As someone who didn’t love Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, the fact that The World’s End nearly creeped into the top three definitely makes it a trailer to note, but this week brought us three other trailers that are so above and beyond that nothing else even had a shot.
The Best Stuff
1. Captain Phillips
This trailer played well on the big screen at CinemaCon and turns out it’s just as powerful on the computer. This first look at Captain Phillips wins big by going the story route, pulling you in with its wildly enthralling inciting incident and then upping the stakes from there by using a string of suspenseful footage set to a rip-roaring pace. October 11 really can’t come soon enough.
2. Ender’s Game
Talk about being worth the wait. Whether you’re familiar with the book or not, this Ender’s Game trailer absolutely nails it, thrilling longtime fans with visuals that bring the book to life as hoped, but then also carefully laying out the basics for newcomers without revealing too much. There’s no judging a feature on a trailer, but this one does suggest that Gavin Hood actually might have done Orson Scott Card’s work justice.
This trailer does a downright incredible job of delivering a sense of what to expect from the film storywise, setting the tone and practically drowning you in the isolation involved to the point that the trailer alone packs enough power to stick with you. Just imagine if the full film has a similar effect.
The Worst Stuff
1. The Butler
Perhaps this isn’t the best comparison considering I’m seemingly one of few who was lulled to sleep by Lincoln, but this first trailer for The Butler suggests it’s Lincoln all over again, except with different historically famous faces and another crop of A-list celebrities. On top of being a bit of a bore, the structure of the piece is also incredibly disjointed. Perhaps time jumps will work in the full feature, but in two minutes and 30 seconds, it’s just confusing.
2. Top Cat
I only vaguely remember Top Cat from my childhood, but was there anything that great about him that warranted a feature-film adaptation? If there was, this trailer totally misses the mark. On top of having no clear hook to show why Top Cat is worthy of your attention, this trailer functions more as a parody than as a true film promo courtesy of an awkward animation style and that grating voiceover.
3. Hammer of the Gods
I’m all for Viking violence, but this very NSFW red-band trailer for Hammer of the Gods suffers big time for the lack of story and character development. The visuals, especially the gore, are undeniably incredible, but because there’s no build here the trailer functions as a reel of striking imagery and nothing more. Hopefully the full film actually packs a narrative that earns these shots through context.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?