Monday, June 13, 2011

"Raiders" turns 30

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" and I are the same age. It's in better shape than me.


Chris said...

Trailer holds up better than most 80's trailers but still lacks that epic trailer feeling that started in the mid 90's and continues today. Not sure if it is the flat voice over or the music & pacing. But, I'm sure in twenty years we will look back and think that todays trailers are boring as well. Would be interesting to see a Big Picture ep on the evolution of the Trailer.

Dave from canada said...

@ Chris

I disagree. I think modern trailers by and large have hit the sweet spot. We've gotten to the point where they are often better than the films they are advertizing. The watchmen trailer comes to mind. That thing is perfect.

BTW anyone find it funny that Lucas' various projects keep gaining extra titles after release?

Raiders was sold here without the Indiana Jones surtitle, and star wars only gained the subtitles later.

Chris Cesarano said...

Old trailers are definitely from a time with fewer video editing options, or at least ones made available to a marketing team. Today you need one guy with a bunch of video clips, a voice over and a copy of Adobe Premiere.

Hell, not even that. What's on Apple's iLife package? iMovie? Basically, anything better than Windows Movie Maker.

What gets me frustrated, however, is the trend of big burst o' brass combined with fade out. Y'know, the BWAAAAH! (Image fades...) BWAAAAH! (Image fades...) See the Rise of the Planet of the Apes trailer as an example.

I don't know who did it first, but the only film trailers it didn't matter for me were Inception. Partly because it didn't have the cheesy fade, and partly because it was actually part of the film soundtrack.

In the end, the trailers I remember most are ones that are just, well, memorable. I have no idea what was going on in the trailer for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and I didn't quite like how they kept flashing words in and out, but damn if I don't remember it. The trailer for The Social Network? Fantastic. Trailers for X-Men: First Class, Watchmen, those are also bad ass.

It's like you can tell how much a director actually cared about their film based on whether the trailer "design" is actually any good or not, or if they just right-clicked and selected "make trailer".

Adam said...

About the only thing I don't like anymore is the "80's Narrator Voice". Because when I think 80's movies that's what the narration sounds like to me. It’s classic, but now it just seems off. Everything else is gold.

Dangit Bob, now I want to watch this again...

Joe said...


It's because Hans Zimmer has become this generation's John Williams. In the 80s and 90s, film composers were all trying to be John Williams. Even John Williams did a lot of later scores that aped his Star Wars and Indy work, though Catch Me If You Can reminded us he hadn't forgotten his jazz roots.

Post-Gladiator, every composer is trying to sound like Hans Zimmer. Look up some clips by music libraries that specialize in trailer music. It almost all sounds like Zimmer's work from Gladiator, Crimson Tide, Black Hawk Down, Da Vinci Code, Pearl Harbor, etc.

I love Zimmer and his work is actually pretty versatile--Sherlock Holmes proved that--but he's become such an institution in Hollywood (many of today's film composers came through his production company).

Kyle said...

Which Trailer used Kidd Rock's "Bawitabaw"(sp?) song? I think that was Gladiator... I'ma look it up.

Huh... I can't find it. Am I wrong?

Chris said...

While the score and tempo are a large part in the difference between current trailers and trailers from twenty years ago it seems like there is a bigger underlying reason.

Back then it was like "Here's our movie, these are the actors in it and this is a little synopsis of the plot... we would really like it if you went sometime at your convenience"

Now it's like "OMG YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE. You have to see THIS over here! And what's THAT. JESUS did you see that. Are you on heart medication, suffer from epilepsy, or pregnant? If so, please leave now!" By the end of the trailer you're on an adrenaline rush and must tell fifteen other people how many orgasms your eyes had.

Darren said...

Why haven't they remade this with ewoks and walkie talkies?

lordy said...

Unrelated commment, but I was wondering what people thought of this article

Holly said...

happy 30th moviebob :)

Hyrabethian said...

I don't know, this trailer reminds me how films use to be. Before the overly obsessive demand for realism in movies, audience accepted what was available at the time when it comes to visual effects.

