Friday, October 14, 2011

Movie Trailers That OWNed Me, Big Time!

So, if you are big into genre movies like I am, no doubt you've already heard the hooplah surrounding the new trailer for Marvel's The Avengers movie. It was just released earlier this week and geeks are going batshit crazy over it. And I'm one of 'em! The film releases next May and will showcase some of the big blockbuster names in the Marvel universe who have already had their own standalone movies prior to now: Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Captain America. Now imagine all that bad-assery teamed together in one flick. What do you get? A kick ass-o-pacalypse, that's what!!!!

So, yes, I'm am very geeked out at the moment. And if you want to check out the trailer and see what all the fuss is about for yourself, click here. May 2012 can't come fast enough!

But it got me to reminiscing about other movie trailers in the past that got me seriously amped up. Now, I'm not talking good movie trailers -- or even great ones. No, I'm talking FUCKING great movie trailers! These are the promos that, before I even really new what the movies were truly about, had me literally tingling from head to toe with excitement. Yeah, I know it sounds like hyperbole and all, but trust me--this really was my reaction to each and every one of these!

I'm going to embed clips of each movie's trailer below, followed by a brief explanation of why they--more than most--stand out to this day as key defining moments in my movie going experience. By now, of course, those of you who know me should know that I'm a huge movie buff. I own close to 800 DVDs and Blu-rays at home! It's positively SICK, I tell ya! But before they arrived on my shelves, I first had to have seen the movies in theaters. And before even that, first came the promotional trailers. This is what I wish to focus on here. These things can be works of art, I tell ya.

And so, here we go:

Star Wars - Episode I: The Phantom Menace

This is the very first trailer I can honestly say had me almost close to tears. Not necessarily because it is god's gift to cinematic promos or anything (although it is pretty awesome, still), but because it had been so long since the world had been blessed with a brand spankin' new Star Wars movie that . . . I don't think my body quite knew how to react! A wave of giddiness washed over me, and I went completely numb. I simply could not process that I was living in an age where the Star Wars saga was actually continuing. See, I never thought George Lucas would get around to making these! And so, in the dark confines of the movie theater, I heard that familiar music start up. And then . . . oh, and THEN! The light sabers!!! Each time I heard that familiar whoom-whoomp buzz of the Jedis' weapons in the trailer, the little kid in me stood up and high-fived the sky! This vid owned me like nothing else could back in 1999.

Highlander: Endgame

I think it's safe to say that the Highlander franchise has defined my life. Not only is the original movie in my top 5 films of all time, but the television series is THE favorite tv show of yours truly. I'm talking at the very top of the list, folks. Star Trek: The Next Generation is second, and (the new) Battlestar Galactica is third. But Highlander: The Series is and always will be my number one. By the time Endgame was ready to hit theaters in 2000, however, the show had been off the air for nearly 2 years. 2 friggin years without my fix! I was in some serious withdrawal, with nothing but my professional VHS tapes of each season to keep me from completely going off the deep end. So when I saw this trailer for the first time--yes, it almost happened again! I almost broke down with tears of joy. I couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing! The protagonist from the first movie (Connor MacLeod) teamed up with his kinsman (Duncan MacLeod), who had been the focus of the tv show. For shit serious??? Only in my wettest of fanboy dreams had this pairing been conceivable up to this point! And watching this trailer, you could not tell me this movie was not going to be the AWESOME sauce!

