Movie Trailer Tuesday – Endless Crap, er.. Love

It’s bad enough that Romeo and Juliet has been redone a billion times. It’s even worse the amount of times Hollywood ties to sell us on a romance with a guy from the wrong side of the tracks falling in love with a rich, but sensitive girl. We’ll laugh at their awkward first meeting as poor guy tries to look tough, but shows rich girl he’s a millionaire when it comes to compassion. We’ll get angry when one dimensional, sinister rich guy rival or overbearing, conservative parent uncover the hero’s checker past and force the girl to rethink the whole thing. Then, we will finish with small tears of joy when the two are reunited and either get married, ride off into the credit covered sunset, or embrace and lock tongues in a very slow fade out.

Yeah, this is one of those movies. The whole thing plays out in front of you inside of this trailer, so unless there is some weird twist, (ie. poor guy has an evil twin, girl has a small child with someone else), that has been left out, there is nothing to compel me to the theater for this rehashed, blah plot line. It’s so lame that its scheduled for release on Valentine’s Day, because any other day of the year and the ticket sales wouldn’t even cover the body oil waxed onto these actors to give them that nice sheen for all the risque sex scenes shown in the preview. In fact, the only thing this trailer does right is show a bunch of skin to entice some horny boyfriends that have run short on good date night ideas.

So, yeah, Endless Love, a movie you’ve seen a hundred times before really setting the bar to below ho-hum right out the gate. Seems like when you have a predictable movie like this you should not go through with the two minute trailer, but I guess the producers are doing us all favor so there is no confusion as to the blandness of the picture they’re promising us. If it didn’t have such a built-in, beyond apathetic audience, I’d question why this didn’t go straight to Netflix.

- Words by Stuck

Movie Trailer Tuesday

First thing’s first: It’s 11/12/13 and that kind of thing is rare. Take a moment to do something you wouldn’t normally do – talk to you boss about that promotion you deserve, surprise that someone special with a gift, talk to a stranger on the bus. Ok, now on to today’s movie trailer:

The name of the animated movie game is, “appeal to kids and parents alike.”

In other words, try to be like Pixar and share stories that delight and enchant children, while entertaining parents with clever jokes that fly over the heads of the little ones.

We will not no for sure until Thanksgiving, but Disney’s trailer for their upcoming Frozen offers the potential for that wonderful, magic formula. 

The film will be what the film will be, but I was happily surprised by this trailer and the entertainment this winter-time film could offer for animated feature fans of all ages.

And if  this official trailer has not managed to convince you, try this scene clip, which manages to use physical comedy on multiple levels in a way that reminds me of some of Pixar’s best animated shorts.

- Words by Jeff

Movie Trailer Tuesday – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

 

One of my favorite conversations to have about films these days is about weather movies based on books should follow the original strictly or not.

It can hurt to see the story and characters go a direction you do not like when you have a connection to them because you loved the book version so much. It is frustrating to have another person’s adaptation not measure up to your vision.

But the thing is that it takes courage and passion to make a piece of art bold and grand enough to take beloved characters and stories and make something new.

I did not see the first installment of The Hobbit and I have no idea if I will see the any of them. But this trailer goes a long way toward making me want to check out the franchise, and I have to tip my cap to the brave mind and remarkable vision of Peter Jackson.

- Words by Jeff

 

Movie Trailer Tuesday – The Book Thief

After discussing the headline-grabbing New York Times ad ran by The Book Thief yesterday, I wanted to look at the trailer for the film and determine whether or not it is in-line with their Words are Life campaign.

 

I really like the line, “I never knew the meaning of the word ‘Hope.'”

The trailer used beautiful imagery and quick bursts of emotion to pull me all the way in – I was reaching for my wallet to buy an advance Fandango ticket. That is until the “We really want an Oscar nomination” trailer narrator voice inexplicably interrupted around the 1:30 mark.

Why?

The mood, emotion and connection the first minute twenty nine seconds built up were thrown out for a few seconds of narration – I think a total of three or four lines.

If words really are life, a few less might have kept this trailer from a grim, Hollywood-induced death.

- Words by Jeff

A World Without Words

Words are life

The Marketing team in charge of promoting “The Book Thief” film has done something marvelous.

So often ads are just there. Companies have marketing budgets and they know they need to advertise. They know the rules (repeat your name/product/service; brand, brand, brand; be entertaining) but their end result could be an advertisement for anything.

The Internet allows us to make things personal, and now we expect personal across all media platforms.

The new film, “The Book Thief” caught headlines last week with a blank two-page ad in the New York Times.

