The Best - and Worst - Movie Trailers of the Week

The Best - and Worst - Movie Trailers of the Week

Feb 07, 2014

After picking on the Planes marketing campaign relentlessly in this column, it feels necessary to highlight the very first promo in the history of the franchise that's actually somewhat touching; the one Disney is dubbing the “Courage Trailer” for Planes: Fire & Rescue. The thing feels much more like a music video than a movie trailer, but even if it is an incredibly heavy-handed move, the song choice does manage to infuse the material with some much-needed heart.   

The Best Stuff

1. Captain America: The Winter Solider

The Marvel marketing team nailed it! After complaining that the film’s first trailer was devoid of suspense because it never clarifies what Captain America is up against, Marvel delivers a new version that does just that, and does it quite well. This isn’t just a promo; it’s a character piece. By the end of this two-and-a-half-minute trailer, you know where the Winter Solider came from and what he’s capable of, but more importantly you feel his threat and that’s what leaves a lasting impression.

2. The Quiet Ones

It’s embarrassing to admit, but as a kid I used to be afraid to watch MTV late at night because the horror-movie trailers would give me the creeps. As someone who now indulges in the genre a little too regularly, that sensation is long gone, but this new trailer for The Quiet Ones does manage to bring it back to a degree. It does a stellar job of conveying loads of information while also maintaining some serious momentum, and those two assets combined with quite a few unsettling visuals is essentially a recipe for nightmares.

3. Divergent

We’ve got yet another marketing campaign taking a major step forward with a brand new trailer; this time for Divergent. The previous promos were effective, but not necessarily for the right reasons. Whereas those conjured intrigue via famous faces, a high concept and flashy imagery that merely showed you a world, this one puts you in it and it looks good.

The Worst Stuff

1. Winter’s Tale

This new trailer for Winter’s Tale flounders for all the same reasons the promo released back in November did, but it earns yet another spot in the Worst Stuff for a brand new flaw it throws into the mix: a terrible title card. If your movie is not based on a true story, you don’t mention it. And you absolutely don’t write “This is not a true story” in what’ll likely be the final trailer before your release. Even worse, the title card after that one says, “It’s a love story.” That kind of implies that love stories can’t be true stories, no? Not really the kind of message you want to send on Valentine’s Day.

2. Under the Skin

It’s yet another week in the Worst Stuff for Under the Skin, and this new red-band teaser could be the worst of them all. Just like the first trailer and the extended one, this baby does one thing exceptionally well: make the movie look incredibly unappealing. Bring me one person who can stare at a distorted eye for a full minute and then walk away thinking, “That looks like a good movie.” I dare you. If Scarlett Johansson weren’t in this, nobody would care.

3. Maladies

Speaking of movies that ride on star power and star power alone, check out this new trailer for James Franco’s latest, Maladies. According to this trailer, it’s about a guy who’s an absolute drag to hang out with because he’s got so many self-created issues that he can barely function, and worst of all there’s no tangible reason for any of it.

What are your favorite and least favorite movie trailers this week?

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