WTF with the giant fireball thing??

Posted by · 11:05 am · July 4th, 2011

With “The Social Network” picking up yet another award last week (for Best in Show at the Golden Trailer Awards), Ryan Adams at Awards Daily asked for personal picks for favorite trailers.

There are a number that spring to mind for me. I maintain that the first “Pearl Harbor” trailer (link), with the score from “The Thin Red Line,” was absolutely masterful. The “Alien” trailer (link) is in many ways more unsettling than the actual film, while just two years ago, whoever pieced together the tease for the Coens’ “A Serious Man” (link) knew what was up.

Even more recently, the trailers for “Black Swan” (link) and David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (link) dazzled, while the “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” trailer that dropped last week reminded me of how tightly constructed the one for “A Single Man” (link) was. But the truth is, when I think of movie trailers and their power to seize your attention, I’m taken back some 15 years to a sci-fi film and a tease that had me more intrigued than whatever film I was about to watch. And it contains the single greatest image ever used to sell a film, in my opinion (the final shot). Since it ties in nicely today, I figure I’ll offer it up after the jump.


Also, for more holiday reading, check out the 12 films that made Bilge Ebiri want to be an American. And be sure to check back after your burgers and beer and fireworks for the first Off the Carpet column of the season.

Happy 4th.

[Photo: 20th Century Fox]

→ 29 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

29 responses so far

  • 1 7-04-2011 at 11:23 am

    James D. said...

    I always thought the There Will Be Blood trailer was fantastic. There were a few different ones, but the one that starts with Plainview’s speech about being a family man is the great one. It sent tingles down my spine.

  • 2 7-04-2011 at 11:25 am

    Maxim said...

    When I was younger the trailers that I remembered liking included the original teaser for “Terminator 2” (this one –, as well as teasers for Jurassic Park, Mortal Kombat and Cliffhanger.

    Nowadays, the trailers I find myself going back to and rewatching include “Catch Me If You Can”, “Exotica” and, recently, “Rio”.

  • 3 7-04-2011 at 11:37 am

    Drew said...

    How much do you think the people make trailers earn annually? Cause whatever it is probably isn’t enough.

  • 4 7-04-2011 at 11:38 am

    HC792 said...

    American Beauty was the first one that popped into my mind. Great, great use of music.

  • 5 7-04-2011 at 11:41 am

    tdr said...

    For me the first trailers for “A single man” and “Broken embraces” were amazing. They consisted of only beautiful shots from the movies without any dialog and were acompanied by haunting music. And most recently you can add to them the trailer for “Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy”.

  • 6 7-04-2011 at 11:43 am

    tdr said...

    Also the trailer for “Biutiful”.

  • 7 7-04-2011 at 11:46 am

    J. said...

    Never has a pairing of song and movie been more perfect, and the trailer was a true showcase… not only of emotional range, but how mobile and tactile the large puppet suits were going to be. I first watched this with a large group of people, and toward the end, when one “wild thing” threw the other across the forest, I remember everyone in the room absolutely losing their shit with excitement.

  • 8 7-04-2011 at 11:48 am

    Drew said...

    Btw, the red band of Dragon Tattoo is one of my favorites. And no, it’s not just the two little shots that make the difference. It’s the grainy, viral, underground feeling that 90 seconds worth of footage exudes. Granted I’m a conspiracy theorist who believes it was a studio version.

  • 9 7-04-2011 at 12:01 pm

    Louis said...

    This is the trailer that got the most reaction from a crowd in any theater showing I’ve ever attended:

  • 10 7-04-2011 at 12:17 pm

    DylanS said...

    I’m personally a fan of trailers for Danny Boyle films. I think “127 Hours” was hands down the best trailer of last year, and the “Slumdog Millionaire” trailer is mabye the best I’ve ever seen. Both trailers (like their accompanying films) make brilliant use of pop music and display both move fluently from an adventurous tone to an emotional tone with incredible ease. here are the links for both.

