Saturday, November 17, 2012

Weekend Weigh-in: What's the Best Trailer for the Worst Movie?

This one's a real thinker.

Every week we get to Watch Trailerz with Doug, and every week we get sold on another movie that might not be any good but looks great because trailer cutting is an art form. So what are the movies that you thought promised to be great in the trailer but which ended up sucking? I made my pick...


  1. I don't really have a clear answer for this question except to say pretty much anything directed by Michael Bay probably qualifies. He seems to be the king of good trailers that translate to bad movies. I'll have to think about a specific choice, though.

  2. The Strangers

    When boiled down to a couple of minutes it's very effective but as a movie it is one of the most depressing experiences I've ever had watching a horror movie.

    I'm tempted to answer Unbreakable because it promises a movie that could have been really special and was the worst kind of bait and switch.

  3. Terminator Salvation-Actually got me pumped. It had Nine Inch Nails for god's sake!!

    Escape from L.A.-I don't think the movie was horrible, but I wished I saw the movie that was in this trailer and not a Cut & Paste version of "Escape from New York".

    Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace-Nuff said.

    1. I can't remember the Escape from L.A. trailer, but I'm with you on the other two in a big way. I thought Terminator: Salvation looked really good. It was not.

  4. PEARL HARBOR is a great example (someone mentioned it on our FB wall).

    A bad example -- but the only example that immediately jumps to mind -- was last year's teaser for BATTLE LOS ANGELES.

  5. The Museum/Jurassic Park trailer for Godzilla.

  6. The 'Clash of the Titans' remake had an awesome trailer and then left me completely horrified when I saw the actual movie.

    Some other films that come to mind are Superman Returns (one of the best teaser trailers I've ever seen!) and Revenge of the Sith (the one where Obi Wan from A New Hope does the voiceover about the Clone Wars)

  7. I'll second Doug's selection of the trailer for Pearl Harbor. That trailer had me WANTING to see a Michael Bay movie. The world didn't make sense anymore. I had several long, dark nights of the soul.

    Then I saw the actual movie, and all was right with the world.

  8. Thrice (!) on "Pearl Harbor." It's actually, on its own, one of the best put-together movie trailers of all time. Which only makes the monumetal letdown that the movie itself is all the more upsetting. Come to think of it, except for "The Rock," this applies to all trailers for Michael Bay movies and a great number of Jerry Bruckheimer flicks.

    Godzilla (1998): this looked really good and seemed to sell this as 'ID4 with a Japanese monster.' Man, from the moment the first character mispronounces Dr. Tatopoulos' name to the first line of dialogue uttered by Maria Pitillo (whose career was pretty much killed by this flick) "Godzilla" is far below what the trailer was selling. Not the worst movie, it just seems like it while you're watching it.

    Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002): generic and not-too-exciting trailer, but it surely makes what ends being a gigantic pile of worthles trash seem at least watchable.

    Poseidon (2006): like its trailer this movie is window-dressing, bare-bones, fat-free, trimmed-to-its-basics movie beats without any rhyme, character, soul or reason for being cashing in on the good name of the '72 original.

    We Were Soldiers (2002): the attempt to make this movie look like a military action flick were laughable because, like "Salt" last year, it used the handful of minutes/scenes that were actually fast-paced and then tried to pass the entire movie as being about the fighting. Weak!

    Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977): you wouldn't know it from seeing the trailer without seeing the movie already (i.e. its intended audience), but once you've seen the movie the trailer becomes clearer in its attempt to pass some rather cool imagery (nobody ever said John Boorman didn't know how to lense a movie) as a narrative. Ha !

  9. The only one that springs to mind for me is Watchmen. With hindsight it actually illustrates everything that was wrong with the film (not necessarily it being, strictly speaking, a bad film).

  10. Superman Returns (2006) - The trailer to it looked amazing from the inclusion of John Williams's score and Marlon Brando's voiceover. Yet, once it was out, that film was such a letdown, most notably with the dreadful miscasting of Kate Bosworth as Lois, who was way too young to play her.

  11. I have been thinking about this for a few days now.

    I agree with some others. "Pearl Harbor" is the best trailer ever made for a terrible film.

    Off the top of my head, I would also say the teaser for Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." From that trailer alone, I was thinking that this new adaptation was going to be something extremely special. I was wrong.

  12. Third would be another of Fincher's: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Saw that trailer in front of "Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and thought, "Wow."

    Was surprised that Criterion released it on dvd/blu ray.

  13. Episode II: Attack of the Clones -- for fooling me AGAIN!

    I'll also second Benjamin Button, which was more aptly titled "The Curious Case of Two-and-a Half Hours of Your Life You Can't Get Back"

    Not sure why, but I remember Dreamcatcher having a pretty good trailer. Or maybe it's because it was a Steven King story written/directed by Lawrence Kasdan. Either way I went in really looking forward to it and it totally sucked balls.

  14. (delay much)
    Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow