How Right are Trailers?

With several big trailers getting several big reactions, NC asks just how closely the trailers represent the movies.

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About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


    • Trailers are meant to gage our interest for movies so even the worst movies can have the best trailers…. and vice versa….

      Ghostbusters and Batman V Superman have trailers that pretty much just give you the entire film in a nutshell.

      • How do you know it’s Ghostbusters in a nutshell if it hasn’t even come out yet? What a presumptive shit for brains.

        Just because Deadpool is great doesn’t mean he’s innocent,It feels like I saw a third of that before I stepped foot in a theater. I get they needed to convey the charm effectively to new people,so maybe scale back a bit for Deadpool 2.We’re all in already.

  1. first- and it’s not fair- ghostbusters doesn’t look that bad. No one should be bashing it because it’s an all female group.

    • Most of the bashing has less to do about the full female group and more about the complete slapstick, poor humour, lack of chemistry we can see from the trailer. Of course, until we actually see the movie, it’s hard to say if the trailer is just not representing it right, or if we are all right and it’s going to be painfully bad.

      • All the new ideas seem really dumb too. Like the new weapons. Ghosts are nearly indestructible, and so catching them was the only option. Why the f*** would you punch one? Especially when they usually have some kind of telekinetic power.

        Yeah, just get right up in the face of something dangerous and almost godlike, great idea.

        • Perhaps it can stun them.

          • Can you see, you’re not really using logic here.

            If you can punch something, why not just shoot it? Done.

            Stunning has no purpose.

          • Not necessarily. She could be using some sort of device to produce energy that hurts the ghost.

          • Once again use logic.

            Why hurt a ghost with a punch, if you could more easily trap it with a gun?

          • Same reason they give you a melee attack in most games. It’s a hell a lot more useful for giving your self some space so you can use the gun, because it wont be to effective if the thing is right u next to you. Also, why are you trying to bring logic into something like the ghost busters? It’s like trying to use logic for superhero movies.

      • Most of the Bashing was for when the film was announced as all female, people hated the trailer but there wasn’t nearly as much compared to the female cast announcement.

        Those disliking it because the trailer looks like crap have a point. But that’s not how the hate got started.

    • I’d blame the writing over the cast, any day. The cast looks like they’re trying, those jokes on the other hand… I think the head spin around when possessed exorcist joke died sometime in the late 90’s. The starting gag I was actually going he’s going to scream or puke on her he’s going to scream or puke on her through the entire dialogue it was pretty much the same theme with the second slap. It’s not fun when the jokes are that predictable. Some of the other jokes might work once you know the characters, but they’re pretty weak in isolation and they’re kind of retreaded old gags too. Add to that a questionable choice of CGgasm over the top effects and it really feels like they got the tone completely wrong. If I didn’t know the history, I’d assume this was a kids show. A lot of the dialogue explaining the people feels really forced and stilted too. I can’t even picture a scenario where it would work in a movie with sounding awkward. I love ghostbusters, and I want it to be good but I got to say the response was justified. Except for those complaining about the female cast, they’re idiots for the most part.

      • Except you can’t fairly blame the writing: Several articles have come out from the director and cast saying how much he loves improvising on set. So, I’m not sure if I should blame the writing, or if the problem is that no one bothered to actually follow the script.

        All I can say, looking at the trailer, is that the humor is not for me and they appear to have missed the point of the Ghostbusters (ie capturing ghosts is serious business and the humor comes from the combination of serious business and off-beat characters rather than slapstick).

        • Fair enough, though since Paul Feig is credited as writer and directer the blame is still at his feet, regardless. Also, since he is writer and director, even if they didn’t follow the script, you could still say it was all towards the writer’s intended vision. It’s kind of a weird gray area. Whatever the cause, I stand by the rest of my points, though I agree with yours as well.

      • Yup, the exorcist “power of christ compels you” thing was done in Family Guy and about a dozen other comedies already.

