When you’re in the midst of San Diego Comic-Con, it’s nearly impossible to recognize that there are things going on beyond San Diego Comic-Con, but before all the Hall H trailer debuts flood the Web, there are a number of non-SDCC properties deserving of promo top honors.
The Best Stuff
1. 12 Years a Slave: Looks like it’s really about time we learn to pronounce Chiwetel Ejiofor’s name. The new trailer for Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave does make use of its enormous star-studded cast, but it primarily functions as a character piece for Ejiofor’s Solomon Northup. It doesn’t just introduce you to Solomon and offer up the key plot points of his story. Through stellar performances, a chilling score and intense imagery, you can feel his joy, pain and fear each step of the way.
2. Rush: All of the promotional material for Ron Howard’s Rush have been excellent thus far, but this trailer gets Best Stuff honors for three exemplary reasons: the impressively captivating opening sequence, the intense build and the fact that it feels strikingly fresh, suggesting the full feature will have a number of satisfying and successful layers.
3. Rio 2: The new teaser for Rio 2 comes close to taking Clara the capybara’s adorable munchkinlike voice a step too far, but an equally adorable and rather unexpected surprise gives the gag a second wind, giving the overall piece a winning amount of charm.
The Worst Stuff
1. I’m in Love with a Church Girl: Hopefully the full film does a better job of weaving the drug-dealing portions and the more romantic parts of I’m in Love with a Church Girl together, because this trailer stuffers from a serious identify crisis. In just two minutes and three seconds, this video goes from slick thriller to dark crime drama to cheesy romance movie, and back again. There’s no harm in combining genres and subject matter, but you do need to maintain a more consistent tone than this.
2. Savannah: Even beyond that grating tacky narration, the new trailer for Savannah is an excessively talky bore. There’s bird hunting, the divide between high society and life as an outdoorsman, a romantic component, crooked business tactics, a trial, the matter of segregation and more. All of that might work in a full feature, but it’s way too much to digest in a mere two minutes and five seconds. And if you ever include a Jack McBrayer line of dialogue in your trailer, you absolutely must include his face. His voice is just too distinctive not to be distracting.
3. Disney’s Planes: It’s one thing to cut a poor trailer, but it’s another to deliver a decent one with poor material. This new promo for Disney’s Planes is actually a well-constructed piece. It delivers the necessary story details, introduces you to the main players and offers up a few jokes, too. The trouble is, none of it’s any good.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?