A fairly recent trend with movie studios these days during the holiday season is to build up excitement for their upcoming releases. This is being done with long-awaited trailers, in this year’s case, trailers for upcoming 2013 movies. It seems that sandwiched in between the big summer conventions with their super-exclusive trailers and clips and the Super Bowl, the best time for fans to first watch trailers is during the holiday season.
In rapid fire, studios are ramping up expectations and satisfying all those who couldn’t make it to the conventions and had to resort to watching bootleg copies filmed on someone’s phone. Forget the Super Bowl, who wants to sit through hours of sports and inane non-genre commercials just to glimpse a brief look at a summer film? It seems as if the holiday season has become the best time to whet fans’ appetites. During summer conventions, the films are far from finished and all that is available are teasers, but by the time the holidays are around, special effects shots are done and if there is something that may not set the world on fire based on reactions, there is still time to tweak the film or the marketing. Sure it’s nothing but Advertising 101 but it works.
To date, this season has seen newly minted trailers for summer 2013 movies like After Earth, Man Of Steel, Pacific Rim, and Star Trek Into Darkness. One genre film that is coming out instead in the spring is the Tom Cruise vehicle Oblivion and that is one of the most interesting trailers. Evoking a ruined Earth motif and a lonely observer ala WALL-E, the images of nature reclaiming man-made structures are very arresting.
The Man Of Steel trailer was a mixed bag, however. Like the teaser released in the summer, it comes off as very pretentious like a Terrence Malick movie but midway through it, the tempo picked up with exciting action shots of Superman. Still many are feeling skeptical being that its directed by Zack Snyder, who has a hit or miss track record. Ditto with After Earth, which stars Will Smith and is directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The director has hit a rough patch with his recent films and is in dire need of a comeback. Will After Earth do it for him? Or will it be The Happening of 2013?
Of course all this oohing and ahhing over trailers doesn’t mean the film will be great. Many of us are still smarting over being let down after all the excitement from seeing the Prometheus trailer that came out last year. At the same time, the trailer released last year around this time for The Avengers was just an average trailer. It wasn’t until spring that the definitive exciting trailer came out that set off a storm of anticipation for The Avengers.
So which trailers are the favorites? That is hard to say, but the spots for Pacific Rim and Star Trek Into Darkness caught my attention. Pacific Rim had those cool giant robots and the entire thing seemed like a mashup of Cloverfield meeting the Transformers. But being that Michael Bay isn’t directing Pacific Rim adds many points to it. It turned out that the recent trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness wasn’t the teaser but the announcement for the teaser which came out today. The trailer was chock full of cool f/x shots, explosions and screaming, the kind of thing Star Trek is famous for, well not really. While Star Trek Into Darkness seems more like an action movie than one about exploration and not about the original spirit of Star Trek, the trailer does make it look exciting.
Now if only the movie studios would only give us a peek at The Wolverine, Kick-Ass 2 and Elysium.