Talk about a big week of promotional material. The past seven days have been packed with brand new posters and trailers and almost all from highly anticipated upcoming releases. While it was tough narrowing down the top three items of the week, the bottom three were so glaringly obvious, it made the choice a breeze.
That being said, we’ve got a slew of honorable mentions worthy of your attention. In the poster department, we’ve got a new piece for Conan the Barbarian that’s a rather well balanced cut-and-paste job with an appealing color scheme. An international Muppets poster giving us exactly what we want, Muppets, Muppets and more Muppets. The main members of the gang are all accounted for in this image, hitting you with a hefty dose of nostalgia. In the teaser subsection, we’ve got two big ones, a poster for The Dark Knight Rises and one for The Thing. Of the two I prefer The Thing as it’s the more telling of the two. Plus, Inception used that whole warped skyscraper design to death.
As for trailers and clips, the semi-standouts included the new teaser for The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep. This one could have crept into the promotions department had it not been for the soundtrack, which is distractingly similar to that of Duncan Jones’ Moon. The international trailer for The Adventures of Tintin not only rocks some stellar animation, but a nice amount of plot information, too, giving it a far stronger appeal to those unfamiliar with the source material than the teaser. Also making a positive impact is the very first clip for Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens, which appropriately sets the tone and offers a taste of what’s to come without spoiling much by going with a rather low key moment. Last is the most recent release, the trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion. Sure the piece is intriguing, but it’s hard to imagine this trailer not spoiling nearly every plot point.
Eight different pieces of promotional material down and we haven’t even hit the three best and three worst. What made the cut this time around? Check out the top and bottom promotions of the week below.
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Featurette: Sure this feature has only been in existence for six weeks, but of those wonderful six weeks, Harry Potter has infiltrated the promotions department four times, more than any other film thus far. As the film franchise comes to an end, so does its run in this column and Harry Potter is making its exit in the most appropriate way possible, through a featurette called “A Look Back.” This five-minute long piece packs clips from all eight films starting with 2001’s The Sorcerer’s Stone and wrapping up with pieces from The Deathly Hallows: Part 2. However, this is more than just a string of snippets from the series; it’s a video that summarizes the entire story, compels you to recall minor moments you might have forgotten so many years later, shows the maturation of the characters and so much more, all in impressively rousing form. A great deal of credit also belongs to the individual(s) responsible for the score as it well represents the change in tone from film to film and works to increase the emotion of this featurette tenfold.
2. Arthur Christmas Teaser: While I’m not usually one for holiday fair, there’s something about the teaser for Arthur Christmas that simply puts a smile on my face. There was something endearing about the teaser that dropped back in December and now the same goes for this Christmas-in-summertime piece. Similar to Flint Lockwood in Sony’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Arthur boasts an innocently geeky design that calls for instant compassion. As for the teaser’s seasonal ties, turning the piece into timely fair is particularly effective. What do we all do every Independence Day? Watch Independence Day. What do we all do every Christmas? Watch A Christmas Story. The Arthur Christmas teaser noting the current season and the excitement for the impending holiday causes the same sentiment to emerge within the viewer. Now, not only are you looking forward to Christmas, but Arthur Christmas, too. Yahoo! Movies also debuted the film’s new poster, which successfully makes use of the same tactic.
3. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Trailer: Even as a non-Sherlock Holmes fan, it’s hard to deny this trailer’s status as a fine piece of promotional material. There’s a reason we’re getting a second Sherlock Holmes film; moviegoers enjoyed the first one. Sure the story must change, but why more if the original formula worked so well? For most, at least. Robert Downey Jr. is back as Holmes enjoying his usual antics including absurd behavior and a ton of action with Watson (Jude Law) by his side. Sound familiar? The trailer provides a peek at film #2’s originality showing off new addition, Noomi Rapace, who appears to be just as charismatic, if not more than the first film’s leading lady, Rachel McAdams. Additionally, the piece draws quite a bit of success from stellar editing set to the tune of the first film’s anthem, boasting some wicked slow-motion shots, again, quite similar to the first film’s trailer. Ultimately, this promotion screams, “If you like want you saw the first time, you’ll like this one, too.” Now that’s an effective marketing tagline.
1. Jack and Jill Trailer: Adam Sandler is absolutely breaking my heart. As sick as this might sound, both Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore defined my childhood. Sandler’s dare-to-be-different, outrageous style of comedy reeled me in and will always have a place in my heart, but this garbage right after Grown Ups and Just Go With It? It’s horrendous. He’s a sell out, taking his fame and using it to feed the studios’ hunger for money, and perhaps his own for that matter. The first trailer for Jack and Jill doesn’t look like a piece promoting a feature film, rather something in the vein of Funny or Die-type material in which Sandler pokes fun at Eddie Murphy’s plummeting career. Sure, the basic premise of this film hinted it’d be an unbearably ludicrous disaster, but seeing the concept in the flesh is kind of revolting. Not even Al Pacino can make Jack and Jill even the slightest bit appealing.
2. Final Destination 5 Trailer: This one is all over the place. Two weeks ago it earned demotion status courtesy of its domestic poster, but then the international one snagged it a spot in the promotion department. Sadly, Final Destination 5 finds itself back in the dungeons this week courtesy of a theatrical trailer that reveals far too much. The piece starts off promising as it gives us an extended look at a pivotal part of the film, the opening disaster. However, the trailer doesn’t stop there and basically shows an abridged version of the entire sequence. On the bright side, once that bit wraps up, Tony Todd chimes in. But then, we plummet back into TMI territory as the trailer reveals a bit of how just about every one of the main players will meet their demise. Sure, perhaps this isn’t one massive spoiler and the final cut will wind up surprising us, but even then, this trailer fails courtesy of poor pacing. Sure the first teaser revealed a kill, but at least it used the footage in the best way possible, in a well-timed format with a powerful pace and a strong ominous tone, wrapping up with a painful final clip you can practically feel yourself.
3. Glee: The 3D Concert Movie Poster: A wildly colorful show and this is the drab you come up with for the feature film poster? Sure, perhaps the designers want to bring more attention to the fact that this film is a 3D concert rather than a narrative, but what about this design says “live show?” At the start, the big draw was Glee’s music factor, but now that the show’s been on the air for two seasons, we’ve grown to know and love the characters, so it’s just as much, if not more, about them. Here, they’re mere specks in some obscure mess of scaffolding. Plus, their inclusion is shoddy Photoshop work to the extreme. Why wouldn’t the designers just go with the traditional “Glee” with the handmade “L?” Yes, we’ve seen it time and time again, but apparently it stills works as the show’s Comic-Con poster is quite appealing.