Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The 2011 InCamera Trailer Awards!

I have said this before, but it does warrant repetition: I LOVE TRAILERS. In fact, my love for movies probably started with my love for trailers, and if you really want to piss me off, make me miss trailers in a movie theatre. So, it is only natural that I should dedicate a post to the best of what the movie trailer world had to offer this year. Hit the jump for my own little awards ceremony, including categories like "Best Comedic Final Line", "Best Stirrer of Deep Seated Emotions", and "Best Goose Bump Inducer"...

A little note on the categories: I initially thought of categorising the trailers in a more conventional manner. Getting to best teaser trailer, I realised that 2011 wasn't a very good year for teasers at all. In fact, the only teaser worth mentioning was in with a shot at best trailer overall. No, The Dark Knight Rises teaser does not feature. I think it was underwhelming. Nor does the Hunger Games teaser. Instead, I chose to let the trailers categorise themselves.

Before we get into it, I have to mention that there are two trailers coming out in the next week or so that will both probably have a shot at the top spot. That is, of course, the trailers for The Hobbit (coming tomorrow) and Prometheus (coming on Thursday). They remain eligible, and I will update this post when they come out.

Best Indie Trailer

Independent Films don't always have the greatest trailers. Two contributing factors may be (1) the subject matter itself - indie films typically deal with subtle, toned down issues that aren't conducive to psyching you up in the space of two minutes, and (2) the fact that indie films don't necessarily have the marketing budget to put together a slick trailer. However, that doesn't mean that some indie movies can't have great trailers, and 2011 is no exception. Oh, and the extensive use of critics' blurbs should also tell you that these are pretty great movies as well (even though I've seen only one of them). Here are the nominees for Best Indie Trailer of 2011...

It uses the best shots in the film and the music is awesome, but what makes this trailer special is that despite it consisting largely of an incoherent series of shots, it makes you feel funny inside. Awesome.
The first trailer (and the second, to a lesser extent) of Like Crazy makes me want to cry. I don't know if it's the cover of "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Ingrid Michaelson or if it's the thought of losing a girl like Felicity Jones.
Instilled with a sense of foreboding and angst, this trailer has everything from superb acting to special effects and a sense that something is rotten in the state of Michael Shannon's mind.
A deeply disturbing trailer that leaves the viewer with no idea of what to expect from the film, other than something equally disturbing. John Hawkes singing at the end adds a haunting touch.

And the winner is... Take Shelter. I don't know, the choice was near impossible, but Take Shelter is the movie I want to see most based on the trailer alone.

Best Comedic Final Line

These are the trailers that make me laugh every time, despite the fact that the eventual movies may be total shit. 2011 in particular has been a fantastic year for hilarious trailers showcasing crappy comedies. Top "performers" include Horrible Bosses, Bad Teacher, The Change Up and 30 Minutes Or Less. The best thing about these trailers is that they deliver an extra funny closing moment at the end of the trailer which is, more often than not, the best part of the movie. I love it, because that means I don't have to sit through the whole thing. The nominees for Best Comedic Final Line are...

"S'up?" Eddie Murphy and Gabby Sidibe. Man, that man has been in prison for too long!
"You're a bad ass motherfucker" at the end of the Red Band Trailer still has me pissing my pants.
"I should've brought you a sedative". The to-ing and fro-in between Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr at the end of the second trailer is comedic timing at its finest.
"Hey Fucker. Sign my yearbook?"... "Hold my ball sack" at the end of the Red Band Trailer ends off probably the funniest trailer of the year. But this award is for the last line only...

And the winner is... The Sitter (Red Band Trailer)!

Best Goose Bump Inducer

Inducement of goose bumps is what movie trailers are all about. Sometimes it happens for the strangest of reasons, and sometimes even in trailers that are not even that good. One thing is for sure, the coming of the goosebumps is difficult to predict, and impossible to forget. The nominees are...

