Sometimes I question putting up all these ‘favorites’ list each year. Because everyone puts up some version of them But I realize as I do it each time… not one puts the amount of care and effort into the lists the way I do. I always stumble upon a ‘favorite performances’ or ‘favorite trailers’ list on a site or two, and it’s always the same shit you’d expect to try to appeal to the most amount of people. Hustlers and Joker and The Irishman and all the same films that are gonna get the most searches. No one’s actually talking about the content itself. So that’s why I keep doing it.
That was a long way of saying we’re talking about my favorite movie trailers today. Another art that’s on shaky ground. Not as much as posters are, but they’re not doing great. Trailers now are either completely abstract and designed to give you nothing about a movie or spell out the entire plot of a movie from start to finish. There’s really no in-between most of the time. Unless, of course, the trailer actually does its job. And that’s what we’re gonna try to get at today.
My viewing of trailers tends to ebb and flow from year to year. I’m usually in a theater a lot, so I’ll catch a fair amount. And some of the bigger ones I will watch. Sometimes I’ll get bored every two months or so and then pull up like ten that I just missed to see if they look any good or see if they’re selling the movie well. Because I’m gonna watch all this stuff anyway, so trailers really aren’t doing anything for me. They’re not really moving the needle all that much. The only thing a trailer will do is make me reconsider (or further convince me) if I should see a movie in theaters or not or make me more excited for something than I already am (which, in those particular cases, is usually a lot). But I make myself write up this article so I can really look at what trailers are doing their jobs exceptionally well. Because people do this for a living. Their job is to make these things. So it’s only fair they get their just shout outs for doing their jobs well.
Here are my favorite movie trailers of 2019: (more…)
I’m of very mixed opinions on the movie trailer. On the one hand, seeing a good one is really exhilarating. On the other, so many of them now spell out the entire plot of the movie and make you feel as if you’ve seen everything before you’ve watched it. Or they give you enough to where you can figure out all the plot twists and stuff beforehand. At that point, where’s the fun?
But, in the past few years I’ve been in theaters more and more and have seen more and more trailers, and I’m starting to come around on the better ones. Unlike with movie posters, they don’t really exist in perpetuity. They’re there to sell you on a film, and once the film is out, no one particularly remembers the trailer. Sure, the good ones you maybe remember, but you don’t go back and watch them often. How many trailers do you go back and see for movies that came out 5+ years ago? Less than five, I’d guess. And most of the time, it’s not because you remembered, “Oh yeah, that was an awesome trailer.” Mostly it’s to see what the trailer looked like or to show it to a friend to sell them on the movie.
However, each year, there are some cool trailers that come out that are worth noting. So what I do, at the end of every year, is go back and watch several hundred trailers (often multiple trailers for each film), and pick out what I think the best ones were. Usually I’ll have half a dozen in my head that I remember having liked, and then I’ll think of some more along the way. But mostly I’m going back and seeing which ones ended up being the most artfully done.
Here are my favorite movie trailers of 2018: (more…)
I have an ambivalence toward movie trailers. I don’t think they’re particularly any good anymore. But then again — have they ever been good? It’s not like they’re the movie poster, where you can make a great one. Generally, trailers are there to sell you on a film and nothing more. They’re not really their own art form.
So many trailers nowadays typically spoil the entire plot for you ahead of time, which makes them hard to take on their own. And also ruins some of the movie for you ahead of time. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be artfully done. So what I do, at the end of the year, after I’ve seen all the movies, is go back and watch the trailers and see which ones were actually quite good. Some of them I see throughout the year, and I do tend to remember the good ones, but by and large I watch everything I can afterwards to see what actually sold a movie well.
So here are my picks of my favorite movie trailers of 2017: (more…)
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with movie trailers. For a while I refused to watch them unless I had to. Because I was gonna see all the movies anyway, plus so many of them are annoying or suck or tell you the entire plot of the film beforehand anyway.
Now, I try to watch everything. I don’t care. I’ve given in and just watch every single trailer. Because I’m gonna see the movies anyway. And at least I can get a handle on how they’re trying to market something. And, hey, you never know when something will have such a good trailer that I’ll completely change my mind and my expectations for it.
Though, for all those reasons, it’s hard to have a good trailer. So many of them feel like standard progressions designed more to tell you exactly what you’re going to get so you’re not surprised or give you moments you were waiting to see for three years because you watched the goddamn set videos.
I want a trailer that makes me want to see the movie immediately. That gets me excited for a film without giving up too much of the details. We all know the trailer that I always point to as being the one that made me legitimately excited for a movie — American Gangster. That fucking trailer is still one I’ll put on and get excited by. And we’re all different. But a good trailer is timeless.
