Polygon is kicking off its best of entertainment series, which will run through the end of December and beginning of January, coming to a finale just before the 2017 Golden Globes. These personal essays will examine the best, most important and weirdest moments that occurred in television, film, streaming and YouTube/Twitch in 2017. Each will examine why the author believes that moment to be one of 2017’s most extraordinary. The series will end with Polygon’s Best of TV and Best of Movies pieces.
Trailers have become so important to the celebration of movies, and so crucial to studios at large, that we’ve found ourselves in a subversive trailer culture.
The movie trailer has become its own art form, with teaser trailers for the trailer released days in advance. In the case of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, sometimes that means having a commercial for the teaser for the tease that will play before the teaser trailer. It can seem a little over-the-top at times, but as we pointed out earlier this year, there’s no escaping the hold that trailers have over us as cinephiles.
Just take a look at the madness surrounding the delayed release of the Avengers: Infinity War trailer.
This year, we were treated to a few outstanding trailers for movies that in some cases enthralled us and in others left us disappointed. The trailer for Blade Runner 2049 gave us a small taste of the neon-infused world and the synth-heavy sounds of the anticipated sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic. The first teaser for It terrified us with the first look at Warner Bros.’ reimagined evil clown, Pennywise, and the first trailer for Black Panther had us roaring with excitement over the future of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.
Here are the 10 trailers from 2017 that Polygon is still obsessing over.
Ingrid Goes West
One of my biggest ongoing regrets every year is not having enough time to cover the movies I want to talk about. Ingrid Goes West, a warning about the dangers of social media and the phoniness of Los Angeles influencers, is one of those movies. Ingrid Goes West, which stars Aubrey Plaza as Ingrid and Elizabeth Olsen as Instagram queen Taylor, was one of the best movies I stumbled upon this year. The trailer, seen above, is reminiscent of the dystopian, social media-ruled world we saw in the trailer for The Social Network, but louder, angrier and wilder.
The Disaster Artist
It’s easy to argue that Tommy Wiseau’s The Room is one of the most important movies of the past few decades. It wasn’t a big success — hell, it wasn’t even a success — but what The Room did for cult movies will never be forgotten. The Disaster Artist tells the story of how The Room was made from actor and writer Greg Sistero’s point of view. The movie is an incredible feat, and has already been nominated for two Golden Globe awards, but the trailer itself is also worthy of applause.
Oh, hi, Mark.
Much like Ingrid Goes West, Good Time is another movie I wish I had time to write about this year. The strange and prolific post-Twilight career Robert Pattinson has had in recent years is nothing short of fascinating, as he chooses to make disturbing, fetishistic movies with cinema’s veteran punks like David Cronenberg and strange independent jaunts with fresh auteurs. Good Time follows Pattinson, who plays a bank robber in New York City, as he tries to help his mentally disabled brother get out of trouble. Pattinson’s acting, in tangent with the neon-laced backdrops of New York City’s underground criminal world, makes it a haunting watch — and an even better trailer.
Isle of Dogs
No trailer has made me happier this year than Fox Searchlight’s trailer for Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animation movie, Isle of Dogs. Set to be released in 2018, the movie follows a boy in Japan who travels to an island where all pets are kept in an attempt to retrieve his canine best friend. I’ll admit I got a little misty eyed over the film’s premise, but the trailer itself is stunning, and oddly funny at times. It’s one of my most anticipated movies of 2018, and this trailer explains why.
2017 was the year of synchronized trailers. Editors beautifully lined up music used in the trailer to the beat of film footage, creating a pulsing trailer you couldn’t take your eyes off of. Atomic Blonde is a good example of this editing technique, but so is Baby Driver. Edgar Wright’s movie about a getaway driver who can only complete his job with the help of his trusted iPod Classic, Baby Driver helped redefine how artistic modern trailers could be. Trailers, while still marketing ploys from studios, can be more than that, and Baby Driver helped prove that to be the case.
Director Andy Muschietti’s It had a lot to live up to, as did actor Bill Skarsgård’s portrayal of Pennywise. There was trepidation about how well It would perform under the scrutiny of Steven King diehards, and luckily for both Skarsgård and Muschietti, they were up for the task. Although the trailer doesn’t capture the brilliance of Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard, it did manage to freak me out when I first watched it. I guess that’s all I could have asked for at the time.
Thor: Ragnarok was my favorite superhero movie of 2017 for a number of reasons, but the minute I knew I was going to fall in love with this film was when I watched the first trailer. It’s a complete change in tone and direction for the Thor franchise, and the trailer gave us our first hope that Ragnarok would let Chris Hemsworth use his comedic chops for the role. Gone were the dreary days of Shakespearean attempts to tell the god’s story. Director Taika Waititi showed that superheroes don’t have to be serious all the time, following in the direction of Joss Whedon’s Avengers. This trailer still makes me laugh to this day; the only thing it’s missing is more Korg.
Thor: Ragnarok’s trailer also takes home the prize for best one-liner used in a two-minute video: “We know each other. He’s a friend from work!”
Avengers: Infinity War
After months and months of agonizing, with fans demanding that Marvel release some kind of teaser akin to the one the studio showed at Disney’s biennial D23 conference and San Diego Comic-Con, we finally got the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War. It was well worth the wait.
I’m not going to try to hide my excitement at seeing some of my favorite superheroes banding together for what promises to be the most exciting Marvel Cinematic Universe installment yet. Watching Captain America run through the forests of Wakanda as Spider-Man gears up to take on Thanos alongside Iron Man ... it’s what we’ve been waiting for.
10 years of waiting for this version of the MCU seemed to finally arrive in the trailer for Infinity War, and that’s something worth celebrating.
Blade Runner 2049
The choice to make Blade Runner 2049 my second favorite trailer of the year was a difficult one. I love this trailer. I love it so, so much. The first trailer for Blade Runner 2049 promised the cyberpunk world that I’ve always wanted to see in a theater. The soothing sounds of synthesizers seemed to cushion the vital artwork and cinematography contained within, reverberating around the stunning imagery.
I was taken with Blade Runner 2049 from the very first time this trailer played. I wrote about how the trailer for Baby Driver used editing techniques to make its trailer standout; Blade Runner 2049 didn’t need any tricks. It showcased some of its most impressive imagery and let the overwhelming sensation of it all wash over people.
Blade Runner 2049’s trailer was very close to being my top trailer of the year, and I’ll explain very simply why it’s not below.
I’m going to let these amazing, beautiful people sum up why Black Panther is Polygon’s number one trailer of 2017. It’s an important movie; one of Marvel’s most important. I think each one of these YouTubers does a better job of expressing why this trailer is worth celebrating.