Thursday, March 10, 2011

Random Thoughts on Trailers

Now we all know there are movies that don't live up to the movie you THINK you're going to see based on the trailer.  Movies will be marketed to the widest audience possible without really alienating other groups that might end up seeing it.  However, there are lots of movies that are far better than their trailer.  The current Rango comes to mind because it looks like a kids movie about a Hawaiian shirt wearing lizard who cracks jokes and has to live in the desert.  If you read real reviews (like the Mad Hatter's) you'll see it's really an animated western.  Which is great, it really steps outside the box with how to tell a story, gives kids and parents something to enjoy, but the trailer really sells the story short.

There's also well as my go-to for this topic, Catch and Release, which I'd argue isn't really a romantic comedy at all, but a great drama with a few jokes, all of which are in the trailer.  So if you go in looking for a kooky comedy with Jennifer Garner and Kevin Smith (and why wouldn't you based on this trailer) you're going to be disappointed and probably miss the forest for the trees.

 Then there are the trailers that get you all hyped up with great lines from the movie, but as a whole the movie doesn't quite live up to the promises the trailer makes.  Watching one of our "Star of the Week" movies for the Reel Insight Podcast (RIP!), I saw a trailer for Invictus.  Using Nelson Mandela's words, "I am the captain of my fate: I am the master of my soul" and showing us the greatness that are sports dramas, this movie should have made you stand up and cheer (and it does at least once) but you never quite get the feeling the trailer promises you again.

What do you think?  Are there trailers that just stick with you because you're STILL waiting to see the movie they promised but didn't deliver?  Or are there trailers of such blatant false advertising that you feel the need to tell everyone you know the trailer is wrong and the movie is REALLY about something else?  Give me some examples!


Rachel said...

Yep, I didn't a Thursday's Three about this back in July. My picks were The Order, Peacock and In Bruges.

Jess said...

Yeah, I knew I wasn't the first to talk about this - I bet I even have already, but the Invictus trailer came on and Rango was on my mind. I still haven't seen Peacock and I never saw The Order, but now I want to. I thought they sold In Bruges pretty well, actually. It didn't leave me waiting for something which is usually how I feel when they've convinced me of the kind of movie I'm about to see.

Jason Soto said...

Without getting into it, the "Catfish" trailer makes it look like a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" style horror movie with a "Blair Witch" angle thrown in. After hearing "what really happens" I'm a bit pissed off.

Another thing about misleading trailers are the lines they show but they don't appear in the movie. I like it when a movie DOESN'T show you everything, like any J.J Abrams movie.

But when the first words are "A Michael Bay" anything I start throwing stuff at the screen, screaming BOO!

PS: the word verification is "undress". You REALLY must want to see me naked.

The Mad Hatter said...

Given how much emphasis is placed on a movie's marketing these days, the continuation of misleading/hand-tipping/crap trailers continues to perplex me.

Perhaps Hollywood would be better off allowing directors to cut their own trailers (standard practice is for independent chop shops to create the trailers). You'd think it'd be elementry right? You paid one person to create the film...why not also get them to help you sell it??

I've said this before, but for my money one of the best trailers you'll find is THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA.

Pity more films don't follow their lead and just show an introductary and telltale scene?

Kano said...

Just re-watched the trailer to make sure, but Adventureland for sure.

Jess said...

Jason - Catfish is a great example, they make it seem like a rom-com and it's really more the Blair Witch.

And Yes.

Hatter - you're brilliant. At least then we'd have a sense of what the director INTENDED the movie to be.

Keith - Good one! I think my dislike for Adventureland comes from it being so far from the trailer promised.

Nick said...

Wait, wait... what's with the RIP for Reel Insight? Am I mis-reading that?

But yeah, trailers can be quite misleading. Rachel and I talked about trailers on my podcast, dontcha know? :P

Rachel said...

Nick, we figured since everyone else is quitting podcasting (Simon & Jo, The Film Cynics) we'd jump ship too.

OR we just realized it's the acronym for Reel Insight Podcast.

Nick said...

oh, lol! Y'all had me worried, there.

Jess said...

Yeah, Rachel noticed it the other day and made me laugh mentioning it, so I keep thinking of it that way. When people who aren't our friends start listening, I bet they'll mock us.

Thanks for noticing.

Jess said...

Nick, Rachel, I listened to your episode, and there are so many you point out that I agree with - M. Night is totally a victim. They need to sell his movies more honestly if they ever hope to revamp his image.