Perhaps I’m still having a tough time shaking off Cloud Atlas, but while this first teaser for the Wachowskis' follow-up, Jupiter Ascending, does look interesting, it still falls short of proving its worth trying to wrap your head around the narrative. Of course it’s only a teaser, so hopefully the progression of the marketing campaign will come with an effective build, but for now, the Best Stuff spots belong to three other upcoming releases.
The Best Stuff
Even though Godzilla is one of the most iconic creatures in pop-culture history, the first trailer for Gareth Edwards’ version feels exceptionally thoughtful and fresh. Not only is the imagery and sound design absolutely stunning, but this piece forgoes an overdose of widespread destruction and takes the time to deliver an impeccable build -- and it’s the success of that build that makes the reveal of Edwards’ monster especially chilling.
2. Bad Words
It doesn’t matter how old you get: bad words will always be funny, and the new trailer for Jason Bateman’s feature directorial debut proves it. Even when a string of obscenities falls flat, the amusing scenario and particularly charming relationship between Bateman’s character and young Rohan Chand gives the piece more than enough appeal and momentum to leave you wanting more.
3. Edge of Tomorrow
This one somewhat snuck in by default. The fact that the song featured in the trailer sounds incredibly similar to Battle LA’s unforgettable use of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s “The Sun’s Gone Dim and the Sky’s Turned Black” and Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt’s battle gear looks a lot like Matt Damon’s getup in Elysium is enough to take you out of the story, but it’s also not enough to extinguish Cruise and Blunt’s sci-fi appeal. The story may not have you hooked just yet, but Cruise, Blunt and some exceptional battle sequences certainly will.
The Worst Stuff
1. Knights of Badassdom
Now this is just a shame. Way back in July of 2011 Knights of Badassdom earned a lot of love in this very column, but when the months passed and the film never locked a release date, it became clear that something wasn’t right. Unfortunately, this latest “trailer” for the film confirms it. This piece is a lazy cop-out. Sure, the film is going straight to DVD and VOD and will only get screen time via Tugg, but it still deserves better. Even if the final cut isn’t great, it’s certainly got more promotional potential than this. We’ve seen it!
2. Earth to Echo
As someone with a serious soft spot for adorable animals and creatures that make cute noises, the fact that the new trailer for Earth to Echo didn’t win me over is an issue. It’s one thing to build curiosity via mystery, but if you’re so desperate to be cryptic that you wind up entirely leaving out your prime selling point, what’s the point in making a promotional effort at all?
Romance trailers don’t get much tackier than this. Not only are the title cards, music selection and dialogue outrageously cheesy, but it’s all so familiar that you’ll wrap this promo up fairly sure you know every single plot point in the full narrative.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?
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