Posts Tagged 'movies'

When Trailers Strike Gold – Part 10 The Birds

Here’s the final installment. After this, I’m taking a little hiatus for a while. I have reached a time of refocus and transition, and I am a little unclear as to what priority blogging will receive. I might be posting a couple movie reviews soon, but for now, here’s The Birds.

There will never be another Hitchcock. He knew how to market his movies, and out of his entire repertoire, this is my favorite, ah, “lecture.”

Evident here, but perhaps lesser known, is Hitchcock’s sense of humor. Hitch loved practical jokes, and working one into a trailer was just a natural extension of his (disturbed?) playfulness. You wonder why no one does this anymore.

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When Trailers Strike Gold – Part 9 The Lord of the Rings

Released a year in advance of The Fellowship of the Ring, this teaser not only gave us a brief glimpse at its gargantuan scale, but put to rest all fear and doubt that Hobbits would look silly standing on screen with humans.

You can find scads of material on Peter Jackson’s trilogy; odds are if you own the extended edition DVDs, you already possess an intimate knowledge of this treasure already.  So let me point you in the direction of Steven D. Greydanus’s essay “The Lord of the Rings: Faith and Fantasy, Tolkien the Catholic and Peter Jackson’s films.” 

When Trailers Strike Gold – Part 8 The Empire Strikes Back

Switching gears to finish out the last three – I first saw the following trailers after watching their respective films, but their quality remains strong enough that they can still generate enough excitement and suspense to make you sit down and enjoy them all over again. 

I can imagine myself back in 1979, lucky enough to catch this at the theater. I’d’ve gone bananas. Using only a montage of Ralph McQuarrie’s production paintings, the teaser returns you to a galaxy far, far away better than any piece of actual footage. 

The genius of this trailer is that it places you right inside the world of the film, reintroducing you to characters you love without trying to sell you with stars or directors.  It just makes a promise; one it delivered with stunning surprise. 

Written by Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Ark), Empire remains the richest and strongest entry in the Star Wars Saga.  Would that Lucas could have fully delivered on the monumental potential laid down by this film.

When Trailers Strike Gold – Part 7 Titanic

I wrestled over choosing this one.  I first saw Titanic when I was 17, naïve about so much, and deeply effected by the film’s tragic and romantic underpinnings. 

Age and maturity have changed my perception.

Cut together as a narrative tease, the trailer succeeds in providing a strong look at its scope as well the film’s pervasive look at class differences, one of its central and strongest manipulated themes…

The trailer itself bears significance if only for its length, running just over four minutes, a detail that incurred a fine in 1997 for overshooting the two-and-a-half-minute rule.  Cameron pieced it together himself (a chore directors usually outsource). 

The film works on many levels, and fails on just as many (Steven Greydanus has an excellent write up on this).  Visually, even after 12 years, it’s still a stunner.  Taken on its technical merits alone, it is unmatched — the effort undertaken to bring the RMS Titanic to life required significant innovations developed due to the inability to create certain effects digitally, a hurdle today’s CGI could clear with ease.

24 minutes of James Cameron’s Avatar have been seen.

Ain’t It Cool News has the scoop (with art). Cameron apparently showed a portion of the film at CineExpo in Amsterdam.

When I know enough to write more, you’ll have it.

When Trailers Strike Gold – Part 4 Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The Terminator had already achieved a solid place at the cultural water-cooler, and this trailer merely plays on it. Amid all the sparks, techno cues, and Schwarzenegger’s red eyes, there lies not a hint of plot. But James Cameron delivered a sequel that not only left its predecessor in the parabolic ash heap, it achieved something rare for an action movie: thematic meaning.

When Trailers Strike Gold – Part 3 Unbreakable

M. Night Shyamalan followed up the breakout success of The Sixth Sense with a strange pick–a superhero movie. But, he did one thing that no one had ever done with any real success at that point: he grounded it in grimy reality. This early precursor to Heroes serves as a meditative character drama with one hell of a hook, which the trailer uses to perfect effect.

Unfortunately, a few years later, Night gave us The Happening. Wherefore art thou, fair Shyamalan? We sure do miss the old you.