There is a swell new trailer for Man of Steel. Actually, it’s beyond swell; it’s epic. In fact, it’s so epic, if you removed a few of the fast cuts to give a bit more plot clarity, and then add in something about Superman conquering General Zod, then, well, you’d probably have the world’s most epic 3-minute film.
It reminds me of the 2002 Spider-man Trailer where just about the only part missing is Spider-man actually defeating the Green Goblin.
With trailers like these, who needs movies?
This isn’t wholly new. In the trailer for the classic 1940’s film, The Shop Around the Corner, even though the plot isn’t given away we do see the main two characters fighting and then later being lovey-dovey with one another. If you saw the trailer before watching the movie, you’ve got a pretty good guess at how it ends up. (Of course, come on. It’s an old-school, feel-good romantic comedy — you don’t need spoilers to know how it ends up.)
But then there’s the trailer for Citizen Kane. In it you get a sense for the feel of the movie without really knowing what the movie is about. We’re shown some of the acting and the characters, but without any deep revelation of what the plot is about or what awesome stunts this film is pulling off.
The trailer for Citizen Kane aims to entice you without giving away the plot. The same goal as in the trailer for The Shining.
What used to be a trailer is now called a teaser. Like the trailers for Citizen Kane, The Shining, Alien, and others, a teaser doesn’t try to squeeze the biggest visual moments and most powerful dialog into a 3-minute clip. For example: the teaser for Man of Steel was incredible and was all I needed to know that I’d be going to see the film when it came out.
Perhaps it’s because the summer movie market is so crowded. Movie studios want to show as much of their epic blockbuster as possible to prove it’s a film worth seeing in the theatre instead of waiting for it to come to iTunes.
I’ve always viewed trailers as film art in and of themselves. And while I certainly enjoy watching today’s epic trailers, I have more appreciation for the ones which maintain some self control, aiming to tell me just enough and no more.