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The Film, The Whole Film and Nothing But The Film

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Mark Kermode | 10:41 UK time, Friday, 4 May 2012

There has been a huge amount of debate recently about the quality of the Hobbit footage shown at the recent CinemaCon.

I say it's time we stopped judging films based on excerpts...

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I find it funny that after a few clips of Avatar 3D was prematurely heralded as the future .... whereas a few clips of something that is actually improving the quality of the picture is ripped apart like there is no tomorrow

  • Comment number 2.

    I actually stopped watching trailers for the past couple of years and, honestly, my film-going experience has benefited so much. I now enjoy every film from being to end without thinking when the next bit from the trailer will happen. Although, it's a little awkward for the person with me in the cinema as I stare down at the floor or close my eyes while the trailers roll.

  • Comment number 3.

    I agree with you on the watch-the-whole-film issue. However, I understand fans desperately wanting to catch extra glimpses of a film they're excited about - you can't pretend you didn't rush online to see a few new Wally Pfister shots in the new The Dark Knight Rises trailer Dr. K!

    But I can see why Jackson did it. It's a new technology; an amendment to a medium. Whether it's this or Avatar with 3D I understand prescreening a little taster for industry experts. Prometheus, on the other hand, there was no point in screening 10 minutes of that whatsoever.

  • Comment number 4.

    In all honesty, I have never sat and watched an excerpt from a movie that hasn't been released yet. Why? Because it is pointless, I want to be amazed by the final product and to enjoy it on the big screen not knowing what is going to happen. Having said that, I do love the trailers at the start of the movie as it gets me hyped up for the next cinema trip. As far as the frame per seconds thing (I have no idea about cinema jargon - apologies) I have always enjoyed the cinematic quality of films, the texture of it on the screen, the knowledge that it is "other-worldly". If I end up going to see the Hobbit and it looks like it was shot in the shire equivalent of Holby City, I'll be taking names

  • Comment number 5.

    That electricity will never catch on...

  • Comment number 6.

    What I think really needs to go is this immediate rush to cover the news of a mere project being announced. Film bloggers constantly kick up a storm of discussion when people are hired to work on something baffling, like a movie based on a toy or a remake of a beloved story. "It's official!" everyone gleefully cries. "Hollywood is out of ideas! There is no hope! Listen to my shouting!" And what happens 99% of the time? Directors get cycled, priorities get shifted, and projects get quietly shelved for nobody to mention again. Indeed, THE HOBBIT came perilously close to having the same fate, when Del Toro left the production. It's all wasted effort that only feeds the insatiable desire to know what's next, rather than to celebrate what's here. Let's wait until the cameras are rolling before we begin the nitpicking, shall we?

  • Comment number 7.

    I recently saw Mission:Impossible at the IMAX in Waterloo and they showed the first seen from The Dark Knight Rises.

    It was an exhilarating experience (no spoilers), however I realised afterwards that I had another 6-7 months until the film is to be released.

    The problem I have now is that when the film is showed in July I will sit through the beginning scene knowing what will happen immediately losing some of the impact.

    The issue I have at the moment is seeing Teaser Trailers for Teaser Trailers, what is the point?

    Warner Brothers showed the fan boys how to market a film with their extensive viral campaigns for The Dark Knight in allowing those interested to become immersed in the world, a masterclass in advertising.

  • Comment number 8.

    http://i852.photobucket.com/albums/ab88/monochromaticxNTA/citizen-kane-clapping-gif.gif

    i hate the fact prometheus has had 20 tv spots - tacky viral videos

    i was excited back in november it should been 2 trailers max - i doubt i will have many if at all 1 surprise when i watch the full film

    why not make the film into 200 tv spots??

    i blame fox not ridley though

    and yes dear dr move with the times accept 3d

    someone needs to remake hollywood

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h472NmF1HEQ

  • Comment number 9.

    You're quite right Mark...BUT in the case of The Dark Knight, audiences were shown the opening scene and the reception was very positive. It temporarily satiated the fan's crazed hunger while not giving too much away. These 6-10 min teases should do just that; tease the film. No major judgements or reservations, it is merely a tiny glimpse of a work that should be reviewed in its entirety.

  • Comment number 10.

    Fascinating legendary mini-rant here from the good Doctor, however, I wonder what his thoughts are on trailers. Robert Redford noted last week in their interview he was not a fan of trailers either and steered clear of them as they reveal too much of the plot.

    Trailers I believe play a major role in the marketing/hype engine that builds the expectations for a movie. What TheHobbit done was to release an extended trailer to a select few.

    Is the point maybe, not to judge the movie on the strength of the trailer?

  • Comment number 11.

    I think it's a fair point.

    I have become disenchanted with sites promoting (and dissing) the spoilerific 10 minute snippets. In fact it seems to be a real problem in certain sections of fandom and in that I agree with the good doctor - enough is enough.

    It has become akin to skipping to the end, the middle and any section in between of books. I don't think it makes us more curious - if anything it deadens our sense of surprise when we see the finished article.

  • Comment number 12.

    Don't Studios test screen films with an audience present at times? its a way for them to judge reactions and see wether the film "plays" right on screen. Perhaps the problem with the hobbit was it was done in public. But you know what they say "All publicity is good publicity" and its the only film that may get me to my local world of cine this year.

    The trailer argument will run and run, depends on who gets to make it i suppose the marketing men or the ad men, because marketing is very different beast to pure advertising (marketing promotes and advertising SELLS)

  • Comment number 13.

    Agree completely. Nobody has any patience anymore. Watching ten minutes is a joke. Trailers have become ridiculous too, giving the whole plot of the film away or creating the impression of it being far better than it actually is.
    I recently watched the original trailer for The Shining again. So simple,yet so effective. Where has all the mystery gone?

  • Comment number 14.

    "... judging films based on excerpts". Isn't that what trailers are for?

    Totally agree about basing judgement on whole film.

    But even the finished film does get tinkered with, e.g. Star Wars and the various Director's Cuts!

    Given the day I am writing this on: Happy Jedi Day!

  • Comment number 15.

    Dr. K, I agree with your argument, and you have to thank Francis Ford Coppola for this idea of excerpts, and 'works in progress' since he probably was the first director to use this practise when he previewed an uncompleted version of 'Apocalypse Now' at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival to great fanfare.

    The whole idea is ludicrous, I mean journalists, bloggers and forum writers judging a film only based on a script is completely redundent, pretty much every single script to every film ever made has gone through countless of rewrites before the cameras are even turned on. And the idea of previewing footage is also ludicrous, why on earth people are paying to see only ten minutes worth of footage. Is patience amongst cinema goers at an all time low?

