The Silver Bullet: ‘The trailer was better than the movie…’ ~ “Nine”

It’s happened to you before…don’t try to deny it.  You see a trailer/preview for an upcoming movie and say to yourself (out loud, in your head, or under your breath) “I’ll be seeing that!”…or “Skip!”…or “ANOTHER Transformers movie?”  Movie studios spend big bucks and research to create a morsel of their film to entice audiences to shell out their money come opening weekend.  I say opening weekend because that’s really where it counts…word of mouth can make or break a movie so they want to get as many people in the seats that first weekend in case the movie is a stinker and the buzz is bad.  Plenty of bad movies have opened to big numbers simply because it had a good trailer that attracted a certain demographic.  I love movie trailers and prefer them to show as little plot and surprises as possible.  That’s a far cry from the trailers of yesteryear which were quite lengthy and often showed nearly the entire film.  Now we get teasers before the full trailers and several versions of that final full trailer to keep us interested.  Some trailers are even made before the movie has finished (or started) shooting!  Basically…trailers are sometimes as big of a production as the movies themselves…which makes it all the more disappointing when a bad or mediocre movie has a great trailer.  Occasionally, I’ll highlight these trailers that were better (in my opinion) than the movie.

First up…Rob Marshall’s disappointing big screen adaptation of Nine.

This is actually trailer #2 and it’s more of a music video for the new song written for Kate Hudson’s character.  Cinema Italiano was a reasonably catchy if ultimately tuneless tune…but it sure had me sold on the film after several viewings.  Employing slick editing and teasing visuals, the people responsible for the trailer had a lot of people to market to.  They couldn’t show it was an outright musical because that would limit their audience, they had to entice the men to see it as well so there are lots of shots of beautiful ladies in lingerie, and the film had to tell its own little story without giving away too much of the plot.  It’s a quite smart trailer, actually, and I still like it today. 

I’m not saying that Nine was an outright dog of a film but it didn’t live up to the potential I thought it had.  Maybe it’s the source material which is tricky…or maybe it was the cast which was uneven.  Ultimately, Nine was a bummer at the box office and generally considered a miss.  It’s worth a watch if you are a fan of anyone involved and it’s interesting to see Daniel Day-Lewis try on his dancing shoes.

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