Who listens to the critics anyway? Movie trailers are what draw me in to see a movie. I tend to steer toward anything that is filled with non stop action, or an innovative idea like no other. Some can be disappointing. Some are the biggest hits. Here are my top ten picks for my favorite movie trailers of all time, along with the help of some of my mates, Don Sanders, Jim Troyer and Lori Kneisly. Thanks for the quotes guys!
King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his fellow three hundred Spartans weigh in heavily against the Persian army and their miscreant crew, in the final stand during the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC.
The movie trailer boasted an epic feel, a bloody feud that ravished the Greek tribes, who lost the fight, but dying with the honor they were bred to enforce. It was every guy’s ideal movie. For the women, Gerard Butler and his shirtless mates, bearing painted abs to distract from the gore. It enticed the audience with its title line “This is Sparta!” where King Leonidas catapults his enemy into a bottomless abyss. We all wanted to see what else fell into that hole. Spears, swords and shields against monsters, magic and mayhem, the movie didn’t disappoint and was just as exciting as its promos promised.
9. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
After fighting the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) must get ready to face his destiny and become the Dark Lord he was meant to be.
There was already much hyped anticipation after George Lucas revealed another trilogy would ensue, so the final (but really 3rd) episode, showing the transition of a troubled Jedi to a Sith Lord, made every fan, old and new, hold their breath with excitement. The trailer showed the usual ships in battle and light saber duels, but it is when we see a raging Skywalker glaring with bloodshot eyes in his dark hooded robe, our hearts stopped. Lori Kneisly has it right when she says of her top movie trailer “I always thought “Revenge of the Sith” when Anakin turned around with yellow eyes was intriguing.” Then Vader’s asthmatic breathing ascends the hair of the back of your neck as you squeal with joy. The Dark Side of the force has returned, giving us an excuse to break out those Star Wars lunch boxes once again!
8. Terminator 2
The resistance doesn’t give up in this apocalyptic sequel, 10 years after Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) tried to tell the world we would not have a future; John Connor (Edward Furlong) is still the target and the end is still near.
But why make a sequel if the main action star is dead? The trailer revealed hell hath no fury like a time travel twist, where robot terminators are abundant in the form of the original Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Only this time he is the good guy and must outsmart the new improved version of his species, the shape shifting metallic alloy the T-1000 (Robert Patrick). Yeah, liquid metal is cool and all but the draw in for me was, Los Angeles 2029 AD, in a shambled wreck of metal, ash and human skulls, crushed by one of Skynet’s prototypes.
7. The Dark Night
Bruce Wayne has finally embraced his inner bat, doing his civic duty to help the law of Gotham put away criminals who used to boldly roam the streets. But where there is crime, there will always be a mastermind or two, as he manages to outwit The Joker and Two-Face in this sequel.
Never mind the dashing Christian Bale in head to toe rubber again in this second round, or the talented Michael Caine as the ever so witty butler. This trailer left chills colder than the breath of a deceased Heath Ledger, who left our heart trembling with his diabolical laugh and scar crazed grin in his portrayal of the most loved villain in the series. As the Joker, Ledger left a legacy behind, playing a character more disturbing than his own forlorn life. This is the role he will forever be remembered for. Like all actors should, he went out with a bang!
6. Pirates: At World’s End
Jack Sparrow…er…Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has been taken to Davy Jones’ Locker, but his presence is needed to lift a curse, so Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) rounds up his former crew to edge of the earth to save his damned soul. With piracy approaching a savage end, the dastardly enemies must join forces to take down the most defiant of all regimes; the East India Trading Company.
He escaped the curse of Cortez, but couldn’t outrun the leviathan of all leviathans in the first and second installment. But in the last of the trilogy, a battle at sea like no other was the focal point. Like a vision straight out of an Edgar Allan Poe story, the Flying Dutchman and the Black Pearl plummet closer and closer into the abyss as cannons fire, swords cross, and a marriage is performed? This was the scene from the trailer that became epic in the greatest pirate film ever made.
A regular awkward teenager finds himself amidst an extraterrestrial war between the evil Decepticons and peace-loving Autobots. Sam Witwicky (Shia Labeouf) just so happens to hold the key to finding the “all spark,” a weapon of great destruction if possessed by the enemy.
The cartoon was cool and the toys kept young boys occupied for hours, but grown men couldn’t hold it together upon hearing their juvenile entertainment was coming to life on the big screen. Yeah the transformers are cool, getting rad updates like the 2009 Chevy Camaro (Bumble Bee) and the F-22 Raptor (Starscream), but what caught my eye in the trailer was seeing Michael Bay and Stephen Spielberg’s name together. You know cities were going to be incinerated and over exaggerated stunts and special effects would keep you on the edge of your seat. They certainly did what they do best!
Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) in his avatar state must befriend the natives of Pandora in order to obtain a substance of great value to his military crew. He finds out the Na’vi people have a bond like no other to the planet, and falls in love with one, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), who has taught him their ways. He fights for Pandora and its people in an unnecessary but epic war.
James Cameron, the perfectionist, baits a curious audience with his trailer by displaying a planet so surreal, where waterfalls float above the clouds and fauna glows with the presence of the soul. His blue people are like no alien we have ever seen and he allows us to take pity on them when human interaction taints an innocent culture, a lesson that still should be taken into consideration in some parts of the world today. It also helped that his 3-D technology blew our minds, but also emptying our wallets when the trend took the theaters by storm!
3. Jurassic Park
Cloned dinosaurs become the latest attraction in the magnificent Jurassic Park. However, things go awry when the park loses power letting velociraptors and T-Rex runs amok. It is a fight for survival for Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) in the jungles of Isla Nublar.
“Jurassic Park, blew my mind when I saw it the first time” says Jim Troyer of the trailer. Taken from the pages of Michael Crichton’s best selling novel, Stephen Speliberg gave viewers a peek into what it would be like to walk with dinosaurs and also eaten by them. I don’t know what was more fascinating from the trailer, the fact that we were very close to this cloning tecnology at the time the movie came out or that a velociraptor could open doors.
2. Ice Age
Manny the woolly mammoth (Ray Romano), Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) and Diego the saber tooth tiger (Dennis Leary), partake in an adventure during the impending ice age to return a human infant to its tribe.
There’s only one thing in all the “Ice Age” trailers that makes watching the movie worthwhile….Scrat! He’s a prehistoric squirrel always trying to get his nut without much success, constantly risking his life in every way possible to get it. With every sequel, we wait in anticipation for the next Scrat encounter in the hopes that he would get his own movie someday.
The son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) finds himself in his father’s gaming world, where he had been living for twenty-five years. Together, they play their way out of the advanced cyber universe facing challenges much greater than before.
Almost twenty years after the original, Disney has decided to release a techno-thriller with up to date special effects to blow our minds. Fans of the 1982 version are super excited, like Don Sanders who says “When I saw the trailer I said…wow…that’s gonna be an awesome movie.” The movie comes out on December 17th 2010 and there is much hype that it will be the biggest hit of the fall line up.
Did I miss any of your fives? Post up some of your favorite movie trailers of all time!