One of the highlights of going to the cinema is watching a selection of films coming soon to tempt us back into those hallowed halls of escapist fantasies.
However, what once used to be tempting teasers, snippets of the joys yet to come, have recently become little more than bullet points of every main scene of the entire film.
The first time this was brought to my attention, was several years ago while watching a film on TV, ‘Associate’, starring Whoopie Goldberg. As the plot progressed, the feeling that I’d seen it before increased, right down to the twist in the plot where the main female character eventually had to pose as a white male in order to convince the Wall Street Powers-That-Be to accept her financial genius, even though she was a mere female.
Although I’d never seen the film before, it was with disappointment that the story rolled to its somehow familiar conclusion.
The weird sense of déjà vu was explained by the fact that the entire film had been summarised in a cinematic trailer I had seen previously.
This left an unpleasant realisation that not only had I wasted an entire 90 minutes to see what could be considered a mere lengthened version of the trailer, but that at no point had the story kept me wondering what would happen. How could it when I had already seen the abridge version?
Yes, the point of trailers is to pack all the good bits of a film in a nice neat package in order to make people want to pay their money to see it in it’s entirely, however, is it getting to the point when the trailers give most of the main plot away before the film has even opened?
The desperation to show all the ‘best bits’ of a given film before release is overshadowing the enjoyment of watching the plot unfold when the feature does eventually hit the big screens.
If most of the main shocks, plot twists or unexpected turns, not to mention the majority of the story, have already been revealed during a ten minute trailer, the urge to spend time and money on what can merely be regarded as ‘extra padding’, sadly fails to motivate.
Perhaps it is a sad reflection of diminishing concentration spans, or the ‘Need-to-Know-NOW’ culture that we must be shown a speeded up version to convince us how good the film is going to be.
Perhaps the film companies think potential audiences need to know what’s going to happen before they can be enticed to go and see a film, rather than take a chance on a film they know only a taste of. Perhaps, they are right.
Whatever the reasons, I find myself fast forwarding DVD trailers and deliberately avoiding cinematic attractions for the simple reason that I prefer not to know what’s going to happen in advance.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must flip to the end of the book I’m currently reading, because I just can’t be bothered going through the whole thing to find out how it ends…