Have you seen the trailer for the latest X-Men movie? I’ve heard that it’s brilliant, and I mean that literally. I heard it and it sounded brilliant. I couldn’t actually see it though due to my hands covering my eyes at the time.
It’s easy to forget how the Internet has changed the way we digest new movies. In the days of yore I would feel very lucky to get a glimpse of the latest Hollywood blockbuster. As a child the regular access to anything resembling footage from a new movie would be via some kind of feature on ‘Going Live‘ or ‘Get Fresh’ with Gareth ‘Gaz Top’ Jones. Back then, movie trailers only really existed in cinemas or on VHS tapes rented from the local video shop (Bath Road Videos in my case).
When the trailer for ‘The Phantom Menace’ was released in 1998BB (Before Broadband) I remember Channel 4 devoting a time-slot to it so we could watch it in all it’s pre-dissapointment glory. Just over 10 years ago I clearly remember waiting the best part of an hour to download a teaser trailer over a dial-up connection for Bryan Singer’s first X-Men movie. After all that waiting all I had was a scrawny sized little video to watch. How times have changed.
Movie trailers are no longer the rare artifact they once were, these days you can hop on any number of movie blogs, YouTube or even iTunes and while away a merry hour or two soaking up montages of exploding large letters on dark backgrounds and deep-voiced narrators (I’m generalising here). These days it’s possible to download an entire HD trailer in less time than it takes to watch the damn thing. The temptation to re-watch, freeze frame and over-analyse each shot only serves to foolishly elevate the excitement for the forthcoming motion picture whilst potentially spoiling any surprise in the final result. I’ve started to realise that this has become a problem for me.
With every re-watch of a new trailer my brain starts putting the shots together like a puzzle, building a theory on how the film actually plays out. By the time I reach the cinema I’m not properly watching the film, I’m too busy playing the ‘spot-the-cool-bits-from-the-trailer’ game.
Of course that doesn’t apply to every film, right now JJ Abrams latest movie ‘Super8’ is getting some very positive press regarding it’s spoiler free promotion campaign but sadly in such a highly competitive marketplace not many films can afford the luxury of secrecy.
Well now I have decided to change all that. A while back a new trailer for ‘X-Men : First Class’ splurged it’s way onto the internet and even though it was all over the movie blogs I decided to stay away from it. Normally I’d be all over a new X-Men trailer like butter on toast but since ‘Wolverine’ and ‘The Last Stand’ shat their way through the local multiplex my excitement for a new X-Men movie has dulled somewhat. Armed with this muted excitement I have so far avoided any footage before seeing the final product, hopefully when I do see the movie it will be with a totally clean slate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very much looking forward to seeing this movie. It has a great director in Matthew Vaughn, a writing team that know how to work a story, a funky period setting and a great cast. I’m just intrigued to see what it would be like to see a big new movie with no preconceptions of any of the content involved.
This plan was recently put through it’s most extreme step when a trailer appeared before a showing of ‘Thor’ (surprisingly very enjoyable, I give it Thor out of five (sorry!)) that I went to. I actually had to sit there, hands over eyes, so I didn’t take in a single blip of retro-fitted X-Men action. I imagine it can only get harder as the tv spots start to roll out when the release date is upon us. If I can go into this film without seeing how a single shot plays out it will be the first time I’ve seen a big Hollywood movie like that since, since.. Christ! I couldn’t actually say. Maybe ‘Blade’?
Yikes, that was a long time ago. Curse you internet and your amazing media delivery capabilities!