    • That it’s an all female group doesn’t enter into it. It looks painfully derivative, rather unfunny and mildly racist. I don’t know if the production company made these decisions because of the female cast or if they are equal opportunity tone deaf, but they seem to be under the impression that the cast can’t be funny unless they are constantly involved with wacky hijinks — a far cry from the more subdued performances of the original film, which created a nice contrast to the wacky moments.

    • I’m also planning on seeing Ghostbusters 2016, and I think it’s an awesome idea for a female leading cast.

    • @Everdeen2015
      First to comment = last to get laid.

    • Nope.

      Going in to the Ghostbusters reboot trailer, I knew very little except that I’d heard rumors of an all-female Ghostbusters reboot.

      I tend to honestly love a strong female lead in action movies. I’m a big fan of Kill Bill, The Fifth Element, and even the first campy Tomb Raider movie…

      So I started watching the trailer and I was first pleased to see Kristen Wiig who I think is very funny. I also like Kate McKinnon from SNL a lot. I’m pretty much neutral on Melissa McCarty, but I have to admit Leslie Jones seems like a one-punchline comic and I don’t really think she’s very funny.

      The problem is not the casting of all women, it’s that the jokes in the trailer aren’t funny and they don’t reveal enough of a hook or plot framing device to get me interested in the story.

      Okay…so…Ghostbusters? When the first film was released they had a commercial that was essentially the actors in costume doing a cable TV ad for their ghost-busting service, and it was more intriguing because it was a new idea.

      Fast forward to 2016…I know what a Ghostbuster is, I know what happened in the original films…but now make me interested in why I should see a reboot when the original still holds up so well.

    • I agree a lot of the ghost look really cool, and I hope it was just a bad trailer. Personally for me the whole tone of the trailer was set when the ghost vomitted all over one of the actresses (I don’t know her name.)

      Personally I think it would have worked better if the ghost had flown at them scaring them, then cut to black and move to the part were she’s complaining about being slimed and the others weren’t.

      That would have been scary exciting and funny.

    • I’m pretty sure if you swapped out the cast for four male actors, but kept all the same lines of dialog, the same jokes, the same story premises, etc., people would still bash that trailer.

  2. Lily of the Field

    I watch trailers just to listen to Two Steps from Hell

    • Lily of the Field

      Also, pretty sure Ghostbusters is gonna suck because the Smurfs reboot sucked, the Robocop reboot sucked, the Total Recall reboot sucked, the Pink Panther reboot sucked, etc. Plus they still take anything Adam Sandler does seriously.

  3. So that is why the 5 second trailers came back.

  4. Love watching trailers, so does my son. They can often be way better than the movie, and sometimes far more funny.

  5. Askmewhatitmeanshoohoohoo

    I still just can’t see Ghostbusters being good after that trailer. Has absolutely 100 percent nothing to do with the cast, because they’re all funny people. All the jokes and scenes shown were just shockingly unfunny and done to death. Someone actually says “that’s gonna leave a mark.” Ouch. I know it’s not the whole movie, but I just can’t picture a movie with those scenes in it being good. It just screams lazy, loosely-based generic crap. It’s a shame, too. This could’ve been a great opportunity to argue that all-female reboots can work, and it’s gonna fall flat on its face, I’m afraid.

    • The Mysterious M

      Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy haven’t failed us yet.

      • Askmewhatitmeanshoohoohoo

        What gives you hope in the trailer? I’m seriously just curious.

        • The Mysterious M

          Nothing. I’m just saying. Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy. Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy haven’t failed us yet.

          • I’ve only seen The Heat and Spy, not Bridesmaids.

            Spy was entertaining, offering a sympathetic fish out of water with over the top action and a surprisingly funny supporting cast.

            The Heat was just dull, tired, odd couple/buddy cop stock characters that relied too heavily on all the tropes associated with those movies to be considered spoof or parody.

