Monday, February 18, 2008

Low Res Oscar Week 2008: The Trailers

Yes, I'm doing this again. Yes, I'm still calling them the "Rezzies." Yes, I hate myself for that. No, I couldn't think of anything else to call them.

Anyway, the Oscars are on Sunday! And if any movie blogger out there ever felt ashamed about caring too much about the Academy Awards, this is the year to hold their heads high. Think the Oscars are too trivial to care about? Well this silly little awards show just ended the writers strike. Chew on that for a bit. So in celebration of this suddenly-more-important-than-ever Oscar ceremony, I promise to do my level best to provide six full days of content, leading up to the big show on Sunday.

There are enough places on the internet where you can find analysis of the current Oscar nominees and who's going to win. Places that do it much better than I do. So while I plan on tossing up a predictions column by the end of the week, the bulk of my postings will be presenting my own personal ballot for the best of the year.

So our first Rezzie (stiiiill hating myself) category, appropriately enough, is for the best trailer. And you know how much I love the trailers.


The Darjeeling Limited
For whatever reason, this was not a terribly exciting year for trailers. Not a ton that really jumped out at me. Which I suppose explains why this clip made the top five, even though it's a simple rehash of trailers for the last two Wes Anderson films (a criticism that was, somewhat unfairly, leveled at the film itself). But it put two of the film's chief virtues front and center: the cast, including Anderson newcomer Adrien Brody, and those wonderful Kinks tunes. That did it.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
It's a little longer than I like my trailers, but it showed off Tim Burton's delicious vision of London and Johnny Depp's underrated growling (which I will readily admit may not have been as big a problem for me since I never saw the stage version). No clip did more to get me from zero to sixty in terms of anticipation for a movie this year, though.

There Will Be Blood
That music! That voice! That unsettlingly specific voice-over ripped from the pages of the script without context! The fact that the film didn't live up to my expectations didn't mean this trailer didn't do a great job of raising those expectations in the first place.

I remember people being not so enamored with this clip when it first came out. I was never among them. I thought from moment one it hit the atmosphere, the period, the tension of it all. A few teasing glimpses of some of David Fincher and Harris Savides's more eye-catching visuals were all most of us needed in a clip. It managed to make Rod Stewart sound menacing. No small feat.

The Mist

I'm putting these two together because I'm pretty sure the main reason I liked them as much as I did was due to the repurposing of Clint Mansell scores. Sunshine used the Requiem music, so often placed in montages these days, while The Mist took the next evolutionary leap forward and laid the score from The Fountain down. Of course, they had virtues of their own. Marcia Gay Harden bellowing "We want the boy!" was a favorite line of mine throughout the fall. And that first glimpse of the Icarus II in Sunshine. But they'll always be linked in my mind for the music.

The winner is THERE WILL BE BLOOD, an odd choice for the first award handed out, to be sure.


JA said...

Hahahahaha! You're surely going to give all of your awards to TWBB aren't you? I can see it already!

StickyKeys said...

"I love you, but I'm going to mace you in the face!" is made of all kinds of win.