Saturday, January 14, 2012

Trailer Trash

Last night I saw The Iron Lady (review) at the local AMC. The AMC chain is definitely a better option than Cineplex, but there are far fewer AMC theatres to choose from - and they are more expensive. It costs $13 per ticket (or $10.50 if you have MovieWatcher card - though the advantages of the card seem to be disappearing). It was the first time I went to the theatre with this particular friend, and we were struck by the absolute poor quality of the coming attractions. I am not sure if the trailers were the worst part, or the names of their respective films!

Prior to watching The Iron Lady, we were treated to:

1. Being Flynn - The film stars Paul Dano and Robert De Niro as an estranged father and son. The only redeeming factor is that it costars Julianne Moore. I am pretty sure the producers are doing the title a disservice, considering it is an adaptation of Nick Flynn's memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.

2. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - There are a lot of positives within this film, except for the title of Paul Torday's 2006 novel. The film is directed by Lasse Hallstöm (and let's hope the film is more Chocolat than Dear John) and stars Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas! The title is an outrageously unnecessary mouthful. How unfortunate!

3. The Vow - Poor Rachel McAdams. That's all I can say. I think this film looks worse than Valentine's Day!

4. Big Miracle - A movie about a whale! Get it? And Drew Barrymore has terrible roots because it is a true story of events from 1988!

5. Coriolanus - Probably the best trailer for 2011. It is Ralph Fiennes' first directorial effort, and he stars in the film alongside Vanessa Redgrave and Jessica Chastain. I am withholding my Best of 2011 picks until I have seen Coriolanus.

The quality of movie trailers has decreased so much in the past few years. Too much information is revealed, or too little. Too many trailers are made for the same film. Trailers are too long. I think we can also agree that the quality of movies keeps decreasing. Some claim that the trailer for David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was the best trailer of 2011. And while it was a decent trailer, it made the film look a whole lot more exciting than it actually was. Personally, I think the best trailer of 2011 was Hanna! It was raw and exciting, much like the film itself.

Why am I making such a fuss about trailers? Do you even pay attention to movie trailers at the theatre anymore? Most of us, myself included, watch all of our trailers on YouTube. The only new trailers I see at the theatre are for movies I have no interest in seeing.

Are trailers a lost art? Are the best trailers always going to be for art house fare? Two of the best trailers in recent memory are A Single Man and I am Love. And let's not forget Natalie Portman's Oscar-winning Black Swan.

Thanks to Siobhan (who has already linked it on Twitter), I have already seen the best trailer of 2012. Wes Anderson's upcoming Moonrise Kingdom will be released in May, but I am sure I will be re-waching the trailer over and over again up until then. Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox was one of the best films of 2009, and his brilliant The Royal Tenebaums is in my personal top three.

Should I just attribute the drop in quality to a down year for film in 2011?

1 comment:

  1. It's really too bad that trailers have gone downhill so quickly. It's gotten to the point where it's almost understood that the best parts of the movie will be in the trailer. In fact, just yesterday I received this message from a friend, "I just checked what's coming out. Wanna watch Contraband? There's no need; just watch the trailer. Geez."

    For awhile it seemed that trailers were on an upward climb. Certainly original trailers from the forties, fifties, and sixties are fascinating in how incredibly different they are from the current incarnation of trailers.

    To that end I give you's top 5 websites to watch old movie trailers: