Two release delays and some serious director drama typically isn’t a good sign, but the first trailer for 47 Ronin actually isn’t all that bad. A number of vivid and highly impressive visuals are enough to sustain the film’s first promo, but the display does raise concern that the final film won’t offer enough attention to story details. Regardless of where this one ends up, for now, 47 Ronin is nowhere near worthy of the Best Stuff, but keeps clear of the Worst, too.
The Best Stuff
1. Gravity: The “Drifting” trailer is an unnerving and heartwrenching display of isolation, but this honor goes to the “Detached” edition thanks to having that plus an absolutely incredible amount of suspense, too. On top of that, it’s tough to imagine Alfonso Cuarón spoiling one of the more riveting scenes in the film, so if he’s willing to unleash this as part of the promotional effort, just imagine the horror that’s to come in the full feature.
2. A Single Shot: Even though it’s tough to completely ignore the mixed reviews that came out of A Single Shot’s festival run, this new trailer is still effective enough to make you want to pass judgment for yourself. The opening sequence is an attention grabber, the material to follow is riveting, it all takes place in a bleak yet fascinating world, and it comes at you with an increasingly unsettling pace thanks to that effective background beat.
3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: If this theatrical trailer is any representation of the quality and intensity of the full film, Catching Fire could match, if not surpass its predecessor. There is a perfect amount of story in this trailer, as the piece is a powerful tease but also functions as a comprehensive and satisfying watch. It doesn’t just leave you with that must-see feeling courtesy of a clever cliffhanger. Rather, it makes you desperate to see what comes next because it offers up a clear and poignant representation of the characters, world and situation. The performances seem to be on point yet again, Francis Lawrence’s visuals are captivating and often absolutely gorgeous, and there’s an exceptional amount of suspense suggesting Catching Fire could go on to be another monumental success, and a truly worthy one at that.
The Worst Stuff
1. Snowpiercer: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: what is going on in the Snowpiercer marketing department? Early reviews are in and they’re primarily positive, so clearly Joon-ho Bong has something here, but whatever it is, it’s not coming through in the film’s promotional campaign in the least. This one seems to be an attempt at a character piece, but without a clear sense of who Chris Evans' character is and what he’s fighting for, it’s tough to care.
2. Cold Comes the Night: Incessant cuts and fades to black, slow motion and other editing tricks are never a good sign. The new trailer for the Alice Eve-starrer Cold Comes the Night flies by, but only because it’s overloaded with flashy editing techniques and has an especially short running time, both suggesting that the final film can’t even sustain an appealing promo. For the sake of keeping the blurb brief, let’s just leave Bryan Cranston’s accent out of this.
3. Metallica Through the Never: This one isn’t necessarily a bad trailer, but it should be better. If you’re aware of Metallica Through the Never, you know that it’s an IMAX concert movie and narrative mash-up. However, yet again, the marketing team delivers a promo that runs the risk of isolating those not interested in seeing a big-screen concert and also turning off folks who just want a Metallica show, due to the lack of clarity. But even more disappointing is the absence of creativity in a trailer for a project like this. There just has to be a more exciting and innovative way to sell this film that doesn’t involve the overuse of cheesy text pleas.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?