Your Favorite Trailers - And What Makes Them Great

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Valyn, Jun 30, 2006.

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  1. Valyn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2002
    star 8
    I don't know if this has been done or not, but I'll go ahead with it...

    What are your favorite movie and video game trailers, and what do you think makes them good?

    Also, what are some bad movie trailers that you've seen?


    I'll go first...

    I think my absolute favorite movie trailer has to be the second trailer for Spider-Man 2, the one that features that epic music the lines of a "A Man Will Face his Destiny; A Hero Will Be Revealed," etc.

    The whole trailer had an epic and emotional quality to it that really grabbed at you, I think. The intro words by May Parker, "I believe there's a hero in all of us..." really sets the mood, and then the trailer takes off with that awesome music, Spidey being launched in the air, navigating his body through the airwalk, and Spidey being carried by all those hands before being unmasked by Harry.

    Very cool.

    I don't think I've seen another trailer that can really compare to it.
  2. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Why, you managed to pick my second favorite trailer, Valyn. I heartily agree with what you said :).

    As was once again shown this week, Spider-Man's trailers are a cut above everyone else's. too bad the movies can't follow suit.

    Spider-Man 2's main trailer was able to achieve a remarkable flow from one scene to the next, blending seamlessly with the music and action. The cheoreography is superb. The original Spider-Man's main trailer did the same, but 2's took it to another level. It's almost a movie in itself.

    I'll chime in later with my picks for best trailers, including my favorite.
  3. Valyn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2002
    star 8
    Yeah. I've never seen a trailer that got me so pumped up about the movie.

    And I'll ignore what you said about the Spidey films not being as good as their trailers. :p


    Another good trailer...

    I was rarely impressed with trailers for the PT, but the last RotS trailer (featuring Kenobi's "You were the Chosen One!") was very exciting, IMO. The first RotS trailer, featuring that whole "Lord Vader...rise" nonesense was very anticlimatic and boring.

    But the last RotS trailer was very intense. Good dialogue--or at least intriguing dialogue ("the dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be...unnatural," "Can I learn this power?" "Not from a Jedi...")--and the glimpse of Yoda and Sidious doing battle in the heart of the Senate chamber.
  4. Ambassador Cara Jade Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 6
    My all-time favorite trailer is for Big Fish. There's just something about the combination of the images, the movement in them, the colors, etc. Coupled with the music (the Overture from Edward Scissorhands), I get chills every time I watch it. It's beautiful.

    Link here if you haven't seen it.
  5. Tyranus_the_Hutt Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2004
    star 4
    I was rarely impressed with trailers for the PT, but the last RotS trailer (featuring Kenobi's "You were the Chosen One!") was very exciting, IMO.

    There were only a couple of PT trailers that I found underwhelming (aspects of the "Mystery" and "Clone War" trailers for "Episode II" come immediately to mind); other than that I must say I was rather pleased with the advertising campaign for this set of films.

    The first RotS trailer, featuring that whole "Lord Vader...rise" nonesense was very anticlimatic and boring.

    While I will concede that the second half of the teaser was poorly edited, I actually thought much of the buildup in the first minute (featuring the juxtaposition of images from SW, TPM, AOTC, and ROTS ? albeit briefly - replete with an overlapping narration of sorts from Alec Guinness) was brilliantly executed, building towards an image of startling, iconic power; as Guinness says, "Vader was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force," the trailer cuts to the shot of Anakin/Vader turning to regard the camera (actually played in reverse) from beneath the hood of his Bedouin cloak, his eyes occupied by a piercing malevolence. The subsequent shots of the crimson-hued, volcanic environment of Mustafar, along with Darth Sidious' guttural croak, "Lord Vader...rise!" served to further embellish a measure of the film?s Stygian preoccupation. For me, this was neither nonsensical, nor anticlimactic, nor boring...but to each his or her own.:)

    And I'll ignore what you said about the Spidey films not being as good as their trailers.

    I?m going to have to agree ? at least in part ? with KnightWriter, particularly regarding 2002?s "Spider-Man," which I enjoyed in spite of some rather significant deficiencies; "Spider-Man 2" was in many respects an improvement, although I thought it fell short of greatness. Anyway, this thread is about movie trailers, not the movies themselves, so I will cease and desist.:p

    But the last RotS trailer was very intense.

