The new RoboCop trailer is a little low on wow-worthy action set pieces, but a bold plea from Samuel L. Jackson followed by a string of well-cut footage sucks you in and establishes enough momentum to suggest that RoboCop could wind up being worthwhile. However, worthwhile doesn’t land you a spot in the Best Stuff
The Best Stuff
1. The Raid 2: Berandal
The Raid 2: Berandal opens its marketing campaign strong with a teaser that’s loaded with action, proving it’s just as visceral and vicious as the original, but then it takes the promo a step further by embedding those action snippets in a highly effective narrative structure that offers some character development and one incredibly powerful build.
2. The Truth About Emanuel
The Truth About Emanuel lands in the top three thanks to a significant improvement. This new trailer is a major step up from the last in that it no longer presents the film as a sappy portrait of an unreasonably mopey girl and instead shows off a fully fleshed-out Emanuel that you can connect to and understand, and that highlights an unnerving paradox. You want Emanuel to find solace, but feel her threat as well.
3. All Cheerleaders Die
All Cheerleaders Die is clearly vying for the Spring Breakers vibe, but considering the trailer rocks an entirely new spin on the bad-girl scenario paired with some super-slick editing, it works exceedingly well. Outrageous behavior is the name of the game, but midway through the trailer there are actual signs of sensible decisions being made and that suggests All Cheerleaders Die could be a total s**t show, but one with some tact.
The Worst Stuff
1. California Scheming
After Spring Breakers and The Bling Ring created quite the stir, it’s no wonder we’ve got a movie like California Scheming on the way. If only California Scheming was a little more subtle in its effort to ride the oversexed, law-breaking, young-adult wave. On top of feeling like a total Spring Breakers/Bling Ring rip-off, this trailer has absolutely no flow whatsoever. The editor(s) is clearly going after very specific lines of dialogue and whether or not the performances in the full feature feel as forced as they do here, that tactic makes all the dialogue feel quite stinted out of context.
2. Jamesy Boy
There’s definitely something here, but this promo does not sell it well. The new trailer for Jamesy Boy offers loads of intriguing snippets regarding James Burns’ situation, but there’s no through line to connect them all and that makes this presentation of the narrative both confusing and ineffectual.
3. Winter’s Tale
The first trailer for Akiva Goldman’s adaptation of Winter’s Tale has some strong moments, namely that first scene between Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay, but it loses a lot of appeal due to slow pacing and a misplaced reveal. Rather than wading in the overabundance of information on Peter Lake’s earlier days, the big shift should have kicked in much sooner and should have been emphasized much more because that’s what makes the Winter’s Tale narrative a standout.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?
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