Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Before San Diego Comic Con Takes Over

Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Before San Diego Comic Con Takes Over

Jul 13, 2012


Yes there are other things going on in the film industry besides San Diego Comic Con and upcoming releases like Ice Age: Continental Drift, Gangster Squad and Step Up Revolution are getting new promotional material, but being on the ground in San Diego myself, Comic Con has completely taken over my brain.

The Frankenweenie panel just went down today and out of it we got this brand new homage trailer as well as a similarly styled poster to go along with it. Total Recall offered up a more comprehensive look at Colin Farrell’s Doug Quaid taking enemies out inside Rekall as well as a featurette that puts the film’s story in the spotlight. There’s also a new poster for The Expendables 2 in the mix, but none manage to top a special few that delivered particularly impressive promotional material in honor of the event. Then again, on the bright side, they also didn’t manage to creep into the group of more disappointing Comic Con reveals.

The Best Stuff

1.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Comic Con Poster and Banner: What’s better than getting two for the price of one? Ten for one, of course! Actually, make that 11; in addition to the gorgeous rendering of Gandalf (Ian McKellen) visiting The Shire in preparation for an adventure through Middle Earth, we get an equally stunning scrolling poster featuring ten different scenes in a single design. In most cases, posters are about catching someone’s eye in an instant and getting the point across quickly, however, in the case of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the words “The Hobbit” are all you really need refocusing this portion of the marketing campaign on appeasing the hoards of fans and suggesting The Hobbit movies will be of Lord of the Rings caliber if not better. Of course a poster can’t necessarily guarantee a stellar final product, but should the imagery in the film mimic the detail, color schemes and downright mesmerizing designs of this banner, An Unexpected Journey could fit quite nicely alongside the LORT trilogy.

The Hobbit Banner

2. The Dark Knight Rises Trailer: The Dark Knight Rises may not be having a Hall H panel, but the latest from Christopher Nolan certainly has a presence here in San Diego. Even with just a week to go until the big release, the film is still delivering trailers and its latest is one of the best. There are a number of reasons why there’s so much hype around The Dark Knight Rises and one of them is the fact that both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are excellent films, and there’s no better way to use that to The Dark Knight Rises' advantage than to weave them into a beautifully tragic new trailer. The video goes back to the beginning, touching on Bruce Wayne’s routes, his rise as Batman, his best allies and most notorious villains, raising the stakes immensely before unleashing what could bring Batman and Gotham to the brink of total devastation, the wrath of Bane. Bane nearly received a double dose of Best/Worst Promo glory, this IMAX Midnight poster rocking a wall-worthy design.

3. Dredd 3D Red Band Clip: I may not have liked Dredd much as a whole, but that doesn’t mean I can’t thoroughly enjoy this clip. A very smart marketing move, the folks behind Dredd chose to unleash one of goriest and most stunning action scenes of the film. The combination of the darker hues and more vibrant neons pop perfectly and the intense attention to detail will undeniably make you cringe as we’re treated to views of both vicious entrance and exit wounds. The slow motion in the full feature is used excessively, but when it comes to a single clip, serves as a rather refreshing treat that hints at a film with a wild degree of visual style and flair.

The Worst Stuff

1. Pacific Rim Poster: Apparently the folks behind this design didn’t get the news that Battleship tanked because they opted to go with a visual that’s painfully reminiscent of the lame board game adaptation. No, Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam aren’t names that’ll attract the masses, but a closer look at them could have made for a far more engaging design than this oversized robot that looks as though it could have come from any film set in the future. However, even if the designers stuck with the mini Elba/Hunnam visual, they could have at least put them inside the robot so as to offer up a single plot detail.

Pacific Rim Poster

2. Oz: The Great and Powerful Trailer: Why are people into Oz: The Great and Powerful? Perhaps somewhat because Sam Raimi is behind the lens and a bit because it stars James Franco, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams, but, more so than anything because of the connection to the beloved story The Wizard of Oz. Of course Oz needs to be successful as a standalone film, but when you make a movie with the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at the core, it comes with expectations that Dorothy, the Wicked Witch, the Yellow Brick Road or even just a slightly similar semblance of Oz will be present. Yes, Oz is the prequel to the story we’re all familiar with, but this trailer in no way hints at the rise of any of that, totally missing out on the opportunity to induce chills via iconic places, characters and even concepts. In this trailer, Oz: The Great and Powerful comes off more as a sequel to Alice in Wonderland than a prequel to The Wizard of Oz.

3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Stars Visit Fans at Comic Con: A franchise explodes thanks to the tireless devotion of a fan base; there’s no better way to honor that than by releasing a featurette documenting the fan/star meet and greets at Comic Con. Trouble is, the key word there is “featurette.” A tacky wannabe trailer doesn’t do the same trick. Rather than get an emotional rise out of having the stars announce they’re about to surprise fans and then simply follow the Cullens out into the herd outside of Hall H, we get an awfully tacky trailer-like voiceover that makes it feel like the video is mocking the situation rather than respecting the dedication. The piece does put one foot into more emotional territory when that terrible drone fades away, making way for heartfelt fan testimonials, but then it barges back in to remind us that there is a major disconnect between the fans and the stars because, after all, the stars are the VIPs.

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