Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Don't Watch Trailers...Seriously

I don't watch trailers.  You shouldn't watch trailers.  Trailers are a bane on the movie going experience that just keeps getting worse and worse as time goes on.  To base your movie going choices on trailers is a mistake at best, moronic madness at less than best.  Let's make one thing perfectly clear up front so that you can understand why I am saying all this (and why I am about to say what is coming up):

Movie trailers are NOT your friends!

They are not.  They act like they are, but they are your own worst enemy.  A trailer does not care about you.  A trailer does not care about your tastes.  A trailer does not care about the truth.  A trailer is not objective.  A trailer is, has always been, and always will be, a commercial.  A trailer is selling you a product.  A trailer is about as subtle a commercial as a Fruity Pebbles commercial.  Yes, there is a moment of entertainment to be found from it, but it is still trying to sell you something that you may or may not even like.  Heck, it might be selling you something that may or may not even be any good.  Take the trailer for "Fifty Shades of Grey" as a perfect example: The trailer advertises the movie as a romance film.  While there is a moment at the end that hints at the sadistic nature of the movie in the long run, it is selling you a love story.

This is not factual, honest, or even remotely close to what the movie actually is.  Let's also take a look at the trailer for "The Dark Knight Rises," in which big action is highlighted above everything else in an attempt to make it look big.  Now, in this case the film that is being advertised IS in fact big in some seasons, and has a slew of really memorable actions sequences!  The movie itself, however, is more of a crime drama than it is an action film, with character interaction making a bulk of the film and the action sequences making up only a small portion in the grand scheme of things (about thirty minutes in a three hour movie to be exact).  If you were going to the movie based on these previews, whether you liked the movies or not, you didn't get what you were really promised in the grand scheme of things.

The trailers were cut in a way that marketers thought would best sell what they were shilling.  Audiences, for all their cynicism about how marketing works, seem utterly clueless to this fact.  They base their potential date nights on something that is meant to sell them something.  This is one of the reasons you shouldn't base your movie going choices on trailers.  They only have their own self interests in mind, and you are not one of them.  If you want a good example of how this works, just watch the full fledged trailer of "Frozen" and compare it with the movie you saw.

Tell me, does any of THAT remind you of the movie you saw?!  I mean, yeah, obviously that footage DID come from the film, but if you went to see a movie based on that trailer you were probably expecting more of a comical romp!  There is no sign of the sister relationship, the drama, there is no sign (surprisingly) of Oscar-winning song "Let it Go"... in fact, watching that trailer, we got something MUCH better than what we were promised!  Yet, if you were basing seeing that movie on the trailer, I doubt you would see it because that trailer impressed virtually no one when it hit the screens.  The marketers cutting the trailer thought that's what people wanted to see though.  If that's what the people really wanted, then the movie would have been a huge failure, because they didn't get that.

This is why you need to read reviews.  Because critics, believe it or not, do have your interests at heart.  Yeah, there are some critics who are snobs and act very elitist, but even those critics just want to watch good movies.  You rarely see a critic calling for more movies like "Norbit" and "Batman & Robin" to be made.  We gain nothing from you paying to see a bad movie.  Yet more and more we are being overlooked and undervalued, traded in for the almighty trailer that is about as much as a door-to-door salesman as you can get, and not only do you open that door, you let him speak on your Facebook page.  The sad thing is, this is only PART of the reason you shouldn't watch trailers!  The other reason I'll discuss in a future post.


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