  • Comment number 16.

    @brian

    Totally agree with your point. What happened to the good old trailers where they actually teased the audience? Kubrick certainly knew how to cut trailers; The Shining has a brilliant teaser and the teaser to Eyes Wide Shut in my opinion is possibly the last great teaser, although Fincher's adaptation to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo comes in at a close second.

  • Comment number 17.

    Just as you can make a 2D version of a 3D film, they'll be able to make a 24fps version of The Hobbit. By shooting it in 48FPS, Jackson has made it relatively simple to accommodate those who will be seeing it in 24FPS, whether by choice or not. It's a win-win for folks like me who don't follow the latest HDTV trends, but who can still go and see this in the cinema - which I will, because I've long been an advocate of filming at higher FPS, simply because it can capture temporal details that are otherwise lost.

    But I hope we don't see any attempts to upsample 24FPS to 48FPS: that would be pointless, since it would mean "interpolation" to create frames that aren't actually there, creating new images to fill in "gaps" that aren't really "gaps" at all. It's even less necessary than 3D retrofitting of old films, in my opinion. I can imagine that George Lucas is rubbing his hands with Glee already ...

  • Comment number 18.

    @spaceodds -certainly agree about trailers that give little away, it does seem that quite a lot of trailers these days offer so much information about a film that there appears no real reason to sit through the whole thing. Sometimes less is more. - and yes @brian the original Shining trailer is a good example

  • Comment number 19.

    We seem to agree on most things Dr K....3D, Code of Conduct, Sex in the City etc.
    And once again I agree with your point. The art of a good trailer has been lost these days (with a few notable exceptions Inception, Dark Knight Rises), and is something that I am always stressing to my media students. Less is more!!! But what I hate most of all are the extended clips that are released! Its like opening the corners of your Christmas presents in November! Whats the point!!??? Wait for Christmas Day for crying out loud!!!!!!

  • Comment number 20.

    As a digital animator (not digimator) and someone who lives with an animation post-production supervisor, compositor and editor, I feel I my opinion on the importance of differing framerates is reasonably informed.

    Interestingly, this framerate issue comes up a lot in animation but at half the speed. 12 fps was established early on as standard for animation as it halves productions costs. Now it's argued that animation loses it's charm at 24fps. Compare the animation of The Nightmare Before Christmas (12fps) with something like The Corpse Bride (28fps). There is no denying a certain charm in the former that's lacking in the latter. When it comes to hand drawn animation, a strange floating effect can occur when the characters are presented in 24 rather than 12.

    While I haven't seen the footage from The Hobbit, I am certain the problematic reports of the 48 fps technology are fair. Have you ever watched something on a flatscreen television that's not properly setup and found a strange ghostly soap opera atmosphere? This is a result of the television creating an increased framerate by interpolating new frames between the existing frames. Now of course this is artificially created which causes its own problems but I think it's relevant.

    I think the criticisms of The Hobbit are fair because they're not criticisms of the structure, characters, script, story of the film. They're criticisms of the technology which can be displayed in 10 minute chunks.

    To end where I began though, as an animator I really understand how every frame counts. But it is possible for too many frames to exist. Do you really think that twice as much visual information is going to be an effective counter against eye strain? It's far more likely to worsen it.

  • Comment number 21.

    To me in many ways this new way in which films are being reviewed in different sections is very similar to way in which video games are covered. As the announcement trailers are unpacked as much as possible trying to extract as much as possible. Then there will be numerous other trailers, plus preview builds, demos and release trailers. Eventually the actual game will be released but by then many reviewers and people have made up their mind.

  • Comment number 22.

    Is it worth pointing out Iron Sky and its development history now?

    I found out about that film, which I've yet to see, from the good Doctor's blog. I decided I want to see that film based on excerpt footage from that blog (though their second trailer cooled me off a bit). But that was just my case.

    Arguably, Iron Sky's model of crowd-funding/crowd-sourcing would not have worked without a release early/release often behaviour, even if what was released were necessarily tiny disjointed bits and pieces.

    I get that there's a difference between "reviewing" a film based on viewing almost none of it and deciding to look for it based on a teaser. My point is that there will be teasers, and as soon as they appear people will either form an opinion or look to someone they respect to form their opinion for them, which is where movie journalists come in. And no Kermodean rant will change this any time soon, not if the crowd-sourcing trend actually takes off in any case.

    As a kind of PS, Dune. Jodorowsky's that is. I find I care about that non-film much more after I saw the Giger concept art.

  • Comment number 23.

    This is very reminiscent of Woody Allen refusing to walk into the cinema because the credits has started to roll In Annie Hall!

  • Comment number 24.

    No doubt fans are still waiting for Ridley Scott's definitive cut of the Trailer of Prometheus. He's been tinkering with it for months now. He's already toned down that creepy siren noise that was obviously imposed by studio interference. He's clearly felt that the original trailer needed more shots of Charlize Theron in catsuits to be artistically valid. Multiple passes of the trailer have now implanted so many plot points from the upcoming film, that by the time we see Prometheus -- the film -- we'll feel that we've already seen it -- Ridley's goal obviously: to make us all feel like replicants. I suspect that Scott may not finally finish editing the trailer until five to twenty years after the film's release.

  • Comment number 25.

    While I avoid exerts of films such as the stuff recently from prometheus, dark knight, and the hobbit I do feel that trailers provide a really valuable sense of anticipation (or not).

    Trailers have gotten both better and worse over recent years.

    on the plus side - I find that they do represent what the film will be like quite well so john carter looked as rubbish as everyone assures me it is. but on the flip side, a film that I was otherwise dreading such as The Host (stephenie meyer's not twilight sf book invasion of the body snatchers from the body snatchers point of view) initially looks really interesting so I'm now quite excited to see how it turns out.

    on the minus side - some trailer editors have gotten really lazy in the way some film reviewers have (not mentioning any names peter bradshaw) in that the job is to simply summarise everything that happens in the movie. surely the point of both is to create a sense of the film without giving away any key plot points.

  • Comment number 26.

    irt. 24 (Brian - New Forest):

    That reminds me of a piece from the onion:

    Wildly Popular 'Iron Man' Trailer To Be Adapted Into Full-Length Film
    Fans are worried that the feature film adaptation of the beloved trailer won't live up to the original 90-second story's vision.

  • Comment number 27.

