The Best - and Worst - Movie Trailers of the Week

The Best - and Worst - Movie Trailers of the Week

Oct 04, 2013

It’s disappointing to make the move into the month of October with just one horror-movie trailer, but at least Loss of Life shows some potential. The film’s latest teaser is comprised of some eerie narration, a single image and nothing more, but it does manage to make you uneasy and raise intrigue. However, that’s still not enough for it to snatch one of the top spots, and the same goes for that new Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit trailer, too. The action sequences are impressive, but it’s going to need more than that to suggest it’s a spy movie standout.

The Best Stuff

1. Machete Kills: It’s one thing to nail a joke, but it’s another to nail the same joke twice and the latest trailer for Machete Kills does just that through some fresh footage and incredibly well-timed cuts. The large majority of the material here is genuinely funny, but even the weaker gags hit hard because prime editing decisions elevate each and every one of them. Should the pace, tone and structure of the film match what we’ve been seeing during the promotional campaign, the film is bound to be a blast.

2. Sal: As someone with a tendency to pick on James Franco-directed film trailers (like Child of God and As I Lay Dying), this promo for Sal came as quite the surprise. Whether you’re familiar with Sal Mineo or not, this trailer should have an effect because unlike the others, it actually conveys an interesting arc and constructs an absorbing depiction of the main character.

3. Philomena: Philomena doesn’t have a bold high concept or shtick to reel you in, so instead, very appropriately, the film’s new trailer aims to create a connection through the growing relationship between Judi Dench’s Philomena and Steve Coogan’s Martin, and it works. The promo highlights their chemistry and amusing dynamic without ever undermining the characters’ agendas, suggesting this could be an entertaining, but equally moving experience. 

The Worst Stuff

1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: This isn’t a bad trailer, but it is the trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; it needs a bigger build. There’s just too much going on. You want to sell your big-name players, but that effort turns the first half of the trailer into a character montage rather than a sequence that presents a cohesive narrative. It isn’t until we hit the 1:10 mark that we finally get something to latch on to and it’s unfortunate because that’s what conjures the chills we should be feeling most of the way through.

2. Rio 2: The music is still fun and the birds are still cute, but are they worth this feature-length adventure? Not the way it’s presented in this trailer. The idea of Blu and his crew getting in touch with their roots is a decent starting point, but as the scenario progresses in this trailer, it’s too unexceptional. There are no laugh-out-loud worthy jokes and no surprises. It’s riding the same appeal of the first film and that’s about it.

3. The Nut Job: This one’s unfortunate because it’s The Nut Job, a heist movie, but with squirrels! It’s a pretty clever and appealing scenario. Trouble is, beyond that core concept, there isn’t much there. Few characters are memorable, the jokes aren’t all that funny, and the trailer editors don’t quite nail that unique beat, throwing off the pace of the piece.

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




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