          • Only saw Bridesmaids and it was so god awful I have no idea how anyone could consider it good. My sister-in-law straight up apologized for making me watch it with her. It was unfunny and the lead was so bland and boring it was like watching Hunger Games all over again.

          • That list of movies does not give me hope. They say, instead, that this movie is not for me.

            Perhaps there’s a lot of people who felt that way about the other movies but didn’t say anything because it wasn’t a big deal. But now that they’re doing a reboot of a popular franchise, people who would normally shrug and just do something else are complaining because they’re invested in the franchise involved?

            That’s just a theory. I know I certainly didn’t go around telling people that I thought The Heat or Bridesmaids looked like garbage. I didn’t care so long as I didn’t get dragged along to see those movies. Ghostbusters though? I care enough to complain. Though my long term plan is to just not see the new movie and pop in a BluRay of the old one.

      • They’ve failed us literally every time.

    • I just had to say I LOVE your username! 😛

  6. Crossover Princess

    I’m glad for this, why? Because I’m actually among the few who thinks Ghostbusters looks good by the trailer.

    And that’s a good point about how “Trailers Always Lie” (there’s a TV Tropes page about that).

    For all we know Ghostbusters might be awesome.

    Though if it turns out to suck I wouldn’t be surprised, not due to the trailer (like I said), but due to the fact that was going on behind the scenes sounds a lot like what happened with Fan4stick…

  7. In BvS’s case, the trailer IS the movie.

  8. The Mysterious M

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m against a Ghostbuster’s reboot (a sequel– sort of a “new generation, but in the same universe” kind of thing might have worked, but a remake, just no. Ghostbusters was perfect, it doesn’t need to be remade).

    However, I watched the trailer, and now I’m curious to see it. Don’t get me wrong, the trailer did NOT sell me on the movie, and I’m still don’t think we need this, but I’m more open to the idea of seeing it now.

  9. The first Man of Steel trailer implied the entire movie was gonna be nothing but an over-pretentious art film where the camera points at nothing. Hell, your only reason to think otherwise was the fact that it was a Superman movie.

  10. I think the fun about trailers isn’t the question if the movie is going to be good. It’s more about hyping you up, an taking you on an emotional rollercoaster.
    AMV’s and MMV’s are a big thing on youtube, and that is exactly what a trailer does. Condensing clips from a movie or any other content, to really grab you emotionally. Movies usually can’t do that, or at least it’s much harder, because they are bound to the rules of telling a coherent story.

  11. Ace Ventura was post to be just a B movie and thought it would be suck

    • Askmewhatitmeanshoohoohoo

      I thought When Nature Calls was hysterical as a kid. Rewatching it as an adult..Hoo boy. Jim Carrey’s insanity is literally all that holds the movie together. The first one is fine and I’d still call it a classic, but man. If they released When Nature Calls today…backlash galore.

    • With the exception of The Mask…after watching Ace Ventura in the theater with my buddy way back in the day, I had my fill of Jim Carey and The Grinch only reinforced my dislike of the most over-rated actor of the 90s.

  12. So, basically you’re saying: “We all might be wrong about Ghostchicks?” Honestly, I hope you are right. I love the Ghostbusters franchise (both movies and both toons) and was kind of hoping for a new take on it.
    But ever since the “It’s not a sequel, it’s a remake” advertisement Sony has given and the “Lame Duck of a Script” rumor came out, I have no hopes for it.
    I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt it… especially since Tom Rothman has been getting involved in the making of the movie. And every movie he touches turns into a pile of fan-hate. :-/

  13. With the current giant mess that is Warcraft’s advertisement campaign (thought to have been brought on by cheapening out on it when someone designated as a potential ‘problem movie’ of the year), one has to wonder how some people haven’t perfected the art of marketing in the last few decades or so.

