Best of 2011: Trailers

I’ve asked a couple of X&HTeam-mates to help me out in the run-up to the New Year. First up, Simon Aitken has done me proud with a list of the best trailers of the year. Some good choices in here, and I’m in total agreement with his No. 1. What do you think, Readership?

Usually at this time of year I do my top ten films, but when Rob asked me to do a top ten, I thought I’d try something a little different. So I decided to look at the thing that piques our interest in films–the trailers. It’s our first glimpse of what a film is going to be like. Of course they can be misleading. How many time have you seen a trailer that was good, but the film was bad? Many times. Or the film wasn’t anything like the trailer. Take Gareth Edward’s Monsters, where the trailer made it look like a film full of the tentacly buggers, but it turns out to be a road movie, with some monsters in it. But trailers can be entertainment of their own sort.

I have watched a lot of trailers and here are my picks of the year. The only rule I have applied, while watching them, is that the trailer has to have debuted this year, so bear in mind they could be for films not yet out. In other words, there’s a spoiler alert in operation from here on in.

So here we go:

10: Chronicle

I’m not a fan of found footage films, but seeing these guys showing off with their powers, has piqued my interest. It pretty easy to guess where the story is going, and it does look a bit like the TV series Heroes, but could be a lot of fun and you might actually care for the characters in it. The only thing I don’t like about the trailer is the ending. They could have left that part out of the trailer. There should be some mystery to how they got their powers.


9: Cowboys & Aliens

So you’ve got James Bond, Indiana Jones, some cowboys, some aliens, and a funky looking alien device. It’s such a strange mix that it looks like it could be a fun popcorn movie. This looks like it has everything you ever wanted in a Summer Blockbuster.


8: Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon

This is the teaser trailer for Transformers and for a second this trailer fills you with hope that it’s not going to be another mess of a film. It shows Neil Armstrong and co landing on the moon, and then throws Transformers into the mix. This teaser is more or less the whole opening sequence from the movie and it’s the best thing about the whole film. I remember seeing this trailer and it giving me a glimmer of hope that Transformers might be good. Just a glimmer.

7: The Divide

The opening image of New York is breath taking! Who knew the end of the world could be so beautiful. Then you get a glimpse of the survivors in the shelter and thier new world, and you know things are going to get bad (Actually this film is very, very grim. You don’t know how grim it gets). Michael Biehn looks like he’s back on top of his game, like when he was in The Abyss. And if you blink, you will miss seeing Rosanna Arquette. So grim, but in an exciting way.

6: Super

This has that guy from the Office. You know, the weird looking one. (that would be Rainn Wilson–Rob) And he dresses up as a super hero. You know this is going to be the twisted, weirder, more of a loser brother to Kick Ass. You also get Kevin Bacon playing a scum bag and Ellen Page as a sidekick. Need I say more…

5: Drive

Remember me you telling you about those trailers that make the film look good or like something else. Well this trailer for Drive made it look like one big chase film with gun fights in between when it was more like an existential film with crooks in it. It’s more Taxi Driver than To Live And Die In LA, but it still gets it’s coolness across and those neon lit streets just remind me of a Michael Mann film. I so wanted to see this film after seeing the trailer and I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the film.

4: The Muppets

Do you remember when Green With Envy first showed? I do. It looked like just another romantic comedy. I didn’t think there would be Muppets in it! But there they were and so started the series of parody trailers for The Muppets. I like them as they use actually footage from the Muppet film, but cut them in a way to suit a certain style of trailer. So you get the romantic comedy, the super hero film and they even parody themselves. Though my favourite is The Frog With The Piggy Tattoo. That made me laugh the most. I have put the link for that one below. Only the Muppets could pull this off, as if it was anybody else, it would have got real annoying, real fast.

3: Carnage

I came across this trailer by chance. I saw the poster and clicked on the trailer to see what it was like. At the end of it, I was like when is this film coming out?! It only happens two time this year. This one and the next one on the list. This one looks like a lot of venomous fun, like Swimming With Sharks, where people tear each other apart. I can’t wait to see it.


2: The Artist

This is the other trailer that made me want to see the film. I hadn’t heard of The Artist or it’s win at Cannes (to tell the truth I don’t follow what goes on in Cannes, unless I’m there). But the trailer is great. OK, it looks like it gives away the whole of the plot, but it does paint a wonderful picture. And not a word is said. Of course this is a silent film, but you know exactly what is happening, which is the mark of a good film. Again I can’t wait for this one to come out.


1: Dead Island

And my number one is a trailer for a game. That’s right. A game. The rest of the trailers in this top ten, you’ve seen other trailers like it, but this one breaks the mold. Firstly it’s technique of telling a story by one part moving forwards and the other moving backwards, and meeting in the middle. A technique that was last used in Memento. The other thing is that it is heartbreaking. It has such an emotional punch. If there isn’t a tear in your eye by the end, then you’re not human. Will Hollywood start making trailers like this? I don’t know. Time will tell. But I can assure you Hollywood has taken note.

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Rob

Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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