When one trailer is essentially a copy and paste of a previous one minus a few joke swaps, it’s typically an instant pass for the Best and Worst Stuff. However, in the case of Jason Bateman’s directorial debut, Bad Words, it’s such a joy and pleasure to be back in that world with him and Rohan Chand that the material is actually a little more effective the second time around. But still, the film’s new green-band promo is nearly a shot-for-shot duplicate of the red-band one, so it’ll have to settle for an honorable mention and give other film trailers a shot.
The Best Stuff
1. Cabin Fever: Patient Zero
Admittedly, this one isn’t really deserving of the Best Stuff title, but it did manage to slip in due to the lack of competition. The cut from patient-zero lockdown to obnoxious party time doesn’t work in the least, their situations don’t congeal well thereafter and those title cards are tacky to the max, but if you’re into the Cabin Fever series, it’s tough not to want more. Sure, a connection to the characters and a clearer sense of what’s at risk would have made this a stronger selling tool for nonfans, but for the rest, the tease of more flesh-eating virus carnage is all you need.
2. Muppets Most Wanted
How many times have you rolled your eyes at trailers overloaded with Twitter acclaim? Well now, the Muppets role their eyes with you – or at least they would if they could. The Muppets have the benefit of being an established property. Footage is great, but it isn’t necessary. All team Muppet has to do to fill seats on March 21 is to keep the gang on our radars via fresh, fun, memorable concepts, just like this “Across the Internet” promo.
3. The Railway Man
The first trailer for Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Railway Man lost quite a bit of steam due to the jumbled cutting between the two time periods, but here, the marketing department nails it, presenting a summary of the story that’s so deftly layered, you truly feel the connection between what Colin Firth’s character struggled through during World War II and how the experience drives him now.
The Worst Stuff
1. The Right Kind of Wrong
Ryan Kwanten is such a pleasure to watch on True Blood. Why is he having such a tough time making the transition to film? Griff the Invisible was only mildly entertaining, it looks as though the distributors handling Knights of Badassdom have completely given up, who knows what’s going on with 7500 and now we’re hit with this painfully unremarkable trailer for The Right Kind of Wrong. Kwanten’s a joy to look at, but he still needs some serious character development before you’re willing to root for him to make off with another man’s wife.
2. The Monkey King
Perhaps I’m missing something because I know little to nothing about Journey to the West, but is this a joke? How are we supposed to take a movie called The Monkey King seriously when the Monkey King looks as though he could be related to Land of the Lost’s Chaka? It’d be one thing if the piece made an attempt at conveying a compelling narrative, but all we get is one cartoonish CG shot after the next showing off battle sequences that would have been more exhilarating and visceral had they been acted out with toddlers and action figures.
Kite is far from a lost cause, but the film’s first trailer certainly is. The piece is brimming with stimulating imagery, but the problem is the visuals have no context because, save for our lady in pink, we know next to nothing about what the main characters are fighting for. There are signs that director Ralph Ziman infused the feature with some exceptionally unique techniques, but unless the promotional campaign proves his film also rocks an engaging narrative, it’s going to be a stretch to get those unfamiliar with the source material to see it.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?
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