    Goodness Mark, this could be the longest post ever! I'll try to keep it as brief as I can. I actually remember reading about a critic, it might've been Jonathan Rosenbaum, who talked about the rise of "set piece cinema." In the post STAR WARS world, what's important is "the sequence." What does everyone walk out of summer blockbusters and talk about? The set pieces, of course. If they weren't there, the films would tank. No one would got to see TRANSFORMERS or GI JOE or BATTLESHIP or any of those films without the promise of some explosions. Therefore, if an awesome scene gets leaked on the Internet, everyone says "OH, WOW, LOOK AT THAT!" All that matters is the scene where the Death Star blows up or the robots hit each other. I know this, because while I'm not proud of it, when a new blockbuster film hits DVD, I often rent it for a dollar at our kiosk just to watch the best bits, then return it the next day. That's sort of what cinema has come to today. A lot of it has to do with marketing. Cinema is in crisis, make no mistake, and its competing as hard as it can against next-gen media and video games. It's getting harder and harder to get audiences in seats, and I hate to criticize anyone, it seems to be harder to get anyone to watch anything that requires an attention span. Or perhaps I'm phrasing that wrong, maybe that's just what Hollywood thinks or is trying to condition us to think.

    It's getting harder and hard to keep film plot details secret, it's almost impossible to surprise anyone these days. There was once a mystique to cinema, sitting in a darkened theater while the projector flickered, but so much is wrapped up in merchandising and marketing now that it's nearly impossible to think about the film without thinking about how I saw it plastered on a cola can last week. We've reached an age where the film itself is that last thing about cinema, after the set pieces, the merchandising, the hype, etc. You are right, we should judge films in their entirety. There's a comment on your YouTube channel for this video that jokes "It you only watched the first ten minutes of 2001. You would think it was Gorillas in the Desert." You shouldn't judge a painting by only a few brush strokes, but there's so much on the canvas now, it's getting harder and harder to simply see a film for what it is or isn't, free of hype. "Critics are idiots, look how much money this movie made," or "Audiences just aren't smart enough to 'get' this film." The best films age differently anyway, so many of Terry Gilliam's films took a while before the curve caught up and started praising them. Imagine if they'd just come out one and we'd never gotten to rewatch them? Art needs to exist as art, not as a component in a massive marketing machine, and balancing all of the pieces is getting more and more difficult for directors and everyone else. And as someone who paid to see TRANSFORMERS 3 and waited until the art house films came out on DVD and just watched them then, I'm part of the problem. It's getting harder and harder to see them outside of multiplexes anyway. In today's day and age, it's hard for a film to just be a film. And that's a sad thing.

    I sometimes envy you Mark, grown up living near a cinema that supports all of this kind of stuff like the Phoenix and having the communal experience of watching a horror film when everyone can cheer together when they're scared or all laugh at a comedy. These days, every joke and jump is spoiled by the Internet. You could see a film as a film back then. These days? It's more difficult.

  • Comment number 28.

    There seems to be no point to studios showing a 10min excerpt other than to get the buzz for their film going. They know you cant have an opinion, and if you do, it wont be great, but it gets people talking about it, any press is good press.

    It's like in your book, you talk about box office success coming from films that seem to have massive budget problems. The more money we hear they are spending on this film, the more you want to see it.

    I feel what we really should be talking about is the complete pointlessness of teasers trailers, for the teaser trailer. Looper seemed to have one a day until the actual trailer came out.

    "Welcome to the teaser trailer for the teaser trailer, that is out tomorrow. Come back and see the teaser trailer to the trailer that is out next month!".

    Yaawwwwwwwn.

  • Comment number 29.

    I can only agree with you Mark. It seems people are obsessed with been the first with spoiler alerts from insider info to stolen scripts,film footage, telephoto pics of film or tv production and posting rants and spoilers giving away crucial plot points all in order for them to make money off Youtube hits and still claim to be doing it as a Fan, where in truth it's about their own ego. As I'm sure thousands of DR WHO fans know all to well as a result of having the tabloid press spoil everything and reveal the surprise before it happens, because they don't real care what they print if they ruin it for others...rant over

  • Comment number 30.

    It’s where challenging tradition produces an inevitable backlash. The standard 24fps was arrived at when sound was introduced I understand so as to give consistency in sound reproduction. Nowadays of course audio can be kept separate from the visual recording.

    Cameron is considering 48fps for the next two episodes of Avatar. One reason Jackson & Cameron are pushing for it is that it adds ‘impact’ to 3D (makes it even more 3Dish) so I can imaging some saying “liked the frame rate, hated the 3D”.

    Interestingly there’s a similar debate going on about the introduction of DSLRs (essentially high street tech.) for filming news reports. The look of the footage is very different due to the lenses used.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17893212

    As for these 10 minute previews (or TV trailers for TV trailers for Prometheus for that matter – Oh come on!). Not content with a ‘good enough’ viral campaign as say Dark Knight had, Fox clearly want Prometheus to be a massive hit and will hit us around the head with marketing until our ears bleed between now and the release date, even if it means giving the entire plot away. (Dark Knight Rises on the other hand is now starting to interest me because it remains an unknown quantity.)

    A few years ago C4 showed a preview of the first 10 minutes of The Dawn of the Dead remake – which turned out to be the only half-way decent ten minutes in the entire film.

  • Comment number 31.

    Horribly off-topic but

    irt. 30 (jayfurneaux):

    there were imo two great moments in the newer Dawn of the Dead. One was the helicopter shot of the city. The other was the scene when the protagonists' gun-nut friend in the shop across the street climbs on the roof again, writes something on a white pane (which was their way of keeping in touch) and lifts it, to reveal there's nothing but blood marks on it. Come on, that was sad and beautiful.

  • Comment number 32.

    A little part of me was jealous when I heard that people had seen footage from prometheus and The Hobbit and I partly wished I could see them too. But a larger part of me doesn't want to, the part with the brain in!
    I will go and see both of these films regardless of footage and endless trailers as they are very much on my radar. I know I've been guilty of judging a movie by its trailer, I certainly did so with the recent Battleship. However isn't the point of a trailer to tempt you see a movie? Could it not also have the opposite effect?
    I wouldn't write a review of a film based on a trailer but it can sometimes have an influence on my decision to see it or not. I'm human what can I say? It's like looking in the sweetshop window and decding which sweets look tempting and which ones turn you right off. I'd rather the sweet shop didn't exist!

    I do have a bit of a quandry about Prometheus as like you Mark, I'm not to keen on 3D. However Scott filmed it in 3D so one would imagine his intention is for us to watch it in 3D. I'm worried because, as seen in the trailer, a lot of the shots are very dark and by adding 3D glasses will it be impossible to see what is going on?

