The Best - and Worst - Movie Promos of the Week

The Best - and Worst - Movie Promos of the Week

Dec 14, 2012

It’s always nice when there’s a slew of promotional material to pick from, but with quite a few new entries setting a high bar, solid entries like the new motion poster for The Wolverine, the poster for Side Effects and this clip from Django Unchained get shafted. Check out what ousted the trio below.

The Best Stuff

1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Clip: Having seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and not loving it all that much, it was a wonderful surprise when this clip cropped up from my favorite scene of the film. But even beyond the fact that this encounter between Bilbo and Gollum is one of the tightest, funniest and tensest moments of the 168-minute epic, it’s also a pitch-perfect marketing tool as it features our new hero with a franchise favorite.

2. Man of Steel Trailer: There are a lot of superhero movies already out there and even more coming our way. It’s getting exceedingly difficult to make one stand out from the lot – or at least for the folks who have no connection to the source material and finer details. This new trailer for Man of Steel comes as a beautiful surprise, both in terms of emotional weight and its strikingly beautiful imagery. Flying, fighting and explosions are cool, but so far, Man of Steel is winning big by presenting itself as a true character piece.

3. After Earth vs. Oblivion: With the trailers for After Earth and Oblivion dropping one after the other and both showing different views of what an uninhabitable Earth might look like, it’s impossible not to compare the two. As far as entertainment value goes, Oblivion is the clear winner. The After Earth trailer hints at a powerful emotional core, fueled by the relationship between Will and Jaden Smith, but ultimately Oblivion is the more exciting and intriguing of the two as it offers more in the way of plot details as compared to After Earth’s excess of pretty imagery.

The Worst Stuff

1. The Sorcerer and the White Snake Trailer: Admittedly I’m not much of a Jet Li martial artist movie fan, but come on -- this trailer for The Sorcerer and the White Snake has just got to look silly to anyone and everyone. We’ve got a painfully tacky voiceover, some of the silliest CGI work since Dario Argento’s Dracula 3D and melodrama to the max. Even a handful of positive quotes from reputable outlets isn’t enough to make me take this seriously.

2. Pacific Rim Trailer: The trailer is fairly well cut and the graphics look pretty solid, but every single time a new piece of Pacific Rim promotional material hits the Web, it’s tough not to draw connections to other movies. That horn-like sound? War of the Worlds. The alien attack on the Golden Gate Bridge? Cloverfield. The giant robots? Transformers. It’s going to take more than all of this and an inspirational speech from Idris Elba to get me onboard.

3. International Fails: Oz: The Great and Powerful, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Chasing Mavericks: Best/Worst Promos typically steers clear of international posters as, for some reason, the large majority employ cut-and-paste tactics, but now it’s time to lift the ban for a laugh at three films’ expenses. Not that this is far off from the domestic artwork, but this Japanese design for Oz: The Great and Powerful is your typical Photoshop job, manically trying to squeeze in every single character, resulting in an ugly and ludicrous collage. This Brazilian image for Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is guilty of trying to sell its extra dimension through a dreadfully desperate and unappealing design, while the German poster for Chasing Mavericks is simply flat-out ugly.

Oz: The Great and Powerful Japanese Poster

What are your favorite and least favorite movie promos this week?

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