Sometimes I think I like watching film trailers more than I like watching films themselves. It's fairly rare to find a good trailer. One that actually makes you want to see a film without giving away everything that happens. Luckily, most films aren't very good and are way too long anyway; so it's nice to have a film's best bits shorn of its 2hr30mins into an easily digestible format.
Today I am looking at newish trailers for Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol (catchy name that) and John Carter - formerly Of Mars. I'm comparing them for no reason other than they're both 'live action' films directed by people better known for their animation work, specifically with Disney Pixar. MI4:GP (catchy initials!) is directed by Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille) whilst JC (of Mars, not Nazareth) has Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E) shouting "lights, camera, action".
The MI4 trailer does a nice job of outlining the basic premise before descending into a mess of too-fast cuts and action shots of Tom Cruise running, jumping, climbing, and having silly hair. Jeremy Renner decides to blur the lines between franchises by playing a government super agent. He will also be appearing as government super agents in The Avengers and the new Jason Bourne film that won't actually feature Jason Bourne. That Eminem song is pretty awful, but I guess they're appealing to a demographic.
John Carter doesn't once mention that he's actually on Mars, but the big red sandy deserts, alienoids, and twin moons have a fair old crack at giving it away. I think tonally I prefer this to MI4's trailer, even if it does use the horrible 'close up on an opening eye/wake up in a strange location - where am I?' shot and a pretty shoddy cover of Arcade Fire's My Body Is A Cage. Those desert shots really are nice, the Willem Defore voice over bit gives it some 'gravitas', and they seem to have balanced the campness away from Flash Gordon territory. And in that scene of John Carter wearing a hat, he looks a bit like Jack White.