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Posts Tagged ‘trailers’

Trailer for Every Oscar-Winning Movie

March 8th, 2010 | Jonathan Gray

In honor of last night’s Oscar winners, here’s a very funny trailer I found for every Oscar winning movie, and I thought I needed to share:

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What a Crazy Trailer

March 6th, 2010 | Jonathan Gray

Courtesy of The Huffington Post’s pre-Oscars “Worst Movies Ever Made” list, comes this spectacularly awful trailer:

HuffPo notes, “it sets you up to think you’re going to watch a teen film about dancing your way through the loss of a parent, but then it calls you a sucker and whips out some demons,” but the trailer doesn’t so much change directions as much as it adds a whole new layer. The result is a seemingly hilarious (and hilariously badly acted) genre hybrid of inspirational dance film and horror. The demons don’t interrupt the protagonist’s therapeutic dance, after all; they give it new (cosmic/spiritual) meaning.

I still don’t know why the title insists on spelling “see” with a “c”, either, though I’m wondering if they were paying whoever did the title card by the letter. Or maybe the film was pitched via text message. So gloriously bad, I’m almost inclined to watch it.

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Extratextuals’ 2007 Awards Extraordinaire, Pt. 2

January 11th, 2008 | Jonathan Gray

Derek’s first part is a hard act to follow, but I decided to focus on trailers, teasers, hype, and TV opening credit sequences. I’ll wage in later about the TV opening credit sequences, but for now, should the clip embedding work:

Best Movie Trailer
Trailers are one of the most underrated, under-appreciated art forms in the contemporary media environment. Indeed, it bears reminding that amidst enthusiastic discussion of YouTube debates, political satire, reporting, virals, etc., many of the most viewed videos on YouTube are trailers. Moreover, as media companies try to saturate our daily lives with trailers, so that we see them somewhere, they also need to be aware that many of us will see many trailers multiple times, and so there’s a fine art to making a trailer that hasn’t sickened you by the time you see it for the tenth time.

Runner-Up: Juno. Ideally, I’d have loved to pick two excellent trailers for bad movies here, but (a) I didn’t see many movies in 2007, so I don’t have much to work with, and (b) the point is that Juno’s trailer had me convinced that I’d like the film. The crispness of the script jumps out at you, and it offers a supremely recognizable (ie: real, not Saved By the Bell-ized) high school life. Ellen Page’s performance announces itself as fantastic, and the trailer chooses wonderful scenes to showcase two great cult properties in Rainn Wilson and Michael Cera. Plus it has Allison Janney/CJ Cregg in it. It pandered to everything I wanted, right down to being filmed in my hometown, Vancouver (which I can nearly always tell visually. No bullshit. It’s the quality of the green. All that rain. And the sky. And the houses).

Winner: Vantage Point. I already blogged about this, so let me just link to it here. But I haven’t seen it, and even if I don’t, or don’t like it, I think the trailer rocks.

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Kudos to the Trailer:Vantage Point

December 9th, 2007 | Jonathan Gray

I’ve now seen this trailer several times, and am a massive fan of it. I don’t know if ultimately I’ll like the film (the evil Arab bad guys motif is often recipe for stereotypes and lazy writing, and the scrolling Manichean pairings of “life-death,” “truth-lies,” “good-evil” in the trailer leave me concerned whether the script will be equally divided into tidy binaries), but the trailer‘s editing, look, concept, and cast all really jump out at me.

From the beginning, it’s a brilliantly edited trailer, with scene or image changes following the audio quite neatly, with captivating then breathless pacing, and with a nice balance of intrigue and action. It’s good on the small screen, but on a big screen it’s masterful: each of the four times I’ve seen it in a cinema now, it’s easily won the trailer sweepstakes for me.

