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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

trailers = big box of candy

So I saw two movies today. I’ve got two tomorrow. One on Thursday. And on Friday, I’ll definitely see one movie opening this week that won’t screen for critics, and if time allows, maybe a second.

Five, six, seven movies is a pretty normal week for me. And by five, six, seven movies, I mean movies consumed in either a screening room or a multiplex, not movies I might watch at home on DVD or streaming or whatever. (I stopped counting those movies.) Proper movie-watching.

Except… we don’t get trailers in screening rooms. I wish we did. My first movie today was in a multiplex — Get Low, for which I never even received a screening invite; dunno what happened there — and it reminded me how much I miss trailers. Yeah, we can watch trailers on YouTube, but it’s not the same. Because there you are in the multiplex, and sometimes the gauntlet you have to run just to get your butt into a seat can be an annoying experience. (As today’s was for me. Since when does stupid Lincoln Plaza not accept credit cards? I know I’ve use a credit card to buy tickets there before, but the box office clerk was all, No, ma’am, we have never taken credit cards. *argh*) But then the lights go down and you forget all the annoyances because you’re totally psyched: movie! And then you get the trailers.
I don’t care what movies the trailers are for. Cuz it’s like: You love movies? You fear that you’ll never get to all the movies that have already been released? Well, we’re not slowing down for you: here’s more movies you absolutely must see before you die.

It’s torture, sure, but trailers are wonderful torture. Even when I am absolutely assured the movies I’m watching trailers for will suck harder than anything has ever sucked before, for a brief moment, at least, I am entranced. I could pick this movie to see, or I could pick that one… or I could pick all of them.

While I was waiting for Get Low to start this afternoon, a couple came in and sat directly in front of me, even though the theater was mostly empty. I grumbled and slid down a few seats so I would not be right behind them, but I was still close enough to hear the man, after the trailers finished, grumble to the woman, “There’s three movies we can skip.”

And I thought: How do you go to the movies — any movie — if you don’t love movies, and want to see every single one of them?

What is wrong with people?

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maryann buzz | trailers
  • Drave

    Of course, if you see two or three movies a week and you don’t get invited to screenings, trailer burn out is a real danger. Thankfully, trailers are usually varied, but there is always at least one movie that is attached to EVERYTHING, no matter what. Cyrus was one of those. I was way sick of the trailer before the movie came out. I still haven’t seen it. Doubt was a big one, too. I saw that trailer in front of everything. Even animated films.

  • Some people just don’t understand the thrill and the atmosphere of movie watching. :D

    Maybe they were merely watching a movie to stay out of the summer heat. *shrug*

  • FrankS

    I see four or five movies a week. Trailer overload is a definite possibility. For example, I am thoroughly sick and tired of watching the teaser trailer for The Smurfs. It’s not due out for a full year yet and I groan every time I see the blue swooshes come on screen.

  • markyd

    I freakin’ love movies, but I do the same thing as that guy did. I’ll lean over to my wife, and say, “Man, that looks awful” or “No WAY I’m seeing that garbage” or positive comments if I’m interested. I may love movies, but I don’t love every movie. I prefer good ones, thank you.

  • Victor Plenty

    Trailers let me do my pale imitation of the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 guys for my friends, without too much risk of getting thrown out of the auditorium by an angry mob.

    Seriously, though, I’ve increasingly developed a love/hate relationship with trailers. It all started with the trailers for The Phantom Menace. Of course the movie was disappointing, for reasons everyone’s heard a million times now. But I still watch the trailer from time to time, and dream of the cinematic masterpiece it promised to the world, for that brief shining moment that began when the trailer first leaked on the Internet, and ending abruptly with the release of the movie.

    Since then I’ve realized Hollywood cares about trailers a hell of a lot more than they care about the actual movies anymore. By the time we find out whether the movie is any good or not, they already have our money. But a preview trailer still HAS to be good, or they’ll never get the big opening weekends they live and die by.

  • RogerBW

    I don’t know… I very rarely get excited about a film I haven’t seen yet, because these days odds are I’m going to be disappointed by it. I don’t really do the trailer thing any more except for the ones I see linked here and at a couple of other sites. And yet, I think I know what MaryAnn means by that frisson of “I’m at the movies“.

  • Matt C

    What is wrong with people?

    The unwashed masses, MAJ. Sometimes, trailers are a good indication whether they’re bad (Tyler Perry, the Seltzerberg ‘spoofs’) or good (Pixar). But occasionally, you have no idea what the actual movie is like until you see it (because the trailers are poorly put together).

    “Serenity” and “Stardust” are two movies I love, but their trailers were terribly put together. Of course, they were released during the dog days of August and September. But still, it was lazy marketing by the folks at Paramount and Universal. If they had been released in better seasons, word-of-mouth would’ve buoyed their box-office tallies.

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