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The Colin McEnroe Show
Wed July 2, 2014
This Trailer Show is Rated G for Great
This hour, we talk about movie trailers. Maybe you wonder what a movie critic thinks of them. Actually, critics don't see as many as you do because they often go to special screenings.
I asked America's Greatest Living Film Critic, David Edelstein, about trailers. He answered, "Actually, I avoid them like the plague. I don’t watch them online, and when I see movies in theaters, I often whip out my Kindle and plug my ears. If I’m on the aisle, I leave and get a Diet Coke. Trailers give away everything. They give away jokes. More than that, they orient you to the narrative in a way I don’t like being oriented. (Of course, I have the luxury of going into a movie NOT KNOWING WHAT IT’S EVEN ABOUT because I get paid to do so, but that’s my preferred way to work—to be left in the hands of the storyteller.) As for as awful ones I have seen… I remember 'Nebraska' in particular as being terrible, because the pace and tone of that movie are antithetical to the way mainstream trailers work. It said QUIRKY. OFFBEAT. LOVABLE. Among the best, I recall 'Batman Returns' as being so great. I thought the movie itself was an overrated shambles—a really terrible piece of storytelling—but even Tim Burton’s worst movies have so many good images and set-pieces that they really read in trailers."
For the rest of us, trailers are either a pain or a pleasure.
What do you think? Comment below, email Colin@wnpr.org, or tweet @wnprcolin.
- Stephen Garrett is the founder of Jump Cut, an advertising company that specializes in trailers. He has worked on more than 250 trailers and has received 12 Golden Trailer awards and 29 nominations
- Allan Arkush worked in the trailer department for Roger Corman at the start of his career. He went on to direct a number of films, such as Rock 'n' Roll High School, and television shows. He is a contributor to the web series Trailers from Hell
- Sam Hatch is a member of The Culture Dogs
- Kevin O'Toole is a member of The Culture Dogs, they host a show on WWUH on Sunday evenings