  14. No mention of “The Force Awakens”? I honestly thought that was one of the best and most authentic trailers I’ve seen in a long time. I like to be surprised of your next thing, so I don’t really like this Vessel things. I don’t watch them, I just want to wait. Anyway, I recently saw “Snow Dogs” which has probably the most misleading trailer in history. You should do a shout out to Goodwill!

    • Askmewhatitmeanshoohoohoo

      Right??? I even remember thinking as a little kid that the dogs talk for like five minutes in the whole movie! And this is back when I thought talking animals in a live action movie were a reason to see it!

  15. I remember not liking the trailer to Finding Nemo and actually hating the trailers to Up and Wall-e I knew Toy story was good but didn’t really see any reason to check out the rest of Pixar’s stuff. Then I was house sitting for someone and thier cable went out so I watched some VHSs and they had Nemo and Cars. I loved Finding Nemo of course but still had this idea that Pixar was hit or miss. years later on a movie rental night my husband and I got Up and Wall-e as we were in the mood for something animated and i was blown away by how good they both were. now I tend to be more concerned with reviews instead of trailers.

  16. I don’t care what negative replies I’ll get, but I’m just gonna say it right here and now.
    Please don’t review Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
    Go on, haters. Give me you best shot about me being an asshole for really enjoying a movie that one-half of the planet hates.

    • One look on Twitter later… Goddammit, you are. Jesus Christ. You just can’t leave none enough alone, do you, Doug?

      • I'mVeryAngryIt'sNotButter

        It’s not the fact that you like something other people hate. It’s the fact that you think that, just because you hate something, it deserves to be exempt from mockery, as though your own opinion is authoritative or something.

  17. anonexistentuser

    IMO, the original teaser for “Frozen” was a hilarious bit of neo-Looney Tunesy slapstick, and the movie was a massive disappointment. Not entirely for being different from the trailer, but that didn’t help.

  18. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    I too think the ghostbusters remake could work just the trailers have been meh and captain America civil war looks awesome i just hope that’s not all we get of spider-man but like you said just wait!!!! This is a perfect video and I’ll show this to anyone.

  19. I think of a trailer as similar to to the blurb on the back of a book: It gives you an idea of the basic plot, characters, and tone. From there, you process the information and decide if the movie or book is worth the investment.

    It’s true that trailers and book blurbs can fail to convey the truth about a picture. But it’s better than trying to figure it out from the title alone. From personal example: I was kind of hyped for Jem. I figured whether they went the action & adventure angle or a parody a la the Brady Bunch, I would be amused. There was no possible way it could go wrong because I would have been willing to accept a bad movie if the nostalgia made me laugh enough. And then I saw the trailer which conveyed it was a remake of Josie and the Pussycats with neither the outrageous adventure or outrageous campiness. So I didn’t waste my money on it because they did the one thing they could to turn me off of the picture: They made it boring.

    I can’t speak to the current DC or Marvel movies because trailers had nothing to do with my desire or lack thereof to see them. Well, no, that’s not entirely true, but an explanation would be extra long and rambley. Let’s just say that word of mouth affected me more.

    And then there’s Ghostbusters. Sigh. I’m a woman. I have no issue with a female cast and wish that I could be all “woo, you go girls” about it. I have an issues with the humor looking awful (it looks like Scary Movie rather than Ghostbusters in terms of humor, and that’s just not my thing), with the plot being nonsensical (why are we reinventing the Ghostbusters when, according to the trailers, the Ghostbusters were invented in this universe 30 years ago), and them somehow making the token black character more racist than the previous black character (Winston may have gotten fewer lines, but he was the everyman, rather than a black stereotype he was everyone who wasn’t a super educated scientist; Penny, on the other hand, appears to very much be a black stereotype (street-wise and loud version)).

    I’m trying to think of a movie where the trailer looked bad but the movie itself was actually good. I’m sure it’s happened to me on occasion, but I can’t think of any off hand. It’s much more common for the trailer to look good and the movie to be bad.

