“Compare and contrast the complete theatrical trailers of the movies ‘Lord of the Rings-Return of the King’ and ‘Pearl Harbour’ and evaluate on a whole the effectiveness of these pieces of visual media… ” Trailers are mainly used as marketing tools. Trailers make people aware of new movies and new movie release dates, most commonly found in the beginning of rental movies and at cinemas before the movie starts. Trailers are put at the beginning of movies because this is when the audience are paying most attention so they grab the audience’s attention. What is known as ‘the best bits’ of a movie in are in included in the trailer.
These are normally the most dramatic or most hilarious scenes, making then make the viewers more interested in watching or wanting to see the movie. I will be analysing two trailers “Pearl Harbour” and “Lord of the Rings-Return of the King”. Both of these trailers are modern and are based on the subject of war. The Return of the King is the third and final movie in the highly successful Lord of the Rings trilogy. It builds on the excitement and adventure in the first two movies to create an electrifying and gripping finale to the trilogy, and already some critics are calling it one of the best movies ever created.
The main theme of the movie is war, with side themes of love and friendship, but not in the way that we are used to it nowadays. Fighting is done by sword and shield, man against monster, with skilled displays of archery and siege equipment. The men are all fighting a complete battle of good verses evil, where the fate of the world rests on one character’s shoulder, who holds the item that will mean that evil will triumph, as he continues to embark upon the quest to destroy the one ring.
He may be the most important character, but throughout the film there are displays of heroism by men fighting selflessly to defend middle-earth for future generations to come. Pearl Harbour is a movie made 2001 which goes back to Decembers 2nd 1941, where The USA was ambushed by the Empire of Japan completely unexpectedly and surprisingly. It shows the chaos and terror that this attack brought, and clearly tells the viewer how devastating this attack was to the people of Pearl Harbour.
The main themes of the film are war and love, as you are made to feel for the woman who waits anxiously while her two lovers go out to fight. For Lord of the Rings, the excitement of the trailer begins immediately with the camera beginning to pan across the location of the enemy stronghold surrounded by fire, thunder and lightning. The scene is set by catchphrases said by the main characters such as ‘the end has come’, which instantly gives the viewer the knowledge that the end of the world is near and indicate that the genre of this movie is war.
Pictures flash before the screen to create huge dramatic effect and keep the viewer enthralled at the trailer in front. Shrieking and growling of flying creates create the image of horror and dismay, for someone who hadn’t seen the previous movies they could be persuaded that the world is finished already. The Pearl Harbour trailer starts by showing the two main characters at a young age playing in a small fighter plane, this immediately tells the viewer that the genre of the movie is war, and the appearance of the plane and surroundings that are zoomed in on show that the movie is set a long time ago.
A voice from a radio says aggressively, ‘How long is American going to pretend we are not at war’. The media are putting pressure on the American Government to join in the war and to stop letting other nations fight the battle for them. The trailer goes on with the voice of the radio and eventually the one of the main characters is shown being sent off to war as a sign that the government has given in and decided to join the fight.
The first scenes are hardly dramatic which is quite unusual for movies consisting of so much action, but briefly set the scene of what it is like at the time. The most spectacular part of the Lord of the Rings trailer is also the ending. The final part of the trailer uptakes the highest tempo, the music builds up gradually and reaches its peak at which time images are flashing on the screen constantly of hero’s fighting to save the world for future generations, you are made to feel intensely grateful to them and hatred for the enemy.
The last words of the trailer are said by Aragorn who responds to a statement that they cannot beat the evil through strength of arms with ‘But we can give Frodo a chance’. They refuse to give up even though the odds are stacked against them. After this quote the music reaches its climax and pictures flash rapidly from the whole movie showing the severe ferocity this war has caused all over one little ring that hangs around Frodo’s neck including close-ups of the character’s faces show complete terror and torture.
The final clip is of Sam yelling helplessly amongst rings of fire, this tells the viewer that the ending will be highly eventful. After watching the trailer the key question flashes though your mind, ‘Will Frodo destroy the ring and save the world? ‘ The only way to find out is to watch the full movie. The most electrifying part of the Pearl Harbour trailer is when the trailer starts to speed up with the yell, ‘Warning of Japanese aggressive movements,’ and the people in view are running away in fear from the soaring Japanese planes coming from the skies.
It is now clear that Pearl Harbour is under attack! An interview with the president of the USA confirms this and then the footage of the attacking Japanese planes and bombs is shown, it is quite distressing and very realistic with state of the art scenes of boats and buildings being exploded into balls of flame. Close-ups on the faces of nurses rushing around frantically trying to save lives and soldiers trying to defend themselves in vain truly portrays how fearful and horrendous this attack was.
The final dozen seconds of the Pearl Harbour trailer begin to flash different pictures of the state of Pearl Harbour during and after the invasion, the aircraft carrier which proved the braveness of the main characters, and with pictures of the American flag still flying high, and the happiness of the one of the main characters to be back in his lover’s arms. During this small trailer, the viewer has seen the Americans suffer at setback, but refuse to lose determination and show the rest of the world that they are not the cowardly ‘playboys’ that they are made out to be by the media.