There's a perceived wisdom that if the trailer’s great, the movie will be terrible. A case in point being The Phantom Menace whose teaser stoked the fevered anticipation of legions of Star Wars fans only for them to discover, several months later, that the movie sucked, big time. More recently there was Wanted whose teasers left me salivating, while the movie left much to be desired.
Studios spend a small fortune cooking up these two-three-minute slices of cinematic foreplay. And with movies costing such huge sums these days, and the line between success and failure being such a thin one, who can blame them. Summer blockbusters, typically, have great trailers. Then again, if you’re stomping up that kind of money on stars and/or special effects, you’re bound to have enough cool moments to string together to whet one’s appetite. (And if you don’t, well…)
As a committed movie fan, I love trailers. I’m constantly linking to or posting youtube versions here because, well, they’re bloody exciting, generally offering the first peak at a film I’m desperate to see, sometimes pricking my interest in a movie I’m not.
A few months ago, prior to seeing Son Of Rambow, I caught the trailer for Robert Luketic's 21 , the release of which had pretty much passed me by. But the trailer (see below) made me sit up and take note. It was slick, fun, and flashy, and did its job brilliantly — it made me want to see the film.
For various reasons, I didn't manage to catch it while it was still in cinemas, and so I was very excited when a Blu-ray of 21 (***) turned up in the post yesterday. So much so, that it jumped right to the top of the viewing queue last night. The trailer had promised a sharp, edgy, snappy tale about a group of MIT students who uses their mathematical smarts to clean up at Blackjack in Las Vegas. But what I got was something much slower, more pedestrian, more conventionally plotted. Not that it’s terrible. It’s reasonably entertaining and diverting in a wet Sunday afternoon way. But it was most definitely not the movie its trailer sold.
Still, the Blu-ray transfer was gorgeous, particularly in capturing Vegas' razzle dazzle and neon hues, although Russell Carpenter's night time HiDef cinematography isn’t a patch on Zodiac.