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Oh. My. God. This right here is the pinnacle of movie achievement to me. This one movie. Well, actually, the entire trilogy as a whole is my favorite movie EVER. Yes, you heard me right. I hold the Lord of the Rings trilogy as the best cinematic achievement of all time. It's in higher esteem, to me, than any other trilogy. Higher even than the original Star Wars films, and higher than the Indiana Jones trilogy, too (Jedi wave: "there IS no fourth movie!"). And the very first inkling I had that this would be so was when I took Lisa to the movies in 2000 and we saw a cardboard standout of Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins holding the One Ring in his open palm. I was sucker-punched! I vaguely recall babbling to Lisa a brief summary of the books while we waited for our popcorn, and why they are considered the be-all and end-all of genre fiction to this day. Then we saw the trailer, and I'm sure I fainted. There is just too much goodness thrown into this trailer for Rings fanatics to geek-gasm over. The look of the ring being spot on PERFECT, for one. The Nazgul, too! Legolas walking ON TOP of the snow whilst the rest of the Fellowship trundles through it. The swarming Orcs! The nasty Uruk-hai! And the music, too, was just so damn RIGHT for the trailer. Seriously, it all just simply OWNS! But perhaps the single most awesome thing about this official promo--the point that so perfectly encapsulates my undying love for this film--is near the very end when Gandalf stands defiant on the bridge of Khazad-dûm and proclaims to the approaching Balrog: "You. Shall Not. PASS!!!" Oh yes, I definitely blacked out after this point.

The Matrix: Reloaded

You're wondering: why this is on the list and not the original? Well, see, the original Matrix came out of nowhere for me when it released in 1999. I had never seen a trailer leading up to its release, and therefore knew nothing about it when it did eventually hit theaters in the Spring. I was visiting a college friend of mine in the city, and she asked me if I wanted to go with her to see this movie called "The Matrix." Like I said, I didn't know squat about this film except that it was suddenly getting a lot of buzz recently and that it was sci-fi related. Fast forward 4 years later and The Matrix owned my soul! Between then and 2003, I had watched the original movie a billion times before the sequel came out. But a few months prior to that, this trailer for it hit. And because I was such a die hard fanatic of the franchise by now, when this trailer ran in the theater I was absolutely blown out of my seat! It was simply AWE-MAZING!!! If I thought the first one kicked ass, this sequel looked like it was going to do that AND chew bubble gum at the same time! My favorite moment? Morpheus hopping atop the truck and taking off his shades at the same time. How fucking BADASS is that?

Kill Bill - Vol. 1

Quentin Tarantino is DA MAN. There's no denying it. Look that phrase up in the dictionary and you'll find a picture of him there, alongside perhaps Samuel L. Jackson. I've been on the QT bandwagon since Reservoir Dogs first came out. Pulp Fiction was the SHIT, and Jackie Brown was an understated masterpiece according to me. So when I heard he was teaming up with Uma Thurman once more--and in an action-y homage to kung-fu and exploitation movies of the 60s and 70s--I had an inkling that brilliance was in the making. But HOLY BALLS!!! I had no idea the movie that would come out of that fusion mix of awesomeness would be this amazing. And this trailer right here killed it for me! I was down and out for the count, I was. I wanted to see this film right THEN AND THERE! The music is awesome, and this promo is just brimming with more Japanese sword-slicing goodness than you can shake a bloodied katana at! Every single shot in this clip is pure genius, in my opinion. I mean, GENIUS! When the first film eventually came to theaters, I was in a gibbering lather for the opening credits to begin rolling.


Ah, we come to the last of the list. The last of the trailers that were such milestones in my life. This one was surprising because I had no idea until almost when the movie was upon us that it would be SO good! I had heard rumblings all year long, sure. But I brushed it all aside. I mean, James Cameron was good, but no way could he ever top Aliens or Terminator 2. Or could he? Well, not until I saw this trailer did it finally dawn on me the epic achievement in awesomeness that was about to come moviegoers way in December of 2009. Avatar completely blew me out of the water! I had no idea movies could still be made today with the power to wow me as much, if not more, than some of the great brilliant movies of the past. Avatar did that. But before I would find that out for sure, I saw this trailer. And, surprises of all surprises, while watching the clip for the first time I began to feel that sense of wonder we sci-fi readers and writers dream about when we think of SF films yet to be made. This, folks. This right here is the type of movie we dream about. There is just something indelibly magical about this trailer. Something that, in just a couple of minutes, conveys to you the breadth and scope of true genius James Cameron brings to a movie. When the trailer ended, I was owned in every way possible. This was a movie I had already fallen in love with before it even released. And, you know what? It's perhaps the best single movie I've ever seen. Yup, I went there. Deal with it! But first, relive the trailer with me below:

So then, tell me: are any of these trailers your favorite as well? And is there a trailer not on this list that simply reduced you to a mass of goosebumps from head to toe, a piece of promotional footage that made you love a movie so much before it even released that it HURT? Come on, don't be afraid. Tell me all about it in the comments section below.


