My Favorite Trailers

Recently, the trailer to my as yet unreleased movie “Truly Desperate” keeps cycling through my head. Whenever I hear a real cheesy seventies song (Hocus Pocus by Focus, for example) I can picture in my mind’s eye two minutes of cherry-picked laughs, some emotionally gripping thrills and a brilliant logo to cap this series of image-awesomeness. Will I ever get to make this trailer? Probably not. But if I do, I know I’ll be thinking of these next six.

Tell me some of your favorite trailers in the comments.

Gritty. Hardcore. Punk. It’s everything I want to imagine the eighties were like in Australia. Plus that looming logo is amazing. I’m not sure if I even want to see Dogs in Space, but I do want to continually watch the trailer for it.

Side Note: it’s playing at the Silent Movie Theatre on July 15: http://www.cinefamily.org/calendar/thursday.html#dogs. Could it be as good as the trailer? I may have to find out.

You had me at that overlong “An Aries Film Release” title card. And you had me even more during those corny “critic” voiceovers. Why did we do away with those after the nineties? Oh and Harvey Keitel slapping street toughs could provide hours of entertainment.


You would think the best trailers come from the best movies. In many cases, that’s true. I would add a corollary: The best trailers come from the best action movies.

Of course, there’s no better action movie than Pulp Fiction, so it would be impossible to screw this one up.

“How did they ever make a movie of Lolita?” Just OK I hear, but the trailer’s quick pace, charming take on photography, and overall joie de vivre makes this a must-see.

Rhythmic. Tense. Mysterious. Suspenseful. These are all adjectives that can both describe the Coen Brothers’ oeuvre and this outstanding trailer. I would even recommend not seeing the final film, just watch this—it’s a lot faster paced, too.

Oh yeah, and I had to include a trailer for an upcoming film. I don’t even want to know what Chris Nolan’s up to with Inception, but after seeing this trailer this month, I am hooked. It wasn’t just the droning notes either. Like the best trailers, it’s mysterious, powerful, and leaves just enough questions to hook me. Why is the water tipping? What is Leonardo DiCaprio doing on that helipad? Trailers need not tell the movie’s story, but they have to key into its conceit, whether external or internal to the film’s universe. The best are visual leading questions, the kind that lead audiences back to the movieplex, cash readily on hand for the next Sunday matinee.

Of course, there’s no better action movie than Pulp Fiction, so it would be impossible to screw this one up.

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2 responses to “My Favorite Trailers

  1. Okay, Inception looks AMAZING. Andy and I have been looking forward to that for months.

    I think good trailers, like good query letters (from writers to agents about their novel), will give you “the gist” of the book — the premise, the main characters, and the tone — but leave you wanting more. If you don’t want more, then the trailer didn’t succeed, because it won’t bring you to the theater (or the DVD store/Netflix homepage, I guess).

    On the other hand, the quality of a trailer has nothing to do with the quality of a movie. You can hide so many problems in 2 min that you just can’t hide in 2 hrs. For example, I thought the Prince of Persia trailer was fantastic — it had action, comedy, and cool special effects — but I’ve heard the movie was… not.

    Anyway, I hope you get to make your trailers someday. If not for this movie, then for others. 🙂

  2. Agreed about the Prince of Persia–they should just show that trailer instead of the actual feature!

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