By Norman Quarrinton
"They give away the whole film" is an increasingly common and justifiable complaint about the two-and-half-minute trailers that purport to "tease" upcoming movies. And while some trailers do indeed seem to include shots from the final scenes of a film, I believe they should be celebrated in their own right as hyper-distillations of features, or mini-films.
Yes, they can spoil a film, but they can also fill you with a sense of anticipation, excitement and awe which is, quite frankly, what cinema is all about. So without further ado, here is what will hopefully become a regular column exploring the world of "coming to a cinema near you".
The Wolf of Wall Street
The second trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street was released online the day after it was announced that the film would open in the US on Christmas Day. Martin Scorsese's latest offering is based on the real-life story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), who spent 22 months in jail after being indicted in 1998 and later convicted of stock fraud. Don't let the shady subject matter lead you astray, the trailer might contain some mild sleaze, but overall it gives off a pretty comedic vibe, which hopefully means Scorsese and co have decided to exploit the insanity of this story. Jonah Hill co-stars.
US Release: December 25, 2013
UK Release: January 14, 2014
X-Men: Days of Future Past
2011's flawed but enjoyable X-Men: First Class rejuvenated many people's interest in the X-Men franchise, so a sequel was never going to be far behind. The new instalment brings together the casts of the original trilogy (Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Ellen Page, Anna Paquin and Shawn Ashmore) and the newbies from 2011's X-Men: First Class (including James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult).
This dark trailer gives reveals a few details of the film's ambitious plot, but not much else. Wolverine is in full-on grumpy bastard mode and...so is everyone else really.
US Release: May 23, 2014
UK Release: May 22, 2014
The Book Thief
Based on Markus Zusak’s No. 1 best-selling novel, The Book Thief (directed by Brian Percival) follows a young girl in Nazi Germany who uses books as a way to escape the atrocities occurring around her while her family hides a young Jewish man in the basement of their home. The Book Thief stars Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Ben Schnetzer and Sophie Nélisse. The film looks interesting, if slightly soppy, but the trailer is worth checking out for Rush's unintentionally comical German accent.
US Release: November 8, 2013
UK Release: January 31, 2014
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The first trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier features, in equal measure, the typical superhero movie action as well as some "political-thriller" style important-looking-men-talking-rooms.
Two years after the events of The Avengers, Steve Rogers and the Black Widow team up to stop a powerful foe, the Winter Soldier. Directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, The Winter Soldier sees the return of familiar Marvel faces Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson, along with newcomers to the franchise Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo and Robert Redford, whose presence only adds to trailer's "political thriller" feel. Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be the ninth instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
US Release: April 4, 2014
UK Release: March 28, 2014
The LEGO Movie
This film looks like it will be one of those "I'm taking the kids to see it even if they don't want to see it" films. Written and directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (the brains behind 2009's Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs), The LEGO Movie features the vocal talents of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Elizabeth Banks, Charlie Day, Nick Offerman, Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman.
US Release: February 7, 2014
UK Release: February 14, 2014