Posts Tagged 'trailers'

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.

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 6 The Dark Knight

“Some men just want to watch the world burn.”  There is no better statement that captures the mad remorseless villainy of terrorism. 

Ah, you thought I was going to say The Joker, didn’t you. 

The Dark Knight dared enter a realm most filmmakers lately will circle with wary sensitivity.  Many things elevate this film above its comic book peers, but dir. Christopher Nolan’s best choice was to create a contemporary parable that speaks to a very real threat looming over the world. 

The reality of The Joker is not a costumed psychopath, it’s the belief that a world without rules only leads to one inevitable end, and it takes a certain kind of hero to stop that speeding locomotive. 

“He’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him, because he can take it.  Because he’s not our hero.  He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector.  A dark knight.”

When Trailers Strike Gold – Part 5 The Incredibles

Pixar had its game on from the beginning, but to stay fresh, John Lasseter brought in someone to shake up the status quo: Brad Bird. 

Like most Pixar teasers, the trailer only hints at what the film will deliver:

The first Pixar film not created by one of its founding members achieved a successful combination of humor and action, plus a weighty look at heroism, and a scathing indictment against the culture of entitlement.   

Every inch of the film works, from thematic development, voice characterization, pacing and editing (not to mention turning decades of comic book mythos on its ear) and remains on the top tier of Pixar’s strongest efforts.  Throw in Michael Giaccino’s bombastic score, and this film is pure magic.

The Last Airbender Teaser

(via AICN)

Since we’re on the subject of trailers, here plays what we hope will be the return of M. Night Shyamalan:

For what little the teaser reveals, it hints at the kind of scope Night has tended to avoid in his films.  Both Signs and The Happening dealt with wide-spread cataclysm, and kept their narrative focus tight on a mere handful of characters. 

For the first time since The Sixth Sense, Night has taken on the adaptation of someone else’s creation (he previously penned the script to 1999’s Stuart Little).  Based on the series Avatar: The Last Airbender, producers dropped the title to avoid confusion with James Cameron’s Avatar, coming this December (which still hasn’t received a trailer). 

The Last Airbender premieres Summer 2010.

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.