Not only is it a blast to have a week packed with solid trailers, but that enjoyment extends far beyond the present as it means we could have a series of solid films on the way. This week’s three best pieces of promotional material snagged easy wins, but there’s also a handful of other trailers that are absolutely not to be missed.
Kicking this introduction off on the darker side, it’s the latest from Ti West, The Innkeepers. West gained some steam with his modest haunted house creeper, The House of the Devil, and based on The Innkeepers’ trailer, it looks as though he’s keeping his style alive while offering up a brand new and seemingly intriguing story. Then we’ve got the return of Underworld. As someone who’s merely glanced over this franchise, just going for a single viewing as they hit theaters, this brand new trailer for Awakening is surprisingly appealing, especially as I was positive I’d had enough after The Rise of the Lycans.
On the kid-friendly horror side, we’ve got the teaser for the ParaNorman. Not only does this piece rock some rather novel animation, but the teaser itself is quite unforgettable courtesy of Donovan’s background tune, “Season of the Witch.” Also in the animation department is the very first trailer for The Lorax. Between the bubbly animation, bright colors, The Polyphonic Spree’s “Light & Day” and, of course, seeing a childhood favorite come to life, there’s no way to watch this trailer and not wind up with a smile on your face.
To wrap up this leadoff, bring on the crude comedy! First up is one in which we basically know what we’ve got coming, American Reunion, and, sure enough, this new trailer brings the whole gang back together again and, well, they’re just as sexually driven as ever. Now for the nice surprise, 21 Jump Street. I didn’t watch much of the 1980s show, but from what I do know, it wasn’t an expletive-packed buddy comedy. But, you know what? I’m cool with the new look.
See? We’re off to a good start and it’s about to get even better. But then, of course, it’ll get worse – laughably worse, but that’s still fun too, right?
The Best Stuff
1. We Need to Talk About Kevin Trailer: This isn’t We Need to Talk About Kevin’s first time in the top three and that most certainly bodes well for the film. Of course, good promotional material doesn’t necessarily mean a good feature, but in this case, all of the trailers and posters have exhibited such a notably solid sense of tone, it seems highly unlikely director Lynne Ramsay won’t be able to maintain it for a full two hours. As for this trailer in particular, while it does fall right in line with the rest of the marketing material, this one is the most amusing of the bunch – at first. Backed by Buddy Holly’s “Everyday,” the trailer starts out quite happy and fun-loving only to turn to the dark side and warp this joyous tune into a bit of a nightmare.
2. Project X Teaser: The Hangover Part II may have been a major disappointment, but it looks like Todd Phillips is making up for it with Project X. The film’s very first teaser trailer is brilliantly designed, using its opening moments to introduce us to the film’s main man, Thomas Mann. Perhaps courtesy of the shaky cam, it somewhat creates a horror-like atmosphere only to do a complete 180 and artfully move into raucous teen party zone with the help of Kid Cudi’s ‘Pursuit of Happiness.’ And this isn’t just your run-of-the-mill idealistic version of a high school party; the color palate and the camerawork make you feel as though you’re there right alongside Todd and his buddies and, as this bash seems like an absolute blast, you’ll be itching to feel the full effects of this epic throw down come March.
3. The Hunger Games Character Posters: Oh, come on! Look who writes this piece; you knew these would make the list. But, in all seriousness, the brand new character posters for The Hunger Games are beautifully designed. The photos themselves have a gorgeous soft quality that gives even the most dazzling costume items a subtle appeal while highlighting the slightest facial expression. Through images alone, this collection manages to convey the fact that The Hunger Games isn’t just a surface value teen tale; there’s a serious dose of emotion and darkness in the matter and, thanks to these posters, now you can feel it.
1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Clips: While I don’t love the Twilight films, I most certainly don’t hate on them – except for New Moon. That very well might be one of the dullest films of the decade. Endless brooding and conversations that drag on, all for the tiniest bit of action at the end. I’ll admit that I am looking forward to Breaking Dawn- Part I, but this clip suggests it’s just going to be New Moon all over again. Not only are Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart incapable of making a one-on-one conversation engaging (in these roles at least), but the editing is way off, giving us far too much dead time and then missing the most powerful beats of the scene. This moment worked so well in the trailer; in full, it’s absolutely lifeless.
2. Warm Bodies American Film Market Artwork: I’ve spent so long keeping my fingers crossed for The Hunger Games not to become the next Twilight that I totally forgot about Warm Bodies and look what happened! Sure, nowadays the concept of a mortal teen girl getting with a supernatural teen guy will automatically make your mind trail off into the Twilight zone, but Warm Bodies, Isaac Marion’s book at least, is nothing like The Twilight Saga. In fact, it’s a piece that finally puts a new spin on the supernatural creature genre. A zombie who’s trying to think; nobody’s done that yet! Well, rather than highlight what makes Warm Bodies different, it looks as though the marketing team over at Summit Entertainment is sticking with what works, practically copying the very first Twilight poster.
3. We Bought a Zoo International Poster: Wait, I thought this was a theatrical release, not a Lifetime movie. Or a film going straight to DVD for that matter. This is a movie about a guy buying a zoo and all this design team could come up with is a shoot of a seemingly happy family unsubtly looking off into the distance? Sure, too much animal might have turned this poster into a Photoshop disaster, but you can barely even make out the teeny tiny lion and elephant in the background. And note to the artists: tacky godly glows don’t say “heartwarming,” they say “cheesy.”