Best/Worst Promos of the Week: Vampires Are Lifeless. Go Figure.

Best/Worst Promos of the Week: Vampires Are Lifeless. Go Figure.

Mar 29, 2012

Breaking Dawn Part 2 Teaser

Hot on the heels of the wild success of The Hunger Games comes the teaser for another highly anticipated young adult book to film adaptation, Stephenie Meyer’s The Host. It’s particularly simple and, therefore, not profound, but it does fair better than a certain teaser trailer for another Meyer adaptation. Also in the teaser realm, we’ve got a trailer teaser for Total Recall. So far, so good; now we’ve just got to wait and see what the real thing’s got to offer this Friday.

There’s been quite a few new releases within the horror genre. Madison County looks pretty creepy, but it also looks like more of the same – college kids drive through the middle of nowhere and are tormented by a sadistic killer. You know the drill. On the other hand, the remake of Mother’s Day looks to be some truly twisted fun, lead by an especially wicked Rebecca De Mornay. We’ve also got a clip from The Cabin in the Woods and while the scene is pretty solid, after having seen the full film, this doesn’t do the wonderfully wild experience justice. Then again, we don’t want any spoilers in the promo campaign, now do we?

If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, the first trailer for the animated film Rise of the Guardians arrived and it’s certainly an interesting spin on all of the icons of our childhood imagination. Moving into more adult territory, we’ve got the trailer for the festival hit Safety Not Guaranteed and, sure enough, this one rocks a novel and silly premise that’s beautifully paired with a hefty dose of heart.

The Best Stuff

1. Lockout TV Spot: You know who’s going to see Lockout? Folks that want to see ruthless killers overrun a prison – in space! You know what the opening line of this TV spot is? “Mr. President, there’s been a massive takeover on space prison MS1.” Sold! Who even needs the other 30 seconds? Still, those 30 seconds are there and they’re a ton of fun. Not only do they offer up shots of all the action you’d assume would follow, but they also up the stakes of the situation, noting that not only is the prison falling out of the sky, but the ultimate action hero is about to infiltrate the facility and, very likely, teach all of those out-of-line prisoners a lesson. The only odd choice here is the omission of Maggie Grace. Sure, it’s easy to tip the scale when you’ve only got about 30 seconds to work with, but a little something about saving the President’s daughter might have made this spot even more powerful.

2. Dark Shadows TV Spot #2: Call me crazy, but I’m starting to fall for Dark Shadows. I’ve had absolutely zero interest in the film since the day it was announced (probably because I’m not familiar with the original show), but ever since the trailers and TV spots started coming in, it’s become quite appealing (perhaps because I’m not familiar with the original show). This TV spot is particularly notable as it manages to take us right through the basics of the plot and squeeze in quite a few gags courtesy of an impeccable pace and level of energy. Some of that energy fizzles out significantly in this 60-second spot, which might hint at potential issues in the full feature, but as far as Best/Worst promos goes, this TV spot is a definite winner.

3. American Reunion Featurette: The large majority of the moviegoers eager to catch American Reunion in theaters are the ones that hold the original film near and dear to their hearts, and there’s no better way to honor that devotion than with a featurette of the cast talking about their experience making American Pie. It’s actually really interesting hearing where they all were when they first read the script and to see how drastically their careers have changed since. The conversation feels candid and genuine, leading you to believe they really do look back on their time making American Pie as the good old days. If the reunion on screen is anything like this actual reunion, Pie fans should be very pleased.

The Worst Stuff

1. The Avengers Featurette: “Go behind the scenes of Marvel’s The Avengers?” That’s not a very accurate description of this featurette. Sure, these pieces are somewhat meant to reel in folks who might not opt to catch The Avengers in theaters on their own, but they’re far more for the dedicated fans, the fans that not only line up to catch the film opening weekend, but are actively seeking out every piece of promotional material that hits the web leading up to the big release and this featurette will undoubtedly be a disappointment to them. This is about three minutes of stating the obvious. We know which Marvel movie hit theaters when, we know Iron Man was a huge hit; what about The Avengers? This piece tells us absolutely nothing about the new film, rather feels more like a cheap way for Norton to slap their name on something Avengers-related.

2. Hotel Transylvania International Trailer: No, this isn’t’ a terrible trailer as it presents the concept in an appealing manner, but it does have one major flaw – Adam Sandler. The first 20 seconds, the monster roll call, is great, bringing in all the supernatural big screen villains we’ve grown to love and pairing them with some rather cute animation, but then at the 25-second mark, the video comes to a screeching halt. Adam Sandler is known for his silly voices from Billy Madison’s odd antics to the drone that comes out of Little Nicky’s shovel-based face, but there’s no denying that Sandler is just past his prime. Those voices aren’t funny anymore; they’re annoying and, even worst, incredibly recognizable. The international trailer for Hotel Transylvania is literally drowning in Sandler’s voice work and there’s no reason to think the same won’t be true of the full feature.

3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Teaser: I’ve never been a huge Twilight fan, but I’m most certainly not a hater either. In fact, over the years, regardless of the quality of the films, the promotional campaigns have been pretty solid. Oddly enough, even after not enjoying the New Moon installment, a somewhat tacky TV spot for Eclipse still made me look forward to coming back for more. However, in the case of this Breaking Dawn – Part 2 teaser, there’s just no energy at all. The line delivery is as flat as ever and the video just moves far too slow for what it looks like the editor is trying to achieve – to create sense of unease. When Bella looks up revealing her blood red eyes, you might not get chills, but you should be feeling something. And when she appears in the woods, that moment should make you jump out of your seat, even if it’s just the slightest bit. However, those efforts are entirely unsuccessful and probably because the tension never builds and the edit timing is slightly off.

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