  • 11 7-04-2011 at 12:43 pm

    SC said...

    The trailer for “Good Night, and Good Luck” is a classic:

  • 12 7-04-2011 at 12:50 pm

    Leith Quinn said...

    I’m gonna have to go with “Little Children.” I wouldn’t say the film itself is anything special, but the trailer itself is pure gold.

  • 13 7-04-2011 at 1:01 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Leith Quinn, you beat me to it. ‘Little Children’. I thought I’d be the first to mention. :)

  • 14 7-04-2011 at 1:36 pm

    Fitz said...

    A total cop-out but the theatrical teaser for ‘The Dark Knight’ was the first one to pop into my head.

    A close second would be No Country for Old Men.

  • 15 7-04-2011 at 1:46 pm

    Brock Landers said...

    Jarhead, The Shining, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Pulp Fiction, Jaws

  • 16 7-04-2011 at 1:53 pm

    Rashad said...

    300 trailer was awesome

  • 17 7-04-2011 at 2:42 pm

    mitchell said...

    Lolita! also I remember loving the trailer for adaptation

  • 18 7-04-2011 at 3:53 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Trailers I loved,

    Mission Impossible
    Schindler’s List
    The Big Lebowski

    And of course these were great…

  • 19 7-04-2011 at 5:18 pm

    Chris138 said...

    That teaser for Pearl Harbor is pretty good. In fact, it actually makes me want to pop the movie in, even though it’s not very good. Brilliant marketing.

  • 20 7-04-2011 at 7:01 pm

    James R. said...

    I don’t know if anyone will agree with me. But the Time Bandits trailer is awesome.

    Batman Begins is also a favourite of mine.

  • 21 7-04-2011 at 7:16 pm

    Carl said...

    I believe the trailer for “The Tree of Life” this year was better than maybe 80% of the feature-length releases so far.

  • 22 7-04-2011 at 8:50 pm

    Speaking English said...

    I don’t mean to be a party pooper, but I swear you posted that “Independence Day” teaser last 4th of July too.

  • 23 7-04-2011 at 9:58 pm

    Andrej said...

    Trite, yet totally honest answer:

    Inception. ☺

    Also, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s trailer’s pretty badass. Winnie The Pooh’s trailer with Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know” always puts a smile on my face.

    And as for teasers go… The Last Airbender. Those couple of minutes were by far better than the whole movie itself – and they didn’t even include the teaser’s scene in the final product.

  • 24 7-05-2011 at 12:23 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    English: Really? Wow. I think I’m getting to the point where I’m repeating myself in Tweets, too.


  • 25 7-05-2011 at 4:09 am

    Mark said...

    The Abyss:

    Schindler’s List:

    The Thin Red Line:

  • 26 7-05-2011 at 6:27 am

    Hans said...

    The first Curious Case of Benjamin Button trailer was simply magical and enchanting:

    And this is an odd choice, but I loved LOVED the trailer for Clash of the Titans, particularly for the song use. Classic example of it being a shame the movie didn’t live up:

    Also, on a related firebally note, an great Cracked piece on the making of the fireball scene and other famous CGI-less effects in movies.

  • 27 7-05-2011 at 9:33 am

    Duncan Houst said...

    My three favorites, given my limited knowledge of the past few years, would probably be the first teaser for “WALL-E” ( ), the first trailer for “Cloverfield” ( ), and the first trailer for “Up in the Air” ( ). I don’t suppose much surpasses that first look.

  • 28 7-05-2011 at 1:29 pm

    Andrew F said...

    I’ll third the mention of “Little Children”.

    But there’s one trailer experience that really sticks out at me: “Zoolander”. I have never heard an audience laugh as hard than with the punchline “How can children learn how to read if they can’t even fit inside the building?”

  • 29 7-06-2011 at 11:08 pm

    Glenn said...

    Kris, you did indeed post this last year too. I remember it!