Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Ron Howard Excels While Adam Sandler Continues to Annoy

Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Ron Howard Excels While Adam Sandler Continues to Annoy

Jun 01, 2012


We did get our fair share of new promotional material this week, but the marketing realm was certainly on the quieter side. Consider it the calm before the MTV Movie Awards storm.

We’ve got two posters to note, one for Scott Derrickson’s Sinister and the other for Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie. If it hadn’t been for that far-too-bold bloody face on the wall, Sinister might have made its way into The Best Stuff. And while the Frankenweenie poster is exactly what you’d hope for from the film, the lack of a wow factor kept it out of the top three.

In big trailer news, the first one finally arrived for Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables, but as someone who never held the novel-turned-musical near and dear, this trailer is simply okay. Perhaps further down the line, Les Mis will get a trailer boost much like The Bourne Legacy and Red Lights. While neither had particularly captivating teasers, their most recent theatrical trailers are quite successful at pulling a viewer in via story.

Men in Black 3 may be old news, but a trio of VFX sequences just surfaced and while some of the material may be a bit advanced for someone who isn’t proficient in effects terminology, whether you know your stuff or not, dissecting the movie magic is fascinating.

The Best Stuff

1. Rush Preview: We’ve all read the press releases and indulged in casting announcements, but it’s been quite a while since we’ve heard much of anything about Ron Howard’s Rush. With Howard at the helm and a cast including Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde and Daniel Brühl, Rush is inherently in the spotlight, but it’s a preview like this one that makes the film more than a hot topic, but something to look forward to. A combination of interviews, behind-the-scenes video and footage of the actual James Hunt and Niki Lauda, this featurette not only explains the film’s true and riveting source material, but also provides a taste of the action to come and hints at a uniquely tragic tone suggesting Rush is far from your average sports movie.

2. The Amazing Spider-Man Australian Trailer: While all of the promotional material for The Amazing Spider-Man has been relatively successful, none is as exhilarating as this. This brand-new Australian trailer simply and effectively lays out Peter Parker’s predicament, both highlighting the not-of-this-world material, something that makes superhero movies intrinsically appealing, and the more grounded elements, convincing an audience that Peter is a real person. From there we launch into an exciting montage of plot points and thrilling action sequences, all backed by a pounding tune and the combination will undeniably get the adrenaline pumping. But what really ups the stakes in this trailer more so than any is that we get a glimpse of what feels like a third act blowout. Nothing seems to be spoiled here, but some of the clips exhibit a sense of peril that could only be the result of the ultimate threat.

3. Fan-Made Promo Shout Out: The Expendables 2: No, this isn’t an official piece of promotional material for The Expendables 2, but it should be. Not to knock all the professional trailer editors out there, but as it’s now incredibly easy to produce professional grade work with consumer software, fans are really raising the bar when it comes to delivering effective promos. Who better to determine what’ll draw movie fans in than the movie fans themselves?

The official Expendables 2 was clearly targeting the right audience with an immense amount of firepower and action, but it fell short with plot. There are a few minor mentions of the team’s mission this round, but not enough information to establish a connection to the story in the least. And you know what? With a movie like The Expendables 2, that doesn’t really matter. It’s all about the guns, firepower and explosions and that’s exactly what this fan-made piece has some fun with. Clever text, jabs at pop culture and some actual footage from the film set to the beat of a tacky yet electrifying tune proves to be an excellent recipe for Expendables 2 anticipation.

The Worst Stuff

1. Branded Trailer: It’s one thing to poke fun at something like annoying marketing methods, but you don’t want to toe the line of irritating advertising yourself. However, the whole “The Burger” shtick in the new trailer for Branded manages to hold on to just enough integrity to keep from scaring a viewer off. When the action shifts to the boardroom intrigue is high as the idea of a futuristic version of intrusive marketing is rather fascinating, but then we get that head implant, octopus-like thing and the story turns downright silly.

It isn’t even quite clear what’s happening here; there’s something about companies inserting desire into consumers’ minds, but then in comes nightmarish-looking Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons. Branded seems to have a very realistic and thoughtful message at its core, but there are also traces that suggest the film itself might not express it as well as the filmmakers understand it.

2.That’s My Boy Preview Clips: Can this movie just go away? No, That’s My Boy doesn’t have Adam Sandler dressing up as a woman, but having him look like an aged and drunk version of Robbie Hart is starting to feel just as terrible. Just like Jack and Jill, not only does the promotional material suggest the feature film is going to be the lowest of the low, but it’s also annoying and these new preview clips might be the worst of the worst.

While the “You Banged Your Teacher” one won’t make you want to see the full film at least it’s not as annoying as the “Shots” video. As if LMFAO’s “Shots” isn’t overplayed enough, here it’s paired with unfunny jokes and an irritating performance from Sandler that basically involves him playing drunk and dress-up. But the worst one of all is the “Wazzzzup” piece. The gag was funny in the Budweiser commercial back in 1999 and maybe even in Scary Movie, but since, it’s been so overdone that it can never be funny again, especially in an Adam Sandler movie. The keywords here? Overplayed and overused. Is Sandler running on empty? I’d say so.

3. Ice Age: Continental Drift TV Spot: What is it with this week’s promotional material and painfully unfunny gags? This TV spot for Ice Age: Continental Drift is about 50 seconds too long thanks to an incredibly odd and annoying opening joke. Isn’t the Ice Age franchise supposed to appeal to adults? Sid’s little dance looks like something that would be in one of the shows my 2-year-old cousin watches. From that point on, even with some amusing dialogue from Wanda Sykes’ Granny, there’s this sense of dread that the material to come will be just as uncomfortably childish as that first bit. Clearly that doesn’t bode well for the full feature.

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