Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Should You Skip Movie Trailers? Mr. Hyde Says "Hell No!"

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Noel Murray has a lively piece at the AV Club about whether people who love movies should skip movie trailers, especially for movies they plan to see already. The arguments for skipping trailers boil down to: a) Why ruin any of the surprises of a first viewing? b) You're not seeing the movie cold the way the filmmaker intended, dummy. c) Only see trailers for movies that sound lousy — those might convince you to take a chance.

Granted, trailers as a rule give away far too much now, on the (probably correct) theory that people see a movie specifically because they want to revisit something they've glimpsed in the preview. After all, that's what a trailer is supposed to do: sell the movie by condensing as many highlights as possible into a bouillon cube of awesomeness. (Case in point: the trailer for the bygone Sylvester Stallone vehicle Cliffhanger, which for roughly 1/60th of the movie's running time looks like the damnedest thing ever made.)

But no less than the music video, which serves a similarly base purpose as advertising, the trailer is an art form in itself — and never more so than when some crafty editor transcends the venal act of selling a lemon. Case in point: the trailer above for the forgotten blaxploitation oddity Dr. Black and Mr. Hyde. Do I care if this movie is spoiled? Hell no (though I am curious to see how Bernie Casey sticks that dive off the Watts Tower). But my life would be the poorer without the rhyming voiceover, which practically invents rap even as it hustles crap. (Take a bow, A Soldier's Story Oscar nominee Adolph Caesar.)

Other examples would be greatly appreciated. Especially if they rhyme.

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