Monday, September 29, 2008

Why Have Teasers Been So Bad Lately?

I hadn't thought much of 'Australia' until I saw this latest trailer. We get a pretty good idea of the plot and, Nicole Kidman's character has appeal because she starts out so stand-offish, but warms up later. I'm not sure I've ever seen this from her. This type of character arc could be exactly what Kidman needs at this point.

Based on what I saw in the teasers for 'Australia' I wasn't looking forward to seeing this movie. I've changed my mind now, but it makes me wonder why my opinion was so low in the first place. Why was the teaser for 'Australia' so poor?

Lately, teasers have done more harm than good. 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' and now 'Australia' (and to a lesser extent, 'Revolutionary Road') all looked dull, or at least weren't compelling in their teasers, and all of them look far better in later trailers. The teasers fail completely. They seem to be constructed to inform the viewer that the movie is to be avoided. They're boring, unengaging, no fun. Lately, teasers have been just plain bad.

The problem is, once a potential audience gets a bad feeling about a movie it's an uphill battle to change their minds. If teasers are going to turn people off, studios would be better off not offering them. They create a lot of negative press and cast doubt as to whether the movie can succeed.

This is certainly what happened after the teaser and 20-minute amalgam for Curious Case. Bad buzz was everywhere after Telluride. It's fair to say that, rightly or not, Curious Case has a stigma to overcome as a result of teaser footage. The producers have done some good damage control with the latest trailer, but the question remains: Why shoot yourself in the foot with bad teasers in the first place?

Lately, teasers don't tease, entice, or make me want more -- they're just a turn off.

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