On a semi-regular basis, I plan to comment on the underrated art of trailers and share the best (or worst) trailers that I can find. Some will be for soon-to-be-released movies; some will be farther down the road; some will be blasts from the past.
As a side note, the term "trailer" originated back when movie previews used to be shown after feature films. The name stuck even after the previews were moved for obvious reasons. People would simply walk out after the main attraction was over.
Ocean's Thirteen--This week sees the summer's fourth straight big release that is the third in a series (no, the 1960 version doesn't count, because it was impressively boring). Judging strictly from the trailer, it looks like those involved may have recaptured the irreverent humor that made 2001’s Ocean's Eleven so good, rather than imitate the mailed-in Ocean's Twelve. We can only hope.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer—Earlier this week, a new trailer was released, revealing mildly intriguing new subplots. News also leaked that the movie will be rated PG, which is a little surprising since that rating will sometimes alienate older adolescents who think it too tame. The original Fantastic Four was just okay, worthy of a DVD rental. The pieces seem to be there to make this franchise huge, but something doesn’t quite click about the humor and superhero relationships.
Bee Movie--Jerry Seinfeld stars as the lead voice in this animated movie that appears to be aimed primarily at adults. If you like Seinfeld's brand of humor, you'll like the second teaser trailer, which is the better of the two. I'm not convinced that his shtick will play as well over a full-length picture, but I’ll definitely give it a shot in November.
Across the Universe--This is the best (or at least trippiest) trailer of the year. It’s helmed by Julie Taymor, who directed Titus and Frida, but is better known for directing and designing costumes for the Broadway production of The Lion King. This movie looks like a Vietnam Era love story synced with a Beatles soundtrack, which promises to be a great if offbeat theatrical experience. A September 28th release date is set.
Saving Private Ryan--In honor of Wednesday's 63rd anniversary of D-Day (which was ridiculously underplayed in the media), here is a glimpse at the war movie that changed war movies. When I saw this at age eighteen, this film struck me to the core more than any film had before or has since, as I tried to fathom storming Normandy before I could drink. Saving Private Ryan was completely deserving of the Oscar for Best Picture...that inexplicably went to Shakespeare in Love in perhaps the worst decision the Academy has ever made. Yes, I'm still bitter.