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'Terminator Salvation' trailers: Why buy the cyborg cow when you can get the plot-twist milk for free?

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I have a love-hate relationship with trailers. As a geek, I am genetically primed to get giddy at first looks at things I’m excited for. That’s one of the reasons I love the summer movie season: Even if every other flick I see sucks, at least the trailers will be choice. Beyond that, there’s an art to making a great trailer. When they’re great, trailers can be short-filmmaking at its best (the Little Children trailer, for example, was a beautiful piece of work).

And then there are the trailers that show too much, that trade the giddyness of the now for the awesomeness of the future. Case in point, Terminator Salvation. Take a look at this four-minute Internet-only clip, bearing in mind that it actually requires a SPOILER ALERT…

…and explain to me why the filmmakers continue to betray a fantastic plot twist by showing it off in advance every chance they get. Imagine if you hadn’t seen anything about T4 and you were sitting in the theater watching the flick, and you get to the part where amnesiac wanderer Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) is revealed to be a terminator — when Christian Bale’s John Connor asks him “You think you’re human?” before Wright looks down and, for the first time, sees his own metal skeleton. That would blow your brain-pan out. It’s a tectonic moment…one that too few of us can experience, because the trailers have already given it away. If filmmakers and movie studios are so concerned with spoilers, then why do they give them away themselves?

Are you as frustrated as I am with trailers like this? Or does it not bother you in the least?

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