    On a similar theme Mark, what do you think of the high quality restoration of movies? Does this mean we will not see them as the director intended? As you are probably aware Jaws is getting a rerelease on bluray this summer with some amazing restoration work. Personally I think it looks incredible and I will be first in the queue to purchase a copy. What do you say Mark?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLWvXaeDzwU

  • Comment number 33.

    Oh and @brian at No. 13 makes a good point. Where has the mystery gone indeed? Most trailers these days are just badly cut mini versions of the entire movie.

  • Comment number 34.

    i agree, the trailers are getting too long and we are seeing lots of trailers with pre-processed footage; and in later trailers we see the same footage with more composting etc. I thought this was what i was looking at with the Hobbit. I had no idea that it was 48fps... On another note I saw a comment on a blog regarding Prometheus (I think i know the entire movie now!) saying that the acting was bad... I think the individual in question was referring to the "european" accents however... Would Leonardo Da Vinci have finished the Mona Lisa if he had a crowd hanging over him saying "Ooooo I don't like the look of that smile..." etc. etc. so on... Lets not even start on the Amazing Spiderman...

  • Comment number 35.

    I agree wholeheartedly with you Dr K but even so, some films that are finally shown in the cinema are sometimes NOT what the director intended. I remember watching The Avengers (the 1998 streak of celluloid sludge with Ralph Fiennes) and wondering where most of the movie had gone. It's 90 mins long and yet the plot is all over the place due to one of the shabbiest editing jobs ever done on a movie. I may sound like a masochist but I would like to see the original cut of that movie. It's never going to be a masterpiece but at least it might make sense!

    It's funny but I actually like trailers. This is because ever since I started going to the cinema (23 years ago) I have fallen into a trap. I know trailers are supposed to make a film look good but each time I go to the movies, I see what's coming out and think 'yes, I want to see that at the cinema' (although I will say, when I saw the trailer for Catwoman I immediately thought 'this looks a pile of sulphourous horse plop and I'm not going anywhere near it'.

    However, as for seeing the 10 minutes of The Hobbit my response is 'NO, NO, NO!' I've seen the trailer, it looks good, I love Lord of the Rings (book and films), I'll see it all when both films come out in December 2012 and 2012.

  • Comment number 36.

    Yes, yes, yes, it's not always that I agree with you admittedly, but you are definitely preaching something approaching the bible truth here. Around Christmas last year, ten minutes of The Dark Knight Rises were premiered with Mission:Impossible-Ghost Protocol at various IMAX screens. Why? I really want to see The Dark Knight Rises, I love Nolan's vision of Gotham, but I want to watch the whole film. Also, when the trailer for that movie came out, many took to internet boards and blogs to say they were disappointed, as if the trailer had been the whole film and not just a taste. My opinion has always been to wait and see, never judge a book by its cover and to form an opinion when the whole film is finished and released. You are one hundred per cent on the money here Mark, I cannot agree with you more.

  • Comment number 37.

    hmmm as much as I like Mark as a reviewer and speaker, I'm not sure I agree
    with this statement that wanting to see a ten minute teaser excerpt of a film "doesn't make you a fan, it makes you stupid". Well no it doesn't. It makes you exactly a fan.

    Those screenings exist solely for the benefit of generating excitement amongst the 'fans'. There should be ZERO non-fans attending any such screening, which is why most of these events take place at Comic Con or other 'fan' conventions. They're not (or shouldn't be) for Reviewers to make any kind of final judgement on. They're purely and simply for pre-existing FANS of the material or talent in the 10 minute clip to eithe get excted about or moan about. They'll ALL still go and see the final film. They're fans.

    I watched the first 15 minute cut of Romero's Land of the Dead in Cannes at a midnight screening (along with a great horror film doc called "Midnight Movies. fyi"), but I didn't feel stupid sitting in there in a theatre at midnight with other stupid people. I felt like a 'fan' of George Romero sitting amongst other 'fans' of George Romero... at midnight.

    Land of the Dead turned out to be pretty rubbish in the end.

  • Comment number 38.

    I agree, however, sometimes you can clearly see if a film is not going to be to your liking with just 10 minutes of footage.

    On a different topic, did you read in The Times (not sure if anywhere else reported it) that cinema companies are seriously considering allowing audiences to text/tweet/talk during movies. They apparently felt that the Silence Rule alienates teen viewers and puts them off going to the cinema.
    I would be very interested to hear your views on this subject.

  • Comment number 39.

    I'm a great believer that going into a film "blind" knowing nothing can be very rewarding, so i've decided not to listen to Mark's review of The Dark Knight Rises until after and i'll only listen to the Prometheus review to see wether i should bother with 3D. Martha Marcy May Marlene didn't work for me because i'd seen the trailer and already knew the set up. Conversely despite listening to Mark's review of Snowtown the only part i heard was a reference to a family so i went in thinking it was going to be a family drama akin to The Ice Storm. Later seeing the trailer it gives no indication of what to expect so i sore it in the right state of mind.

    I agree with some of the above posts that movies lose a lot of their mystique through trailers and marketing deluges, Hollywood seems to have forgotten that the customer pays the money before they get the goods.

    PS i heard that at the Armageddon preview the audience burst out laughing causing Bruce Willis to grumble that he hadn't realised they'd made a comedy, worth cueing just for that.

  • Comment number 40.

    A fantasy movie looking "...too real" is beneficial, surely? Cinema's contrived to begin with. Sounds like Jackson's not perpetuating the illusion but trying to draw us in. Bravo, says I.

  • Comment number 41.

    Totally agree and its about time some one spoke up about this so thank you Mark - the trouble is that these days many trailers are too long and also give the plot away and yet without them how would we know what we actually want to see. There's the rub and I am not sure what the answer is. Great blog.

  • Comment number 42.

    Nonsence Mark. I wish I only had to sit through the excerpts of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. May have actually enjoyed the film.

  • Comment number 43.

    Call it the 'Youtube-ization' of cinema.

    If politicians and celebrities are going to judged by five-second sound bits, then films are going to be judged by trailers.

    Sad but true.

  • Comment number 44.

    Hear, hear, Dr. K!

  • Comment number 45.

    Teaser trailers, Trailers, extended Trailers, 10 min of footage (over extended trailers) are only and always will be the bits of the movie that 'they' think will grab your attention, the best bits, the action the 'here's our least CGI effects' bits. The studio whats to sell the movie at any cost. you can make any movie look good in a trailer (John Carter of Mars!!!!)

