Who am I to pick on A Haunted House 2 when the first film opened with $18.1 million on a $2.5 million production budget? Even though that film only first hit theaters in January of this year, the trailer for the sequel has arrived and while the material isn’t in line with my personal taste, neither were the jokes in the promo campaign for film one. Was it just a fluke and Haunted House 2 is bound to tank come March 28, 2014? We’ll have to wait and see, but for now it’s A Haunted House: 1, Perri: 0, so this one’s getting a free pass this week. Unfortunately, three other trailers don’t have that same luxury.
The Best Stuff
1. The Invisible Woman
As someone who requires a little extra coaxing before submitting to a period piece, I was ready to turn off the new trailer for Ralph Fiennes’ The Invisible Woman mere seconds in. Mere seconds later, however, I found myself dying to know what happens next. Of course it’s impossible to miss the gorgeous 1850s sets and costumes, but this promo is far more dedicated to story and that proves to be a particularly effective connecting factor here.
2. Best Night Ever
We’ve endured girls-gone-bad overload this past year, but if Best Night Ever is as hilarious as this very NSFW red-band trailer suggests, bring it on! The promo’s core plot point – retrieving a stolen engagement ring – is incredibly understated, but when you’ve got a character being molested by a censorship block, another spitting up blood and a woman running stark naked through the halls, you probably wouldn’t be able to absorb more story information anyway.
3. Muppets Most Wanted
Let’s just call it the Muppet effect. The new theatrical trailer for Muppets Most Wanted is outrageous and silly to the max, but thanks to the simple fact that this is a Muppet movie, you can get a kick out of jokes that you’d scoff at in any other film. Between that, the pitch-perfect pace and optimal tone, this trailer rocks an on-screen environment with an inherent appeal.
The Worst Stuff
A RoboCop trailer from the perspective of Joel Kinnaman’s Alex Murphy should have finally broken the mold, given the film some heart and proven the remake’s worth, but instead the promo feels sterile, familiar and even a little dull, too. A first and even a second trailer can get away with presenting a film as an action-packed romp, but now that the marketing effort has our attention, the pressure is on to take a step forward and impress. In the case of RoboCop, it’s starting to feel like the promo campaign just has nowhere else to go.
The new trailer for Repentance manages to deliver all the vital plot points and even develop a bit of a build, but the problem is neither are particularly appealing. Twists are great, but as presented here, Forest Whitaker’s shift is so abrupt that it totally extinguishes any pleasure earned from the material that preceded it and won’t allow you to get on board with the plot progression that follows it.
3. Justin Bieber’s Believe
We need a one-movie-per-musician rule here. Had Justin Bieber: Never Say Never never happened back in February of 2011, this trailer might have achieved the intended effect. However, all I kept wondering was whether this movie was a mistake. Didn’t this film already come out? Sure, Never Say Never scored nearly $100 million worldwide, but other than those that are Bieber obsessed, who’s going to want to hear his story all over again? If this movie does have a fresh spin on Bieber’s journey to -- and experience at -- the top, it’s vital that the promo campaign highlights it.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?
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