The Best - and Worst - Movie Trailers of the Week

The Best - and Worst - Movie Trailers of the Week

Dec 20, 2013

This was a huge week for movie trailers, so to make sure you don’t miss out on the big ones that didn’t make the Best Stuff cut, we’re beefing up this Best/Worst Trailers intro to incorporate the must-see lot.

The first teaser of the Expendables 3 campaign will absolutely get franchise fans pumped, but it’s highly unlikely the gimmick will rouse much interest for those outside the big-guns, big-cast circle. Transcendence opened its marketing effort with a bit of a shtick of its own. For those willing to pay attention, the information is intriguing, but for those who’d rather not listen to the lengthy all-audio description, that Johnny Depp reveal won’t pack much of a punch. 

We’ve also got the first trailer for 22 Jump Street, and while it is fun seeing Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum back in action, there’s also nothing here that confirms we needed the sequel. Then there’s the first trailer for the shaky-cam film Welcome to Yesterday. The found-footage addict in me is the easy sell, but it’s also tough to overlook the fact that the narrative is going one of two ways: it’ll either be your typical one-dimensional, teen-driven POV nonsense or push the boundaries with some legitimate relationships and never-before-seen time-travel twists.

Now that you know what’s out, here’s what’s in:

The Best Stuff

1. Cheap Thrills

The new red-band trailer for Cheap Thrills does have quite a few big reveals, but there’s no denying that those moments pack a significant amount of promotional power and create one heck of a build. As someone who’s seen the full feature, it’s tough to say whether or not watching this trailer will affect your first screening of the film, but ultimately, from a marketing standpoint, Cheap Thrills wins because whether you’ve seen it or not, the promo makes this party a must.

2. Neighbors

The latest trailer for Neighbors isn’t all that different from the last, but watching Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne go up against Zac Efron and his forever-hammered frat brothers is so amusing, you can’t get enough. In fact, this promo leads me to believe that Neighbors could have a rewatchable quality. That airbag gag sucked the life out the film’s very first trailer, but here it was actually hard to keep from cracking a smile.    

3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Welcome back, Caesar! Thanks to a rock-solid tone, the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes teaser is highly engaging right from the start, instantly selling the state of the world and the power of the enemy humanity is facing. The choice to use that lengthy shot of Caesar before hitting the title card is absolutely brilliant. It’s a powerful cut that leaves you with a lingering sense of his threat.

The Worst Stuff

1. The Other Woman

If you can get past Nicki Minaj’s big-screen debut, there’s definitely potential in the connection between Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann courtesy of some natural charm, but the problem is none of the jokes featured in the first trailer for The Other Woman are particularly funny, making the film come across as yet another lame rom-com with pretty faces and nothing more. 

2. The Grand Budapest Hotel

This feels more like a teaser than a second full trailer. Whereas the first promo for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel manages to build momentum via story while also showing off its enormous cast, this one takes a step back, not even bothering to try to form a cohesive narrative and just running with a manic montage of famous faces. Sure, big stars do have some pull, but when you’re running through a roster this long this fast, it turns the promo into one, big forgettable blur.

3. Blended

If you thought reteaming with Drew Barrymore would put Adam Sandler back on the right track, then boy were you wrong. The first trailer for Blended has arrived and while it isn’t as grating as That’s My Boy or Jack and Jill, it’s still right on par with the tone and quality of Grown Ups. This one is absolutely drowning in cringe-worthy, gross-out gags and tacky family humor, but fortunately one of the film’s younger stars nails a line at the 1:42 mark, keeping the piece from being a total bust.

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

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