The combination of (1) having read the book, (2) the music, and (3) the fact that the movie just looks so damn awesome caused a wide range of physiological and emotional responses, one of them being rampant goosebumps.
A friend of mine said it all: "If that guys says 'Be Brave' one more time, my skin is going to melt off from goosebumps."
In this one it must be the music, the Charlize Theron pulling off the narration with wicked aplomb.
I remember Germain Lussier from Slashfilm saying "Excuse me, let me get rid of these goosebumps and present you with the full trailer for Shawn Levy's rock ‘em sock ‘em robot movie Real SteelJackman." I couldn't agree more. You can't have a category like this with no sports movie nominated. What's more, this one had robots too.
I'm referring to the teaser of course. The one that was leaked online initially, caused me to do the most shameful deed imaginable just to see it immediately, and which blew away pretty much everyone else who clapped their eyes on it. I won't mention the shameful deed, but I will discuss the trailer more below. For now, all I can say is that the pace of this trailer would give goosebumps to Satan.
And the winner is... The Hunger Games!

Best Stirrer of Deep Seated Emotions

What the hell is this? Well, a trailer elicits any number of reactions, the final combination of which will hopefully (from the marketer's perspective) make you want to see the movie in question. Sometimes one of those reactions is, in the words of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, a funny feeling in your tummy. It's not goosebumps, it's something else all together. It's deeper, more disturbing, profound and permanent. Kind of like what you would get from watching Black Swan to the music in True Romance. Naturally, such a feeling is hard to conjure, and so the nominees are few...

I have nothing to add to what I said above.
I have nothing to add to what I said above
All I can say is: if the movie can make me feel anything close to what the trailer did, it's going to blow me away. There's something to be said about the combination of profound psychological affliction, running, and Hans Zimmer's Journey To The Line (from the Thin Red Line soundtrack).
And the winner is... Shame.

Best Tear Jerker

Yes, I have been moved to tears by a trailer before. On more than one occasion. The fact that you can go from hero to blubbering zero in under 3 minutes (other than by learning of the death of a loved one) tells you something about the power of the movie trailer. Unfortunately, this year has not brought forth the tear jerking power of trailers like the theatrical trailer for 127 Hours or the very first teaser for The Lord of The Rings. However, there have been a few good ones which, with a little help of a few glasses of gin or a healthy hangover, could cause tears to flow. With that in mind, the nominees are...

Maybe it's the silence that did it. A trailer doesn't have time to draw an emotional response with dialogue. It uses music and visuals. Well, The Artist is that all the way. This trailer caught me by surprise and almost had me in tears. This is cinema at it's most beautiful. Needless to say, I was sold.
Nothing to add really. Losing Felicity Jones? Cry-worthy.
In The Hours, Stephen Daldry made me sob the most out of any director. He knows how to get to me, and in this trailer he does it in a big way (with a little help from 9/11 and U2's very best song of course).
I  must confess. I watched this after a few glasses of wine and, there were tears. Not flowing necessarily, but they were there all right. The trailer was just so damn good that goosebumps weren't enough, and my body had to find some other physical manifestation of my joy.
And the winner is... The Artist (on a rewatch, it beat The Hunger Games by the narrowest of margins - probably because the goosebumps from the latter overpowered the tears).

Best Blockbuster Trailer

It's easy to see why good ol' fashioned Hollywood blockbusters produce the best (and most misleading) trailers. Two important ingredients abound: spectacle instead of story, and marketing dollars. All these trailers are actually fairly similar (thank heavens the trailer voice has been forsaken in favour of character narration), but each one is as enjoyable as the last. I may be crucified for leaving out everyone's favourite boy wizard, the wealthy superhero whose trailer premiered last night, but the ones that follow did it for me the most (regardless of the quality of the movie of course). The nominees for Best Blockbuster Trailer are...

I don't know if it's the music (Half the Man from Methodic Doubt and Kopius Few), the awesome action sequences, the historical references or the glimpses of another spectacular Michael Fassbender performance, but the UK trailer did exactly what it set out to do: psyche me the F up!
If I had to leave Michael Bay explosions and cheese ("Where were you, when they took over the planet") off this list, I would surely not go to heaven when I die. Plus, the theatrical trailer was in 3D, making the expensive ticket price for the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie worth every cent.
When this trailer first came out, I liked it more than most, especially considering that the film was more than a year off at that stage. The other day I saw it in 3D though, and Spidey-vision blew my brains out.

