Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Family Fun Is The Theme Courtesy of ‘Pirates!’ and ‘Hugo’

Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Family Fun Is The Theme Courtesy of ‘Pirates!’ and ‘Hugo’

Oct 27, 2011

Pirates! A Band of MisfitsHalloween is just days away, but it was basically impossible to make this edition of Best/Worst Movie Promos holiday appropriate because it was the most family-friendly material that trumped the competition. But, before we get to the best of the best, here’s a rundown of the pieces that just missed the cut.

Action Heavy Featurettes

It’s always fun to get a peek at what it took to make a movie, but behind-the-scenes featurettes are particularly enjoyable when they’re for action-heavy thrillers and, even more so when they focus on A-list actors doing their own stunts. According to this behind-the-scenes look at Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Tom Cruise really does handle the action and adventure himself as this piece shows Cruise dangling from, climbing up and running on the outside of a high rise building.

We’ve also got three new featurettes from Tarsem Singh’s Immortals. Sure, Kellan Lutz is nice to look at, but I’d advise skipping that one and heading straight for the pieces that highlight the Montreal stunt team and Eiko Ishioka’s costume designs. It’s rather interesting to see the earlier stages of the film’s battle sequences and what the fights look like sans costumes. However, the wardrobe for this one does deserve a great deal of attention, as it comes from the mind of a designer with quite the number of accolades including an Academy Award.

Scary Stuff

In an attempt to bring a little something to your Halloween, here are three holiday-appropriate new additions to the promo collection. First up we’ve got two new clips from The Awakening, the first of which features Dominic West giving Rebecca Hall the rundown on what to expect during her investigation and another showing Hall getting a feel for the situation herself. There’s also a new motion poster for the Daniel Radcliffe-starrer, The Woman in Black that rocks those super creepy eyeless kids plus a demon lurking in the background that keeps track of your mouse cursor. Lastly, on a far lighter note, we’ve got the very first poster for the animated adventure ParaNorman, a film about a young outcast with the ability to speak to the dead.

Now that you might be feeling the Halloween spirit, it’s time to shake it off because two of this week’s best items are as joyful as they come.

The Best Stuff

1. Pirates! A Band of Misfits Trailer: For some odd reason, I’ve been writing off Pirates! A Band of Misfits thinking it’s got something to do with that vegetable pirate movie. A terrible case of ignorance on my part, but I’m glad to have finally gotten past that because this trailer is downright fantastic. Coming from Peter Lord, one of the men behind Wallace & Gromit, and Jeff Newitt who brought us Chicken Run, it’s no surprise that this trailer shows off some impeccable animation. Even better, stellar visuals aren’t all this film has going for it; even though the material is rather juvenile, this promo suggests it has something to offer older crowds too as some of the gags are pretty amusing. And, to be honest, I kind of want that fish in the hat.  

2. Hugo Trailer: Even with all the positive buzz surrounding Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, none of the promotional material has compelled me to “I need to see that.” However, that’s most certainly changed courtesy of the film’s new trailer. Rather than painting the piece as a mere youthful romp, this new version puts the film in a far more serious light and focuses on establishing certain plot points, resulting in something that packs a much more enthralling tone and juicer story details. Not only is this a trailer that leaves you with the need to see more, but it wraps with a degree of emotion that is so powerful, it’ll give you chills.

3. We Need to Talk About Kevin UK Quad: Speaking of promotional material that leaves you wanting more, the new UK quad for We Need to Talk About Kevin raises so many questions yet says so much via the color choice alone. There’s something oddly unsettling about the pink and green hues popping off of the black background and then “Mummy’s Little Monster’ scrawled in a digital ransom letter-like font suggests evil abounds in this one. Tack on the fact that the large majority of the poster features an über creepy looking Ezra Miller and there’s no way you can check this image out without wanting to know what the film’s got to offer.

We Need to Talk About Kevin Poster

The Worst Stuff

1. 11-11-11 Trailer: Any and all excitement for 11-11-11­ is near gone. A bad poster and/or trailer is one thing, but this is the upcoming Darren Lynn Bousman film’s third time in the lower half of the Best/Worst Promo piece. The film’s very first trailer showed a notable amount of promise, keeping the focus on the deadly date and pairing some slick editing with an eerie score, but, ever since, the film is feeling rather gimmicky. This time around problems begin with a dreary voiceover and continue with a distractingly awkward choice of text font. But, even worse, unlike that first trailer, this one presents the concept of 11-11-11 being the day a gateway will open letting hellish creatures loose as a mere haunted house theme, somewhat along the lines of a cheesy joke and cheap scare.

2. 5 Star Day Trailer: This 60-second trailer for 5 Star Day starts off promising, showing off one of its main assets, Cam Gigandet. The guy’s got a natural charm and is long overdo for a more serious lead role, but, sadly, 5 Star Day doesn’t seem to have much more to offer him than that. Not only is his character’s goal not particularly interesting – to disapprove the theory of astrology (what does that even mean anyway?) – but, in this trailer, all he really does is repeat his plan over and over again. Perhaps there is something more to this story than that broad plot description, but, based on this trailer, nobody would know it. 

3. The Darkest Hour German Poster: I’ve been doing my best not to generalize and point a finger at European poster designs, but notably terrible overseas artwork seems to have a permanent place in the “Worst” section of this feature. This time around the not-so-honorable designation goes to the German poster for Chris Gorak’s The Darkest Hour. Sure, my excitement for this alien invasion film may be heightening my disdain for this hideous design, but, can you blame me? This poster isn’t even worthy of a straight-to-DVD film’s box. And is that Rachel Taylor in the image? Spoiler!

The Darkest Hour Poster

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