It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another top 5!
In honor of the Velvet Buzzsaw trailer releasing yesterday (and it being a phenomenal trailer to the point that I almost considered dropping it on this list straight out the gate) I decided to list my top 5 movie trailers of all-time.
Movie trailers are very key in garnering interest in a movie. The right trailer can add hype to a movie when there was none, and a bad trailer can make people less interested in seeing it. Sometimes trailers give away too much, others don’t give you enough idea of what the movie will be about. Some trailers have stuck with me more than the movies have and others have led me to watching some of my all-time favorite movies. This is my top 5. (And Velvet Buzzsaw is #6 at this moment for sure.)
All trailers are linked to in their list number.
This trailer is slightly different than the other ones on this list, mostly because this trailer has absolutely no dialogue in it. Set entirely to a cover of Immigrant Song, the trailer is just flashes of scenes from the movies that cut quickly along with the driving beat of the song. It takes full advantage of the fact that, at the time, the hype behind Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was high and the majority of people didn’t need a trailer telling them the plot of the movie. Instead it just sets a mood and it sets that mood perfectly.
The intercuts of the road getting slowly closer and closer to the house is perfect directing. Also I laugh every time at “The Feel Bad Movie of Christmas” because it is the perfect corny thing to say that fits right in with the tone of the trailer and story. Immigrant Song is just a perfect fit for the cuts and you’ll find a lot of reasons I’ll like a trailer is because of the music and the editing that goes along with it. Just rewatching this trailer makes me want to watch the movie again.
While the first Guardians of the Galaxy trailer is probably the most iconic of Marvel’s movie trailers (what a bunch of a-holes) Ant-Man and the Wasp is my favorite trailer from Marvel movies by far. There’s a Baby Driver-esque rhythm to the trailer with the action beats happening in syncopation with the music beats. And I love that style of editing (and it’s why Baby Driver is up there as one of my favorite movies of all-time despite it having Kevin Spacey in it) so it’s natural that I love this trailer.
On top of that, the music is a remixed version of Adam & The Ants’ song “Ants Invasion” which is just a brilliant musical choice. Then the trailer itself gives you just enough information so you have a general idea of what the movie will be about without giving away most of the plot. Finally, it ends on the hilarity of the giant Pez Dispenser (just like the first Ant-Man trailer ended on the Thomas the Tank Engine joke). I must have watched this trailer ten or twelve times the day it came out last year. So good.
Atomic Blonde’s second trailer is what sold me on watching the movie. While the trailer ends up showing off most of the film’s action scene high points it’s still a wonderfully edited trailer. Musically, it starts off with New Order’s “Blue Monday,” seamlessly switching to Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” as James McAvoy’s character shows up, and then turning into an unofficial remix called “Personal Yeezus” featuring Kanye West as more action starts (executing Baby Driver-esque rhythm again). And the music is interspersed with cuts of silence for dialogue at the perfect times.
Everything about this trailer is punctuated perfectly from character introductions to action scenes to comedic lines. Especially the ending when she jumps out of the window to repeated “Reach Out” lyrics from Personal Jesus. It’s a shame the movie was only good and not great, because this trailer is and always will be spectacular.
When this trailer hit, it raised my hype for this movie through the roof. I knew Christopher Nolan was filming a movie but had no idea what the plot was – and then I watched this masterful trailer. It introduces all the characters and gives you some semblance of the plot and direction of the movie, but doesn’t give everything away. The ending line of “dream a little bigger darling” is just so on the nose as well.
But of course I have to talk about the music – “Mind Heist” by Zack Hemsey. It was composed specifically for this trailer and you can tell since the ebbs and flows of the music are in perfect harmony with the editing. This trailer’s music and Hans Zimmer’s score forever made “Inception horns” a thing in future scores. It’s an iconic trailer to go with an iconic movie – a movie I saw twice opening weekend and three times total in theaters and have watched countless times since.
When I decided to do this list this was the first trailer to come to mind. All these years later I remember the feelings that this trailer inspired when I originally saw it. Me and a few of my friends excitedly discussed how much we had to see this movie thanks to the trailer (and also just how awesome the trailer was). The cinematography style is so unique that just by itself it pops out and grabs your attention. Then, of course, there’s the crazy good cast associated with it.
And then there’s the music. This was 2004/2005, so there wasn’t a Shazam to easily hunt the song down. And there wasn’t an iTunes or Amazon to easily find lesser known music. It took me a bit to discover that the song was Cells, by The Servant but I’ll be damned if I didn’t listen to that track over and over again thanks to this trailer. This trailer is the greatest example of how you grab an audience’s attention and don’t let go.
And that’s my favorite movie trailers. See you next week!