movie trailer tuesday – ted

Since I finished commenting on trailers for 2011 best film nominated pictures last week, I figured writing about a brand new trailer for a movie no one expects to get nominated for anything would be a good direction to go.

 

Did this trailer make me want to see the movie?

Kind of.

I love the premise.

The story of the kid and his favorite toy, or intimate best friend, that magically comes to life was just waiting for a clever twist. The first 37 seconds of the trailer made me enormously excited. Unfortunately, the following 2 minutes deflated my hopes almost entirely.

The 2 minute 30 seconds of TED Universal has chosen to show me lead me to believe that much of the film will be a lot like Family Guy. The motel fight scene is a gag used in FG no less than 346 times. As is the schtick on the couch with the trashy girls. Oh, and Ted humping the cash register makes me think of Brian getting drunk and acting out, another tired gag from the show.

The premise has promise, but it is hard to imagine from the trailer that it will follow through.

Regardless of Ted‘s success, expect a South Park spoof soon. Mark my words.

Was the trailer effective as a commercial?

Yes.

This movie is not for me.

I do not watchFamily Guy anymore. I am not seventeen. And I do not smoke pot.

This trailer was made for people (mostly male), who fit at least two of the three requirements above.

I think the film will do well and I might even see it on DVD at some point or with my brother (who does, by the way, fit two of the three requirements above).

But, disregarding how I feel about the film based on the trailer, I think the trailer does a good job of baiting the hook for the right audience. And the scene where the bear is driving did make me chuckle. I do not think this movie will be devoid of laughs, I just think it will disappoint me.

Good marketing, and good products and successful films, is not about making something everyone will love. Not anymore, anyway. It is about making something that as many people as possible will love. If you try to make the product and the ad for it entice everyone in the whole world, you will fail. If you try to make the product and the ad for it appeal to folks you know are likely to like what you have on offer, your success rate (obviously and naturally) increases.

The Ted trailer is effective as a commercial because it does not try to get stuck-up, pompous, crotchety grumps who hate laughter and having fun like me to spend money seeing it because that would be a waste of time. Instead, it (smartly) targets mostly male stoners, who thinkFamily Guy is funny between the ages of 17 and 25 (whether in actual years or in maturity).

Side Note: This movie is not brought to us by a Fox-owned studio or affiliate. Hmmmmm…..

movie trailer tuesday – money ball

 

Did this trailer make me want to see the movie?

Actually, yes.

What could be more boring than baseball for most folks? Watching a film about baseball.

And, if you want to kick the boring equation up a notch, make the film be about a low scoring, low-paid, low-star power team.

Yet the trailer makes the viewer want to see what Brad Pitt is doing in this Baseball flick.

Even more importantly, the trailer makes the story seem compelling to different types of viewers – folks familiar with the book and story want to see how the film handles it; Baseball buffs want to see how history is handled by Hollywood; And casual passers by are sucked in because of the clever dialogue and created interest through thoughtful, careful use of film footage.

Was the trailer effective as a commercial?

Yes.

Simply because it highlighted the right parts of the product (the film): Brad Pitt, The theory of Money Ball, Aaron Sorkin’s witty writing, and the previously mentioned baseball historical context.

Unlike most film trailers, Money Ball‘s trailer did not tell the entire story. It gave a hint, a taste.

Like great commercials for any product, this trailer gave a look at the interesting, emotional, touching, compelling pieces of the product, without going to far.

Two Bonus Questions (and Two Bonus Answers):

1. Why is Brad Pitt always around the best actor award, and never goes home with it?

He has been a good actor for a long time and has become under-appreciated for that reason, along with his fame and frequent tabloid appearances. He might try waiting a year or two for his next film, then taking another roles like Tree of Life or Money Ball. I bet if we had not seen him for a few years he could have one for either one (or both) of those roles.

2.Will Movie Trailer Tuesday End Now That You Have Analyzed All Nine Oscar-Nominated Films?

Not a chance!

movie trailer tuesday – midnight in paris

Midnight in Paris is the best movie I have seen in a long time, so this post might be a little biased. I will do my best to treat the trailer as though I do not have a huge crush on the film itself.

Did this trailer make me want to see the movie?

Not really.

Was the trailer effective as a commercial?

No.

Like so many films I discuss on Movie Trailer Tuesday, the main reason I saw Midnight in Paris was word of mouth from people I know who’s opinions I trust.

A film as original and exceptional as this one is hard to make into a trailer.

Woody Allen is used to handling films like this, but Hollywood is not. Hollywood is accustomed to making trailers for formulaic movies with predictable plots, mainly sequels and novel-based pieces without an original idea within the entire project.

This trailer is better than many of those made for 2012 Best Film nominees, but it really does not convey the wondrous experience the film delivers.

Quick side note:

The best decision Woody Allen ever made just might be putting Owen Wilson in this film (especially if Allen himself was the other option). Had Midnight been made 20 years ago, it might have been an inferior film because of Wilson’s absence. Wilson is entertaining, energetic, and funny throughout. The “Holy-shit” face he pulls several times during his midnight adventures is one of the best film faces I have ever seen. That one expression conveys more than most actors can put forth with over-animated monologue deliveries and melodramatic emotional breakdowns. As my wife often says, “The best actors convey emotion with their faces and movements, not their words.”

movie trailer tuesday (on a tuesday!)

 

Does this trailer make me want to the movie?

No.

Is the trailer effective as a commercial?

Since it does not make me want to see the movie, the short answer is, no.

And the more complicated answer is no, too. But with more blah blah to explain why.

The fact that I personally do not want to see Frankenweenie after watching the trailer for it does not necessarily mean that the trailer is not a good commercial of the film. Necessarily is an important word here. In this case, sadly, I think the ad is a waste.

The trailer is boring, to put it simply. Tim Burton’s name will make some people go and see the movie, as will the premise, the animation, and the Disney logo attached to the project. But someone would have a hard time convincing me that this trailer will have anything to do with anyone paying for a ticket (or even a DVD rental) for Frankenweenie.

The Pixar brand helps get audiences in to theaters, but carefully crafted trailers do not hurt either.

 

movie trailer tuesday

Franchise is the most important word in Hollywood. And there are few franchises as irrelevant as “Resident Evil.”

“Can we make a franchise out of it?” seems to be one of the first questions a studio asks before green-lighting a project.

But to what end?

Hollywood cannot be relevant again until it asks, “Will this project engage people on an artistic level?” and “Will this project make a difference?”

There is a good argument for the value of a film that is made for the sake of entertainment, but there must be an element of thoughtfulness, at least a trace of art, at the core of any film to truly resonate with movie-goers.

IMAX and 3D give Hollywood an excuse to add to a dead or dying franchise.  Maybe the audience will respond to large, loud and flashy.

In a thriving economy audiences probably do. When people have less disposable income, can Hollywood afford to produce mediocrity and to deal in lazy film-making?

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