Eclipse: When movie trailers go bad

I used to go to the cinema every week, but for the past few months I’ve just not been able to squeeze it in.

I’ve been passionate about movies for as long as I can remember, so my return to my local Vue cinema, Orange-Wednesday’s code clasped in my hand, it felt like I was returning home.

To me, nothing beats settling down to watch a movie with good friends – so I sunk into my seat, rested my already sweating drink on the arm rest and waited to be plunged into darkness…

This blog however is not about the film we watched (Prince of Persia for anyone that’s interested), but rather the 20 minutes that preceded the movie’s opening sequence.

I have vivid memories from my childhood of curling up in my parent’s bed most mornings and watching TV with my mother.  Even when I knew I should have been pulling on my scarlet school uniform, my attention was fully on the little square box, watching the adverts that punctuated GMTV.  I loved them.  Something about the way each one told a complete story in 30 seconds kept my young-mind’s full attention.  Forget the main programme – I was there every morning for the advert-breaks.

So when the lights started to dim in the cinema on Wednesday evening a little part of me couldn’t help smile, as I settled back to enjoy the pre-show.

But, whilst adverts aim to tell you the whole story in a short period of time, surely pre-view trailers for the season’s up-coming films should be different?  Shouldn’t they aim to tell you just enough to be interested in what’s coming next?

They should grab you and embed hooks of anticipation under your skin and get your imagination firing.  They should offer you a glimpse at the possibilities, sketch an outline around characters, relationships and situations but snatch away before it reaches any certainty.

What they shouldn’t be doing is offering spoilers.

I have to say the trailer for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse was a real disappointment.

Within 45 seconds the trailer had reached page 385 of the Meyer novel.  Zero suspense.  All of the endless problems that are lined up in the previous 300 pages are, in one fell swoop, solved.  So you could argue that the trailer doesn’t actually show you how it all ends… but surely there should be more to a story, whether a book or a film, than the dramatic fight scene near the end?  Where’s the anticipation?  The unanswered questions?

Where’s the journey?

Maybe it’s because over 100 million people have read Stephanie Meyer’s novels, and the Eclipse marketing department knows that die-hard fans know what’s coming… but the trailer lacks flair and creativity.  It’s about as subtle as a brick.

An easy way to tap the mass-market, sure… but to me it seems plain lazy.

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Over-throw the Rainbow: Where Andrew Lloyd Webber could go next.

The vocal cords are warmed up, the gingham dresses are pressed and the final line up is in.

This time next week Andrew Lloyd Webber will have found his new Dorothy.

 

Toto search logo

Andrew Lloyd Webber is hunting for Toto

 

For the last few years my weekend viewing has been punctuated by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s televised search for his next theatre star.  From Maria, to Joseph, to Nancy and now Dorothy the BBC shows have helped reinvigorate the West End and get more visitors through the theatre doors.

But where could ALW go for 2011?

Personally I think it’s time for something new.  In 2007 they pulled in the teen viewers by concocting a storyline in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks.  Then in 2009 producers turned the search spotlight on cute-as-a-button 8 year-old boys.  Then, this year, they upped the cute-stakes further by hunting for Dorothy’s adorable four-legged friend…  If the show gets any sweeter I think even avid theatre fans  will start to feel queasy.

What our Saturday night viewing needs is a bit more spice…

We Brit’s can’t help but love a good TV villain – Big Brother 1’s Nasty Nick, Bad Girl’s Jim Fenner even Simon Cowell have captured our home-grown imaginations – so why not exploit it to the full.

 

Simon Cowell image

Villians are a staple of Saturday night TV

 

Simply put villans are more exciting.

Do a televised search for the Wicked Witch of the West, or the Child Catcher from Chitty.   Imagine the possiblities – no more of the hideous ‘Musical Mash-ups’ but rather ‘goodie’ vs ‘baddie’ duets.

You’re guaranteed to get some brilliant characters auditioning and the if  the recent popularity of television shows like Doctor Who have proven anything, it’s that kid’s like being scared.

Go on Andrew, give us someone we’ll love to hate.