  20. Oh, Doug. Why do you feel the need to try and talk people into going to see Ghostbusters? I mean… I know WHY. I saw the Fury Road review. I guess my real question is: why did you suddenly feel the need to start working your politics into your videos? It can’t help your viewership. It can only hurt it.

    • If you saw politics in this video, then you’re just looking for it.

      If anything, I’d think he wants people to see it so that they will understand the clipless review that he’ll do afterwards. If you don’t know the movie, they often totally fail.

      Heck, I’d seen Phantom of the Opera, and I didn’t remember most of what Doug was going on about.

      • It’s not “in the video”, no. It’s in the real life controversy over the hate for this trailer that he’s just kind of skirting around. Pretending it’s just an example, when it is in fact THE example.

        How often does he make a public plea to give a new movie a chance that he hasn’t even seen? But he chooses THIS time to start? What an amazing coincidence!

        Once again… Fury Road review. Give it a look and see if you can’t suss out his politics from it. If you can’t… you might be a little bit slow on the uptake.

  21. Am I the only one that agrees with NC on this? Just because a Trailer may not be good doesn’t mean the film it’s for will not be good, and just because a trailer is good doesn’t the film will be. Personally, I think that if you want to praise or complain about the trailer for something, then go ahead, it’s your right. But if you want to praise or complain about a movie or game or whatever the trailer is for, then wait ’till you see the movie or play the game.

  22. Let me guess, it’s another one of those “balanced” editorials, right? Some people think that trailers misrepresent movies more often than not, and that’s partially true, other people think trailers usually represent their movies correctly and they’re also not wrong, let’s just all agree to disagree and sing kumbaya while holding hands around a tree.

    • Why comment if you can’t even be bothered to watch the video? I mean, I get when people turn it off, and then comment to let people know.

      And, no. It’s about how trailers are not representative of their movies, as anyone with half a brain could tell you. There is no middle ground, and it’s a question of fact.

  23. I was in situation where I thought I was gonna like Zootopia. I did not expect to LOVE it and demand sequels and a TV show 😀

  24. Edge of Tomorrow. A movie where I watched the trailer and was bored by it. Thought it looked like a generic action film staring Tom Cruise, which they just made a sci-fi movie with Tom Cruise that wasn’t very good.

    Then I heard the reviews for it and they said it was like a sci-fi Groundhogs Day. Which got my interest. I watched the movie and loved it. If it wasn’t for the reviews I would have never checked the movie out because I thought the trailers were terrible.

    I recommend Edge of Tomorrow or “Live Die Repeat” as it is called now. Very fun movie.

  25. Speaking of the Frozen trailer, that was the reason I didn’t want to see the film, at first. I ended up seeing it in theaters and loved it since.

  26. I’m optimistic about Ghostbusters. I thought the new designs were cool, and I like the idea of female Ghostbusters because, outside the cartoon and video game, we never saw a female Ghostbuster. And speaking of the video game, I’d actually like to see it as a movie. It has everything people wanted in a Ghostbusters follow-up, a new Ghostbuster (and a female if you choose her), the entire cast returned, and Akroyd and Ramis both wrote the story. Anyway, if the movie does blow, I still have the original to love.

  27. Where can I see those trailers for The Shining and Mary Poppins?

    • I was wondering the same thing, just typed “fake comedy shining trailer” into the youtube search bar, and woohoo, it was the second video that showed up. So yeah, try youtube.

  28. My biggest criteria for a good trailer versus a bad trailer is how much of the film they give away. I’ve always hated it when they tell all of the movie’s good jokes in the trailer, or when they give away the twist, or whatever. I don’t even need much of the premise, just enough to get me interested. I’d rather a trailer err on the side of being too vague than too explanatory.

  29. I didn’t hear about the Star Trek change. This video is really interesting. But still, I think that people overall will like the new Ghostbusters. Everyone but me seems to LOVE what I dub Bridesmaids humor. I don’t get it but to each his own.

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