Trail Mix takes a look at classic movie trailers from years past to explore their relationship (however sometimes tenuous) to the films themselves and to the movie promotion of today.
When it comes to giant blockbusters they don’t come much bigger than 1993’s Jurassic Park. The movie going public at large got a small taste of what CGI was capable of in earlier films like James Cameron’s The Abyss (1989) and Terminator 2 (1991), but Jurassic Park was CGI’s coming out party. Once that giant T-Rex ripped through its cage, things would never be the same. The film itself wasn’t all about effects though, even though that was obviously a huge part. It was also a master class in production design and pacing, and the trailer follows suit, setting the plot for the uninitiated, and showing just enough of the main attraction (the T-Rexes and Raptors) without giving so much away that audiences didn’t feel the need to see the rest of the movie. It really is a perfect distillation of the form, one of my favorite trailers ever:
The following two films in the series were super fun dino-action movies, with a never better Jeff Goldblum taking center stage in The Lost World (1997) and some particularly impressive Pterodactyl effects in Jurassic Park 3 (2001), but they couldn’t possibly have the critical and cultural impact of the first film and suffered commercially as a result.
This summer takes us to Jurassic World, where Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard have to battle against a new genetically modified dino-threat. This trailer carries the DNA (no pun intended) of the original with its classic pacing, telling just enough without showing too much. And when that wistful piano version of the original theme cuts in at the end, I can’t help but get a little misty.
Can the series be brought back to its critical and commercial 90’s heyday? If anybody can do it, Star Lord can.