September 16, 2010

Movie Trailers And Why They Suck

I think they ("they" being the evil movie marketing hacks) should stop showing trailers, with the hammer-thump-stomp advertising, being particularly invasive in the States.

The sad thing is, when I see film trailers, I just know what the film is going to be like. One could see it as an advantage, since, if it's crap (which it usually is) I save myself the money, right? Like with "Eat Pray Love".

I suppose I am not qualified, justified nor can be vindicated in my initial judgment as I still haven't seen the movie. Waiting till it appears on cable is soon enough for me. However, hearing various reviews by my intimate circle of trusted film critics (Dana Stevens, Stephen Mettcalff and Julia Turner of Slate and the one and only Dr. K aka Mark "Quif" Kermode) I feel confident clinging to my initial gut reaction to that particular sop weep barf extravaganza, penned by a poor rich lady, looking for the meaning of life. Gah.

Next case-in-point: "The American". George Clooney. On heavy rotation in the weeks leading up to the September 3rd release, the strategy obviously did some good. The "European Thriller" with American movie star magic won the box office that weekend. The takes weren't huge and the competition was not intimadating, nevertheless, it worked.

I am a George Clooney fan. He's got charm, sex appeal, the works. But, honestly, seeing the trailer, time and time again, I just thought it was dead boring. And George Clooney's presence did nothing, absolutely nothing to up the "Am I intrigued?" factor. In fact, I found it more irritating than anything else. The trailer highlights his buffness and tattoos, either blatantly copying the "Cape Fear" Robert De Niro I am a really mean motherfucker thing, or an homage, however you want to view that. Problem is, George Clooney is not scary. And even "something bad is gonna happen" music won't change that. Nor big fat tattoos dancing on the muscular rear view of Mr. "I took this job because its not far from my awesome Italian Villa" Clooney.

Honestly, it's disappointing to be right all the time. Seriously. I want to be surprised, blown away, intrigued. Of course, if I did go and actually see the movie, something or other might surprise me, but a surprise worth 12 bucks and two hours? Not that I am that busy or anything. And I would be supporting my local cinema, which is a good thing, always.

One question that arose during the Slate Culture Gab Fest's review of "The American" was this: Would it have been a better movie with another leading actor? The consensus leaned toward a "no, not really".

My take: at least it would have been more interesting to see someone different. We know what George Clooney can and cannot do. He doesn't do deep. At least not in that cliched dark Euro-deep trenched and twisted way. Not like a Vincent Cassel or the of constant inner turmoil suffering Ralph Fiennes easily conveys with one furrowed brow. George cannot do that. It's a no sale. Not buying. Nope. Take it back.

Which brings me to the idea: how about a money-back guarantee? If the film is crap, we get our money back.

Seriously, the problem with trailers is that so often, the most effective ammunition is fired up for the trailer - to get the audience in - naturally. Lame comedies use the three mild laughs in the trailer, making it completely redundant to watch a 2 hour version. Remember the staggeringly awful "Dinner for Schmucks"? Hell, the trailer wasn't even funny.

Less trailers, more surprise. Let's go see a movie on the merits of a writer, a director, a good script.....hopefully. At least we'll be surprised. That's worth something, no?


Rayvenne Black said...

I really hate when all the good scenes were in the trailer...and the movie itself was crap. Sometimes those scenes aren't even IN the movie.

Veronika said...

Exactly right. One is lured in under false pretenses. Trailers as a separate art form are great. the editing, the music....awesome. Too bad they more often than not have little to do with the final product.

Nice pink hat btw : ).

Rayvenne Black said...

Lol thanks about the hat. I wish I knew where that damned thing went :(