The new trailer for The Act of Killing shows off quotes like “audacious,” “explosive,” “chilling” and “extraordinary,” and while the trailer does manage to earn the acclaim and go as far to suggest the film really is one not to be missed, it’s also so unsettling it might make you think twice about jumping into the full feature. So although the trailer for The Act of Killing breaks boundaries and designates the film a worthy watch, three other trailers ride their more widespread thrill and appeal to the top.
The Best Stuff
1. Don Jon
Like Don Jon or not, there’s something charming about the scenario as presented in the first trailer for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut. Within seconds you know what Don Jon’s all about, making the introduction of Scarlett Johansson’s character all the more powerful. And even then, the narrative builds further, adding more heart and humor before culminating with an effective bookend.
2. We’re the Millers
Typically I’m the first to bury any comedy starring Jennifer Aniston, but after the shock of enjoying a first look at We’re the Millers at CinemaCon, it isn’t surprising that the film’s new trailer wound up in the Best Stuff. Not every joke is a winner, but the family – or should I say “family” – dynamic is and that looks to be what could make this commercial comedy better than most.
3. Man of Steel
There’s really nothing more effective than a string of trailers focusing on a hero followed by one highlighting the antagonist. The energy and pacing of this new piece for Man of Steel makes it a powerful promo, but it’s immensely more ominous and threatening piggybacking off the context offered by the previous trailers.
The Worst Stuff
1. Grown Ups 2
It’s official: Grown Ups 2 will be just as bad, if not worse, than the original. The film’s new international trailer actually tries to spice things up with some new content, but it’s all just as unfunny and somewhat painful to watch as the scenes featured in the first trailer, suggesting the poor promo editors just have nothing good to work with.
2. Europa Report
The new trailer for Europa Report isn’t bad, it just isn’t as good as the one for Gravity. The narrative details are quite different, but both are aiming to achieve the sensation that you’re in deep space right alongside the characters, and in that sense the trailer for Gravity is exponentially more unnerving and engaging than Europa Report’s, which, in turn, leaves one in the shadow of the other.
3. Anchorman 2
The first teaser trailer for Anchorman: The Legend Continues wasn’t particularly funny, but it still did pack the appeal of showing the Action News team back together again. Now that that sensation is long gone, this trailer format just leaves you wondering: is there enough juice left in this concept for a second go-around? This promo certainly comes nowhere close to justifying a sequel, but hopefully that’ll change when we finally get to see some actual footage from the December release.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?