    That it was.

    Good dialogue--or at least intriguing dialogue ("the dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be...unnatural," "Can I learn this power?" "Not from a Jedi...")--and the glimpse of Yoda and Sidious doing battle in the heart of the Senate chamber.

    I particularly enjoyed that trailer because it finds an equilibrium of sorts between the epic and intimate parts of the film; the first half of the trailer is primarily dialogue-driven, but the graduated levels of intensity that compress over that minute-and-a-half are exquisitely rendered. The latter part of the trailer unfolds with a concentrated virtuosity that finally ascends to the spectacular, epic form that has largely defined the visionary pulp grandeur of the aesthetic being utilized in these pictures; additionally, the imposed structure of the ROTS theatrical trailer corresponds to the manner in which the final film is composed, so in that sense, it is very much like a fluid micro-encapsulation of the finished product, with the insinuating, duplicitous Palpatine effectively dominating the dialogue passages.

    And with that, here are is a description of a few contemporary movie trailers that I quite enjoy:

    The Shining ? The supremely disquieting trailer for Stanley Kubrick?s equally unsettling 1980 film features a list of credits (i.e. "The Shining"...starring Jack Nicholson...Shelley Duvall, etc.) crawling up the screen against a static shot of the elevator doors at the end of a hallway (in what is ostensibly the Overlook hotel); once the credits have finished, one of the doors opens and from it pours a river of blood. Like the finest movie trailers, this one tells us everything, and nothing.

    Sin City (teaser) ? Much like the film itself, this is a rather brilliant piece of stylization; this trailer plays like a sharp evocation of noir chic, introducing several of the film?s central characters in a methodical, but efficient, manner, before descending into a more visceral deliv
  6. TheBoogieMan Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2001
    star 6
    One of the trailers for "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is probably the best trailer I have ever seen. I think it was the second or third trailer for it, but it had the Guide explaining all about movie trailers. Aboslute comedy genius, especially the line about "Trailers are usually narrated by a man who sounds as if he is seven foot tall, and has been smoking cigarettes since childhood".
  7. Luke_Sparkewalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 4
    For my one of my top ones is the 1997 Star wars SE trailer.

    The whole starting with the small TV then wedge's X-wing comes through :D

    Shots of the hero's turning around with their name:D

    Then shots of the whole trilogy with that awesome music and finishing with yoda - "no there is another"

    Fantastic!!!!!!
  8. Juke Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 5
    I hadn't seen the Spider-man 2 trailer in a while, so I popped in the DVD and it really is great... better than the movie, but aren't most trailers? ;) (The old saying is that a trailer is the movie that the director/studio wishes they'd made)

    A few of mine

    'Attack of the Clones' (Forbidden love trailer) - It really gave the impression that Lucas had learned from his "Mistakes" (Mistakes IMHO) from 'The Phantom menace' and was going to deliver a film in the tradition of 'The Empire strikes back'. He didn't, but the trailer is still great.

    'Independence day' - The trailer promised a sort of 'Star Wars meets War of the worlds' and lifted music from 'Crimson tide' to give it a very epic feel. The movie is OK, though too long and jokey for it's own good.

    'Lord of the rings: The fellowship of the ring' (Teaser) - It ends with the 'Hero shot' of the Fellowship walking one by one over the top of the mountain and then closes with the tag line "You will find adventure, or adventure will find you." as eerie music plays in the background.


    Can't remember ever seeing it... I'll check that one out.
  9. Valyn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2002
    star 8
    I still need to check out Sin City. Haven't seen it yet. [face_blush]

    I have to agree with the LotR: FotR trailer. I was pretty enthused with all the LotR trailers. I remember when those trailers came on in movie theaters, people would just start screaming and cheering.

    On the note of screaming and cheering, aside from LotR trailers, I don't think I've seen so many people screaming and cheering as I did during Superman Returns' opening night, during the trailer for Spider-Man 3.

    The audience reaction really gets the blood pumping.


