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The Following Show About Movie Trailers Has Been Approved For Appropriate Audiences

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This hour, we talk about movie trailers. Maybe you wonder what a movie critic thinks of them. Actually, critics don’t see as many as you do because they often go to special screenings.

I asked America’s Greatest Living Film Critic, David Edelstein, about trailers. He answered, “Actually, I avoid them like the plague. I don’t watch them online, and when I see movies in theaters, I often whip out my Kindle and plug my ears. If I’m on the aisle, I leave and get a Diet Coke. Trailers give away everything. They give away jokes. More than that, they orient you to the narrative in a way I don’t like being oriented. (Of course, I have the luxury of going into a movie not knowing what it’s even about because I get paid to do so, but that’s my preferred way to work – to be left in the hands of the storyteller.) As for as awful ones I have seen… I remember Nebraska in particular as being terrible because the pace and tone of that movie are antithetical to the way mainstream trailers work. It said quirky. Offbeat. Lovable. Among the best, I recall Batman Returns as being so great. I thought the movie itself was an overrated shambles – a really terrible piece of storytelling – but even Tim Burton’s worst movies have so many good images and set-pieces that they really read in trailers.”

For the rest of us, trailers are either a pain or a pleasure.


  • Allan Arkush - Contributor to Trailers from Hell; he worked in the trailer department for Roger Corman
  • Stephen Garrett - Founder of Jump Cut
  • Sam Hatch - Co-hosts The Culture Dogs on WWUH
  • Kevin O’Toole - Co-hosts The Culture Dogs on WWUH

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Lydia Brown, John Dankosky, Greg Hill, Tucker Ives, Harriet Jones, Betsy Kaplan, Jonathan McNicol, Patrick Skahill, Catie Talarski, and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired July 2, 2014.

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Lily is the senior producer for The Colin McEnroe Show. She first worked at Connecticut Public as an intern in 2014. She has previously worked for WBUR, KUNC and as a producer for the New England News Collaborative's weekly show Next. Lily can be reached at ltyson@ctpublic.org.
Colin McEnroe is a radio host, newspaper columnist, magazine writer, author, playwright, lecturer, moderator, college instructor and occasional singer. Colin can be reached at colin@ctpublic.org.
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