Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Trailer Tournament, Round 3: Mrs. Dalloway Said...

Low Res presents a 64-team NCAA-style bracket tournament to choose the best trailer of the past decade. At the end of each post, YOU make the call: which was the more effective trailer? Not the best movie, exactly, but the best two-and-a-half minutes that made you want to see said movie. You can take a look at the full bracket here, and you can catch up on the entire tournament so far here. Enjoy!

[On a formatting note: I've tried to both embed the trailers (where possible) and link to the trailers someplace where I know they won't be pulled. If there's no embed, blame YouTube. Just click the link on the movie's title and you'll get it.]


2. LOTR: The Two Towers (2002)
Once again, we encounter Clint Mansell, whose Requiem for a Dream piece "Lux Aeterna" was fleshed out into this rousing, oft-repurposed orchestration that practically blasted my face off for the latter half of 2002. Of the three Rings trailers, this one probably had the most anticipation going in, and it delivered the best of all of them. Note the strategic decision to reveal one fairly significant spoiler (Gandalf's alive!), which, given that 50% of the audience already knew (anyone who read the books or a casting report), probably wasn't that big of a risk. But it was crucial to allow McKellen's voiceover into the trailer -- no one sells a line like "the defenses have to hold" better.

Awesome trailer attributes: cool song/score; iconic performance


3. The Hours (2002)
Whenever I talk about how much I love it when a difficult-to-market somber drama cuts a trailer that sells it as a tense thriller, The Hours is always the movie I'm talking about. It's not about lying, or showing something that isn't there; it's about selling Laura Brown's crisis of maternal confidence as a life-or-death race against time. (Which, incidentally, it was.) It's mighty effective. I loved The Hours on its own, considerably more low-key terms, but hearing the music ratchet up, and Meryl Streep tell me she's unraveling, and the strings screech, and then Nicole Kidman turns roundabout on that staircase with some kind of murderous scowl on her face? AAAAHHHH! Gotta watch! Gotta see who she kills!

Awesome trailer attributes: iconic performance; misdirection


Carol Elaine said...

I love both of these trailers (and films), but The Hours trailer makes me tear up. I love the entire movie, but for some reason Julianne Moore's story breaks my heart the most. Probably because Moore completely sells the character.

adam k. said...

My favorite part is the epic crashing sound (and flash) when Meryl cracks the egg. Just so utterly ridiculous if you actually stop to think.

But seriously, I LOVED this trailer back in the day... I'd read the book right before, while I had the soundtrack already, and was obsessed with all things Hours. Then, when I actually saw the movie, I was disappointed : (

I was not yet used to think inevitable drop in quality from book to film. Oh well. It's a pretty good film, though, all things considered.