January is a notoriously weak month for movies and so far it seems as though it’s the same for movie promos, too. We’ve got one rock-solid contender, but two of the Best Stuff slots were won by default. It’s too bad the folks behind Devil’s Due didn’t cut that New York City baby-attack bit into a trailer because it rocks more promotional power that the large majority of material that surfaced this week.
The Best Stuff
1. The Quiet Ones: It’s jarring when average, unsuspecting people experience demonic activity, but as The Conjuring proved last summer, including the perspective of someone with a deeper understanding of the phenomenon can up the unease tenfold and, based on this new trailer, The Quiet Ones looks as though it might have that same effect.
2. Mr. Peabody & Sherman: As someone with no connection to the source material, the relationship between the smartest dog in the world and his adopted son is a little tough to digest, but there’s no denying that the duo does grow on you in this new trailer for the computer-animated Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Some of the visuals are rather flat and a handful of the jokes are quite juvenile, but once Bastille’s “Pompeii” kicks in, the footage really does feel like the delightful adventure the full feature is likely intended to be.
3. Dom Hemingway: The latest trailer for Dom Hemingway could certainly use a stronger transition between the two very distinct portions of the title character’s life, but regardless, it’s just an absolute riot watching Jude Law act like such a deplorable jerk. And fortunately, it seems as though the conflicting tones in this promo might just be the result of one poor song choice.
The Worst Stuff
1. California Scheming: One of the best parts of a movie promo is that you can deliberately only show off the best material from your film. Stuck with a so-so lead performance? You may not be able to hide it in the final cut, but you can in a trailer! But sadly, that’s not the case with this new one for California Scheming. The delivery of the dialogue in this trailer alone might make your ears bleed.
2. Walk of Shame: I thought it couldn’t get worse than this poster for Walk of Shame, but that was before the film’s new trailer dropped. Minus a few painfully cliché scenarios, the first quarter of the piece shows promise, but then it gets drunk – montage drunk. Awkward sexy time with James Marsden, an Elizabeth Banks running marathon and then a string of slapstick gags that quite literally fall flat. Try to make a logline for this movie based on this trailer. I dare you.
3. Date and Switch: He doesn’t have the most impressive list of films to his name, but regardless, I’m still waiting for something big from Nicholas Braun. Based on this promo, it probably won’t be Date and Switch. Braun may barely pull off playing a high school senior, but Hunter Cope trying to pass as a teen is just downright laughable. A movie about a guy and his recently out gay best friend has potential, but the full film is going to have to correct this trailer’s devastating flaw and construct some sort of build to earn and sell that reveal.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?
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