one just can’t wait, folks!

As you know, I LOVE Pixar’s movies and I grew up watching those Disney fairy tales. With this 13th feature film, we’ve got Pixar’s first foray into fairy tale territory with BRAVE. You’ve perhaps seen the initial pics and poster, and I’ve also reported that Scottish composer Patrick Doyle is doing the score, so now behold the first trailer:


Here’s the official story per Pixar’s official site:

Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. In “Brave,” a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts.

Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.

This trailer looks good!! Princess Merida looks sooo adorable with her fiery red hair and I have a thing for anything Scottish and the lush Highland setting is gorgeous! The visuals reminds me a bit of How to Train Your Dragon somehow, as I said to Castor when additional stills were released. Once again I ask, why aren’t Gerry Butler in this?? 😀 His pal Craig from HTTYD is part of the cast after all, and he once played Billy Connolly’s brother in Mrs. Brown.

Anyway, I can’t wait for this one. With the talents involved and how this looks visually, I can’t imagine I’ll be disappointed. So it’s about 8-month wait until it’s released on June 22, 2012.


What say you, folks? Are you as excited for this as I am?