    That said people who watch these trailers and feel the need to criticise it should have the intellegence to know that they are only seeing what the studio wants then to see, so to judge a movie by 10 mins of footage or by its trailer is like judging a book by its cover, pointless.

    Its not the trailers you see, its the movies you watch that defines you.

  • Comment number 46.

    I only watched 30 seconds of that video, but you're making a terrible point.

  • Comment number 47.

    Mihai Pomarlan: # 31. The Dawn of the Dead TV preview ended with the helicopter shot I think your referring to (the car crashing into the gas station) etc. Essentially the opening, up to the woman driving down the motorway.

    I'll admit the rest of Dawn of the Dead had a few good moments – the rooftop scene was one - but just moments. The opening ten minutes was the strongest, most sustained part of it. IMO.

    #35. I doubt the directors cut of The Avengers would be any better. It's a strong candidate for worst film I've ever watched. A case where the makers simply didn't 'get' anything about the original TV series that made it the cult hit that it was. Casting Ralph Fiennes was one of the many, many dire things about it. l

    Trailers can help us decide to watch – or avoid - a movie. Some trailers have made me go and see films I might have otherwise avoided. Having said that some trailers are just plain misleading.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Back to The Hobbit and 48fps. Most of us wont have a chance to see it at 48fps. The cinemas' have to upgrade projection equipment for that to happen.
    I doubt, particularly given the response to Jackson's preview, that that will happen. (The preview was at Cinema Con presentation – a convention aimed at cinema owners.)

    The other issue for cinema owners is that the public probably won't be keen on paying even more than the price of a 3D ticket for the added privilege of watching 48fps.

    Instead we'll be probably watching a version that's been converted down to standard 24fps.

    Its worth noting that none of the trailers for The Hobbit at the cinema or on the web are (or will) be at 48fps, Jackson has already said the trailers will be at 24fps.

    There's also the issue than none of today’s TVs (nor Blu Ray) on the market are capable of showing 48fps without strong image degradation.

    There is a good chance most of us will never have a chance to judge the merits of a Hobbit at 48fps.

    But – Jackson and Cameron have major clout in the industry.

    If they are both offering the next episodes of highly profitable franchises in 48fps then cinema owners may feel they'd be foolish to refuse.

    My guess this debate will get louder as the release date draws closer – and the rest of Hollywood will be watching closely.

  • Comment number 48.

    but the simplest solution surely is the movie studios should just stop putting the footage out there to begin with, any director worthy of the title, like Sir Ridley Scott, should surely be able to say no dont screen this excerpt because my film is not finished it will ruin what Im trying to do go away silly pr people.

    because I cant blame film fans for being shown this stuff or being given this stuff on a plate, and then posting their opinions good or bad, taken as a critique of a finished film no its entirely not the same thing and Ive not seen anyone (who expects to be taken seriously) say Ive seen 10mins of this film or read a draft script and decided the whole thing will be rubbish, or this thing will blow your mind either

    but take the example from Batman the Dark Knight Rises, people saw the test footage and remarked a whole film where the villain of the piece is totally undecipherable might not be a good piece of cinema & fine you could say that was the directors vision, so live with it and judging from the trailer theyve now gone too far in the opposite direction and made Bane sound comical. who knows maybe in the final edit Bane will actually sound as we expect someone wearing a metal grate to sound I dont know, but I dont see thats it a bad thing people were able to highlight that point from an excerpt.

  • Comment number 49.

    Hear, hear!

    I avoid pre-release footage wherever I can as, quite simply, it spoils the experience of the movie for me. I also hate it when trailers give away too much, so don't bother watching most of them.

    As an aside though, another poster mentioned Jodorowsky's Dune... I would love to have seen that movie after seeing the concept art and story boards.

  • Comment number 50.

    This thread has reminded me of a side issue with trailers, bits included in trailers that aren't in the final film. The trailer for Twister (sadly not a boardgame adaptation) included a shot which was pretty gobsmacking for the special effects of the time, I sat through the whole film waiting for it and it never came as it was an effects test put together just to show how many elements they could combine into one shot. The Iron Lady teaser trailer with Meryl and her image consultants includes dialogue not in the finished film. The original trailer of Blade Runner included the Ink Spots song If I Didn't Care, which I felt promised the sort of retro future noir that the film delivered (in all its cuts), but the song isn't in the film, although the Vangelis soundtrack does have a pastiche song One More Kiss, I'm not sure when or if it appears in the film. Of course the latter example is not unusual as many trailers are cut to other scores either for the emotional tone or for the simple expediency that the film score may not be finished at the time the trailer is put together, and also music rights may lapse or prove too expensive over the life of the film.

  • Comment number 51.

    what about trailers then Mark? beginning to end or nothing? bit strict, eh?

    So on that point, have you seen the trailer to Prometheus and are you looking forward to it? I have a hope that it will return the series to its former glory and be a contender for best Sci-fi film of 2012 at least, if not up there on one of your best for the whole year.

    Batman vs. Prometheus is going to be close in terms of preference for a lot of people I feel, though the hobbit does just look like Martin Freeman wearing a funny wig, wait for the whole film I say.

  • Comment number 52.

    I do understand what you're saying, Dr K, but I don't understand why bloggers, journalists and critics are being taken to task for responding to footage film companies seem only too eager to thrust under their noses. If you want people to stop judging films based on unfinished footage, how about you tell the directors and the distributors to stop putting it out there in the first place?

  • Comment number 53.

    Hear, hear. A perfectly eloquent rant. Shall we next critique novels based on sporadic paragraphs?

  • Comment number 54.

    Lol: The circus of the circus!

    RE: the fps: Adding hyper-real shots (is that right) may help with 3D but it will help stimulate the audience also? I think in Batman Begins, the raw and crisp footage of Mr. Bale in the mountains and other crisp shots really works so well for a re-envisioning of batman as well as making it more believably modern. Yet, I wonder, for the fantasy Hobbit, it really makes the unreal sets more like sets? You need to make the sets and shot locations have more "wabi-sabi" to a large degree to bring the realness back into the shots.

    People are right in this case: The dwarves look like make-up caricatures and the sets look like sets and not "The Shire" eg.

    As for pre-production and reading reviews before watching the film, they are counter-productive imo, except for hype maybe and maybe for reviews a check of scores in case you fail to spot a turkey/spot a hidden gem.

  • Comment number 55.

