I always feel a little left out when the trailer for a sequel drops and I’m not as familiar with the series as I could be. Still, there’s something good to be said about the new ones for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Underworld: Awakening and Johnny English Reborn. It’s quite clear that Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are having a blast with their latest feature in their intro for the Spirit of Vengeance trailer and if you’re into blazing heroes that ride motorcycles and urinate fire, you’ll likely share their enthusiasm. Even after not having seen an Underworld movie in years, there’s something about the new trailer for Awakening that reinvigorates excitement for some vampire vs. lycan vs. human action. As for Johnny English, this gets approval for packing the power to appeal to moviegoers even if they’re not familiar with the original. Sure, a number of the gags fall flat, but, as embarrassed as I am to admit it, some made me giggle.
We’ve got a few clips deserving of some attention as well. First up, if you’re a fan of Zoe Saldana, I’d check out the new assortment that recently went live for Colombiana. On Yahoo! Movies, the description of one is “Cataleya (Zoe Saldana) uses a rocket launcher.” Need I say more? We’ve also got a little something from Martha Marcy May Marlene that not only shows off the film’s top-notch performances, but beautifully builds off the other promotional material that’s already been released, increasing intrigue, but not giving away too much. Last up for clips is a piece from Warrior that gives you a taste of one of the brother’s predicaments during a quiet, yet profound moment.
Before we hit the best and worst of the week, we’ve got two featurettes also deserving of a watch, one for Abduction and one for Real Steel. While I still have my doubts about Taylor Lautner’s acting chops, he’s got some serious athletic skills and this piece proves it. In the one for Real Steel, Hugh Jackman may be out of the ring, but the bots going at it inside are quite mesmerizing. Check out how Adam and the gang came to be in this featurette.
The time has come -- without further ado, here are your top three and bottom three promotions of the week …
1. I Don’t Know How She Does It TV Spot: After butchering this film’s very first trailer, I Don’t Know How She Does It managed to redeem itself the slightest bit with a solid poster. Still, never did I imagine it’d make its way into the promotional section of this piece. A TV spot gives a studio a mere 30 seconds to sell its film and this one, very appropriately, uses every one of them to connect to the target audience. Thanks to Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker is an instant eye-catcher for many female moviegoers, however this TV spot takes her selling power one step further by literally offering up a list of ways women can connect to her character. It gets its point across efficiently, manages to be the slightest bit touching and happens to be set to a tune by one of my favorite bands, Two Door Cinema Club.
2. Carnage Trailer: The success of this trailer primarily stems from the stars in it, and, as this is a marketing tool, it works. Rather than look at Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz as their characters, I’m watching them as though they’re extensions of themselves and being a fly on the fall in the midst of their meltdown is such a blast because it easily excuses the slight dose of melodrama. A great deal of credit also goes to the editor of this piece as the funnier moments are particularly well chose, well timed and hit hard. The perfect balance between the laughs and plot description not only has the power to make you want to spend more time with these crazy people, but it also gives you a fantastic sense of what you’re in for courtesy of a strong representation of the tone of the full film.
3. Puss in Boots Motion Poster: As a pet owner I can confirm that this motion poster is a worthy watch for multiple cycles; it’s endlessly amusing watching my dogs chase that little red dot from a laser pointer. Okay, perhaps it is teasing them a bit, but they honestly love playing with the thing. Some pet supply stores even sell them as actual dog toys. Anyway, this new motion poster for Puss in Boots clearly makes me think of playing that game with my dogs and, therefore, stirs up all sorts of fun-loving emotions. There’s no better connection to establish than one with the power to make a pet owner think of their furry ones, as the thought of seeing a movie that’s as much fun as hanging out with them is incredibly appealing.
1. I Don’t Know How She Does It TV Spot: It was too good to be true. Everything that the first TV spot for I Don’t Know How She Does It does right, this one does wrong. First off, that opening clip suggests Sarah Jessica Parker is in the midst of a sit-down interview; it doesn’t even feel like it’s part of the film. Then, in comes the cliché comedy promo narration that merely states the obvious. It’s not funny and it’s not charming. It undermines the subject matter of the film.
2. Shark Night 3D Clips: It’s one thing for a Final Destination movie to reveal how some of the characters bite it; it’s part of the appeal and we all know it’s inevitable. However, this clip from Shark Night 3D called “Their Normal Diet” goes too far. Of course, I haven’t seen the final cut of this film and it could wind up being one big misunderstanding, but considering the scene’s tone, I’m going to go ahead and peg this one as being too much, too soon. Up until this point, I had no idea Chris Carmack’s Dennis was the film’s non-shark villain. The promotional campaign takes this one step further by releasing yet another clip of Dennis acting like a jerk. Even worse? This moment feels like it could come during the film’s grand finale. Again, this is only speculation as I haven’t seen the movie, but rather than making me want more, these clips give me the feeling that I’ve already seen enough.
3. Russian Poster for A Good Old Fashioned Orgy: This quite possibly could be the Photoshopping disaster of the year. First off, the image behind that jumbled mess is a character cut-and-paste nightmare. From there, I’d like to bet the artist hopped on Google, searched the words toilet, pizza and beer, pulled the images into Photoshop, magic wanded away the backgrounds and piled them onto that group shot. Sound about right? And clearly the designer didn’t even see the film; it’s supposed to be a toilet bowl full of bean dip, not potato chips.