    But at this point in the Spider-Man film series, the trailer really only had to be a web with the words Spider-Man 3 and people would still go wild.

    That said, I wasn't really impressed with the Spidey 3 trailer...judging it as a trailer. I felt that they did a much better job with the last Spidey 2 trailer.
  10. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I now submit my personal favorite trailer: Ordinary People. Please give it a look if you get a chance.

    This trailer was made in 1979/1980, and is roughly equivalent in my mind to seeing a brand new cell phone in a movie from that era. Why? Because trailers simply weren't done well yet. Every other trailer I've seen from those days is poorly done, or almost primitive (sometimes there's no "almost" about it). It continues well afterward, and there are few truly good trailers until the late 1980s and early 1990s.

    But there stands OP's trailer, a magnificent and old diamond that still sparkles Its trailer bears a marked resemblence to another Alvin Sargent movie trailer, Spider-Man 2. It flows from one scene to the next, with a given scene answering one that came before it or setting up something after ("Are you mad? No!" *locker slams*). The trailer tells a story, building as it goes along, and reaches a real climax at the end.

    It's the best I've seen, and I find it curious that Spider-Man 2 would be penned by the same screenwriter who wrote Ordinary People. They're 24 years apart, but the trailers are both excellent.
  11. master_organa Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 2004
    star 5
    I have to agree with both HHGttG and Sin City's trailers.

    Also, I love the teaser for the Fountain. Very beautiful and mysterious.
  12. JediofJade Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 1999
    star 5
    The OP trailer drags on too long, IMO, but it's still a very moving piece. I haven't seen the movie, but this trailer does what it was supposed to do: made me curious, and got me involved in these people's lives. I want to know what happened. I want to know what went wrong. I want to see how it ends.

    Really, I keep meaning to pick this movie up, and it hasn't happened yet. I'll get around to it eventually.
  13. Son of the Suns Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 6, 1999
    star 6
    The Return of the King trailer is one I'll never forget. After seeing this preview on the big screen for the first time, I was completely floored. The imagery was so amazing and the sound was so powerful. It showed you the scope of the film without revealing too much, and with lines like "No freedom without sacrifice", it clearly told you the stakes. Also, it featured the first grand statement of the Gondorian theme and that's still one of the best renditions of that wonderful motif.

    The Japanese ROTK trailer is also quite amazing, although it was much more spoilish.

    Other favorites include (among others) all the PT trailers, the Spider-Man trailers (including the new one... wow!) and that trailer for the movie Comedian that spoofed "trailer guy".
  14. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Some of my favorite trailers from the past 10+ years:

    -Terminator 2 teaser (the T-800 assembly line)
    -Independece Day trailer A (July 2nd they arrive...July 3rd they attack...)
    -Independece Day trailer D (with "the big speec" and music from Crimson Tide)
    -Star Trek: First Contact teaser (may recycle footage from the show and Generations, but it's creepy and effective)
    -Spawn (teaser; the burning green band, logo teaser was interesting and memorable)
    -The Lost World (teaser & trailer; the use of "Burn It All" from Backdraft was very effective with the imagery, action and humor)
    -Godzilla teaser A (the museum...if only the movie would have been as exciting as this)
    -Alien: Resurrection teaser (the Red Alert music, Bishop's Countdown clone it may be, is still great at getting the blood pumping)
    -Dark City trailer(amazing trailer that reveals nothing about this amazing film)
    -Armageddon trailer B (nice, epic trailer)
    -Blue Plane (a shame this movie never came out, but I loved the jokes about Toy Story an A Bug's Life)
    -Matrix trailer A (awesome collection of visuals, without telling you what was actually going on)
    -Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (Star Wars teaser; "you were epxecting someone else?")
    -Star Trek: Insurrection teaser (despite the film sucking hard and being an overall embarassment that effectively killed the franchise's chances at continued survival, this teaser was rather good)
    -Pearl Harbor trailer (theatrical version, not the internet version with the different music; one of the few pieces of cinema to actually bring tears to my eyes)
    -The Two Towers (the Requieum remix music is just incredibly effective)
    -Spider-Man 2 trailer (very well done)
    -Termiantor 3 teaser (a very effective logo teaser, if only due to the use of music, showing what an incredible mistake it was to keep those themes out of the movie)
    -Sin City teaser (the use of imagery and the incredibly effective "Cells" song just grabs the sweet vibe of this kickass flick)
  15. Ive_Got_Two_Legs Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2005
    star 4
    Ditto to everyone who said Sin City.

