Things I love about going to the movies: COMING ATTRACTIONS

April 4, 2008

I love coming attractions, I’ll admit it. When I’m waiting for the movie I paid to see start, I eagerly await the coming attractions to see, well, what’s coming, of course. I always try to make a mental note of at least one or two upcoming releases to watch out for, and, possibly go see on opening weekend, or as soon after as possible.

The more creative the attraction, or preview, as I and many people sometimes call it, the better. I say this, because if the preview is creative enough, I feel as though I have a good idea about the subject of the movie. I also like it when I think the preview is for one type of movie, then does a complete turnaround to become a different type of preview all together. I’ve noticed that this usually happens with action blockbusters. You get a really quiet scene, or romantic moment between the hero and heroine, and then BANG! stability and normality go out the door. I love being taken by surprise like that.

I also enjoy it when the preview is for a movie based on a concept that I know and love. I can’t help myself, I start to smile, and then ask under my breath, but almost too loud for my fellow movie goers “When is THAT coming out?”. Thank goodness the studios have the good sense to give a date, even if it is next summer or winter. Like I said, it helps me plan.

E! Entertainment Television used to be a great source for watching previews. Do you remember this? Every Friday and Saturday, E! would devote 30 minutes to running previews for upcoming features, and would recap them all with the stars names and release dates. They even called the show COMING ATTRACTIONS and was at one time hosted by GSN’s Todd Newton. It’s a real shame the show no longer exists. Maybe it just doesn’t fit in with the network’s image.

By the way, did you know that these previews used to be shown AFTER the movie was over? It’s true. In the early days of Hollywood, all of the acting and technical credits used to appear at the beginning of the film. Of course, in those days they didn’t have to name half of the people they do now. I mean, if I change a light bulb, or bring a cup of coffee to somebody, my name will appear in the long credit roll at the end. Anyway, since the technical credits ran at the beginning, then, as people were getting ready to leave, they would see previews for upcoming movies. That’s how these previews and coming attractions got the name “trailer”. They trailed the main feature. Try stumping your friends at the water cooler on Monday with that one.


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