Do movie trailers spoil the fun?

"Many's the time I have sat humming with my fingers in my ears"

By Salon Staff

Published June 23, 2000 7:46PM (EDT)

Two minutes of sheer excitement!

I could forgive every other flaw in movie trailers if it weren't for all the spoilers. I've come away from way too many trailers thinking, "Well, OK, I've seen everything that movie has to offer." (Unfortunately, this is increasingly true of movie reviews as well. I chalk up my failure to enjoy "The Matrix" to the fact that by the time I saw it, I already knew so much about it that the experience was sapped of surprise -- and not because of loudmouth friends who'd already seen it. It was the trailer and the reviewers who gave everything away.)

But the tell-it-all-in-two-minutes practice has another unfortunate side effect: It leads viewers to expect that the trailer is giving away everything the movie has to offer in two minutes, meaning that they may pass on it because they don't realize it has more to offer. Based on the previews, which suggested run-of-the-mill slapstick and seemed to give away all the good jokes, I had no interest in seeing "Keeping the Faith." My wife dragged me to it anyway ... and I loved it. Most of what you see in the trailer happens in the first 15 minutes of the film. That's how it should be all the time.

-- Keith Ammann

Stephanie Zacharek is spot on in her critique of movie trailers. Many's the time I have sat humming with my fingers in my ears in order to avoid having the plot spoiled of a movie I wanted to see. I never did see "Prizzi's Honor" because the whole plot was laid out for me in advance. "Why go?" I said. So I didn't. And thank you for mentioning the "Gone in 60 Seconds" trailer. Another bubba film as far as I'm concerned with squealing tires, car crashes and yet another pouty-lipped babe. No plot redemption is possible. After seeing that ridiculous preview, I was gone in 60 seconds.

-- Valerie Swartz

Salon Staff

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