    I totally agree Mark. Just when you think the movie viewing experience can't possibly be dumbed down anymore then a team of high paid marketing staff (American) will find a way to sell 3 more tickets to 12 year olds that month at the expense of the entire future of the medium! Whatever happened to suspense, surprise and subtlety? Oh, I forgot, 'stupidity' ...

  • Comment number 56.

    What he said.

    "It doesn't make you a fan, it makes you a fool."

  • Comment number 57.

    Ultimately we, as individuals, can choose not to look at all of this "viral marketing" stuff. "Power to the people!!!"

  • Comment number 58.

    I am on my feet applauding. I have said the same (without so much pith) for the last couple of years. BRAVO.

  • Comment number 59.

    Enough is enough Mark - you need to stop going easy on your targets and, instead, give them the full-blown polemical rant!

  • Comment number 60.

    I agree nobody should judge a film on an excerpt, trailer or script. The whole criticism on the 48fps should wait until the film has been released as a finished product, so you can see the consistently throughout the film and not just a small clip of various scenes. Film makers have been experimental since the beginning of cinema, Godard for example whose films are influencing many today. If makers weren't experimental with their films then there would be no advancements in cinema.

  • Comment number 61.

    I've always had an idea that 'trailers' should be just that: a trail that leads into the film, and not the film sliced and diced into 60 seconds.

    A trailer, in fact, would be almost like a 2-minute short, that attempts to set up the synopsis of the film before diving into the full narrative. If anything, it would be the equivalent of an abstract before a written thesis or paper. This should help give directors the ability to focus and scope the project. It would also give the audience a good idea on whether they would be interested in settling down and seeing more of the film.

    Just a thought....

  • Comment number 62.

    Although, perhaps setting up the synopsis or an abstract would be too much. Rather, I'm thinking a short story that leads into the full-blown narrative.

  • Comment number 63.

    Isn't this to do with marketing and generating word of mouth for that all important opening weekend? I recently learned that dependance on the opening weekend emerged out of some monopoly legislation dictating that studios could no longer own theatre's. A condition or rider to that meant studios would take a larger majority of the takings in a films opening weekend. Which probably results in marketing tactics that result in over exposure of a film.

  • Comment number 64.

    I prefer the trailers which aren't just clips strung together, but a little independent work of art in its own right. Someone mentioned the Shining's trailer - I remember seeing that in the cinema at the time (the lift, the blood pouring out) and being totally creeped out. It told you everything you needed to know about the film, and yet nothing either.

    The trailers should be made by the director, not the marketting team

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6qDqdYY6-Y

    But now they'd probably do something like this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfout_rgPSA

  • Comment number 65.

    Trailers should be made by people who are good at trailers. That isn't necessarily the director, who can often be too close to their own work to step back and see the things in their film that can work as it's own little narrative and tease people into watching the film.

    A trailer's job is not to tell you what's in the film, it's to get you to want to watch the film, without misleading you. The worst trailer in recent times was Bridesmaids which totally misrepresented the film as some kind of 'Hangover with ladettes' (as well as having several lines of dialogue not in the final film) and it actually put me off watching what was in the end a really nice film.

  • Comment number 66.

    yes imagine the trailer fo Psycho happening now, with a director walking around a set, addressing the audience and telling them that something very nasty will happen in this room, but you'll have to come to the film to find out exactly what.

  • Comment number 67.

  • Comment number 68.

    It's not all progress. I've just come back from a digital screening of The Pirates where most of the background in-jokes were impossible to see due to the low resolution of 8000HD. Maybe 48fps would help?

  • Comment number 69.

    @jayfurneaux Will a 3D enabled TV and Blu-ray player not play 48fps in 2D if correctly set up?

  • Comment number 70.

    It is interesting seeing this technology in relation to video games where the ideal standard is 60fps precisely because it provides a superior experience of that content. Having said this, games have a 'game aesthetic' which always maintains a key distance, regardless of how smooth the rendering is. In fact the phenomenon of uncanny valley has become a real issue for games that attempt to get too real - the audience just doesn't buy the effect as readily. The same issue may now be true for The Hobbit in that the fantasy being captured is just not fantastical enough given the much higher fidelity of the medium. Having said that the footage is still early and will likely be swathed with digital effects to grade and influence the overall look - as was the case with the LotR films - emphasising the otherworldliness of the material and drawing attention away from the innate detail that 48fps provides.

  • Comment number 71.

    i had a premonition about a dream about watching the 10 minute excerpt from the new hobbit film and it was brilliant!! 10/10, if it doesn't sweep the oscars, ill eat my hat (a dream hat of course, not a real one, ill leave eating REAL clothing to hertzog)

  • Comment number 72.

    I find trailers and spoilers irritating too, because they deny the writer and director that most powerful of devices: surprise. That's not simply the jolting shocks, but the twists and turns that all stories need.

    I've seen a lot of theatre at the fringe and I've often managed to see something while only knowing the title. (You have to know the title in order to get a ticket and I've never worked out how to get round that.) I've seen a few turkeys this way because I've avoided the trailers, but I think overall I've gained a better experience elsewhere.

    As a writer and director, keeping the surprises (including the look of the piece) is part of the repertoire to make it effective and entertaining. Trailers and note in programmes can make that job trickier.

    Unfortunately, we are all kiddies in the sweetshop wanting it all now, now, now.

  • Comment number 73.

    I agree with mark 100% here as well.
    In regards to Prometheus [being a hot topic] I find it really disappointing how the trailers have been giving so much away, its just plain awful to do that, especially for a film with legions of fans dying to see it. I say tough beans, no mini-movie trailers, go see it when it comes out, end of story.
    I was surprised they ignored the success of the original Alien trailer, one so vague and spooky that it gave zero story points away yet people flocked to see it in massive numbers. Just the egg, a bit of smoke, a voiceover, and I think it had some audio clips from the film [mostly the scary stuff]. This was the only trailer I was aware of way back in the day, never saw anything else but I know now after looking onlione that there was a more traditional trailer that also came out, but even that didn't have huge spoilers.
    Alien's brilliant trailer [today called a teaser] had me in the first two seconds.
    Prometheus should have been doing the same thing. Spooky and vague, giving zero story points away, it still would do huge business and nobody would have had any spoilers. Fanboys would be tearing their hair out in anticipation but hey, thats the point. No spoliers, excitement builds, and people go to see it but most importantly they see it without having seen a lot of it already.
    I think the viral stuff out there for Prometheus is quite brilliant, at the very least it gives nothing away from the film.
    I would suspect that Fox Studio is really behind all the trailers giving far too much away. I doubt the Master would want to intentionally spoil his own film.

  • Comment number 74.