For instance, with today's teenage/early 20 audience. The whole Nazi face melting scene would be heavily criticize for looking like plastic, and that might be reason enough to write the movie off as archaic. Forget judging based on storytelling elements and great character development (it's Indy! Can't get any better).

Today's audience is all visual, and that's why even good films made today tend to feel weak. I honestly believe the art of storytelling has been kinda lost in films for the last 20 years.

And Why? Because of stuff like audience writing a movie off for not having completely realistic visuals. Which has forced Hollywood to work harder on that aspect than writing a decent script, and since great visuals needs millions, overly formulaic stories are more heavily favored just to play it safe.

I honestly can't stand the trailers today. The voice has become way too overused and cliched sounding (every freakin trailer sounding like "in an world of blah blah blah"). They're built to hook you in really fast and it shows, but fail to do so because they've "perfected" the formula so well, they make every movie seem like the same shit over and over, and that's not the impression you want to leave on people.

Really, I'd rather see trailers like this than the ones they have now. Movies today are well known for being better off as 5min trailers that 2 hour long films. I'll take a boring trailer like this that has a great movie behind it thank you.

Chris Cesarano said...


In terms of audiences, I do know what you mean. I don't know how MovieBob felt about Cloverfield (his Super 8 review made it sound as if he was sneering while mentioning it), but I know I loved it. The monster may have looked dumb, but it was still great to have a genuine Kaiju movie again.

Then I went to see some of my co-workers the next day, and the first question was "where did the monster come from?" I didn't notice the satellite crashing into the Ocean at the end (often confused with being the creature's origin as an alien...but you'd only know it wasn't if you read all that crazy extraneous material), so to me it was left unanswered. I mean, the point of the film was to take place from a civilian's perspective. You didn't need to explain it.

But that one detail convinced them not to go see it. I was stunned, to be quite honest. I really didn't know what to say or think. I tried to explain that the monster's origin doesn't matter, but they said if the film wasn't going to answer that question it wasn't worth it.

I'm surprised we're getting all these comic book movies and that no one is asking how they never explain whether Thor is a God or an alien.

Mads said...

Hell, not even that. What's on Apple's iLife package? iMovie? Basically, anything better than Windows Movie Maker.
Not to sound like a fanboy, but have you ever actually used windows movie maker for a personal project? If so, when?

I'm not saying it's great; by comparison to adobe premier, last I used it, it felt sort of rudimentary...but it's not a bad piece of software. Just sayin.

@ loving the lost arch:
The trailer is excellent, but the effects aren't what would be the problem if it were released today. Plastic or wax or whatever, those melting effects are fucking scary, even if they can feel out of place...and the stunts are by and large amazing, even by modern standards.

But the koreography doesn't work in some of the fights, so that would be a minus, but perhaps worse, there are wholly unnecessary and downright stupid sequences.

The arab market sequence where indy's love interest is stuck in a basket and gets carried around, for instance. There's so many things wrong with that sequence. I'm not saying it's worse than the fridge-nuker of the fourth movie, but it's not better.

Chris Cesarano said...

I've used it recently, yes, and it has improved since I first used it with Windows ME and Windows XP. But I've also used Adobe Premiere and Final Cut briefly, and there are some simple features that I'd like out of Windows Movie Maker that it doesn't have.

Granted, it's been a while since I've even looked at iMovie, so whether it is better or not may not be so simple. I may have spoken out of turn.

Mads said...

Well, iMovie also goes through iterations incredibly fast, and I do recall watching some excellent youtube videos on how easy it was to put together trailers using premade structures...but I must also admit to not having fashioned anything in iMovie myself.
It's probably better, but with apple, you never know how feature-complete it is. They either do stuff so it's easy to use, and feels solid, or failing to do that, they don't do it.

Anyway, I called you out on it because I've used windows movie maker, it served my purposes, and I'm pretty sure someone with talent wouldn't be held back by it all that much.

Dave said...

Happy Birthday, Bob :) For your birthday, I've decided to spare you my usual decimating comments on your GL pt. 2 vid in which I explain at great length how you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about.

Have a great one, and consider yourself fortunate..... for now ;D

Mads said...

Lol, what are you, his evil nemesis?

Tho yeah, have a great one bob.