Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The 11 Best Movie Trailers Of 2015

Movie trailers are such a great artform in and of themselves, going far beyond just being a tool of marketing their conceptually intended to be. And 2015 brought some truly memorable trailers our way, with 11 in particular I feel being worthy of being recognized in this essay. Even separated from the films they're extensions of, these 11 trailers are just great in and of themselves for a myriad of reasons stretching from usages of certain songs to structure. Without further ado, let's examine the 11 Best Movie Trailers Of 2015.

Suicide Squad
Not since that Guardians Of The Galaxy teaser (OOGA CHACKA CHACKA OOGA OOGA CHACKA) has a trailer for a summer blockbuster been so impactful. Unabashedly embracing its unique premise, the Suicide Squad trailer was chock full of unique imagery (a gun toting panda!), a mournful song and even managed to take Jared Letos Joker, whose debut picture was a major punchline, and make him, even just for a few seconds, kinda menacing.
Steve Jobs
I'm still kind of amazed Steve Jobs was such a massive box office non-starter. Yeah, I freely admit to being biased since this was one of my favorite movies of the year, but good Lord, with a trailer like this one, how were people not jazzed for the film? In this two and a half minute trailer alone, ya get the unique (to put it gently) personality of its titular character established, the ensemble cast is trotted out and that clapping! Oh that clapping! The thunderous applause greeting Jobs takes on an almost threatening presence by the time trailer concludes.
Captain America: Civil War
Being a massive fan of the past Marvel Cinematic Universe films made me curious to see the first trailer for the franchises forthcoming 13th installment, Captain America: Civil War, but almost as much of my curiosity for this trailer came from my dubiousness of how they'd handle the large cast of the film without making the trailer feel crowded. Turns out, they pulled off conveying the tone and atmosphere of the film without a hitch; depicted as a Winter Soldier sequel more than anything else, the Civil War trailer leaves much of the cast (Ant-Man, Baron Zemo and The Vision are completely absent, while Crossbones and Martin Freeman each pop up for a fraction of a second) on the sidelines, instead concentrating on the emotional connection between Captain America and Bucky. It's a freaking great trailer, and it gets taken to the next level by that killer final line ("So was I")
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Few films will have the sort of marketing build-up that the first film in Star Wars movie in a decade received. And while that large scale marketing approach delivered a number of memorable trailers and TV spots, none of them can scale the quality heights of this second teaser trailer released at Star Wars Celebration back in April. With eight months to go until release, this trailer kept things mysterious, but still delivered a number of memorable shots (Darth Vaders mask!!!) and a rendition of Lukes speech from Return Of The Jedi all but assured to shoot chills up ones spine.
The Revenant
As of this writing, The Revenant has only been in theaters for three days, and that minimal amount of time as a theatrical release has been limited to only 4 theaters. What I'm trying to say is, there's no telling how the film will perform once it enters wide release, but I have a hunch it'll make gobs of cash, thanks to effective marketing materials like this trailer. Just look at how well an absorbing atmosphere is brought to life in this trailer, and those rhythmic strained breaths from (presumably) DiCaprios character sends the message home that this is one helluva intense ride, and one that, thanks to awesome trailers like this one, I'm most excited to see.
The Hateful Eight
Any new Quentin Tarantino movie is bound to catch my interest. Toss in the luscious winter landscapes that populate this trailer and that moment where Jennifer Jason Leigh mimes herself being hung from a noose? Buddy, you got yourself a trailer for the ages!
The Witch
Typically, I first watch movie trailers on the interwebs prior to seeing them on the big screen. This was not the case with The Witch, which I first saw on my screening of Victor Frankenstein at the very start of this month. Having never seen a frame of footage from the film (my only exposure to the feature had been a single still image and the goat-centric poster), this trailer hit me like a ton of bricks, it's unnerving atmosphere filling me with foreboding dread. This one's shot right up to become one of my most anticipated films of next year, and with a trailer like this one, I don't think it's hard to see why.
Few movies in 2015 made me wanna stand up and cheer like Creed, and few trailers in 2015 were as engaging as this one. Perhaps the best part about this one is its structure, starting out establishing our lead character and his personal struggles, before slowly introducing one of the most iconic figures of the silver screen...Rocky Balboa. As the beat of Lupe Fiasco's Prisoner plays across a brief montage of awesome imagery (including one glorious shot of Rocky lightly tapping a punching bag in the snow that didn't make it into the final film), well, you had my ticket for this one bought before the title even came up in the trailer.
Desierto was nowhere near on my radar prior to the start of this year, but after this remarkable trailer, well, it's practically plastered on my radar. Setting up the unique plot of the movie with blood-curdling panache, this trailer does a wonderful job establishing both character beats and the perilous stakes its lead character will endure to make it to his son. Who knows if the final film will keep up this level of gripping tension for an entire feature, but hell, even if Desierto falls short as a motion picture, we'll always have this grand trailer.
Mad Max: Fury Road
What? Did you think this was gonna be the one "Best of 2015 Cinema" list on the internet to not have Mad Max: Fury Road on it somewhere? Nah, George Miller's action masterpiece made it on here, and for good reason. This second trailer keeps up the exhilarating energy of past trailers and the final feature without indulging in spoilers or other foibles that tend to hinder movie trailers. Also; this trailer gave the world its first glimpse of the Doof Warrior and his beautiful flamethrower guitar. God bless Doof Warrior.
Straight Outta Compton
The music of N.W.A.  has been used as anthems of rebellion for decades now, and even with the bands entire catalog at their disposal, this trailer for Straight Outta Compton gets the most mileage out of the use of the sound of a spinning record. Played against the rising chants of a rage fueled crowd and coming just after Ice Cube proclaimed "I got something to say", this is a pretty damn powerful piece of work.

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