This was a very good week for movie trailers. So good, in fact, that this iteration of the column requires a lengthier intro. Even though three trailers earned the top spots, there are four others that deserve to be seen, too.
Maleficent blows its narrative wide open with its latest promo, hinting that the title character could have an antihero quality. We’ve also got a brand new international piece for Godzilla, and even though much of the material comes from previous promos, this one does have elements that will enhance your perspective, adding to the thrill. The Boxtrolls got a new trailer as well, and even though the promotional campaign is still steering clear of story details, this one does delve a little deeper by revealing the Boxtroll lore. Last up for the noteworthy newcomers that couldn’t quite crack The Best Stuff is our first look at the Peanuts movie. The first part of this piece was screened at CinemaCon last year, but now, 20th Century Fox has added an interaction between Charlie Brown and Snoopy that’s both highly nostalgic and will absolutely warm your heart.
The Best Stuff
1. Earth to Echo
We can scoff at the found-footage, POV format all we want, but the technique still comes with an inherent appeal and Earth to Echo proves it. Even though some of the performances are a bit harsh, the shaky-cam style serves as a quick connecting factor, instantly putting you right in the middle of this group of friends and their somewhat unique mission.
2. The Maze Runner
Somewhat similar to Earth to Echo and the shaky-cam technique, The Maze Runner has a lot to prove if it expects to trump the growing young-adult book-to-film stigma, and this first trailer is an excellent step towards doing just that. The large majority of these adaptations have quite a bit of trouble introducing newcomers to their expansive and unique worlds, but The Maze Runner manages to establish quite a bit about life in the Glade in just under two minutes, while also leaving a significant amount of information to be discovered in subsequent promos and then the full feature.
3. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
There’s no denying the Amazing Spider-Man 2 marketing campaign has been particularly action heavy, but it’s hard to dismiss the promos for being high-flying montages when they’re all so well edited. Yes the film’s official final trailer does come with loads of quick-cutting fight sequences, but there’s also a solid narrative backbone courtesy of the inclusion of some quieter moments between Andrew Garfield and Dane DeHaan that hint at a highly intriguing evolution for Peter Parker and Harry Osborn’s relationship.
The Worst Stuff
1. The Giver
This isn’t a bad trailer per se, but anyone familiar with the source material will likely take issue with the adaptation of the acclaimed Lois Lowry book. The piece’s first devastating flaw is that the society and the principles behind it are noticeably similar to Divergent. Then of course there’s the major missed opportunity by not presenting this world in black and white. Not only was that a defining factor of the book that’ll sorely be missed, but it also had so much cinematic potential.
2. Nymphomaniac: Volume II
Nymphomaniac has pushed the whole edgy and subversive shtick for quite a while now, and enough is enough. If you’re going to split your movie into two parts and release both separately, you can’t just reuse the structure of the trailer from part one. It’s lazy and in no way proves the need for a second film.
3. Step Up All In
Speaking of lazy trailer making, say hello to the new teaser for the fifth installment of the Step Up franchise, Step Up All In. Sure, the film already has an existing fan base, but that doesn’t excuse the marketing team from proving the new iteration’s worth by showing why we need another go-around. There needs to be more to this campaign than familiar faces and very familiar dance moves and fortunately this is only teaser trailer number one, so there’s loads of room to improve.
What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?
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