Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Less is More for 'Melancholia' and 'Footloose'

Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Less is More for 'Melancholia' and 'Footloose'

Sep 01, 2011

MelancholiaI bet you thought this edition of Best/Worst Promos would be all Hunger Games. Well, as much as I enjoyed the teaser trailer, in terms of selling power, it’s merely selling to fans of the book, which is not the way to market a wide release movie. In other Hunger Games promotional news, the image on has come together to reveal the Capitol logo and provide access to a viral site that uses your Facebook or Twitter account to assign you a district.

In the good, but not great department, there are a few things worth checking out. For you Twilight fans, this brand new TV spot for Abduction is made for you, as it features Taylor Lautner smoldering and showing off his athleticism. For everyone else, it’s a scary world where Lautner gets top billing over Sigourney Weaver and Alfred Molina. Dream House offered up two decent TV spots. They cut out a certain element of the trailer that gives a big twist away and focus more on delivering that quick scare with the power to stay with you even after the commercial ends. As for not-so-hot TV spots, The Three Musketeers goes 3D crazy, using the latest promo to show off what director Paul W.S. Anderson plans to throw in our faces in the theater. Maybe this is more fun with one of those 3D TVs, but probably not.

Back to spoiling twists, The Double delivers a solid trailer with a moment that’ll make you go, “No way!” Problem is, that’s the kind of reaction that should come from a feature film, not its trailer. The Skin I Live In finally offers up a domestic trailer and while this one helps put the pieces together a bit more than the last, it’s still looking a bit too odd to earn my hard earned money. However, its new poster is disconcerting, but effective. There’s no way you can do any less than a double take if you catch this one on the street. Even better are the new character posters and banners for Drive. Forget selling power via telling designs; these images sell the movie based on aestheticism alone.

While I sit and count the seconds until the next big Hunger Games promotional push, check out the ones that managed to top my most anticipated film to snag spots in the promotions department and, of course, the ones that crashed and burned in demotions.


1. Warrior Clip: Just last week we got a clip featuring Joel Edgerton’s character, Brendan, having an emotional chat with his wife about their financial situation. In an obvious yet smart movie, the second clip puts Tom Hardy’s Tommy in the spotlight. This time around the situation is far from a heart-to-heart; this new clip gets straight to the action showing off one of the most striking scenes of the film. It packs quite a punch as a standalone clip, but wait until you see it in context. Sure, there will likely be more clips to come, but working with these two alone, we get a fantastic sense of what this movie has to offer in terms of drama vs. action as well as a taste of the massive rift between these two brothers.

2. Footloose International Trailer: Yes, some folks out there have a taste for those tacky and idealistic high school dramas, but what about the rest of us? Whereas the Footloose domestic trailer looses some zest courtesy of far too much exposition and schmaltzy dialogue, this international one highlights what could be the best part of the movie, the dancing. The piece is fantastically cut, moving to the beat of the always infectious “Sour Cherry” by The Kills, but also jumping off it to make it unpredictable and exciting. In terms of selling power, in Footloose’s case, less is more; less story, more dancing. Let’s just hope the same isn’t true for the full feature.

3. Melancholia UK Trailer: A theatrical trailer isn’t a teaser trailer, but, in a sense, it’s still meant to tease and leave people with the feeling that they want to see more. There were two elements to the first Melancholia trailer, the family drama and the new planet that’s just come out of hiding from behind the sun. Go watch it and then tell me which you find more intriguing; I’d like to bet it’s the latter. Perhaps that got back to the trailer editors because a new one dropped in the UK and not only does it boast a far peppier pace, but it puts the focus on the supernatural rather than the ordinary. It works and while the first trailer left me too satisfied courtesy of the duller portions covering the relationship woes, this one makes me feel as though I need more.



1. Munger Road Trailer: What is Munger Road? Based on this trailer I’d say a found footage film. No, wait; it’s cop thriller. Actually, maybe it’s more like The Hitcher. This is a major problem as while I might be intrigued yet bored by the first concept, I’d pass on the second and might consider seeing it if Munger Road falls in line with the third. Ultimately, I’m not playing a guessing game with my money. Either you tell me what this film is and why I should see it or I’m taking a pass. Plus, if this is trying to be a horror movie, we need something a little scarier than a text message that says, “run.”

2. Killing Bono Trailer: Ouch. This makes two demotions for Killing Bono. First off, if you’re going to print “based on a true story” at the top of the trailer, don’t have your voiceover guy call it a “true-ish” one towards the end. Even worse, don’t chop up that narration at an awkwardly slow pace. Yes, you want to get your sound bites in, but if you have a voiceover as bold and obvious as this one, you can’t have it pause for the sake of an insignificant line of dialogue, or ambient sound for that matter. It’s also incredibly difficult to track the main characters. The McCormack brothers get a solid introduction at the beginning, but within seconds you lose them in a mess of secondary ones and a sea of extras. Then there’s the tone trouble. Killing Bono clumsily has about a foot and a half in the comedy genre and that remaining half in drama. Even worse? Absolutely nothing here is funny.

3. Contagion Clips: Don’t write off these clips just because they fall in the demotion section. Some of them are actually quite good. The problem is that Contagion is spoiling itself, first with a overly telling trailer, then with a whopping 67 images and now with 13 clips from the film. It’s clear Warner Bros is looking to give moviegoers a taste of each of the main characters, as there are a lot of them, but the numbers should have been reduced to one clip per character, not two, or three in some cases. When I sit down for the full film, I’m always going to know what’s lurking around the corner, as I’ll be waiting for each clip to come. Watch clips 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 11, and skip the rest.

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Javier Bardem