Trailers Trashed | Film Reviews | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Trailers Trashed 

The movie trailer: The ultimate triumph of movie marketing.

Pin It

When it comes to my geekish bona fides, I bow to no one. My teenage comic-book collection was epic; my Star Wars action figures and assorted paraphernalia filled a small closet. But I don’t know how to deal with my nerdy brethren and sistren when they go berserk over a movie trailer.

From the full disclosure department: I’d live a happy life if I could avoid theatrical trailers altogether, especially in an era where telling a movie’s entire story seems to be the unstated goal. Press and promotional screenings generally oblige that preference by firing right up with the feature presentation, but every once in a while a trailer is “attached” to a new release—as happened when Disney spot-welded the trailer for the upcoming TRON: Legacy onto Alice in Wonderland, to capitalize on its presumed huge opening weekend.

What often happens in cases like this is that the trailer itself—following the lead of shows like Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood—becomes news. The TRON trailer had fanboys ejaculating exclamation points all over their blogs, as did the new Iron Man 2 spot that debuted during the Academy Awards broadcast. It’s the ultimate triumph of movie marketing: As long as you sell anticipation for the movie, the movie itself becomes largely irrelevant.

There’s little question that this technique of turning a trailer release into an event works. It was working at least as far back as Nov. 20, 1998, when the teaser for Star Wars: Episode I had the geek elite flocking to Adam Sandler’s The Waterboy, essentially paying full admission price to see two minutes of footage before leaving the theater.

But there’s something depressing about how this phenomenon folds into the Ain’t It Cool-ization of film coverage, where a movie is deemed newsworthy only until anyone has actually seen it. I can’t help wishing that folks could collectively tone down the Pavlovian salivary response and fall in love with movies with half as much enthusiasm as they seem to be falling in love with commercials.

Pin It

Speaking of Sideshow, ,

  • Walk of Shame, The Lego Movie

    New DVD/VOD Tuesday, June 17
    • Jun 16, 2014
  • Drinking-Class Zero

    Following a night of drinking, Wendy Simpson, 25, walked to a McDonald’s restaurant in West Yorkshire, England, where she was told that the counter was closed and only the drive-through was open but that she couldn’t be served
    • Jun 16, 2014
  • Night Moves

    Night Moves is as terrific as it is frustrating
    • Jun 13, 2014
  • More »

More by Scott Renshaw

  • All the Rage

    Three Billboards dares to imagine a world in which anger isn't righteous.
    • Nov 22, 2017
  • The Bulb and the Beautiful

    Holiday light experiences are all about creating Christmas memories.
    • Nov 22, 2017
  • Nouveau Current

    Wine-lovers every year anticipate the November arrival of the Nouveau Beaujolais vintage from France.
    • Nov 22, 2017
  • More »

Latest in Film Reviews

  • All the Rage

    Three Billboards dares to imagine a world in which anger isn't righteous.
    • Nov 22, 2017
  • Without a Map

    Lady Bird chronicles the rocky road of female adolescence.
    • Nov 15, 2017
  • Parallel Lives

    Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck unites two tales of youthful discovery.
    • Nov 8, 2017
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Readers also liked…

  • Where Are the Women?

    A critic's year-long deep-dive into the way movies portray one half of humanity.
    • May 11, 2016
  • List We Forget ...

    Celebrating the best of 2016 in film.
    • Dec 28, 2016

© 2017 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation