Tuesday

Razzle-Dazzle

Some people collect stamps, some collect DVD's. I like to collect movie trailers. My collection dates back to the late 80's and I own hundreds of trailers in all kinds of formats: VHS, DVD, Laserdisc, 35mm film, and now mostly in Glorious QuickTime. I even have a video tape with about 30 trailers that I made myself using two VCR's.

So with all that experience, you'd think I might have a few strong opinions on what makes a trailer Sizzle or Fizzle. And you'd be very, very right. So from time to time I'll be writing trailer reviews with links so you can see for yourself and make comments.

To get things started, here's a list of my Top 10 trailers so far this year.

Honorable Mention: ICE AGE 2
So when I made my list, I actually ended up with 11 titles because I didn't quite know what to do about this, which is not so much a trailer as what will inevitably be the opening scene of the movie. Didn't really sell me on the film, but very funny.
THE MOMENT THAT STOLE MY MONEY: When Scrat tries to plug the leak with his mouth.

10) RED EYE - TRAILER 1

A trailer with a surprise twist. What starts out as a romantic comedy with cavity-sweet Rachel McAdams and charming rogue Cillian Murphy, does a complete 180 degree turn into creepy horror, sealing the deal with "from director Wes Craven."
The new trailer makes the increasingly common mistake of being too linear, giving away most of the story.
THE MOMENT THAT STOLE MY MONEY: "So what do you do?"

9) 2046
The first thing that leaps out at you is how gorgeous this movie is. From the lighting to the lush sets to the sweeping camera moves, this trailer is pure visual melancholy. Then, about a minute in, the score sweeps through and...I don't know if this will be an easy film to follow, but I have to see this movie.
THE MOMENT THAT STOLE MY MONEY: The music cue at the one minute mark

8) NIGHT WATCH

From Russia comes their most successful film of all time, an epic fantasy about the never ending battle between forces of light and darkness. The effects are plentiful, and this time most of them seem fairly creative. If the film can deliver on the promise of the trailer, this looks like a worthy heir to films made in the style of THE MATRIX.
THE MOMENT THAT STOLE MY MONEY: Hard to choose between the many cool effects

7) MARCH OF THE PENGUINS
"We have a documentary about penguins. How do we seal it?" A big raise to whoever suggested making the film look like penguin ARMAGEDDON. A delightful mixture of glossy camerawork and...well adorable penguins.
THE MOMENT THAT STOLE MY MONEY: When the patriotic marching music kicks in

6) SERENITY - Trailer 2

There's actually 3 worthy trailers in this campaign. But the 1st Trailer slipped up by overselling TV star Joss Whedon and adding critics quotes about the show. And the International Trailer repeated many moments from the first trailer. So I pick the most recent trailer as the one most worthy. But all three are worth a look, if only for that sweet and sarcastic Joss Whedon dialogue.
THE MOMENT THAT STOLE MY MONEY: "We may experience some slight turbulence and then..explode."

5) KING KONG
When you got the goods, it isn't hard to put together a slam-bang trailer. Peter Jackson has become the cinematic God we all thought George Lucas was going to be. And come December, we will all go and bow down before his creation.
THE MOMENT THAT STOLE MY MONEY: When Kong screams ...the purest example of a "trailer moment"

4) OLDBOY

"Taken without warning. Held without reason. Locked up for 15 years...then set free. Now he has 5 days to find out why." The story is such a great hook, the trailer doesn't even need dialogue, and the visuals are equally bizarre and cool, showing the released prisoner solving the mystery with a heaping scoop of vengeance.
THE MOMENT THAT STOLE MY MONEY: The smile after one unfortunate soul meets his fate

3) HIGH TENSION - Trailer 1

This film got everything right, except for the actual movie. A classic example of a great marketing campaign and a title that was nothing but an empty promise. Bonus points for cutting the preview to a creepy cover of The Carpenters 'Superstar" (provided by Sonic Youth.)
THE MOMENT THAT STOLE MY MONEY: Everything after the doorbell rings. In particular the hush that leads back into the music.

2) STAR WARS: REVENGE OF THE SITH - FINAL TRAILER
George Lucas is a terrible writer, but he can produce my film any time. I did not like this final (or is it middle) chapter, but the trailer rocks, delivering everything George Lucas promised, but without all that terrible Anakin/Padme dialogue.
THE MOMENT THAT STOLE MY MONEY: When the Emperor charges at Sam Jackson (with a roar that I don't think is in the actual movie.)

1) SIN CITY - TRAILER 1 and TRAILER 2
This baby had it all: cool visuals, original story, cool actors doing cool things. The sounds, the editing, the guitar. This is what makes a great trailer baby. Lock this in the vault, cause five, ten years from now this will STILL be a great trailer.
THE MOMENT THAT STOLE MY MONEY: So many things to pick from, but I'm going to go with the music that ties everything together. The song is called "Cells" by The Servant, and the actual tune has lyrics and a chorus and is good all by itself. But it will forever be "The Sin City Song" to me.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

FIRST!!!
sorry, couldn't resist...

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SECOND!!!
...it's okay no one knows who this is

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since you collect DVD's, you might be able to find DVD's you want on Peerflix. It's a service that allows you to sign up for free and trade your used DVD's with other member's used DVD's.

10:44 AM  

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