Jackass 3D

Review Of The Year 2010: The Half Dozen Best Trailers of 2010

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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.

The Friday Encourager: Man-Child Weekend

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Scary Man-Child from Due Date
Bunch of hilarious child-men from Jackass
Very mature for her age girl-woman











This is the weekend of the people who don’t act their age, being either spectacularly less mature than they should be  or actually astonishingly grown up. If my plan comes off, I’ll be seeing all three of these, plus Another Year – what say you give one of them a go? Surely something for everyone this weekend, especially the grown-ups.

The Half Dozen: The 6 Most Interesting Looking Movies For November

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Another month, another round of movies. November is traditionally a good time of year for the movies, what with us giving thanks for having packed the riff-raff off to the colonies all those years ago, and said colonists having some sort of similar celebration where they eat turkey a month too early. My wife has some sort of clinical aversion, which I’ve never encountered anywhere else, to going to watch movies in daylight, so life does become easier in that respect now that winter is nearly upon us.

So what to choose this month? By my self imposed rules (well, rule, really, it’s the only one I’ve got so far), I don’t include movies in this list that I’ve already seen, mainly because I’m then judging the movie and not the trailer. So this month that has ruled out Chico & Rita and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest from consideration – they’re both strong movies and deserving of your time, but you really do need to have seen the first two Millennium movies to have any chance of fully understanding Hornet’s Nest.

Then there’s the movies that aren’t interesting enough, including Harry Potter and I Thought This Was The Last One Apparently Not, for which the trailer doesn’t look bad, it’s just difficult to get too excited about the seventh in a series. (We’re looking at you, Diamonds Are Forever and Star Trek: Generations.) I’ve also ruled out Let Me In, for while I adore the original, the trailer actually makes this look less interesting than I think it will prove to be, possibly in an attempt to generate some kind of audience. The trailer is worth watching if only for the giant “Hammer” logo at the beginning – let’s hope that’s not the last we see of that.

There is some other stuff, including some newness from Rob Reiner, some over-the-topness from Robert Rodriguez, some this-all-looks-a-bit-familarness from George Clooney, Colin Farrell doing a very good, but at the same time very odd, accent in William Monaghan’s attempt at making a serious Guy Ritchie movie and even this year’s Palme D’Or winner from Cannes. I love Thailand and I love arthouse, but I nearly fell asleep watching the trailer. Maybe I’ll wait and see on that one.

So, without further ado, the six trailers that stood out for me this month. Hope we both get to see as many of the finished products as possible.

Jackass 3D

The Marmite of movies, you either love them or hate them. I have to say that I think most of the stunts are somewhere between dangerous and revolting, often a combination of the two, that it’s all intensely puerile… and that I laughed like a drain throughout the first two movies. So I’m afraid I’m in the former camp – sorry if that disappoints you, reader. But watch this trailer, even if you think you might be in the latter camp – Jackass has always stood out against its peers partly for the ingenuity and innovation of its stunts, but mainly for the unparalleled sense of camaraderie that exists between Johnny Knoxville and his band of crazy brothers. The high five is still the funniest single moment I’ve seen in the cinema all year.

Another Year

This trailer is, in its own way, very similar to the Jackass trailer, in that it sets its stall out, and is almost as keen to tell you about the quality of what you’ll see as the content. (I have to say I like the latter part of that approach; no-one wants to see too much given away in the trailer.) I have to confess that I only saw my first Mike Leigh movie two years ago, when I was on my first all-out cinema binge, and it was a pleasure then – I’m sure it’s going to be a pleasure now as well.


While the trailer is interesting in itself, it would be fair to say that my expectations of this movie are not exactly Sky High, feeling as it does somewhere between Independence Day and Cloverfield. It’s also taken that approach with it’s actors, avoiding big names or no names and instead going with Milo from 24 and Turk from Scrubs. Classy. More fascinating, though, is the controversy that surrounds this, with The Brothers Strause owing the effects house that has produced this movie (total movie cost, less than $20 million) and also been involved in effects work next year’s Battle: Los Angeles (total movie cost, est. $100 million), thus infuriating Sony earlier this year. Will be intriguing to compare the two come next year.

We Are What We Are

As the caption says, “…does what Let The Right One In did for vampires.” Yes, cannibals are next to get the art house treatment, and there looks to be plenty going on in this one. Not much more I can say on this one, other than that the trailer looks to be not for those of a nervous disposition, so I can only imagine what the movie contains. (Actually, thanks to the BBFC’s website, it contains strong bloody violence, horror, moderate sex and mild language, such as ‘asshole’ and ‘damn’. Thanks, BBFC!)

Robinson In Ruins

I can’t imagine this one coming anywhere near Cambridge or Bury St. Edmunds, my two cinematic hangouts, so I shall just have to enjoy the trailer, although the neon title cards did give me brief flashbacks to Enter The Void. I simply present this paragraph from the IMDb page for your consideration:


Denzel Washington and Tony Scott have made a series of movies that could be illustrated in terms of quality by one of those stock market crash graphs with a red line on a white background. If they carry on with that trend, this will be off the bottom of the scale, especially since The Taking Of Pelham 123 was buttock-clenchingly tedious (it ended with a walking chase, for crying out loud – that is NOT an action movie or a thriller, Mr Scott) but they’ve been hyping this one up, calling it Speed meets Jaws. Frankly, if it’s half as good as either it’ll keep my popcorn down very nicely.