This is going to be so shit, but the trailers (both of them) were ass kickin'! The best part? Man, those alien ships move so fast and so suddenly!

The monster that is going to try wrestle with TDKR and The Hobbit for the 2012 Box Office crown did not deliver the trailer that many fans were hoping for. I am obviously not one of those people, because I loved seeing all those legends together, nevermind the expected clash of egos! One can't say the trailer wasn't loved though, as it broke the record, scoring no less than 10 million downloads in the first 24 hours. Wowser!
And the winner, for it's sheer psyching up power, has to be the X-Men: First Class UK Trailer.

Biggest Surprise

Sometimes a trailer takes you by surprise. I love it when that happens. This award is for those trailers. The nominees are...

Snow White looking this epic and edgy? Of course it surprised me. Let's hope the movie does too.
A silent black and white French film? I did not expect a great trailer at all, let alone one of the best all year.
I scoffed at this trailer initially. Active Duty Navy Seals in a movie? Give me a break. And then I watched it.
The amount of Cape Town footage in this one took my completely by surprise. I don't know what I expected, but seeing Denzel Washington in an SA police constable's uniform gave me everything I always wanted.
And the winner is... Safe House! What can I say, I am proud of my country.

Best Trailer Campaign

This one doesn't even require nominees. When it comes to an orchestrated campaign of parody trailers, the awards must surely go to The Muppets. They spared nobody, including Green Lantern, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Paranormal Activity 3, Twilight and The Hangover 2 (the Fuzzy Pack is Backy Back?). However, my favourite has to be Danny Trejo's desperate attempt to get out of jail by declaring, "I'm a Muppet." Click here for more. Search the trailers on Youtube, there are lots!

Best Editing

Two trailers triggered the decision to have this category. Editing in a trailer is paramount, because apart from the music, pacing is everything. This year saw some great examples. Here are the nominees.

Just watch the trailer and tell me that those scenes are not absolutely perfectly cut to the music. It gets even better when the text starts flashing onto the screen.
(I Saw The Devil). The Red Band Trailer for this movie has some superb editing and changes of pace.
The first trailer for this Tom Cruise spectacle (the one with the Eminem song) had terrific editing, specifically the car crash. Awesome.
And the winner is... The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I Saw The Devil came pretty close, but the editing in Fincher's latest is just too damn clean.

Best Music

This is perhaps the most difficult choice of all, since music in a trailer is probably the single most important determinant of success. Get a great piece of music, do a decent editing job, and you can get almost any piece of crap to look good.  The music ranges from original songs, cover versions, music from other movies, music from the movie in question's soundtrack and even music composed by people who do nothing but compose trailer music. 2011 has a variety of examples. The nominees for Best Music are...

Haunting in the extreme. I think this is music composed specifically for the film by Danny Elfman and T Bone Burnett.
An effective fusion of traditional and electronic. World Collapsing by Riptide Music (they do trailer music).
An awesome cover of a rock classic. Immigrant Song by Karen O, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
US Trailer: Black Cauldron by Audiomachine (they do trailers). Brilliant beyond belief.
A mixture of stuff, including tunes from the fantastic Cliff Martinez Soundtrack. The movie had some of the best music all year, so it's no surprise that the trailer also does.
As stated, above, Toward The Line from Hans Zimmer's Thin Red Line soundtrack. Terrific.
And the winner is... Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Best Trailer

Finally, the very best trailer of 2011 can be honoured. What I look for is all of the above, and more. A good sign is if I've watched the trailer about 1000 times and still get a kick. All except two of the trailer have been mentioned elsewhere. I therefore don't comment on those. The nominees are...

Not nominated in any other categories, but what a trailer! It will punch you in the face.
The funniest trailer of the year. Let's hope the movie is too.

And the winner of InCamera's Trailer of the Year 2011 is...

Somewhat ironically, this is a teaser trailer, but it had it all. Seriously, awesome!

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