Not only were those blank pages – and the guts it took to pay for two empty pages in The Times – perfectly matched to the film they were meant to market, they were refreshing.

I can imagine upper-level executives saying things like, “Why would we pay to not print words in a NEWSPAPER?!?”

The ad was a lot of things. Beautiful. Smart. Engaging. But, most of all, it was personal.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, the sixteen characters – wordsarelife.com – that ran at the bottom of the second page are worth infinite pictures.

- Words by Jeff

Movie Trailer Tuesday – The Grand Budapest Hotel

The day the trailer for the newest Wes Anderson film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, came out, I read descriptions like “Wes Andersony” and the like.

Wes deserves such descriptions, but it’s hard to argue with excellence.

A few of his films (I’m thinking about the time we spent 2 hours on a train with Adrien Brody, in particular) feel like Wes but do not deliver. But, when Wes is on, there are few better movie-going experiences.

Most importantly, you know what you are going to get: an adventure of the most whimsical, fun, awkward and well-acted sort. I will be honest, it is nice to have something as reliable and remarkable as a Wes Anderson film in an age when products – and even services – are no longer made to last or to delight, but to suffice.

- Words by Jeff

Movie Trailer Tuesday – Gravity

Gravity, and it’s first weekend box office success, illustrate the value of building suspense.

Not hype. Not buzz.

Drama.

Through giving away just enough but not too much of a brilliant idea, Gravity’s trailers, posters and internet presence built stress and suspense so wildly emotional and contagious that movie goers this weekend did not merely want to see it as soon as they could. They needed to.

Using another example, try to imagine how many people would have been excited to see The Avengers without the tie-in films, Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. That film is a box office flop regardless of how good it is without the build-up.

The characters created an emotional connection – between the audience and the film they were waiting for, as well as between the audience and the comic book versions of the characters they grew up with. The anticipation for how the Avengers film would tie them all together is what made the film a success.

With the exception of the first Iron Man, those films were terrible. They looked cool and there was a ton of action, but the writing and final product mattered less than getting them out and setting up the big payoff, which was good. They were all ally-oops for The Avengers’ emphatic slam dunk.

Gravity created a similar feeling of anticipation using different – less expensive – tactics.

The filmmakers stated with a fantastic premise, made amazing trailers, added interactive website and social media experiences and skimped on nothing.

So why do both of these approaches work? Would they work with anything? The answers, respectively, are, because there is one common trait they both share, and no.

Both of these films have something many films lack: A compelling story.

The Avengers is a timeless tale  with strong characters and Gravity is only the most terrifying premise for any film you have ever heard of. Without the strong and necessary backbone of substance all of the buzz, hype, drama and suspense in the world cannot save you.

— by Jeff Osborn

Ron and Dodge

Dodge Durango and Ron Burgundy have teamed up to sell you an SUV.

These ads and campaign are great on the surface.

They are funny.

They make fun of car commercials and the stupid features they shout about.

They tie in the product and one of the best Hollywood characters in recent memory in a natural way that makes sense.

So this is a perfect, win-win little campaign, right?

Wrong.

This campaign is cute and entertaining for exactly the 90 seconds it takes to watch the three 30-second spots. After that, it floats away into the atmosphere.

The upcoming Anchorman film cheapens itself by plainly seeking out corporate partners. Selling itself to move Dodge trucks does nothing positive for the film and it’s aims at a franchise. In fact, fans may be turned off.

And on the Dodge side of things, do they sell any more trucks because of this ad. Or, do they simply continue to brand themselves as the goofy car company that advertises with a laugh track (a la Geico).

— by Jeff Osborn

Movie Trailer Tuesday – Anchorman 2

It has been a while, but I used to write about a different Hollywood film trailer every Tuesday. I called it, Movie Trailer Tuesday.  Today, I am bringing it back. Enjoy!

Anchorman 2 is coming around the same time Santa Claus does. Sequels should generally be avoided, but if you are going to force a sequel you should have a really good trailer. I would say Anchorman 2 has a 6.5/10 trailer.

Are the best jokes in it? Probably. Will it stand up to the first film? Probably not. Will a whole bunch of people go see it because the trailer was funny? I guess we’ll find out if I see you at the theater in December.

Characters

What happened to all of the great characters?

It seems like celebrities are almost anything but intereating these days. I know I can be a cynical old grump when it comes to most things (kids, get the F off my lawn!), but it is not just me. Hollywood is less relate-able/like-able/laugh-able than ever.

image

Stars are not even hateable anymore. They are just, “Meh.”

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