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My Top 10 Movie Trailers

When was the last time you saw a movie trailer and it made you REALLY want to see that movie?
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I ask because now a days it seems like we are bombarded by movie trailers at the cinema and half the time they are worthless trailers that really don’t make me ever want to see the film they are advertising. So that’s why I ask the question, can you tell me when the last time you saw a trailer (doesn’t have to be at the theater) that was good enough to make you want to shell out your hard earned 10+ dollars to see it?

What makes a movie trailer good? It’s probably different for everyone, just as art is subjective to each viewer, the response might be varied for a lot of different reasons. For example, I for one don’t tend to lean towards the trailers that span longer than say around 3 minutes. To me that probably shows too much of the film and might give away more than it should of the movie. Ultimately long trailers make me feel that I’ve already seen enough of the film that it doesn’t warrant me going to the theater to see it. Teasers sometimes work, and sometimes don’t because they either give you just enough in less than a minute or they don’t give you enough at all and leave you hanging wondering what the movie is even about. It’s a tricky tightrope that production companies have to walk with movie trailers, so much so that they can sometimes make or break a film’s opening weekend box office earnings. Sometimes a movie will bring in a separate director just to help the editors cut and put together the perfect movie trailer – that’s how important it can be.

Ok, so let’s get to my Top 10 Movie Trailers shall we…I’ll list them from 10 to my #1 favorite and give a brief explanation to each why I think it’s great.

Movie Trailer #10 – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
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Yes yes I know, don’t chastise me for the movie selection. I can remember being in high school when this movie was being hyped and when the trailer debuted I probably watched it over 20 times. Each time getting myself more and more amped up to see this film. I think the best part of this trailer is how it starts out so slow and builds and builds till the pod racing shot starts in and the music flares up. I also think it does a great job of re-introducing the Star Wars world to the new generation by giving glimpses of familiar characters but showing plenty of new ones. The scale of the movie is also shown off quite well with shots of lots of landscapes and worlds that we haven’t yet seen in the previous films. Too bad the movie didn’t turn out near as great as the trailer made it out to be.
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Movie Trailer #9 – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (US Verison)
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Favorite director of all time (David Fincher) so of course I was probably going to like this trailer regardless …

Not knowing anything about this movie or book at all I think really set this trailer up for me. The first time I saw it I thought that it was more of a horror type plot than anything. Naturally the trailer excited me about the film so I did some digging to find out what the book was about and that it was more of a murder mystery which of course played into the strength of the trailer as well. The visuals and the way each scene follows the rhythm of the song are what keep you from looking away. The one shot in particular that kept popping up over and over again is the long snow covered road leading to a house – just gives you a creepy feeling!