    Hear Hear! *Applause* It all does seem pointless. Cinema is an art form. Imagine going to see the latest offering from *insert favourite artist here* only to find out that a shroud covers 3/4's of the work. :-0

  • Comment number 75.

    Here's the thing:

    Recently on an other hand you were postulating that studios were not committing censorship when they made cuts to target a more lucrative audience. So, if the same lot want to preview, trailer or release part works, I'd say that's equally up to them. If people want to waste their time viewing, reviewing and discussing fragments of films and trailers, their choice, boneheads all.

    Dickens, Conan Doyle and other writers in eras when the written word was more of a popular entertainment serialized their works. James Joyce's final work the stream of unconsciousness dreamgibberish written Finnegan's Wake was partially published over years as Work In Progress chunks, partially to establish a body of explanatory scholarly interpretations for its full fledged publication. Now I don't imagine you can ascribe as sound motives to this practice of the film makers.

    Whether this practice continues will depend on whether it generates the marketing buzz they seek to push the film. Certainly the somewhat misleading mars free opening of John Carter clearly didn't do that one any favors. Of course the more we witter on about this sort of thing, we're just encouraging them, eh.

    As for the WTFPS debate, similar problems greeted "HD" broadcasting in that camera set and makeup standards weren't up to the level of detail suddenly available, which made things look shoddy by comparison to the more forgiving low res formats. I think Peter Jackson is wrong to suggest it's only a matter of our eyes adjusting to the new look, the artistry on the filmmakers side will have to match this new level of detail.

    Mark, please don't gouge an eye out over Ridley's bombast, you won't be able to enjoy 3D if they ever get it right. And if we're going to insist that a whole film must be viewed before an opinion can be issued, do we need the Ludovico chair and pinned eyelids to eliminate blinking and walkouts?

    All that said, does this mean that Apocalypse Now was just a superior very extended trailer for Redux?

  • Comment number 76.

    I dont tend to watch trailers or excerpt of a film because they usually try to entice a certain type of audience to the film.However this Hobbit footage does look alittle strange.

  • Comment number 77.

    In defense of showing whole segments of a film. I had seen the trailer for Stardust (2007) and thought the film was trying to be LOTR, it looked a mess. While in Comic Con I saw a 10 minute clip that showed the film was funny and quirky. I saw it twice at the cinema and I loved it. Never got any of that from the trailer.

  • Comment number 78.

    I actually rarely agree with Mark on anything (I saw Avatar 6 times in the cinema and loved it every time for point of reference) but I am TOTALLY in agreement with this. Over the last two years I have basically stopped watching trailers and I NEVER watch any extended scenes that the studios release in order to promote the film (The last time I did this was I think when Spiderman 3 came out)

    For better or for worse I want to see a film with as little knowledge of it as possible going in and living in Japan where we get films VERY late sometimes this can be hard. (Avengers AND Prometheus are coming out in August and I have no idea if The Hunger Games is even coming out here)

    I think that ultimately this is a product of the digital disposable age that we live in. The cinema going public seem to be becoming more and more impatient when it comes to waiting for a film to come out and the studios seem to be more and more desperate to get that edge over the competition.

  • Comment number 79.

    Totally agree. Case in point ,Martyrs, Take a few scenes from that and you would think your watching the vilest film ever made.Watch the whole film and realize it is actually great (but TOUGH!!), the ending especially so.

  • Comment number 80.

    Mark
    Can you please please please please please categorically and completely explain what on earth the thought process is for the schedule of Film 24? Why is it sometimes on, and then not on at all? Is it just me and my bad computer skills or was there no film 24 this Friday, and possibly no film 24 last Friday?! What is going on?!!!!

    If you don't answer I shall assume that some exec at the bbc has bound you down and forced you to watch Michael Bay movies until you promise not to tell us why this great film program is not on every week.

  • Comment number 81.

    I wish you wouldn't trivialize the importance of celluloid film in a time when it's being killed by digital technology for reasons that have nothing to do with what appears on the screen. Soon you'll be reviewing a film called "Samsara," a non-narrative documentary shot entirely on 70mm and I can safely say that its prequel "Baraka" captured images in 1992 that were more beautiful and lifelike than anything a rasterized image of any K will ever be. The grains of film register light in the randomized way we do and digital can attempt to imitate that clarity, but it will always be innately inferior. The light of the picture will never descend and brighten as smoothly. The visual integrity and quality of a visual medium is the first important. I understand that as a critic, you review movies for what they are, but you should still be aware that many movies we're watching today are so much less than what they could have been. Film has been with us since the invention of cinema. In fact, it is the invention, so please don't deny its importance. If people keep doing that, anyone who wants to be able to call himself a filmmaker won't be able to, because people before them cut corners financially, pedantically and intellectually. Please consider this, thank you.

  • Comment number 82.

    *first priority

  • Comment number 83.

    BAD NEWS RE. IRON SKY - apparently its distributors want to only put it in cinemas for one day. Go to ironsky.net - can't post the link on here as it has a swear word in it :P

    Mark YOU HAVE TO STOP THIS! You and I and everyone we know (geddit) simply don't deserve this considering how long we've waited for what could be the film of the year

  • Comment number 84.

    #69. Most movies are encoded for DVD & BluRay at 1920x1080 @ 24fps. Current players do not support 1920x1080 @ 48fps. It would take more than just a firmware update to add support for 1920x1080@48fps to the standard since the most players can't decode faster than the BluRay specified limit of 40 Mbit/s.

    There are other issues, it might be possible to convert from 48fps to the standards HDTV and BluRay have at present, but would mean converting from 48fps to what they can handle. That would probably result in some image degradation or juddering. It's fitting a cylinder into a square hole type of situation.

    Not insurmountable, get ready to upgrade, look for the '48fps ready' sticker.

    My guess is DVDs & BluRay releases will be at the standard 24fps. It's possible that if upgraded players & HDTVs appear on the market then there'll be two discs in the box, one for each of the different speeds.

    Any TV station presentation would have to be at24fps.

    The main advantage that Cameron & Jackson are pushing is that 48fps helps eliminate the blurred vision and headaches that seem to affect some of the audience when watching 3D at the cinema. The aim of this move does seem to be keeping 3D alive in cinemas.

    Take away the 3D aspect and the main criticism of 48fps is that it looks like 'ordinary' digital video, not like 'cinema'.

    As I said I doubt many of us are going to be able to watch a 48fps version and judge for ourselves (3D or not) - unless the cinema industry makes a leap of faith and widely upgrades in time for The Hobbit. Given the response to Hobbits 48fps premier I think the cinema owners are going to be very nervous about doing that.

