Can you tell how good a film's going to be just from the trailer?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_D, Apr 1, 2002.

  1. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    I'm not sure why. But I can often tell whether I'm going to like a film just from watching the trailer. In fact, I can't remember the last time I liked a film, whose trailer I disliked or vice versa. This does require you to know that trailers often warp the true tone of film in a effort to appeal to the largest demographic of people possible. Quite often dramas are made to look like thrillers. Or deliberately dramatic editing techniques are employed to make a particularly moody, slow-paced film look like a rollercoaster. But generally, just from snatches of dialogue or images, I can decide what films I will like at almost 100% accuracy. This is why I feel comfortable buying a film sight-unseen, as long as I've seen the trailer and liked it. On occasion, I buy a DVD, knowing nothing about it, and only then, have I been disappointed. Examples of disappointment: Legally Blonde, Deep Blue Sea, Charlie's Angels, Moulin Rouge.
     
  2. Dana Fillhart

    Dana Fillhart Supporting Actor

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    For me, yes and no.
    I cannot fairly or accurately judge a film's quality by its trailer (gee, sounds a lot like that proverb doesn't it? [​IMG]), but oftentimes I can tell whether I would enjoy it or not. There is a big difference in those 2 statements.
    There are exceptions, though. Saving Private Ryan stands out the most - hated the trailer, I wanted to avoid this movie at all costs, but when I eventually did see it at the theatre with a friend (who insisted), I actually enjoyed it.
    Usually I will avoid those movies whose trailers make me cringe, until I get a better informed opinion based off of reviews I read either here or at rottentomatoes.com
     
  3. Paul Richardson

    Paul Richardson Second Unit

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    Trailers are put together by boobs in marketing, and they're usually poorly done. The order of the day seems to be "spoil the ending." Anyway, they are very rarely an indicator of the film's actual quality...and only occasionally are they helpful in determining the plot.
    If I had my way, all trailers would only contain scenes from the first 30 minutes of the movie...enough to give us the premise without spoiling the surprises later on in the film.
    I remember when Quick Change came out, the trailer made the film look like a depressing drama about a morose clown, rather than the heist comedy it actually was. Net result? Nobody saw the movie, and one of the funniest films ever made disappeared into obscurity.
     
  4. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

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    The Fight Club teaser trailer, the one we all saw thousands of times in the theater (where Brad Pitt runs down the list of rules) was not promising. It came off as a bad Bloodsport clone, and all I could think was, 'why is there so much A-list talent involved in this (obviously) mediocre film?'
    I had the supreme honor of seeing it before any of the hype had touched it, and I was pleasantly surprised.
    Joseph
     
  5. Ryan L B

    Ryan L B Supporting Actor

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    i never saw the moulin rouge trailer but heard from the local paper that it was some crap movie posing as a musical so i avoided it, but i rented it at oscar time and what a great movie, get through the first 30 min and you are in for a wild ride
     
  6. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    Spoiler trailers are the worst. [​IMG] [​IMG] Not a fan at all. I'm still bemused by the What Lies Beneath trailer. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Ryan L B

    Ryan L B Supporting Actor

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    what about cast away, cthd, a beautiful mind (sort of)
     
  8. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    To paraphrase Roger Ebert, the studio creates a trailer not for the film the director made, but the one they wanted him or her to make.

    Makes sense when you think about it.
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    It's not fair to judge a book by its cover, nor is it fair to judge a film by its trailer.
     
  10. Brian_J

    Brian_J Second Unit

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    Sure its fair. Is it any less fair to not see a movie because Ebert (or some other critic) panned it? But, you should give a film a chance after its released. I can think of quite a few movies that I did not want to see because of the trailer and was subsequently blown away. The Matrix and Fight Club both come to mind. These are very pleasant surprises. I remember thinking "been there, done that." Boy was I wrong.

    In general, the trailer does tell me whether I just have to see it right away or whether I will let popular opinion gestate a bit. A trailer will never keep me away from a movie though, especially if I subsequently hear folks rave about it.

    Brian
     
  11. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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  12. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    Mitty, how do you figure it's fair to judge a two hour films from a two minute trailer, thrown together and taken completely out of context, simply to wow audiences and get them in the theater. If you can judge a film based on a 2 minute trailer, you might as well skip the film and just watch the trailer. You can't. I've seen many great trailers for sucky films, and vice versa.
     
  13. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

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    In general, I see a trailer and think to myself: "This looks awesome!" or "This looks like crap!".
    But, trailers can be very misleading sometimes... look at "Pearl Harbor" or "Vanilla Sky".
    When scenes are taken out of context, you could make "Con Air" look like "The Shawshank Redemption". [​IMG]
     
  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Well, just last month, I was defending "We Were Soldiers" because people were slamming the film due it's trailer before it's release date. Now, some of those same people are saying what a great film "We Were Soldiers" is compared to it's trailer.

    Crawdaddy
     
  15. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    I stand by my previous statement. [​IMG]
     
  16. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    "Can you tell how good a film's going to be just from the trailer"

    Yep. I sure can.
     
  17. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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  18. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    I prefer to disregard the finer points of a trailer and just let the images and words wash over me. Often I dont even pay attention to whats actually going on. If, at the end of it all, I am pleased with what I saw and heard, I know I'll like the film. Simple as that.
     
  19. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    I can't say I can tell a good film by it's trailer, but one thig for sure:
    I can tell a bad film by it's trailer. There seems to be a formula out there to make trailers to bad films. I will list some of the films I thought were bad by its trailers:
    Sorrority Boys
    Freddy Got Fingered
    Tom Cats
    Saving Silverman
    Joe Dirt ( I did like the bit when he listed off all the firework nicknames)
    There are many others, but frankly I forgot their titles and I'm glad. [​IMG]
     
  20. Nate Anderson

    Nate Anderson Screenwriter

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    two trailers where I knew the movies were going to be good:
    Wonder Boys
    Almost Famous
    Just something told me that those movies were going to rule. And I was right. I have the same feeling about Panic Room and Big Trouble. We'll have to see in the coming weeks if I'm right.
     

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