It also seems to give surprisingly little of the plot away — yes, the president is shot, some Arab bad guys seem behind it, we learn the president was a decoy, and the real president seems to be in subsequent danger, but Dennis Quaid’s “something else is going to happen” seems the mantra for the trailer (much as Charlie’s “guys, where are we?” was a mantra for the equally intriguing Lost trailers in 2004). These days, it seems quite a skill to advertise a thriller — I don’t tend to watch many, not because I don’t like them, but because most are (or at least appear to be) ruined by the trailers. Trailers need to capture the tone of a film, and thrillers seem too much for many editors to handle — how do they show narrative intrigue and plot twists without spoiling the film left, right, and center? Advertising a comedy or an action film, by contrast, are so much easier — you just need to show a really funny joke or a fight sequence respectively. Jokes can be funny the second time, fight sequences too (especially if they involve free jumping. I love free jumping), but spoil the plot twist and you can’t go back on that. This trailer here, though, handles the issue with skill.

And, segueing off my previous post on casting, the combination of William Hurt, Matthew Fox (complete with good Jack-faces aplenty), Sigourney Weaver, Forest Whitaker, and Dennis Quaid is intriguing in and of itself. It’s Smoke meets Lost meets Alien meets Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai meets, um, errr, Jaws 3D. Sounded good till the end there, didn’t it.

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A few quickies, with links

October 10th, 2007 | Jonathan Gray

1. Where Can Hillary Go Next?Ben Grossman poses an interesting question in a column for Broadcasting and Cable: with the political campaigning beginning so early, and with all the early primaries, how will candidates keep people interested? Grossman wonders if the key candidates will simply run out of shows on which to appear as guests. Translated, can one’s brand run out of extratextual outlets? Come May, will we see guests challenging Chef Cat Cora on Iron Chef, having a scripted spat with Vince McMahon on WWE Smackdown, or appearing as Jack Bauer’s grandparents on 24?

GoldenCompass.jpg

2. Dual Purpose AdvertisingA new trailer has been released for The Golden Compass, the first of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials books to be made into a film, due out this Christmas. This time, the trailer lacks the egregious fastframe spoiler that was in the teaser. Interestingly, though, it dedicates a fair amount of screen time to the Panserbjørn (speaking polar bear) Iorek Byrnison, no doubt to help advertise the Panserbjørn-riding computer game as much as the film.

3. Gossip Lives EternalThe first of the fall shows to be picked up till the end of the season is Gossip Girl. Despite ho-hum ratings, The CW is sticking by their rich waifs, so it seems.

4. “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”A quick visit to DVDtalk.com proved wholly unsettling. Apparently, there is a porno Brady Bunch film called Not the Bradys XXX, and to celebrate the launch of its DVD, Xcritic.com “will be giving away pieces of the wardrobe worn in the film including [...] Marcia’s yellow and red panties [worn] during [the] car wash scene.” This in the wake of the original Marcia Brady’s recent tell-all revelations of a trist with sister Jan, and suddenly The Brady Bunch has way more edge than I ever thought possible: all in a good day’s work for two extratextuals

                                         5. Earl and Office Web PresenceRandy.jpgNBC has set up a blog for Randy, the fantastic, Homeresque sidekick in My Name is Earl. Very misguided. First, the site is covered with ads for Earl, and thus doesn’t keep within diegetic frame. Are NBC stupid enough to think someone’s going to stumble into this site without already knowing when the show is on? Second, Randy doesn’t even have a computer in the show, and so it’s nonsensical to give him a blog. Third, it’s simply not that funny. In short, it neither extends the world of Earl in a feasible manner, nor is it entertaining unto itself. Strike One.

Strike Two comes from NBC’s Dunder Mifflin Infinity website for The Office. It starts off well, with an overdone flashy intro. But, like Randy’s blog, it can’t resist breaking frame, by putting an NBC logo in the top corner, and by allowing one to list one’s favorite Office character and episode. One can earn “Shrute Bucks” (also possible as an application on Facebook) and buy decoration for one’s desk. And one can in theory work one’s way up the corporate ladder with better jobs and so forth. It’s all quite tedious, though, and while The Office finds considerable humor in everyday tedium, there’s nothing really to be gained or learnt here. As with Randy’s blog, it’s as if someone told NBC they need to create a “funky” website, yet very little thought went into why.

I’m on a mission to find really good websites now, so please point me in the direction if you know of any.

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