50 greatest (or worst) ranked trailers that are more entertaining than the movie

Posted on Tue Jul 21 2009

Blair witchHollywood folks don't like to call their movie trailers advertisements. That would lump them in with TV pitches for laundry soap, car insurance and orange juice; and that's way too mundane. No, trailers are bite-sized bits of content that people actually want to watch, say movie marketers. When done well, that's exactly what they are. Evidence: The trailer for District 9, an upcoming sci-fi thriller produced by Peter Jackson, has been viewed more than 1 million times on YouTube. If you're rating trailers, should top honors go to the ones that pique interest for movies that go on to be blockbusters? Where's the challenge there, right? Or is the real artistry to be found in 2 1/2 minutes that work hard to sell a genuine crapfest? IFC has chosen some of both for its "50 Greatest Trailers of All Time." That sure is a grand title for a list that has Cloverfield at No. 3, ranked higher than The Blair Witch Project, which it blatantly ripped off. Really guys? I cry foul. The indie media company picked trailers that blend art and commerce like Independence Day and The Lord of the Rings, along with those that were way more entertaining than the product that followed (See: Unbreakable, Eyes Wide Shut). Two movies from 2009 made the cut -- Watchmen and the upcoming Where the Wild Things Are — as did a bunch of classics like Dr. Strangelove, Charade, Psycho and The Manchurian Candidate. No. 1? The original Alien. See the full list here. Do you agree with this list?

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Warner Bros. aims to make sure the Watchmen are unavoidable

Posted on Thu Feb 19 2009

Fanboys are a given, but what about the kids, book club members and Nip/Tuck viewers?
  After the massive $1 billion success it had with The Dark Knight, Warner Bros. is looking for an audience beyond genre geeks with ads and swag for Watchmen, the upcoming release based on the Alan Moore graphic novel. A two-and-a-half minute ad running on cable has director Zack Snyder talking up the source material for those who aren't familiar but realize cultural import when they hear about it. "It's on Time magazine's list of the 100 greatest novels of the 20th Century," Snyder tells us and was "instantly viewed as a classic or as a work of literature that was beyond its own genre." Gravitas is good.
  On the other end of the spectrum, this week's New York Toy Fair unveiled prototypes of Watchmen products, "The End is Nigh" baseball caps, Dr. Manhattan lunchboxes, Rorschach ski masks, that are likely to cause the fervently iconoclastic, anti-consumerist Moore to have an aneurism. (He's already said he won't see the flick). Loyalists are no  doubt sharpening their claws for the inevitable blog attack on the tchotchkes.
  That's not stopping Warner from  going full force. If the movie can just live up to its hype, all these machinations could be quickly forgotten. But the coasters, doomsday clocks and cigarette cases? That may take some time.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley


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