Teaser Trailers: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
The history of teaser trailers or what can better yet be described, as “campaigns” has been a brief one. Yes, all pun intended. Despite their relative “quickness,” there remains something undeniably effective with the majority of these thirty to sixty second displays that compel audiences to push their way to the front of the lines. From products to feature films, the dedication of time and energy spent on making the ultimately effective “teaser,” sometimes may take longer than the final product.
It can also be noted is that not all teases work. And above all, there is no category of teaser that can out shine those that steal your attention with the promise of one to two hour thrill rides all beckoning for you to join them in the dark and enjoy cinema in its finest season. With that being said, let’s explore the good, the bad and the ugly of teaser trailers for some of the more popular upcoming releases.
1) Prometheus: A Tale of Ginormous Aircrafts and Lost Worlds
First and foremost, for those readers that were witness to the first teaser trailer for the soon to be released Prometheus, were you too pondering what exactly this film was all about? Do you remember this state of confusion when you first saw the Inception teaser? I do. Enough time has passed where unanswered questions have been Google searched and brought to the light and it appears we have yet another epic, deep, space alien encounter by none other the father of the slimy and the scary, Ridley Scott. Doesn’t just the mention of his name excite you? I don’t blame you and if the knowledge of this famous Alien creator does not have you wide eyed and trembling then maybe you actually grasped the bigger picture from the trailer we all experienced in late December of last year. Whatever the case maybe, and whoever you are with such great skill of deduction; nothing stirs the imagination more than the thought of what’s lying await in the dark, and the opening dialogue of the this trailer proves that there is a lot more than what they bargained for. With a tension filled soundtrack that sounds as if someone has set off the alarm with the offset of a few tortured screams and slack-jawed celebrities such as Charlize-Theron, Idris Elba and Michael Fassbender, we can expect exceptional action as well as acting. In addition to the star power it provides the viewer with quick glimpses of beautifully constructed wide angled frames rising over and through this mysterious, otherworldly landscape, not to mention the things that are blowing up. In a few lines we receive the premise of what really is less than sixty seconds of run time due to the fades to black, chopping what we’ve been allowed to preview. Does this scream summer blockbuster to you? As far as teasers go, this was good. Really good.
2) Dark Knight Rises: The Conclusion or So You Think
This looks like no more of an end than is the entire Batman franchise, based off the teaser, who surprisingly has been unfaltering since its first official Batman feature to what is now proclaimed the conclusion of a saga. Officially entitled the Dark Knight Saga, this interpretation of the comic legend is rooted in the ideal of man versus man but not limited to the basic “good,” versus “evil.” Batman fights villains while fighting within himself and if that notion is not prevalent within the very first teaser, released back in July of last year, then what did you get out of it? What I gathered from the teaser are several things. Three in general and they are that: 1) This will definitely be the last of the Christopher Nolan, Dark Knight films, 2) Bruce Wayne wants to retire the cloak and dagger and 3) that it is not the time to quit. Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon sums the entire thing up in saying “You still have work to do!” To make mention to the most inciting images of this 1:36 teaser, which are the quick clips of Bane, played by Tom Hardy and the crumbling bat symbol, there isn’t much going on. Nearly a year has passed since July and the hype has risen thanks to better trailers having been released. All in all, this was bad. Not the worst, just bad.
3) Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2: She’s Alive!
So, the end is nigh and the teaser has been released as of March of this year. The actual feature will not be released until November and yet the combination of everything within this teaser, from the intro of Kirsten Stewart’s voiceover stating that things are finally looking up for her, to the appearance of the actual stars, Robert Pattinson’s Edward and Taylor Lautner’s Jacob, has me anticipating the finality of this saga. Why, you might ask? Seeing that it is at the bottom of my rundown of what is good, bad, and ugly I feel the need to clarify that yes, I have chosen this sixty seconds to be the ugly but, in the connotation of the word, the make up of the video is not entirely a turn off. The editors did a good job of focusing upon the fresher aspects of the story so far, playing with the main idea that Bella is no longer human. Merely showing close ups and flashes of the character as she runs through her domain, the forest, says a lot in sixty seconds however; what kills this teaser is the very end. A paler Kirsten Stewart as Bella then unknowingly stalks upon a sole deer, grazing. The sequence ends and November 16th is all that remains. Of everything a newly spawned, red-eyed vampire could attack, the doe is my least favorite. No Bambi pun intended. The big question is was this tease enough to have you itching for more? My decision is torn by my need to nitpick over the teasers ending, which I found humorous, and my desire to see things play out. I’ll stick with my choice of making this “the ugly,” at least for now.