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My Top Ten Trailers of 2010

So, it’s been a while since I’ve made my last list, aside from the unveiling of the Mitchell List. My last compilation was the Top Ten Movie Monsters of all time, which was a reasonable hit for the site. Now, it’s time for the second edition: The Top Ten Trailers of 2010.

I love movie trailers. I know that some people can’t stand them and even refuse to watch them, but I believe that they can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of going to the movies, as long as their made well. It’s always, actually, been a semi-dream job of mine to edit trailers, because there’s really nothing more fun.

In order to be phenomenal, a trailer must have many of the same qualifications of a great film. It has to have stellar pacing, it must give proper introduction to the film’s character’s and plot. However, unlike a film, it cannot give too much away of the plot and has to leave something exciting for the ticket price. It usually doesn’t hurt to have a decent choice of music, too.

The following are a selection of my favorite trailers that encompass all of these aspects. This includes trailers only for films released during the 2010 year, or else “Battle: Los Angeles” would most certainly be here. Without, further ado, here are the five runners-up:

15. “The Virginity Hit”

 


14. “The Crazies”

 

 

13. “The King’s Speech”

 

 

12. “I’m Still Here”

 

 

11. “Winter’s Bone”

 

 

And now for the ten best trailers of the previous year:

 

10. “127 Hours”

 

When the full trailer for Danny Boyle’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning film came out, I had a complete reversal of outlook for the film. The teaser was a major turn-off to me, not being a proper showcase for James Franco’s towering performance or the general plotline of the film. The newer version, does completely the opposite while also featuring a great selection of shots and a touch of tear-jerking mentality. The unexpected faux-talk show commentary in the beginning was also an intriguing segment.

 

9. “Exit Through the Gift Shop”

 

One of the most pleasantly unorthodox trailers of the year, not much unlike the film itself. The mock accolades and poor picture quality unravel what one expects from a movie trailer. And the random spurts of spray-painting, spilling and overall insanity are nearly incomprehensible in terms of a plot structure. And yet, just like the the film that it is previewing, and really street art, itself, the trailer is hit and run. It kicks you in the senses and lets you figure it out. Maybe no one left that preview knowing what this film was going to be about, but everyone sure thought it was funny and interesting.

 

 

8. “Inception”

 

At the point that this trailer was released, nearly nine months since the internet sensation that was the summer teaser, expectations for this film had probably already equaled that for “The Dark Knight.” After the trailer, they doubled even that level. For a follow-up the the 3rd highest grossing film of all time, you can’t lower expectations, you can only try and meet them. Thank god that the actual film paid off, and then some. However, with this trailer, Nolan shows us impressive acting, phenomenal pacing, spectacular action and things we’ve never been seen before with the visual effects, and yet, we still don’t know what this movie’s about. Not to mention highlighting Hans Zimmer’s new score, reminiscent to “Batman,” and yet somehow more layered and mysterious.

 

7. “The Fighter” (AMC trailer)

 

In August, Paramount released the first trailer for “The Fighter” and I hated it. It looked like everything that I despise about boxing movies, sentimentality, overcoming huge odds, repeating the words “title shot” over and over again. However, if that trailer was “Rocky,” this second trailer, released during the premiere of “Mad Men” on AMC, is the film’s “Raging Bull. It displays that the film has the potential to not only be heartfelt, but also a gritty, personal, and very human drama about interpersonal relationships. It also gives the film a much darker edge that the last trailer didn’t even hint at. This preview literally made my expectations do a 180 degree turn.

 

6. “Countdown to Zero”

 

The best documentary trailer of the year. This preview is a bombardment, on the mind and the heart. The film portrays perhaps the single greatest danger to civilization and the most ominous fear that people have held for the last sixty-five years. Granted, one might say that a documentary with this serious and pertinent of a subject matter needs no introduction. Yet, the trailer informs the viewer that everything they know about this problem does not even scratch the surface. And yet, despite the terrifying onslaught of terror and accusation, the trailer presents a resounding message of hope that really caused me to queue up this trailer again immediately after I finished it.

 

5. “Daybreakers”

 

Okay. Don’t stop reading yet. I know that this film seems kind of out of place (despite actually being an exciting and original piece of entertainment). Yet, those who have not even bothered to watch the trailer, needless to say, should. As far as thrills go, it has more excitement than any other preview this year. The film’s great one-liners are out in full force and placed at key moments. Most of all, it has the best example of how the perfect song choice can elevate a preview far above one’s expectations, as this trailer does with Placebo’s cover of “Running Up the Hill.” Sheer perfection.

 

4. “Blue Valentine”

 

The first time I watched this trailer, it did not impress me. I thought it was two brief and lacked sufficient drama. However, it has grown on me with every single viewing. The preview is very heartfelt, using the song performed by the two leads during the film creating a truly personal connection. Also, the trailer highlights the fact that this film is entirely a two-person show, lying completely on the shoulders of Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, creating such an anticipation for the strength of those performances. The final long note of the song playing over the title is as heartbreaking as I’m sure that the film will end up being.

 

3. “Black Swan”

 

Not to take away from the huge cult following that director Darren Aronofsky already carries around in his pocket. Yet, I don’t think that there was a single film in 2010 that created such a massive amount of buzz and anticipation almost entirely from the trailer alone (although the gorgeous posterwork couldn’t have hurt). The tension, paranoia and surrealism build at exponential levels throughout the course of the preview, with a collage of incredible images. The final nail in the coffin, and indeed the biggest “WHAT THE FUCK?” moment of the year was the trailer’s closing shot of Natalie Portman pulling a black feather out of her back. I don’t think anyone wasn’t on board at that point.

 

2. “True Grit” (teaser)

 

While the full trailer for “True Grit” is phenomenal, in its own right, it’s a bit too mainstream and actiony. The teaser is a beautiful piece of art; a poem to the film, the Coens and cinema in general. The combination of the absolutely GORGEOUS images (ones that when watching, I felt my self screaming for Roger Deakins to finally win an Oscar) and the haunting vocal hymn are the perfect pairing. Also, superior to the trailer for actually gives props to Hailee Steinfeld. The most artful trailer of the year that is also an amazing testament to the versatility and brilliance of the film’s creators.

 

And the number one trailer of the year…..

…..please hold your scoffs…..

 

1. “The Social Network”

 

Seriously, folks. This is not just my usual Sorkin-fanboy commentary. You cannot find a better trailer this year then the one made for this film. The opening images, both voyeuristic and provocative, give a stellar opening. After that, it is a no-holds-barred, unadulterated montage of Sorkin-dialogue. The words form a level of suspense and tension the swells into a giant wave. It finally peaks with the smashing of Eisenberg’s computer, moving into emotionally charged visuals blended by striking cuts.

It flows into the end with the charges against Mark Zuckerberg being read off, with him demanding recognition for them. All of this, meanwhile, is set to a choral version of Radiohead’s “Creep,” the most inspired choice of music for a trailer that I think I’ve ever seen. I’ve now paid to see this film going on three times now, and I still can’t stop watching the trailer. There’s nothing about it that doesn’t simply scream “movie of a generation,” Simply perfection. And if you don’t believe me, just watch it.

Thanks for reading and viewing. I’ve got a few more lists cooking up in the back of my mind that I will try to have out hopefully sooner rather than later. Stay tuned….

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