The Best - and Worst - Movie Trailers of the Week

The Best - and Worst - Movie Trailers of the Week

Jan 03, 2014

Welcome to Best and Worst Movie Trailers of the Week, or rather in this case the Best and Worst Movie Trailers of the Last Two Weeks. Best and Worst Movies Trailers of 2013 stole some promos’ chance to claim the Best Stuff title, so we’re keeping December 21 to December 27 new releases in the mix. Check out what snagged the top honors and bottom dishonors from the wider pool of contenders.

The Best Stuff

1. Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead

Not only does this new teaser trailer for Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead literally welcome back Martin and fans of the 2009 original, but it’s also got the potential to attract newcomers. Whether you’ve seen Dead Snow or not, this piece still rocks one heck of a “holy sh*t” moment thanks to a brilliant recap that serves as the ultimate segue from film one to two as well as a highly effective selling tool for both film one and two.   

2. Million Dollar Arm

Whereas the trailer for Draft Day feels like a heavy-handed mish-mash of football talk, the one for Million Dollar Arm offers up a clear, concise sampling of a narrative that happens to have baseball at its core. It’s a sports movie, but it’s a story about multidimensional characters first, and at this stage of the promotional game, that makes for a far more memorable trailer.

3. Transcendence

The Transcendence teasers didn’t do much for me, but turns out it was worth the wait because the first full promo for Academy Award-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister’s directorial debut is so well structured, paced and edited that it functions as a riveting, telling piece all on its own. This promo for Transcendence leaves me with a similar feeling as the ones for Gravity; if the marketing team is unveiling so much story and emotion in a trailer, just imagine where the full feature could go. Alfonso Cuarón met that challenge in Gravity. Hopefully Pfister will do the same here.

The Worst Stuff

1. The Raid 2

I didn’t think this was possible, but the latest trailer for The Raid 2: Berandal is a bit boring. As you might expect, the combat in the second half of the piece is pristine, but the promo’s attempt to give those fight sequences context isn’t half as riveting and even a little confusing.  

2. Blue Is the Warmest Color

Yes, this is a “for your consideration” trailer, but it’s still a trailer, and the purpose of a trailer is to sell a film and this one for Blue Is the Warmest Color does no such thing. Show off your critical acclaim all you want -- it won’t mean a thing unless those quotes and accolades are paired with the material that earned them. That would be convincing. What we have here, however, is just a boring resume with cast quotes that could initially be mistaken for critical response or audience reactions.

3. Sabotage

Throw in all the firepower you want; as presented in the new trailer for Sabotage, the story just isn’t all that thrilling. The piece’s first title card claims team Arnie is the best of the best, but how are we supposed to believe--or better yet, feel--that when they’re just shooting up empty rooms? Even worse, you can’t even see their faces the large majority of the time, so when the issue of the crew being picked off one by one crops up and their “epic” camaraderie is threatened, there’s no reason to care.

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

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