Yes, it’s party time – end of the year, Christmas dinner is eaten and everyone’s learning the words to Auld Lang Syne ready for the weekend. At the end of my first year of blogging, I thought would be sensible to reflect on what’s happened in cinema, and indeed what’s happened to me, over the course of the year. The purpose of my blog, which I’m going to attempt to reinforce as we enter 2011, is that I firmly believe that the vast majority of movies can be improved by watching them in a cinema, and that there are still a significant number of good movies being made.
Our window into this world of movies, and sometimes the only crumb of comfort at the start of a poor movie, is the trailer, and for the last seven months I’ve picked out a selection of half a dozen trailers each month that caught my eye, in an attempt to encourage you, the reader, to see as diverse a range of movies as possible. So I’ll start this look back at the year with a selection of trailers that really stood out, for one reason or another, and I’ve come up with half a dozen of them, unsurprisingly.
Trailers are a fine art, and in the wrong hands can completely destroy anticipation for a movie (see this trailer for Tamara Drewe that probably ended up doing not only that, but costing it some of its audience in the process, having pitched this as a Richard Curtis-lite fluffy rom-com, which it most certainly isn’t). I’ve also already blogged this year on my frustrations at trailers which effectively give the game away; the best trailers give a flavour of what the movie is about, enticing you in, but still leave you to discover the true delights of the movie while you’re watching the full length version, not the two minute digest.
Anyway, these are the six trailers which I felt this year were the finest exponents of their art.
Best Trailer Where The Movie Didn’t Quite Live Up To The Trailer: The Brothers Bloom
I must confess to not having seen Brick when it came out, but it did get a lot of good word of mouth, and consequently I was looking forward to director Rian Johnson’s latest effort. This got stuck in release hell and took two years to finally land in cinemas, and it was evident when it did that it was maybe just a little too quirky for its own good. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s an OK movie, but the trailer is fantastic, and it’s almost a mini movie in itself. Shame something got lost in the final cut.
Best Use Of Old Music That Everyone Was Sick Of But Now Really Likes In A Post-Modern Retro Way Trailer: Four Lions
Confession time: I like Toploader. I used to have their first album on Mini Disc; in fact, it was the only album I owned exclusively on Mini Disc when I still had a player. Thankfully my taste in film has always been a little better, and indeed a little wider, than my musical taste, but at least when this trailer got everyone bopping along to the much derided “Dancing In The Moonlight” I could feel that, for once, I was ahead of fashion and trend, rather than trailing painfully in its wake.
Best At Not Giving The Game Away Trailer: A Single Man
If you want to know how to cut a trailer together, then this is pretty much a masterclass from the school of “let’s stick lots of press quotes so people know how good it is in among some random footage”. (Which is a pretty long and rubbish name for a school.) It’s a work of art, quite literally, and reflects the aesthetics that director Tom Ford brought to the movie without giving away vast reams of plot, or even dialogue. It helps when you have Colin Firth and Julianne Moore so that people know the acting will be up to scratch when the movie arrives, of course.
The Ronseal Award For Doing Exactly What It Says On The Tin: Jackass 3D
Did the world really need another Jackass movie? One minute and twenty three seconds into the trailer, when a giant hand covered in flour made me laugh as much as anything else I saw this year, I knew the answer. Probably not, but what the heck!
Most Iconic Trailer Of The Year: Inception
The most recognisable trailer of the year, the subject of numerous spoofs, mash-ups and even this South Park parody, and oddly the trailer actually gives a lot away; but you wouldn’t know this until you’d seen the movie at least once, and probably twice, because the trailer is so well constructed and the movie itself so densely packed.
Best Trailer of 2010: The Social Network
I liked it so much, I bought the soundtrack. (Thankfully that cost me 99p from iTunes.) As perfectly constructed as the movie it was promoting, it was a perfect storm (editing, soundtrack, dialogue, story) of the elements to make a great trailer, and I quite literally will never tire of watching it.
So that’s your lot for this year. 2011 doesn’t look the most promising in terms of output, but there’s already some great trailers in the offing for the first few months – here’s hoping that the movies they’re promoting turn out to be just as good, if not better.