Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Trailers. All damn day long.

What's the best part of going to the movies?

Seeing trailers for movies you're looking forward to.

It's almost invariably better than seeing the movies themselves. I've lost count of the number of times a movie hasn't lived up to the expectations set by its trailers. It's gotten to the point where I have to force myself not to watch a trailer more than once, if it's for a movie that I'm excited about, because the more I see the trailer, the more excited I get.

One solution to this problem would be to simply make movie trailers without actually making the whole movie. Take J. Random Comic Book, work out a treatment (it doesn't have to be any good, because we're not showing anything more than disconnected, out-of-context bits of dialogue and explosions), and figure out how little you can get away with shooting.

Then we'd convince movie theaters to have one screen dedicated to just running trailers all day. $5 admission, stay as long as you want. Sit and watch trailers and soak up all that exciting goodness. And forget about the movie.

Or, you know... not.

Then there's those movies where the trailer looks, well, meh, but then you see the movie and it's a lot better than you expected. The recent Pride and Prejudice springs to mind. The trailer made it look like, Well, oh, look, another Austen adaptation, yawn. Hey, Keira Knightley. What the hell is Donald Sutherland doing in this movie? Who's that stiff playing Mr. Darcy?

But it was very charming and entertaining and energetic. So it is demonstrably possible for a trailer to outdo its expectations. Even better is when you haven't even seen the trailer for the movie, so you have no idea what it's about or what to expect. The Usual Suspects falls into this category for me. My dad suggested we go see it. All I knew about it was the print campaign, "Who is Keyser Soze?" and all that. And the lineup of the five guys.

So we see the movie, and wow, it blew me away. At the time, it was OMGGREATESTMOVIEEVAR!!!!11eleven, but in retrospect, it was the combination of 1) me being young, inexperienced, and under-educated with respect to cinema history, and 2) my complete lack of expectations.

I could forgo watching trailers entirely. On the other hand, I love the rush from seeing upcoming trailers for Big Action Movies, and I'd hate to give that up either. O, what problems I have.