When future generations of the human race turn their cruel, judgmental eyes back to our miserable era here at the dawn of the third millennium, they will discover a veritable Renaissance in one of the most popular global art forms. I am speaking, of course, of the movie trailer, in which the whole expanse of a feature film is distilled into a two-and-a-half minute (or less) kinetic burst of cinematic energy. Trailers are the perfect medium for our relentlessly meta moment: Witness the rise of the Fake Trailer as a cultural force, sometimes deconstructive, sometimes aspirational. (Heck, a few years back, there was an entire big-budget movie made as an ode to the shrill hucksterism and sweet innocence of movie trailers.)
Your friends at PopWatch want you to bask in the glory of contemporary trailerdom, so we’ve designed an essential, indispensable, authoritative Bingo Board modeling every magnificent trailer trope. Pay attention to how often the adorable talking animals in annoying-looking childrens’ films awkwardly wedge in hackneyed slang, reaching out to the parents in the audience. Notice how lovingly the trailer editors cut together the gun loading montage. Enjoy the throwaway glance at the film’s shirtless star. Ponder just how many apparently frothy family entertainments feature extended references to “war.” And thrill to the moment in practically every action-movie trailer — it usually happens around the 90-second mark — when the screen just starts cutting randomly between scenes, and the soundtrack goes completely silent… except for a pendulum-like rumble that sounds remarkably like the Inception foghorn.
Click on the image above for a full-sized version of the Bingo board. We hope you’ll enjoy an exciting summer at the movie theaters. Now, if only the movies were half as good as the trailers…
(Bingo Board designed by Jef Castro)