Botanist said...

Well, David, I don't take much notice of trailers, but I like your choice of films.

The LOTR trilogy was everything I could have hoped for, after previous failed attempts someone finally managed to do the story justice. I can't say everything was how I imagined it from reading the books, but it was just so right, it was how I should have imagined it.

And as for Avatar, I was ready to dismiss it after all the hype, but it currently stands as my number one favourite.

Kim Kasch said...

I don't watch many trailers - except for Underworld and vampiric kinds of stuff

Ashe Hunt said...

Hell of a list. Naturally I agree pretty much on all counts! My one addition that I can think of off the top of my head is Blade, the first one.

This film single handedly kept Marvel Studios afloat as well as gave a huge boost to New Line Cinema. I knew of the character and then having Wesley being all bad-ass had me engrossed. I couldn't WAIT for this movie to come out after seeing this trailer.

Alittlesprite said...

"Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" fell in love before I even saw the movie.

Another goosebump moment: Transformer movie. That first transforming sound, like from the old cartoons. So cool :)

Alittlesprite said...

Would like to add The Avengers is directed by my most favourite director Joss Whedon. Total Geek-a-rama!

Antares Cryptos said...

Ha! Sprite beat me to the Avengers comment.
I know what you mean about Matrix, came out of nowhere, then owned me. Same with LOTR.

Immortal has me geekcited and Prometheus when the trailer comes out, because it's Ridley Scott.

getyourselfconnected said...

Great picks! Too bad highlander Endgame sucked to high heaven. Trailer for revenge of the sith was a great one. How you doing my friend?

David Batista said...

Ian -- So glad to see you also agree with the two most highly regarded films of mine on this list. Great minds, and all. :)

Kim -- I'm sure you pay attention to more trailers than just that genre. This list of mine was heavily sci-fi and fantasy oriented, but I've seen and loved plenty of trailers for all sorts of genres. I watch them all!

Tarrell -- Thanks for the reminder, I should have definitely put Blade on the list! It totally fits my criteria, too, as I was uber stoked for that movie when I first saw the promo.

Sprite -- I never got around to seeing that Owls movie. I had meant to, though. And, yes, Joss directing is a huge thumbs up for The Avengers. You can clearly see his influence in Tony Stark's dialogue in the trailer. Too cool!

Antares -- OMG, I'm totally psyched to see Immortals! First of all, I absolutely LOVE the director, Tarsem. His previous film, The Fall, just blew me away. He's a phenomenal director, and this upcoming film looks like it will be the very definition of FUN at the movies. I would have included that trailer, but this list is for movies that have already come out. And, oh yes . . . I'm so geeked for Prometheus! Can't wait to see a trailer for that.

GYSC -- I made a conscious effort not to mention that little aspect of Endgame, HA! :) And Sith was actually the best trailer of all the Star Wars ones. But I was going for initial knee-jerk reaction with this list, which Phantom owns. By the time of RotS, I kinda already knew what to expect. And I'm doing great, thanks. Still can't get over meeting you in person, man. That was so cool!

Antares Cryptos said...

See my June 26 (?) post. Funny you mention Tarsem, I've got the Fall lined up.

Thanks to Sprite, saw Legends. Directed by Zak Snyder and it has 300 and Watchmen elements.
OMG! Watchmen!!!!

Time to join your club and stop procrastinating on-line.

David Batista said...

I think you will greatly enjoy watching The Fall. It's about a child's imagination, and how her limited understanding of both the English language and the world around her shapes the visuals she forms in her head when being told a fairy tale by an adult patient at the hospital she's recovering at. Tarsem's brilliant visual eye and dedication to his craft is the real standout here, though. This film is simply BREATHTAKING!

And, oh yes. Watchmen should have been on this list as well. What an awesome cinematic treat that was! Thing is, I was already super excited for that before the trailer even hit, having read the graphic novel earlier.

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