It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year…For Trailers!

pacific rim kirk

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.

man of steelThe 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.

Waldermann Rivera

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The Man Of Steel Teaser Is Just Underwhelming

I tried to keep an open mind with what was revealed about the upcoming Superman reboot Man Of Steel. Some of it was good, Amy Adams is a good choice for Lois Lane, Henry Cavill should be okay as Superman. Some of the other news wasn’t, namely the choice of director, Zack Snyder. The guy has a hit and miss record as a director. The last couple of films he’s done were downright awful. And no John Williams score!

Anyway, Warner Bros. released the teaser trailer for Man Of Steel last week and it just plain sucks. Talk about underwhelming!

What were they trying to convey here? A bunch of clips that looked like outtakes from Deadliest Catch (would’ve worked great if this was Aquaman: The Movie), and pretentious looking scenes that looked more like commercials for products. Why not show that Comic-Con footage that actually showed some action and money shots?

Supposedly, Warner Bros. and producer Christopher Nolan wanted to get away from the failure of Superman Returns but they go ahead remind viewers of the same motifs that the teaser trailer for Superman Returns was trying to convey! The idea of Superman as a Christ-like savior with long, reflective and pensive shots of Superman (in Man Of Steel’s case, a long shot of Superman flying up into the sky). This time those type of shots were used on Clark Kent instead and we then get two kinds of cliche narrations about having power and being a savior. And you know what? Superman Returns did this better! At lleast that trailer was inspiring.

If they wanted to make people-not just the zealous fans at some convention but the general audience-take notice of this film and forget the previous Superman movie, they needed to show what was shown at Comic-Con. They need to create an excited buzz, not confusion or worse indifference. During its showing in The Dark Knight Rises that I attended there wasn’t any reaction to this film and many have reported the same thing from other showings. Also some audience members had no idea what the trailer was for until that last shot of Superman.

Of course, it’s too early to say Man Of Steel is doomed. This could turn out to be a good film (and maybe enough fan outcry can force them to use at least part of Williams’ score; check out the trailer below that placed Williams’ “Planet Krypton” theme-it works better) but they are off to a dismal start. Their next trailer has to be more interesting and buzz worthy.

Waldermann Rivera

‘Tis The Week For Trailers!

As this year winds to a close and the anticipation rises for next year’s film offerings one thing to whet our collective appetites are the trailers. This week it seems as if Hollywood as decided to send some gifts to us fans by releasing trailers for some of the most anticipated flicks for 2012.

Moviegoers who watch The Adventures of Tintin on Wednesday will be able to see a trailer for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which will be enough to fill the seats the same way those Star Wars: Episode I trailers filled then emptied movie houses once those trailers ended. In the same fantasy genre, there is another new trailer for Wrath Of The Titans the followup to Clash Of The Titans.

Released this week exclusively on iTunes and certain to be embedded soon is the official trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, and it looks just as badassery as the previous Batman film.

In addition to a new German trailer for The Avengers, a trailer was released today for another trailer due in three days: Ridley Scott’s supposed Alien prequel Prometheus. (Technically it isn’t a prequel since Ridley Scott just confirmed the Xenomorphs don’t appear in this film but it supposedly takes place in the same universe.) It sounds absurd, a trailer for a trailer, but after such a long wait and with so little to go on, it’s a terrific appetizer for the main course! And it’s really great hearing that eerie Alien music last heard waaaay back in 1979 during previews for the first Alien.

Waldermann Rivera

UPDATE: Well, here it is, the official trailer for Prometheus, and it’s pretty obvious that it’s a prequel to Alien. Frankly, the countdown teasers for this has been worth the wait!

Immortals Cursed With The Dumbest Trailers

Gotta say this. Immortals the new movie coming out this weekend looks very stupid. For that the blame falls on those terrible trailers for the movie that have plague coming attractions.

Seriously, look at how dumb the whole thing looks. Everything looks like a cross between a bad cologne commercial and a pretentious music video with non stop green screen shots. Toss into that some bad acting and scenes that make those old Steve Reeves sword and sandals outings  look like Spartacus. This isn’t to say that these kind of fantasy films are inferior. I loved last year’s remake of Clash of the Titans even though no one I know did. And while 300 was stupid it was at least entertaining. Actually the trailers make Immortals look like a cheap 300 knock-off and has actually made me appreciate Zack Snyder more as a filmmaker. See this kind of material is hard to pull off as Immortals shows me and Zack Snyder was able to sell 300 thanks to his skills.

What else is there to dislike about the Immortals trailer? The obvious CG effects, the overdone fight scenes that go into cliche slow motion and what is it with that opening shot that looks like a Renaissance painting? And the less said about those stupid gold outfits the better! Logically, this film will die a quick death in the box office, but being this is the modern world with sheeple that grovel over American Idol and Snookie this film will probably do well and we’ll have to suffer the inevitable sequels. If humanity redeems itself and avoids this turkey then the movie executives can blame the trailers. Just take a look if you want a quick laugh.

Waldermann Rivera