New Year Extravaganza pt. 4: Obvious Self-Referencing Joke

Hello and welcome to Day 4 of the New Year Trailer Extravaganza!  As always, if you missed the first three trailers, you can check those reviews out at the following links:  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — Prometheus — The Dictator.

Today we move on to a trailer that I still don’t really know what to do with.  I caught this trailer first on the internet and then just before Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and on neither occasion did I understand why they were selling it so epically.  There has to be some editor or producer somewhere who gets the irony that this will be anything BUT a “giant killer” with such a huge line up next year as The Hobbit, Prometheus, Dark Knight Rises, Avengers, etc.  It will fall to the bottom of the pack as just another high-budget flop, or so I think.  Anyway, without any more of my personal thoughts on it’s potential financial success, here is the first trailer for Jack the Giant Killer.

Obviously this is not your momma’s fairytale….because it really isn’t anyone’s fairytale…..
This movie is clearly following in the recent financially successful series of films reimagining children’s stories as dark, serious, “adult” tales (See Alice in Wonderland, Snow White & the Huntsman, Red Riding Hood).  I don’t know about you but this trend really bothers me because it isn’t about doing what is best for the story or telling it well.  It is a business move and it bastardizes perfectly good plots for the sake of profit. Sorry, minor rant there.  Let’s get off of that and look at the trailer itself.

What this trailer struggles with is a two-fold problem.  First and foremost, it doesn’t know what kind of movie it is promoting.  We see elements of a horror film, an action/adventure epic, and a young adult comedy all wrapped up in one.  I can only imagine that that spells out in the film itself, but again I will try to stick to the trailer.  The score doesn’t help define it at all – blending of intense action themes with sort of sci-fi/psychological “whomm” sound and romp of an 80’s pop song (seriously, 10 pts to whoever remembers the 80’s/90’s song this sounds like).

Even the way the trailer opens up spells trouble for it’s stylings!  The opening lines are really overdone, both in performance and in edited cut.  It is like it is saying “BELIEVE ME!!! PLEASE!!!” which is never the way you want to start off your marketing teaser.

The second major problem this trailer has pacing.  Put simply, they never let anything build up to that engaging, amazing level that psychs the audience up for the film.  It has a great ramp during the first 40 seconds, building the tension and intrigue of what is going to happen.  Then, for some reason, they kill all the momentum with a meow and a silly, comedic “What?” followed by an intensely crazy action piece.  And at 0:53, as if to cover up that terrible lapse in building excitement, they blare the theme at us with quick flashes of footage and text.  It is like they didn’t see that entire middle section and tried to pick up the momentum where they left off.  Over all this is the worst flow in a trailer I have seen thus far, and it really stifles any interest I have in seeing this film.

The editing is sub-par, there is bad dialogue editing when the king talks, and why is the Princess there!?  Worst of all, the major point to the whole film (that the princess gets trapped in Jack’s house as it rises into the sky) is COMPLETELY UNEXPLAINED!!!  We don’t see the connection between Jack and the Princess in any way.  How did she end up in his house?  How did the knights know that she had been in his house?  There is something to be said for not giving too much away, but according to this trailer I am supposed to be interested in a film that doesn’t make sense.  At least give me some clue as to how this whole thing gets started and then I will be intrigued enough to come see how it draws to a conclusion.

One positive I can say for the trailer is that I really like the choice to go quiet twice (though I don’t really like it where it is).  Around the 1:00 mark, it goes from loud to quiet and then, at 1:07, I like the choice to go silent there.  It doesn’t fit with the trailer at all but it is a cool stylistic choice in its own right.

Overall, the trailer just tries too hard to convey the epicness (the “Giantness” if you will) of the film to the audience. Every aspect of the minute and a half teaser is either over or under done, doing a really terrible job of selling me this film.  I would compare it even to 2012 – a film that I would only see for a laugh at how serious they take it.  The pacing is terrible and I don’t think the filmmakers even know what kind of film they made, which really shows in the trailer. Not the way you want to start your marketing campaign at all.

And one more thing:  please don’t EVER do a title slide like that!  It looks like it is straight out of Land of the Lost, which we all know was such a wonderfully successful film (sarcasm). Just because you have After Effects doesn’t mean you have to use it.  Please!

Overall Rating:  1//5

Well, I had gotten three trailers into 2012’s season of reviews before I had to hit on a bad one.  It felt kind of good to rip into a teaser like that, so be on the look out for this sort of thing more often.  What did you think of the trailer? Did it strike you as a film you were pumped up to see or did you think it just looked silly?  And did the pacing of it bother you as much as it did me?  Let me know what you think in the comments below!  And in case you missed the three previous installments of the New Year Trailer Extravaganza, check out my trailer reviews for The Hobbit, Prometheus, and The Dictator.

Tomorrow is the day you have been waiting for.  The Big One.  The Most Exciting Trailer to ever hit the net.  The most anticipated movie of our generation and what is sure to be one of the biggest blockbuster films of all time.  Never before has hype been so big for such a film – a superhero film no less!  That’s right!  Tomorrow I unveil my review of the first trailer for that long awaited return of Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale:

The Dark Knight Rises

So, please join me tomorrow at Noon, here on Art of the Trailer for the biggest trailer review I have ever done! Thanks, God bless, and I will see you all tomorrow!

Please Comment Below and Subscribe!

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About Tyler D. Welch

Filmmaker, Storyteller, Scholar View all posts by Tyler D. Welch

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