    Of recent movies, I'm going to say that, without a doubt, the Kingdom of Heaven teaser trailer was my favorite (alognside Sin City). It's a shame the movie didn't live up to it.

    Then again, I also really liked the Troy (both the teaser that panned up from the one ship to show the thousands, and the one with Achilles going, "Immortality! Take it!"), Alexander, and King Arthur trailers. I guess that says something about me.
  16. Valyn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2002
    star 8
    The Spawn trailer really caught my attention when I saw it in theaters. It gave me really high hopes for the film...Well, we all know how that went.


    Dark City's trailer was outstanding! That music--which they left out of the movie but included in the soundtrack--was so creepy/badass. I have it in my collection of soundtracks. It's such a delightfully dark tune.

    And, of course, LotR: TTT Requiem remix is very awesome. I have the whole 5(?) minute song.
  17. icqfreak Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 1999
    star 4
    Man, this thread is making me want to pop in some of my dvd's and watch the trailers for them again, some for the first time!
  18. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Was the Spawn teaser ever actually shown in theaters? I only saw it online, at least the one I'm thinking of, which went like:

    ::Trailer Green Band starts, but then slowly starts burning up::

    Narrator: "This film has not yet been rated. This film has not yet been approved.

    ::fire consumes screen but then starts getting sucked towards a central point::

    N: "But next (this?) summer, New Line Cinema brings to life one of the darkest heroes to ever embrace the screen."

    ::the focal point is Spawn's eye, as seen in the teaser poster::

    I forget what happens after that, as its been awhile since i last saw it. Thoguht ti was creative forwhat was essentially a logo teaser.

    There was another TV spot/trailer included on the VHS release of the first season of Todd McFarlane's Spawn that was pretty sweet too- had one of my favorite "narrator taglines": "From blood- to blades. From flesh- to steel. From man- to Spawn!"


    >>And, of course, LotR: TTT Requiem remix is very awesome. I have the whole 5(?) minute song.<<

    Yeah that track is great.
  19. Juke Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 5

    I had forgotten about that one... You're talking about the one that uses music from 'The Crow' in it (At the begining I think), right? I might have to put this one at the top of my list, it's really brilliant.
  20. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Jan 27, 2000
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    Not sure the origin of the music, but it was the full trailer for PH, with the president's speech over all the action.
  21. Juke Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 5
    Ah, OK. I'm pretty sure that's the same one, then... If I remember right, the music from the begining (Where Roosevelt gives his "From Berlin, Rome and Tokyo, we have been described as a nation of weaklings and playboys..." speech) is taken from the Brandon Lee movie "The Crow"... Sort of a slow, "Dreamy" feel to it. Good stuff.
  22. somethingfamiliar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2003
    star 5
    The only trailers I've really liked were the PT trailers due to my emotional involvement in the series. If you don't have that involvement in the subject, then you're just watching a commercial. Trailers do seem to have the power to sidestep the cynicism typically reserved for advertising. People actually treat them as content.
  23. Valyn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2002
    star 8
    Anyone notice how the TV spots for My Super Ex-Girlfriend are kind of more attention-grabbing than even the trailers for Superman Returns?

  24. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I've seen so few good ones, it's hard to remember, but teaser trailers are invariably better than the theatrical ones, because they.don't.give.away.the.whole.damn.plot.
  25. duende Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2006
    star 5
    One of the ROTS trailers gave me goosebumps. I can't remember which one it was, though. I think "Anakin's Deeds" played through most of it.

    I hate the recent trend in many comedy trailers where the music is all chooglin' along and then suddenly it drops out so some "punchline" can be delivered. I've seen/heard/heen/seard that technique so many times that I'm completely aware of it as it's happening, thereby sapping it of its effectiveness.
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