Yet another week absolutely packed with new promotional material. But, sadly, this time around, it wasn’t only the top three that was tough to narrow down.
As for the ads vying for those top spots, Father of Invention and 50/50 both barely missed out. Yes, we poke fun at infomercials, but admit it, there’s something oddly riveting about them. Kevin Spacey rocks that odd concept in the new trailer for Father of Invention, which features him as a household gadget pitchman who goes to prison for selling a faulty product. As for 50/50, even though this is the film’s second trailer, it switches the focus enough to get you hooked all over again while also establishing the film as a piece with layers. The new poster for Safe also makes a statement, not in terms of the film’s plot, but simply because it rocks a bold design.
Hovering in the middle is the red band clip for Fright Night and the trailers for Woman in Black and Faces in the Crowd. After having seen Fright Night, that film’s marketing team earns points for letting loose one of the piece’s more solid moments in terms of special effects. While Woman in Black appears to be a nice creepy haunted house movie, it loses points for not letting the Harry Potter dust settle, looking simply like Harry Potter in a period piece with more facial hair. We amp the scare factor up a bit with the trailer for Faces in the Crowd. A usual crowd pleaser, Milla Jovovich pulls you in, but it’s the film’s incredibly terrifying premise that makes you yearn to know more.
Last up, the ones that just missed out on being named the lowest of the low, the poster for And They’re Off, the second Abduction trailer and the third trailer for Immortals. That And They’re Off poster is just flat out embarrassing. I don’t care if it’s a comedy; it’s incredibly awkward to have an actor pose leaning on a horse’s behind. The new Abduction trailer is just more of the usual, material that will make the Jacob Black fans swoon. On the bright side, it’s shorter than the first, which means less time for Taylor Lautner’s acting. As for Immortals, if it weren’t for that dull narration, the piece would be pretty good. Then again, it’s about time Tarsem Singh shows off a bit more of the film’s narrative rather than just his knack for creating incredible visuals.
Now onto the really good and really bad material; here are your best and worst movie promos of the week …
1. The Last Circus Clip: This is a sick and twisted film and, quite appropriately, the marketing team is using the disturbing imagery to their advantage. With a foreign film getting a limited release, you can’t hold anything back in your ad campaign and not only does the movie come with a slew of material with the power to make a statement, but a face that can sell it alone, that of Javier the clown. Now, the marketing team takes it one step further, not just by flaunting Javier’s creepy getup, but by letting us inside his head. The moment is explosive, boasts a well-defined and unique tone and, eerily, packs power to keep you from turning away.
2. America Reunion Teaser Poster: What better way for this franchise to make a statement than by releasing a teaser poster featuring that pie? No, it’s nothing particularly visually stimulating and it’s certainly not a piece of art, but this teaser poster is the epitome of effective promotional material; it’s a no frills design that manages to get the point across even without the film’s title in big bold letters; the American Pie series returns in 2012. Sure, anyone who hasn’t seen the first films may be left in the dark, but that’s not who this reunion movie is after; not at this point at least.
3. The Divide Poster: Now this poster, on the other hand, earns its position courtesy of some gorgeous art design. Whereas something like the poster for American Reunion gets your attention, gets the point across and lets you move on, this one for The Divide is a piece that reels you in and holds on tight. No, it doesn’t spell it out for the viewer like the one for American Reunion, but it does hint at the film’s plot through some more introspective imagery; a group of people survives a New York City nuclear attack by hiding out in a basement. Get it? As this one’s of wall-worthy status, it’ll likely be hanging on mine shortly.
1. Limelight Trailer: I like Abercrombie & Fitch’s clothes, but I don’t wear them. Why? No, not because they’re overpriced, rather because I just cannot stand that mind numbing music they play at an excessive volume in the stores. I couldn’t even get 30 seconds into the trailer for Limelight without wanting to shut it off. Sure, Limelight is about the Limelight nightclub in New York City, but does that necessitate the use of that mind-numbing thumping tune throughout the trailer? Yes, the fact that this is about the nightclub scene might draw in those with an appreciation for the establishments, but this trailer is alienating everyone else. If you need to use that music, fine; at least give the rest of us something to latch onto, perhaps a stronger focus on a main character, like Peter Gatien.
2. Puss in Boots “No Pants” Pants: No, cartoon kitties don’t have to wear pants, but that doesn’t mean it’s a wholesome idea to draw attention to it. This is just an incredibly odd choice of topic for motivating a viral campaign. I don’t have a particularly dirty mind, but once this piece so intently points out the fact that Puss is pant-less, it’s a little troubling to get through all of those close-up crotch shots. The more disappointing element of this viral video is the fact that it boasts zero new material. In fact, the only items we’re seeing for the first time is the Puss intro and that up close and personal, 360-degree tour of Puss’ lower region. If you’re not going to pony up some new material that’s actually in the film, you’ve got to at least come up with a clever gag to support it.
3. Café Trailer: Poor Amanda Beckett; you used to be so cool. The new trailer for the upcoming Jennifer Love Hewitt starrer, Café, is even more awkward than the interactions between the characters. Literally the entire piece paints this film as your standard romantic comedy and then we get this ghostly shot of strange happenings in the coffee shop. Even if we push that nonsensical inclusion aside, what is this film even about? Does Hewitt’s character work in this store? Who is Jamie Kennedy supposed to be? And what’s with the leaf-blowing animation set to the chiming tune? What’s that implying; romantic magic or magic magic? Whatever it is, it’s not working on me.