That and honestly, who doesn’t love the Immigrant Song?
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Movie Trailer #8 – HER
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I find this trailer intriguing because if you were to tell me the synopsis of this story then I doubt that I would want to see the movie. Yet, after I saw this trailer, I found the topic at hand quite interesting and really want to see this movie now. I also think that Scarlett Johansson’s voice was probably a perfect selection for the voice of the AI that the main character “falls in love with” … just her voice over in the trailer lends itself to the appeal of the movie. Also, did you notice the use of the color red through out the trailer? Interesting visual cues used for some reason there …
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Movie Trailer #7 – Wall-E
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As some of you are well aware, I’m a sucker for Disney movies, especially the Pixar ones. More importantly, out of the Pixar movies, I’m even more of a sucker for the ones written/directed by Andrew Stanton. Those movies include Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and Wall-E. I remember seeing this teaser trailer and saying at the time that it will be the best Pixar movie to date. I wasn’t wrong. (though some might disagree) This teaser trailer only shows a brief glimpse of Wall-E but for some reason it struck a cord with me and the trailer that was released later showed that I had every right to be excited for this movie.
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Movie Trailer #6 – the Strangers
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I probably saw this trailer one time and that was enough for me. To this day I still find it hard to watch because this was one of those scary movies that scared the crap out of me in the theater and still does even though I’ve seen it at least 3 times now. I think that what this trailer does best is set the tone of the movie just by showing a few brief glimpses of what is going down and the very UNSETTLING music that plays when the record starts to skip. OMG it sends shivers through my spine it’s that creepy. It gets under my skin enough that I haven’t watched the trailer in a very long time. So go ahead, if you dare. (special shout out to the Liggetts for dragging me to this movie … the trailer was enough to keep me away … thanks)
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Movie Trailer #5 – the Dark Knight
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I really tried to avoid putting this trailer in the list, but I couldn’t help it. I love this trailer for one thing, it silenced ALL the nay-sayers and the critics who were upset with Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker. I can remember when he was first announced as being the Joker how the internet just blew up in an outrage over it. Then they saw this trailer, he won an Oscar, and the rest is history.
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Movie Trailer #4 – Alien
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As my wife is well aware, I LOVE this franchise. Granted my favorite movie is Aliens (the 2nd one) but I had to throw this trailer in here. If anyone has seen the most recent movie, Prometheus, and it’s trailer…it pays homage to the sound used in this one. That eerie shrieking sound sends you reeling and for me makes the entire thing so incredibly suspenseful and it’s only the trailer!? “In space no one can hear you scream” Yep, count me in!
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Movie Trailer #3 – the Social Network
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Oh the music, the style of the mosaic pictures from Facebook making up “Zuckerberg’s face”, and ultimately the unraveling you see play out makes this a terrific trailer. This movie wasn’t trying to be something where you didn’t know the ending. It was presenting the story of Facebook and the character study of Mark Zuckerberg. What was brilliant about this trailer is how well the music and the choir singing the lyrics balanced out so well with the scene by scene theatrics that are playing out so quickly. Throw in a few key quotes from some of the characters and this is a trailer that will indeed get you to watch the movie. (oh and it’s by David Fincher of course)
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Movie Trailer #2 – Cloverfield
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I was torn, it was either this one or the Super 8 trailer. Sometimes I think that JJ Abrams should specialize in doing movie trailers because no matter what the movie is, if he has done the trailer for it I’m probably sold on it before knowing anything about it. Cloverfield was probably one of the better movies to do the “found footage” idea and do it well. This trailer helped lend itself to the viewer by not giving hardly anything away at all. They did such a great job at keeping you guessing as to what the “monster” was going to be that you HAD to see the movie just so you could find out.
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Movie Trailer #1 – Where the Wild Things Are
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And finally, the one you’ve all been waiting for. Where the Wild Things Are is by far the best trailer I’ve ever seen. I practically tear up every time I see it. The music is perfect, all of the brief shots that we get to set up the story are perfect, and the quotes in between the sections of the movie are spot on. I was amazed that someone would want to take such a beloved child’s story and turn it into a full feature length film. The book itself has only 338 words in it’s entirety so to create something that would run at least an hour and a half is beyond me. I think that this trailer captures the essence of what the story is and means to so many people and definitely makes you want to see the movie.
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That’s it! 10 Movie Trailers that I think are pretty darn awesome. Maybe their not all the best trailers ever, but in my book those are the ones that stick out to me. Remember, this is not a list of my favorite movies. This is strictly just a focus on what I find to be good movie trailers – what makes me want to go and see a film on the big screen.

Thanks for reading!
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Honorable Mentions:

– Watchmen

– Lilo & Stitch

– Dark Knight Returns
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About Lucas Tetrault:

Lucas Tetrault is an Art Director who is responsible for the concept, design, direction, and end result of advertising, print, web, social, mobile, ui/ux and multimedia materials. When he isn't working at CS Kern, Lucas spends most of his time with his wife Celeste and their son Jacik. He might spend any other available time at the computer, watching movies, fixing his car, writing blog posts, sketching/drawing, messing with his phone or a plethora of other things. Lucas can't thank his family and friends enough for all of their love and support towards everything he does and has accomplished.



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