You can have all the money in the world, but using it to fund a subpar promotional campaign could be detrimental. While no big studio films managed to make the cut this week, we do have a small handful that’ll make a mediocre to positive impact.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter got things rolling with a domestic trailer, an international one and a new featurette. Both trailers feel a bit too similar to Jonah Hex for me, but, then again, Jonah Hex didn’t look all that bad until the full film arrived back in June of 2010. John Carter is floating somewhere in the middle as well, the newly released clips (clip 1, clip 2) looking a little silly, but this slick new promo makes the film look like a blast.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, on the other hand, continues to deliver surprisingly absorbing material. Rather than go the traditional route and show off featurettes that are merely comprised of boring interviews paired with footage from the trailer, these pieces approach the film from interesting angles that actually have something to say about how the feature came together. As for Wanderlust, this new clip is a little alarming, showing that the film will waste a good minute on a fly bit that isn’t funny in the least. But, back on the bright side, we’ve also got a new trailer for The Snowtown Murders, which bears a resemblance to another Australian film, Animal Kingdom, which is most certainly a very good thing.
But, you know what’s even better? The top three movie promotions of the week. Check out the best and the worst from the past seven days in the promotional department.
The Best Stuff
1. Tomorrow, When the War Began Trailer: Looks like there’s something getting a jump on that Red Dawn remake. Based on the John Marsden novel, Tomorrow, When the War Began tells the tale of a group of friends who return from a getaway to find their country under attack. With their friends and families gone, they’ve got no choice but to become warriors and fight back themselves. This one’s been in the can for quite some time, but it isn’t until about a year and a half after the Australian release that us US folks will finally get a chance to catch the action. But, based on the film’s new trailer, it looks as though it’ll be worth the wait. It’s almost got a slasher flick vibe to it – pretty high school kids indulge in some lovely scenery and romance only to stumble right into a bloodbath. There’s certainly more depth here than in the large majority of horror films, but it resembles something that’ll come packed with death and destruction while still being a highly enjoyable and exciting ride.
2. First Two Minutes of Sound of My Voice: When I came across this one, I’d never heard of Sound of My Voice, but after watching the clip, not only do I want to see more, but it enticed me enough to do a little research. This video shows that writer-director Zal Batmanglij and co-writer Brit Marling don’t waste any time and jump right into the meat of their film, also suggesting the piece as a whole, likely moves swiftly, covering only pertinent and rousing information. There really is no better promotional clip to release than one that stirs intrigue and leaves audiences itching for more and in Sound of My Voice’s case, that clip just so happens to be the first moments of the film, implying that if you continue on, the rest of the feature will be brimming with material of the same caliber. I’d like to bet you’ll be looking for more after checking out the clip, so here’s a continuation.
3. Bully Poster: It ain’t easy being a documentary. Sure, Bully, formerly called The Bully Project, is making waves at festivals and focuses on an incredibly important and universal topic, but still, it’s a documentary and there’s no denying that they just don’t have a commercial appeal. That being said, it’s monumentally important for docs to make a statement through their promotional campaigns in order to reel in the folks who’d never consider sitting down for this type of film. As for Bully, it just took one very bright and bold step in the right direction, showing off its new title with a yellow poster that’ll be impossible to miss. Even better, that poster utilizes a wonderfully simple design to get the point across with ease.
The Worst Stuff
1. Darling Companion Poster: Usually nothing would win me over faster than a cute dog, but a cute dog with a tan blob next to it? Oh, wait. That’s a leg isn’t it? Yup, it’s not easy to decipher, but apparently this image is meant to show a super cute pooch sitting next to a woman’s leg. Is there a point to that? Not only is the design sloppy, but what is that even saying about Darling Companion? That dogs are good companions? That’d be a lame excuse to include such an ugly art element. And, as adorable as this dog is, we’ve got a rather subpar Photoshop job here. Either the editor forgot to trim some black along the dog’s right paw or that’s an awful shadowing job because pretty puppy is clearly a cut and paste.
2. Damsels in Distress Trailer: Perhaps this stems from high expectations, but this trailer for Damsels in Distress extinguishes quite a bit of excitement for the film. The trailer does set a nice tone, which wonderfully reminds me quite a bit of All I Wanna Do, but then rather than pick up the pace with snappy dialogue and cuts, the video drags and dulls. As a big Greta Gerwig fan, it pains me to say that she seems a bit lifeless in this. Her dialogue is far too slow to serve as the primary narration for the trailer. Then there’s also the issue of the jokes. The ones in the trailer? As flat as the performances.
3. Dark Tide Trailer and Poster: Halle Berry, what happened to you? New Year’s Eve and now this? The poster for Dark Tide basically foreshadowed what was to come. Blush Crush came out nearly a decade ago and apparently director John Stockwell is having a hard time letting go because the poster for Dark Tide is quite similar, stars on top, waves on bottom. The problem is, Blue Crush was ten years ago. Designs like this just aren’t going to cut it anymore – unless the film is going straight to DVD. Sure enough, the trailer hit shortly after and suggests this should consider cutting its theatrical run altogether. Either the trailer itself is poorly cut or the actual film is lacking in the story department because a rich guy jumping into shark-infested waters isn’t compelling enough to sustain a full feature. There’s got to be more layers to it. Perhaps they’re there in the full film, but for the sake of a trailer, what we’re given isn’t nearly enough to establish intrigue.