  • Comment number 85.

    Cinema CAN be an art form, but it's completely absurd to think that the films we see in multiplexes are part of that tradition. Previews and hysterical levels of hype will never damage integrity of films that actually matter, just as talent shows and relentless advertising will never damage the integrity of music as an art form.

  • Comment number 86.

    @ Mihai Pomarlan. Good point you made about Iron Sky. You should cherish that trailer, unless you're quick on your toes you'll miss the film. Iron Sky scheduled for one day only UK release.

    http://www.ironsky.net/site/iron-sky-in-the-uk-for-one-day-only

  • Comment number 87.

    I used to love Trailers but I avoid them these days for the fact that there are too many of them for one movie and they do tend more often than not to give away too many plot details than I would like to know. It partly spoils the first time viewing of the film. For big films like 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'Prometheus' and 'The Avengers' why do we need to be bombarded by so many clips and scenes? Surely these movies are the ones that need the least amount of promotion.

  • Comment number 88.

    Well I can tell you one thing, I won't be seeing the Hobbit in 3D.

  • Comment number 89.

    I agree:

    Since Batman Begins I have reached the highest level of anticipation I ever could when The Dark Knight was announced and similarly with The Dark Knight Rises.

    You would think that the 6min prologues that were released beforehand for both movies would be a godsend for such a fan boy like me

    BUT

    When they were released I tapped out at the last moment because it would have left me very very unsatisfied and then I would have been sent to depression for then having to sit through I am Legend and MI Ghost Protocol afterwards.

    I agree with Dr. K that this kind of marketing ploy should be axed particularly in the viral age where very little is sacred.

    I'd also like to suggest to the filmmakers that until the print is pulled from their hands for release day that every single frame of that film can potentially be reworked if required.

  • Comment number 90.

    Dear Doctor,

    Good day sir and apologies for my late reply (I was busy celebrating my 30th birthday and proposing to my girlfriend [now fiancé] at the Shetland Folk Festival).

    Smug.

    I have a point to make.

    Regarding pre-views of previews, trailers for trailers and test footage screenings of films before their release, I wholeheartedly agree, it's a nonsense; it spoils you're experience of the finished film and can - in extreme circumstances - serve as a repellent.

    However, there is an exception.

    10 minutes of 'The Dark Knight Rises' was screened in front of 'Mission Impossible' at Christmas but was strictly - and very deliberately - only available in true 70mm IMAX projection (I saw it in Glasgow). I went, I saw and it was stunning. Truly. It was the finished introduction of the film, and it justified itself twofold; to promote the film and to promote film (as opposed to digital projection). The footage was an advert for film; a much needed adrenaline shot right in the forehead.

    It was canny to release it, to showcase celluloid's merits and to keep peoples' collective conscience aware of the qualities of true film. Nolan's leading the fight against a digital takeover and I'm behind his campaign.

    In a recent interview, Christopher Nolan said;

    "For the last 10 years, I’ve felt increasing pressure to stop shooting film and start shooting video, but I’ve never understood why. It’s cheaper to work on film, it’s far better looking, it’s the technology that’s been known and understood for a hundred years, and it’s extremely reliable. I think, truthfully, it boils down to the economic interest of manufacturers and a production industry that makes more money through change rather than through maintaining the status quo.”

    So this is the exception, Dear Doctor. This is - in my mind - a worthy reason for a pre-preview. The only exception I can think of.

  • Comment number 91.

    Mark, I agree. I, too, would rather gouge my eyes out with a spoon than just watch 10 minutes of a film. People have mentioned Dawn of the Dead in earlier posts (the remake). I remember channel 4 showing the first 10 minutes of it upon its UK release. I didn't watch it because it just seemed like a cynical convergence between a TV company trying to pull in viewers with, in many ways, an extended trailer and Distributors getting a large chunk of free promotion for what turned out to be a fairly mediocre film. I seemed to have blanked from memory the name of the presenter of this sordid little exercise. How are your eyes anyway Mark? Ungouged?

  • Comment number 92.

    Perhaps someone mentioned it already but I've often wondered who creates the trailers for films, sometimes its clear that the director themselves had a hand in creating it but in other cases its clear that the director did not have a hand in making the trailer at all, i'd point to the trailer for The Road as an example. Also trailer makers seem to think if they put loads of images together to go by in quick succession, people won't notice whats going on, but errr we can and theres youtube and pause buttons... trailers are indeed annoying but I also enjoy the buzz a trailer can give for a film, so when trailers for The Master and stuff come i'll be watching none stop.

  • Comment number 93.

    All I can say is:
    Dr. K., once more, you are completly right.

    When I hear that people actually would want to see a couple of minutes out of the new Batman film, I thought that would be one of the worst ideas I can imagin...

  • Comment number 94.

    All I can say is I'd rather see *one* minute of a film - a whole scene - than the standard kind of trailer, but I don't want to see ten minutes.

    Trailers are dreadful, but necessary things. Given the exorbitant prices of cinema tickets these days, I need to have some degree of certainty that I'm not going to be watching dross before I buy a ticket. Trailers do a great job of not giving me any of that, and instead cherry-pick a variety of shots that never really reflect the film, nor show the acting, script or general cinematography - all the stuff that makes great films great. They just concentrate on pretty people and explosions and one-liners, all the stuff that makes an instant impact and stands alone.

    A full scene from the film in question that lasted about the length of a trailer, ideally from fairly early on, would do a better job of showing off the film's less immediate qualities - writing, acting, mise-en-scene and shot design and so on, and how these are sustained moment to moment - without drawing people in to the extent that they are left unsatisfied.

  • Comment number 95.

    You only had to see a 10 minute trailer of a Armeggeddon, you were let off lightly.

  • Comment number 96.

    Brilliant Post Mark. For some reason I had missed it.
    Couldn't agree more... A side thought though: watching 10 minutes of Armageddon might been better option than watching the whole thing

  • Comment number 97.

    I'm still staggered by how much weight Peter Jackson has lost. He's literally half the man he used to be.

  • Comment number 98.

    Dear Mark,

    you are absolutely right about watching the full movie for review or for pleasure.
    But i have to tell you that i had watch the "Cannes-Promo" for ARMAGEDDON that year. And i liked it. After watching the whole film later i asked myself. Why was the Promo-Clip so enjoyable. The full movie was typical Michael Bay. The Promo was more to the point. The scenes haven't had to long.
    Well i am looking forward to see the new Scott-Film too.

    Yours Julian Kay

 

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