Contemporary Trailers That Work

A while back I posted a long, but not ill-conceived, rant about why I hate spoiler-ridden trailers and how terrible they are. I did have a counterbalance of some “newer” trailers that I think evoke mood, create intrigue, and give me that I-wanna-see-that sensation. However, two things have occurred: I’ve wondered to myself “Was that too ‘Get off my lawn!’?” and I’ve seen some really great trailers as of late that are far more current examples that deserve kudos.

This is a great trailer. Owing to the fact that I know the film and can see what’s being withheld:

In The Family

But that’s an indie, you say. So here are some bigger films in terms of budget and marketing push. All of these are upcoming or have not yet been seen by me:

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Wolf of Wall Street

Fruitvale Station

Now with those three the common thread is that at most you have a sense of what the movies about, as opposed to those I complained about that have you feeling like you just sat through that whole film unwittingly and unwillingly. A trailer is small fraction of the content of an actual film but some do make it feel like the film itself, only longer.

Now I realize I may be a bit of a throwback wanting to be surprised as much as I can and not always know what’s coming around, which is why I usually wait to see trailers at a multiplex rather than the day they drop. So here’s what I think is a great trailer but plays closer to convention in form, inasmuch as you see many plot points. What’s great is that it being a suspense film that likely has more twists and turns than indicated, and it jumbles up the pieces somewhat so you don’t feel like you know all that’s a head of you.

Prisoners

So those are some of the trailers that have gotten my attention, and while there will be many more that stink and tell too much I’m always willing to acknowledge those that seem to get it.

Super Bowl Movie Commercials

While with each year the hype and price surrounding Super Bowl commercials grows one other aspect that becomes increasingly significant is the advertising of films during the game. A Super Bowl ad for a film is the biggest opportunity of the year for simultaneous impressions that a movie has and which films go for it and what impact they make is interesting to consider. Below you will find links to the ads that played during the game this year. They run the gamut from Act of Valor which opens in just a few weeks to two of the movie events of the year The Hunger Games and The Avengers.

Did some of these ads do more harm than good? You are the judge for now. Time and the box office returns will tell the ultimate story but considering the Super Bowl is where I got the first glimpse of the tone and awesomeness of Super 8 the significance of these ads in marketing terms should not be underestimated.

21 Jump Street

http://www.springboardplatform.com/mediaplayer/springboard/video/ci035/39/434487/

Act of Valor

http://www.springboardplatform.com/mediaplayer/springboard/video/ci035/39/434619/

The Avengers

http://www.springboardplatform.com/mediaplayer/springboard/video/ci035/39/434555/

Battleship

http://www.fandango.com/fplayer/player.aspx?mid=130096&mpsguid=2192855347&dm=3&genre=Action/Adventure,&rt=&title=Battleship_-_Super_Bowl_:60_TV_Spot&w=620&h=349&emb=user

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

http://www.springboardplatform.com/mediaplayer/springboard/video/ci035/39/432393/

The Hunger Games

John Carter

http://www.springboardplatform.com/mediaplayer/springboard/video/ci035/39/431121/

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

http://www.springboardplatform.com/mediaplayer/springboard/video/ci035/39/434621/

Film Thought: Sorry, No Refunds For Bad Movies

Sign at the Avon Theater Warning People about The Tree of Life and the no refund policy


Attention to All and Sundry:

After hearing about people seeking refunds for disliking The Tree of Life because it was too artsy and a woman suing the makers of Drive because it’s not an action flick and now people in the UK are unaware that The Artist is (mostly) silent.

I’ve recently had cause to go on a few Twitter rants about all too frequent substandard filmgoing experiences but this is one where I have to defend exhibitors.

Essentially we as filmgoers have to grow up and take some responsibility and think about what it means to buy a movie ticket:

1. The film you watch may, in fact, be bad and that’s OK.

To be truthful watching some movies I hated has been just as memorable as one I thought was great, maybe you really just have to love the form but the bottom line is that money you pay may be for something you dislike. It’s a mystery, that’s part of the fun. The theatre does not guarantee your enjoyment of the film, what it should guarantee is a clean, quiet auditorium, a properly projected image and crisp, clear sound. In short, they should guarantee you enjoy the experience of watching the film not the product itself.

2. Make Sure You Want to See The Film

If you are one who shows up looks at the showtimes and picks something at random, live with that. The same goes for something you think will be stupid or that you can’t wait to see. Also, if you are seeing a film because you think it will be stupid normal codes of conduct still apply to you. Your snarky disposition is not a license to speak or be otherwise disruptive.

3. Forewarned is Forearmed

This goes for things as basic as sound/silent (a rare conundrum), color/black & white (nearly as rare), synopses and parental information, some who are defending the audience members make it seem like finding out The Artist is a silent film is a chore. If all you knew is it won awards you can find out. As an experiment I just searched “The Artist Movie” on Google and results came up in the usual split-second and then it took me just a few seconds to scan down and find the Wikipedia entry that in the abstract starts by stating the film is silent. Such a chore.

4. A Movie Is Not That Different From…

Perhaps the best comparison (the most apples to apples) I can think of is books. Everyone has likely read a bad book and in all likelihood you owned it. I never once thought of reading something and then taking it back to the store. What does the store have to do with it? They only made it available to me. I chose to buy it.

Movies are similar. The difference is it’s a scheduled artistic presentation not unlike a concert. You are buying a ticket that guarantees you admission, not fulfillment. Has anyone ever seriously sought a refund because they didn’t know who the opening acts are or because Guns N’ Roses didn’t play “Pretty Tied Up”?

In both books and concerts there’s an accepted level of the unexpected and we’re fine with that. Why not films?

5. Trailers Aren’t Accurate

Things will make trailers and not the final cut, tone will be mangled and you will be manipulated. A trailer is a commercial. They are meant to make you want to see a film. Some are bad and some are good and they rarely are an accurate representation of the film’s quality.

6. Knowledgeable Complaining & Spending

If you truly dislike some film trend like remakes or a given franchise then you’d be best served by not giving those things your money. Otherwise, your complaints fall on deaf ears as the studios cash their checks. If you are curious to see those things that’s fine but know they will still exist if you contribute to their box office. If you just want to be informed as you besmirch them that’s fine but don’t delude yourself into thinking you can wish them away.

The box office is really all that decision-makers will listen to 99 times out of 100.

7. When I Should Complain/Seek a Refund

The theatre’s responsibilities are limited to presenting the films it has. Therefore, issues such as sound, projection or anything else that adversely affects your viewing are grounds to complain and/or seek a refund. I’ve read that being compelled to walk out can get you one but I wouldn’t bet on it hence the above stipulations.

I could probably get further bogged down in the minutiae but the above seems to be the minimum that needs to be stated in light of the recent silliness that seems to have occurred at the movies perpetrated by patrons.