I’m not perfect, and I’m subjective as hell, but regardless here are my favorite trailers of 2016: (more…)
We all watch trailers. It’s unavoidable. I deliberately try not to watch trailers, yet somehow, by the end of the year, when I’m doing this article, I find myself having already seen a great deal of them. They play at least three of them before any movie you see in theaters. Youtube videos have them as ads beforehand. We see them every day.
Like movie posters, it’s hard to make a memorable trailer nowadays. One that actually gets you excited to see a movie. Most trailers regurgitate the entire plot in two and a half minutes, and you end up knowing exactly what you’re getting, with no surprises. Apparently people need comfort and familiarity. I like when trailers try to do something different and memorable. The goal of a trailer is to get you to go, “I’m ready to see this movie.” You want it to whet your appetite for the product. Not show you the product, to the point where, when certain jokes or moments happen, you don’t react as strongly because you’ve seen them three times in the trailer. The best trailers are the ones that get you to go, “I didn’t think I wanted to see that movie before, and now I do.” So I try to pick out the trailers that I feel accomplish that each year.
Here are my favorite trailers of 2015: (more…)
Today I’ll be going over my favorite movie trailers of 2014.
We all watch trailers. It’s unavoidable. I deliberately try not to watch trailers, yet somehow, by the end of the year, when I’m doing this article, I find myself having already seen a great deal of them. They play at least three of them before any movie in theaters. Youtube videos have them as ads beforehand. We see them every day.
Like movie posters, it’s hard to make a memorable trailer nowadays. One that actually gets you excited to see a movie. Most trailers regurgitate the entire plot in two and a half minutes, and you end up knowing exactly what you’re getting, with no surprises. Apparently people need comfort and familiarity. I like when trailers try to do something different and memorable. The goal of a trailer is to get you to go, “I’m ready to see this movie.” Even if you know what it is. You want it to whet your appetite for the product. Not show you the product, to the point where, when certain jokes or moments happen, you don’t react as strongly because you’ve seen them three times in the trailer. The best trailers are the ones that get you to go, “I didn’t think I wanted to see that movie before, and now I do.” So I try to pick out the trailers that I feel accomplish that each year.
I’ll preface this list by saying — these are only trailers from movies that came out in 2014. Not trailers from 2015 films that came out in 2014. I hate when people do that. We all know my problem with people calling these the 2015 Oscars when they’re clearly for 2014. These are 2014 trailers for the films of 2014, and nothing else.
Here are my favorite trailers of 2014: (more…)
So today I’ll be going over my favorite movie trailers of 2013.
I did this last year, and it was fun, so I’m doing it again. I’m a fan of when trailers are cut well. Because usually they’re just regurgitating the entire plot of the movie over two minutes, so you know exactly what you’re getting, no surprises. Because apparently that’s what people need to go to the movies — comfort and familiarity. “Oh, I’ve seen this movie a dozen times before, let’s go see this.” I like when trailers do something different and memorable. I think the point of a movie should be to let you know the basic premise, not spoil too much, not have the same tropes as every other trailer out there, and, most importantly, make you more excited to see the movie than you were before.
I’ll also preface this list by saying — these are only trailers from movies that came out in 2013. Not trailers from 2014 films that came out in 2013, or 2012 films that got released late or whatever. I hate when people do that. We all know my problem with people calling these the 2014 Oscars when they’re clearly for 2013. These are 2013 trailers for the films of 2013, and nothing else.
So here are my favorite trailers of 2013: (more…)
This is gonna be a bit ironic, seeing as how I avoided 95% of all movie trailers this year, and the only ones I saw were either big movies I was eagerly anticipating (for better or for worse), ones I saw in theaters, and ones that were put on at work on someone else’s computer that I ended up watching. I actually went and watched most of the trailers for the year within the past few days.
That said — a good trailer is still a good trailer. Cutting a good trailer is a lost art, it seems, as most of them now are either one of two things — straight teasers, or plot machines. They’re either telling you nothing or everything. Not only that — not many trailers actually stand out anymore. You know what was a memorable trailer? The one from The Muppets. Or, going back a few years, one that always stuck out to me — Little Children. With the train sounds building to the crescendo. I still remember that trailer. There’s a delicate balance to a good trailer. They should tell you something about the film, without giving the entire plot away, they should be memorable, and not follow the same tropes as every other trailer (unless they’re gonna make fun of them), and above all else, they should make you more excited to see the movie than you were. If it’s something you weren’t sure about, it should make you want to see the movie. If you were going to see it anyway, it should make you excited that it’s gonna be really good, and if you were already crazy excited for it, it should make you almost pee your pants in anticipation, wanting the months to pass sooner so you can just see it already. That’s what a good trailer is.
So, with all that — here are my favorite trailers of 2012: (more…)