Sunday, December 31, 2006

Year in Review: Trailers & Posters

I figured New Years Eve was a good time to post a piece about the movie things that whet our appetites for more movie things. Trailers (or teasers --which I actually prefer) and posters are the sweet moment of anticipation before the unveiling of the real thing. The best trailers never give the entire game away but leave you wanting more. The best posters offer an design that captures a movie while also being aesthetically appealing as a one off. Here are my choices for the best


Runners Up: Children of Men and Casino Royale. I'm not counting 2007 peaks like Spider-Man 3 or Ratatouille but if I was they'd be here. Without further ado, in descending order (left to right) the four best of the year.

4. The Prestige One of those rare trailers that shows you a lot without giving the game away, and cleverly establishes a three act structure for you to imagine filled out in the theater. The movie is messier but this trailer is tight.
3. The Devil Wears Prada Smart gambit, this. Merely a full scene but what a scene. A funny introduction to four main characters with a tantalizing new light cast on a legendary star. End result: You have to see the movie. You've already bought your ticket.
2. Marie Antoinette light as air, fun, and unusual. It immediately cues you in that this'll be an idiosyncratic and personal vision from a real auteur.
1. Little Children One of the best trailers I've seen in years. Better than the movie. So good, in fact, that (full confession) I went into the movie assuming it was a masterpiece and trying to love it as much as I felt I should. The movie hasn't aged all that well in my head but damn this trailer is an A+. It's so evocative and isn't that what trailers should be? They should make you feel something but the feeling should remain open-ended enough to leave you needing more.

You know that The Devil Wears Prada's awesome graphic simplicity will appear (that heel with the devil's pitchfork: genius) but what else? The first FiLM BiTCH AWARDS Category is up. It's red, red, red. Check it out.

There are other sites that cover marketing well. It's not really my thing since I'm more interested in the final piece than the pre-release hype. But that said I feel like the teams behind the promotional pushes for Borat, Little Miss Sunshine, The Devil Wears Prada, and Casino Royale deserve some kinda medal for the magic acts performed. They played the media and the moviegoing public perfectly, maximizing the critical and financial response. So, good for them.


Tags: movies, marketing, cinema, movie posters, film, James Bond, Borat,New Years Eve, movie trailers


StinkyLulu said...

Happy New Year, Nathaniel.
Thanks for making every day a little swankier with your smart, savvy and consistently fun film comment.

And as good as Prada's poster is (& acknowledging the 6Feet rip), the Dahlia poster remains nearly perfect. The whole movie's in that image...and it's gorgeous.

Glenn Dunks said...

All the Black Dahlia posters were gorgeous, really. Agreed on V, Prada and I'd never seen the Rated poster. The Dreamgirls one doesn't sell it to me, personally.

On the trailers front, completely agreed on all four of those. I just love watching the Marie Antoinette trailers. Sans dialogue for the most part. Me and my friends saw the Prada trailer for The Lake House and instantly wanted to see that instead. And that was before we realised how god awful The Lake House was.

Happy New Year and all that jazz!

Adam Luis said...

I only have one FYC this year:

Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls, as well as any of her musical numbers for MUSICAL MOMENT OF THE YEAR.

Also, I don't know if this is allowed, but I make a motion to bump Children of Men, Curse of the Golden Flower, and even Pan's Labrynth and Dreamgirls to B+ status. The beauty of all those films are enough for me to overlook there faults, but that's just me.

- Adam

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout-out, man. Have a good 2007.

adam k. said...

Did StinkyLulu really just tell Nat he made everything "swankier"?

I hope that was a deliberate bit of irony.

Craig Hickman said...

Teasers: All A's but Little Children's train(sound)track bumps it up to A+

Posters: All wonderful. Dreamgirls visually stunning poster appears simple, but that thing is moving. Perfect, especially the way the visually stunning movie moves.

Anonymous said...

I think "Little children" should get all the possible awards for best sound. It's too bad that they usually don't notice such films in this category.
/And I think the film is as good as its trailer.
/I wouldn't have been so curious about Devil if I had seen that trailer. The poster's awesome, but the trailer?

SamuraiFrog said...

Well, you know The Devil Wears Prada was my second favorite poster of the year. Good choices. Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually more interested in marketing now that I've seen the studios screw up a lot of films much more harshly then I would've expected.

Anonymous said...

I don't like one thing about "Little children" trailer. "Academy Award nominee Kate Winslet" and then "Academy Award WINNER Jennifer Connelly". Pathetic.
Actually, I like Jennifer's performance in "Little children", but it's so unfair. What's more, she stole that Oscar from Kate and Helen Mirren, and if Mirren had got it, Kate's chances would be a lot better this year.

adam k. said...

Yeah, I would've been fine with either Kate or Helen getting that oscar in 2001. Whichever didn't win then could've won this year.

Hey Nathaniel, I just saw Dreamgirls, and... well, I think your grade is quite generous, actually.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and I still can't decide whether Helen or Kate should win it THIS year. They're so neck-and-neck for me. Connelly most certainly shouldn't have an Oscar - I would've given it to Cameron Diaz that year anyway.

The Little Children poster for me has got to be the best of the year. It oozes such latent sexuality, but conveys enough of the film's mystery as well.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Kate winning this year. It's boring to see Helen Mirren getting everything. I hope they'll show the breakdown scene in the car after seeing Brad and Kathy. It was awesome.

Anonymous said...

Thought the FACTOTUM trailer was brilliant. So brilliant I've never felt inclined to see the film, as I didn't feel it could live up to the trailer.

Glenn Dunks said...

My vote would go to Penelope Cruz for Volver. I've already waxed lyrical on that performance enough though.

Also, the best poster of the year is inneligible (i guess) for Nat's awards.

Suburban Mayhem - poster art. Just stunning. I want it on my wall and I haven't even seen the movie!

Anonymous said...

Nat...if you loved MOULIN ROUGE! I think that AUSTRALIA will be that movie you were looking for...and that's a link for a "Secret" website...I think that Little Children Trailer on might be mine..cuase I put one up there 3 months ago...

Anonymous said...

And speaking of marketing...Don't even get me started...Go to the Little Children board on and for the past couple of days you will see why so many people are pissed off...I'm so tired with having to deal with this Little Children bull, with 30 theatres in 2 months crap...I could do better.

adam k. said...

Yeah, why aren't they releasing it wider now? Wasn't that the plan? To widen it when it started getting nominated for things? Wasn't it?

If not, then what IS the plan? I am sick of this.

Glenn Dunks said...

Waiting for Oscars that won't come, I presume.

It'll get a couple of nods, but this sort of roleout only works for movies like Sideways or Chicago.

Anonymous said...

It's not just Little Children though. Last year, New Line fucked up the release of The New World. Universal is fucking around with the release of Children of Men and hurt Munich last year as well.

Sony Pictures Classics, the studio that's dominated the foreign film category (7 wins since it's inception as SPC in 1992), screwed up Joyeux Noel this year. This is pissing me off because it continues this brutal cycle - if easy to appreciate foreign flicks (and by easy to appreciate, I mean accessible, likeable, unchallenging, etc) don't do very well at the box office, the chances of getting to see the challenging foreign language movies sink quite considerably. And you can drop foreign language from the equation.

It's easy to complain when you compare this decade with say the 70's.

Anonymous said...

Well the studpid things that New Line is doing is that they are releasing it wider the weekend of the GG, supposedly...That is a stupid decision becuase then the week after they can't use the "Nominated for three GG..including Best Picture, Actress and Screenplay..."