April 26, 2014

The List: Seven of My Favorite Movie Trailers

Trailers are a weird animal. They are meant to explain everything yet reveal nothing (well, good ones anyway. Remember the trailer for the Kevin Spacey/Samuel L. Jackson film The Negotiator?) and they exist to pull you in and make you say, usually in a range of one to six months, 'I'd like to see that'. They are, in a sense, short films which happen to use footage from feature length films.

And once you see the actual movie the trailer is advertising ... well ... the trailer kind of doesn't need to exist anymore, does it? They offer trailers as a special feature on DVDs but, with the exception of older films perhaps, does anyone actually watch them since you have the whole film waiting at the push of the 'play' button?

Well ... I don't, unless it is one of the seven below. These trailers really blew my mind when they came out (and some didn't live up to the hype) and, if I pretend just hard enough, I can imagine seeing these trailers again for the first time and a glimmer of the anticipation I felt returns, even if it is fleeting.


*these are in no order

1) Miami Vice

The Trailer: God, when I saw this in the theatre, it all built to a crescendo. Michael Mann? Fast cars? Heat-esque visuals? And then, with the music perfectly timed, it said Miami Vice and my jaw hit the floor. What? Awesome.

The Actual Film: Uh ... as I wrote in my book: The coolest looking dumb movie ever made. It actually gets better as time goes on but this is not Michael Mann's best effort. I'll watch it any time it is on though ...

The Trailer: If you love Heat, like I do, then the appeal of this trailer should be obvious. I'm always up for a bank robbery film and the trailer's build up of Hamm vs. Affleck was just icing on the cake.

The Actual Film: The movie doesn't play too much on Hamm vs. Affleck ... which is a shame ... but this movie is bad ass, nonetheless.

3) The Dark Knight

The Trailer: Man, this looked insane. The music, the cinematography, the villain ... I can say for sure that this trailer gave me goosebumps and I'm not even a big Batman fan.

The Actual Film: Heath Ledger lived up to the hype and while the film is grossly overrated and is lacking in the logic department, it is still a great film.

4) Guardians of the Galaxy

The Trailer: A recent entry, sure, but I keep watching this damn thing over and over again and this has got to be my most anticipated film of the year.

The Actual Film: TBD

5) Serenity

The Trailer: An eeeepppppiiiicccc take on the cancelled-but-cult TV Show Firefly. This promised to be HHHUUUGGGEEE.

The Actual Film: Sadly, the film is low budget so the epic canvas the trailer painted was a little misleading. But the film packed an emotional punch, was both hilarious and dramatic and was gloriously violent.

6) Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

The Trailer: Granted, this is a teaser trailer. But did this deliver chills or what? It looked dark ... it looked epic and vast ... it looked like there would be serious consequences. And, most importantly, it would leave the odd taste of The Phantom Menace in the dust. This looked like the Star Wars we never had ...

The Actual Film: ... and never would. *sigh*

7) 28 Days Later

The Trailer: It looks unique and mundane. Until ... the shot of the ... FUCKING ZOMBIE AT THE WINDOW. My greatest fear is opening up the blinds of a window and seeing a fucking face there. And this trailer just sucked me in and got me all comfortable and then ... GREATEST FEAR GIVEN LIFE!!!!

The story goes that when I saw that face in the window at the end of the trailer, I actually got up from the seat I was in at the theater and ran ... screaming ... into the hall way toward the exit. I was scared shitless.

The Actual Film: A pretty good film and the face-in-window moment was not as scary as the trailer made it out to be. I actually posted this trailer here with my eyes closed. It still scares the bejesus out of me.

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