Sunday, January 04, 2009

I need to get to the theater early when I go to the movies. Not because I'm obsessed with finding a seat that will have me perfectly situated within the surround sound envelope, but because I love movie trailers. In some cases, the trailers are better than the movie I just paid $11 to see. The art of the trailer is something that gets overlooked and at the same time, it's one of the most important marketing pieces in cinema. A movie's trailer has an enormous effect on it's success, and it often determines how well or poorly a movie does in the theaters. A trailer also ads to the hype factor of a film. How excited were you when you saw the trailer for Star Wars Episode I for the first time? Yes, the movie itself left much to be desired but the trailer got the entire theater screaming with anticipation. In fact, being the in the audience for that trailer was one of the only times I've ever heard an audience cheer for a preview. So, in honor of just recently seeing the preview of X-Men Origins, I give you some of my favorite movie trailers. Enjoy.

P.S. Yes, these trailers may be blockbuster heavy but when was the last time you saw a couple million thrown at the latest Van Sant or Polanski film? There are some good trailers for more Oscar worthy movies but I tend to like the trailers that get you to sit up in your seat after a few frames. The trailers that make you grin with anticipation, the trailers that make you talk to your neighbor when the release date flashes on the screen. Here are those trailers.

Thank you, Youtube!

X-Men Origins. Sure the film isn't out yet but the fact that X-Men fans finally get to see Gambit makes this trailer a brilliant one! X-Men 3 like Spiderman 3 were disappointments, let's hope the latest X-Men and Spidey flicks will redeem their third releases. You're up first, Jackman.

Jurassic Park. Remember back in 1993 when CGI was just beginning to look passable in movies? Remember how you felt when you first saw this in the theaters? Two movies shaped the way that we view the CGI and they were Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park.

The Matrix. What the hell is bullet time? Before 1999, nobody knew. Mind boggling CGI, an innovative and startling storyline, and more action than dialogue from Keanu Reeves made this film an icon of the nineties. Nowadays, bullet time has been replicated more times than Keanu Reeves can say, "whoa."

The Matrix Reloaded. None of the sequels quite lived up to their predecessor but Reloaded came damn close. With arguably, better action and fight sequences, Reloaded gave fans exactly what they were looking for in the "bigger and badder" sequel. I left the theater thinking, "okay, we just had a bunch of action stuffed down our throats, I'm sure the third will evoke a little emotion and add a little more substance to Reloaded's thin storyline. My goodness was I wrong. But hey, 66% of the Trilogy was amazing. But, then again, it nearly took Trinity 66% of the trilogy to finally die after getting impaled by about spaceship's worth of re bar.

Star Wars Episode I. Yes, the movie sucked, and yes, the movie did not live up to any of its high expectations but the trailer for Ep-1 created more buzz than the latest Paris Hilton beaver shot. I've never been in a theater that started hooting and hollering for a movie trailer. I can't say I wasn't pumped when I saw this trailer. Come on, a duel sided light saber? That's f'n sweet!

Goldeneye. Many thought Bond had been killed back in 1989. And his murderers were named, Timothy Dalton and John Glen. Fortunately, the greatest Bond director since Terrence Young, directed Bond's return. Michael Campbell is responsible for applying the paddles and shocking the Bond franchise back into greatest on two occasions. He did so with Goldeneye and managed to direct the best Bond film next to Goldfinger in Casino Royale. Here's the trailer for Goldeneye and watch it keeping in mind the fact that until this trailer was released, almost nothing was known about the film, let alone its release date.

The Bourne Identity. Remember this trailer? Remember thinking to yourself, is that Matt Damon? No really, is that Will Hunting kicking ass and shooting stuff? It's always refreshing when an actor takes a risk. Damon's choice on taking the Bourne role catapulted him into super stardom and pushed him into a league of actors that can take on any character in any type of film. Looking at Damon's career so far, the actors that he is most easily compared to are Pacino, Crowe, Jolie, Blanchett, DeNiro, W Smith, and DiCaprio. These are Oscar winners and nominees, these are actors that have credibility in ANY role they take. You can take them seriously or hang on their backs and enjoy the ride. Fans will be enjoying Bourne for a long time to come, who knows, we could be witnessing the birth of the US Bond Franchise. I hope not, but with a fourth Bourne in the works, anything is possible.

The Dark Knight. One of the greatest performances of recent history will also be seen as one of the greatest tragedies cinema. Heath Ledger's untimely death added buzz to the already eagerly anticipated sequel to Christopher Nolan's, Batman Begins. By adding buzz, you also add expectation. With expectations at red line before Ledger's death, they went through the proverbial roof when he was found dead on January 22, 2008. Staring the highest expectations placed on a movie since Star Wars Episode 1, The Dark Knight went on to destroy nearly all box office records while also getting rave reviews. The most anticipated movie of 2008 will undoubtedly go down as one of the most memorable films of the decade. Here's the trailer that gave us our first view of Ledger's historic character.

Saving Private Ryan. Is it possible for someone to win an Oscar before their movie is even release, or finished for that matter? I'm sure a lot of people shared my sentiments after seeing this trailer. It has Oscar written all over it. If my recollection is correct, 1999 was a rare year where the Oscar for best picture went to the correct recipient and best director the same. Shakespeare in Love for picture, Saving Private Ryan, director. Of course, that was the year that Edward Norton got hosed.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
If you're a movie enthusiast and or a Lord of the Rings junkie, don't tell me you haven't watched the entire extended trilogy from front to back in one day. And don't tell me you haven't done the same while listening to the commentary. I forget which movie I was watching when this trailer was shown but this trailer brought the geek/nerd out in every male in the audience, and even a few girls. Yes, this trilogy blows the geek following of a Marvel Comics release out of the water but the fact of the matter is, this trilogy couldn't have been done any better. The films were incredibly long but for some reason there isn't a slow moment in them. The action scenes get better and bigger as the movies progress and in the end, the films leave you craving just one more three and a half hour film.

Casino Royale, 2006. Why does Martin Campbell do anything besides direct Bond movies? Unless you're an avid fan of Vertical Limit or Antonio Banderas as Zorro, Campbell's career is as dependent on Bond as the Broccoli family. After reigniting Bond mania with Goldeneye, the Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli went on to make three more movies with Brosnan as Bond. Tomorrow Never Dies was decent but The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day were jokes. Thankfully, Campbell was brought back on to direct the prequel to all Bond stories. Christopher Nolan had done it the year prior with Batman and Martin Campbell did it in 2006 with Bond. He brought fans a gritty hard edged Bond that didn't rely on fancy gadgets and an invisible Aston Martin to get him out of trouble. He used his fists and brute strength and in turn showed us the weaker side of Bond, the human side of Bond. This is a characteristic that Bond fans like me have longed to see. But at the same time, we were a little hesitant on how it would be done. Campbell did it perfectly and gave us the best Bond film in more than three decades, and possibly ever if you think about what it did to a dieing franchise. Here's the trailer that started it all. Well, this is actually the second trailer that was released but it's the best one.


Anonymous Derek said...

Man, I love the music in The Two Towers trailer. Nothing evokes that feeling of despair better than Clint Mansell's Lux Aeterna. He's a goddamn genius.

Speaking of Requiem for a Dream and getting hosed: Ellen Burstyn losing to Erin Brokovich? Please.

9:09 AM  

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