Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Top Notch TV Spots for 'The Hunger Games' and 'Mirror Mirror'

Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Top Notch TV Spots for 'The Hunger Games' and 'Mirror Mirror'

Feb 23, 2012

Mirror Mirror

Surprisingly promotional material for potential Oscar nominees isn’t flooding the web with the Academy Awards on the horizon, but we still do have a slew of solid items to sort through.

The Hunger Games and This Must Be the Place rock the poster department, each boasting a brand new banner bold enough to catch any eye. We’ve also got the very first poster for Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie and not only is it wonderfully reminiscent of the original, but it’s quite a gorgeous design in and of itself.

Also showing some promise is the new behind the scenes featurette for Sam Mendes’ Skyfall. As a non-Bond fan, I was surprisingly enraptured by Mendes’ take on and passion for the series. There’s also a brand new trailer for American Reunion out there and while it does reuse quite a bit of the material from the former promos, it offers up a few new gags to ensure you’re still looking forward to seeing the gang get back together.

Somewhat less fortunate, but nowhere close to getting sucked into “The Worst Stuff” is the trailer for Struck by Lightning. Chris Colfer certainly shows some potential as a writer and leading man, but the trailer isn’t as amusing as it could be. Piranha 3DD is also having some problems, as apparently the promotional department over there just couldn’t come up with any fresh poster ideas and opted to just Photoshop more fishies into the design for the 2010 film. Somewhat on the brighter side, Goon shows off an unexpectedly tame yet tense clip. It’s tough to see where this will fit into a film packed with such brutal humor, but Seann William Scott and Live Schreiber carry the moment well.

Now that you’re all warmed up, how about the best and worst promotional material of the past week?

The Best Stuff

1. Cherry Trailer: In mere seconds, this Cherry trailer conveys the film’s tone, something that’s dark yet honest. Put an actress with the ability to command a screen sans dialogue in the mix and you’ve got the perfect starting point for an intriguing trailer, something that makes the viewer wondering, what is this? In comes the cast list, boasting well-known talent like Dev Patel, Lili Taylor, James Franco and Heather Graham, leaving you thinking, oh, maybe I should pay attention to the rest. From then on it’s all lightly touching on Cherry’s subject matter, revealing just enough to get a sense of what’s going on, but still maintaining an intense degree of mystery.

2. The Hunger Games TV Spots: These spots have been floating around for a bit, but it was just this week that Lionsgate finally released high quality versions of both. A TV spot is not a place to introduce new material, but the editors of these pieces managed to slip some in, keeping the hardcore fans satisfied while holding onto the plot points the full trailers focus on, turning the spots into a marketing tool with the power to catch any moviegoer’s eye. In terms of the actual footage shown, it was a bold move revealing Katniss’ big moment in the training facility. Just as she makes a statement firing her arrow right at the Gamemakers, so does the snippet within the TV spot. There’s also an incredible shot of what looks to be Hunger Games central, a room packed with game technicians monitoring a hologram of the arena. These spots find the perfect middle ground between not enough and too much. We get just enough fresh footage to up the buzz, but steer clear of coming anywhere close to spoiling too much before the big release.

3. Mirror Mirror TV Spot: I’m definitely on team Snow White and the Huntsman when it comes to the dueling Snow White films, but you can’t watch this TV spot without getting all warm and fuzzy inside. Minus the fact that it’s not done in classic Disney animation, there’s something about hearing, “One of the most beloved stories of all time,” and that majestic and cheerful chime that makes it feel like a throwback. Then, the impeccably timed editing and B.o.B’s “Magic” kick in and the rest of the spot is an absolute romp. Sure, some of the gags are a little childish, but isn’t it nice to tap into that humor every once in a while?


The Worst Stuff

1. Brave Poster: I wouldn’t call this a bad poster per se, but Pixar better up the ante if it’s going to get me the least bit excited for its next feature, Brave. After years of toys, old people and little robots, the cute factor is severely lacking, especially because the large majority of the material we’ve seen has Merida front and center and nothing more. No, not every Pixar movie needs something cute and cuddly in it, but so far, there’s nothing to connect to in Brave, there’s nothing that stands out. Hopefully the new trailer dropping today will change that.

Brave Poster

2. Lockout Poster: Can you say DVD cover? Based on the trailer, it’s pretty easy to tell that Lockout is all about the action and perhaps not so much about emotion and connecting to an audience on a deeper level, but even The Expendables came up with a more inspiring poster than this one. This design is absolutely manic, drowning its famous faces in a barrage of odd texture that might be the designer’s miserable attempt at mimicking an explosion. And who holds a gun that way? Good luck to Guy Pearce taking out any inmates with that stance. Then there’s the fact that this image pays zero attention to an element that makes Lockout stand out from the search and rescue lot; he’s rescuing the president’s daughter from a prison – in space! Perhaps they should have ditched the failed fiery-ness and used some of the background to show that the leading duo is out of this world.

Lockout Poster

3. Wanderlust Clip: It’s one thing to release an unfunny clip from an upcoming comedy, but this two minutes and 42 seconds from Wanderlust is absolutely painful to watch. The clip premiered on Funny or Die and it actually feels like it could be a Funny or Die sketch, not a piece of a full feature. Improvising is great – when it works. This seems to be the result of far too much babbling nonsense from Paul Rudd. If this is the best material from his riffing session, I feel exponentially worse for poor Malin Akerman.

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