Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: ‘End of Watch,' 'This is 40,' 'High School,' 'The Expendables 2' and More

Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: ‘End of Watch,' 'This is 40,' 'High School,' 'The Expendables 2' and More

May 04, 2012

End of Watch

Having too much of a good thing can go either way, but when it’s in your favor, boy is it a thrill. In Prometheus’ case, should Twentieth Century Fox keep the promo material coming, I’ll continue to eat it all right up. The latest to hit is a new featurette that not only offers more behind-the-scenes footage, but breaks down the production by story, cast, sets and the world, and while it’s immersive and informative, it’ll never be enough. We need the full feature. And you know what? Even when that feature does come and go, I suspect this is a world we’ll be eager to return to.

The Dark Knight Rises finds similar, but perhaps not as much success with its third trailer. The closer we get to the film’s July release, the more Bane comes into focus, the more we see of Bruce Wayne’s trajectory and the more we feel the devastation of the franchise’s third installment. The rather sweet orchestral tune paired with widespread destruction gives the piece an eerily beautiful sense of hopelessness, but doesn’t leave you hanging, giving just the lightest amount of faith courtesy of a powerful and action-packed build before the trailer’s end.

Clearly this week it was a tough race for those top three spots, but what it came down to was the fact that anticipation is already sky high for Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises. Sometimes it’s that eagerness to root for the lesser-known or the emergence of new intrigue that comes with an extra degree of excitement.

The Best Stuff

1. High School Poster: Sometimes you’ve just got to be blunt about it – no pun intended. With its June 1st release hot on the horizon, we get a brand new poster for the stoner comedy High School. This is the third design in the film’s series of artwork and like the two that preceded it, this poster shows you exactly what you’re in for should you opt to catch the film, and it has some fun with the concept, too. Of the bunch, my favorite is still the cannabis Scantron, but when it comes to making the big push right before the film’s release, this bright green image is far more likely to get the point across in a mere glance.

High School Poster

2. This Is 40 Trailer: It ain’t easy making an honest comedy. Yes, some of the gags in Knocked Up were a little over the top, but what made that film such a widespread favorite was the act that not only was it funny, but it felt real, too, and this trailer for the so-called spin-off, This Is 40, has that same vibe. Again, there’s some super silly material, namely an instance during which Paul Rudd goes TMI to the max, but otherwise it’s a compilation of jokes that might really come your way.

Perhaps not all at once like this, but who hasn’t come across a Barb in his or her life? What really seals the deal with this one is the family dynamic. Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd make for a charming duo yet again plus the little Apatows are older, but still cute and make for excellent tech-addicted little ones. To top it all off, Fun’s “We Are Young” is just a pitch-perfect music choice. 

3. End of Watch Trailer: What is this?! No, the question mark/exclamation point duo isn’t proper grammar, but there was no other way to express my immediate reaction to the trailer for End of Watch. There hasn’t been that much coverage of this one, so when this trailer popped up, it was a thrilling surprise. The unusual assortment of camera angles and footage styles is an instant attention-grabber and then once those tactics have you in the mix, right alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena, a bomb is dropped and the guys’ lives are at risk. It’s got the fun of a hotshot buddy scenario, some gritty action and incredibly high stakes. Pair that with the innovative coverage choices and we could have something truly novel and immersive here.

The Worst Stuff

1. Peace, Love and Misunderstanding Poster & Trailer: A poster like this is never a good sign. Sure enough, tacky expressions and convenient character placement via Photoshop leads to a three-generation failure for Jane Fonda – and that’s coming from someone who actually likes Georgia Rule. Perhaps her whole hippie shtick would work if all of the gags weren’t exactly what you’d expect from that type of character. Further proving this one will be exactly what you’d expect with foreshadowing to the max, “you need a muse” and in comes Chace Crawford! That’s not sweet. It’s obnoxiously idyllic. Then, why not top it off with some life-changing advice? “If you are not open to the possibility of love, you’re fooling yourself.” I’d rather take advice from a fortune cookie.

2. The Expendables 2 Trailer Teasers: Clearly teasers for trailers are the way of the future and we have to get used to that, but this one for The Expendables 2 is downright intolerable. Someone needs to tell Terry Crews that The Expendables 2 is a movie, not a bodybuilding infomercial. I don’t need someone to yell at me to motivate me to watch a trailer teaser. In fact, if I didn’t write this weekly feature, his over-the-top (and awfully sweaty) show might have been enough to make me pass on the actual Expendables 2 trailer all together. Clearly I didn’t go that far and while I might be reluctant to admit it after the Terry Crews show, the full trailer gives you exactly what you want – guns, combat, explosions, and the biggest and best of big screen action.

3. Cosmopolis Clip: I didn’t entirely understand the plot of Cosmopolis from the trailer, but there was still something oddly intriguing about it. The details weren’t clear, but the pacing and stylish editing still made the trailer an enthralling experience. Trouble is, you can’t do the same thing with a film clip, so when the moment isn’t particularly clear, that’s really all there is to it. Even worse, this interaction between Robert Pattinson and Sarah Gadon is boring and kind of silly, too. Books? Haircuts? Who cares? This scene is lifeless and awkwardly shot.

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