It’s almost time for our annual Purge so Universal is ringing in the warped holiday with a brand new teaser trailer. Similar to the first full feature, this new promo for the sequel, The Purge: Anarchy, feels like a thoughtless attempt at scoring a quick buck via the high concept, but, at the same time, I still find myself wanting more. However, with three quality trailers amongst the competition this week, there’s no room for guilty-pleasure appeal in the Best Stuff.
The Best Stuff
1. Joe: The latest trailer for Joe is ambitious, but it has to be because it’s not an easy movie to sell. Nicolas Cage is the title character, but there’s a lot more going on in the full feature and this promo actually manages to run through a number of story components, and also the appropriate story components, namely the relationship between Cage and Tye Sheridan’s characters, and the eeriness and suspense that comes with the threat Sheridan’s father poses.
2. Tammy: You know what’s one of the best parts about a Melissa McCarthy film? She’s a big name and promotional campaigns are bound to try to sell the movie via her star power, but in her case, riding on fame works exceptionally well because, simply put, she’s funny and an absolute blast to watch. There are no outrageous frills in this Tammy teaser; it’s McCarthy working a scene and she works it well. I look forward to the Tammy/Shia LaBeouf mash-up that’s destined for SNL.
3. Transcendence: It’s hard to imagine any trailer for Transcendence falling short at this point considering the appeal of the narrative. The first full promo unveiled the basics of the story and now, as it should, trailer number two upholds those details while adding in new footage, characters and perspectives. Should the trend continue, the promotional campaign for the film won’t just be a mere selling tool; it’ll function as a true tease, creating a more thorough representation of the world but while posing more and more questions so that by the time we’ve hit April 17, 2014, we’re all bursting at the seams.
The Worst Stuff
1. The Love Punch: The problem with this one is simple – it’s not funny. The idea of Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan playing a divorced couple that reunite to regain the retirement money that was taken for them has major potential, but as presented here, that concept is nothing more than a very familiar, tacky and often grating caper comedy.
2. Heavenly Sword: Heavenly Sword is back in the Worst Stuff because, yet again, the folks behind the film seem to have forgotten that they’re promoting a movie adaptation, not the video game it’s based on. Sure, fans of that source material are likely the film’s prime audience, but as we just learned with Vampire Academy, if a promotional campaign is merely targeted at the existing fan base, your movie doesn’t have a shot.
3. The Bag Man: We’ve got yet another Worst Stuff veteran on our hands: David Grovic’s The Bag Man. Not only are the first five seconds of the piece totally distorted, but the material that follows is an absolutely fruitless attempt at telling a story. Unlike Tammy, this is an instance where a big-name star is used to sell the movie, but in no way enhances it. Robert De Niro’s voice-over, the music and the visuals don’t coalesce in the least, leaving this piece without a solid tone, much suspense, narrative clarity and, therefore, without any appeal, too.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?
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