We (I use the royal We now when referring to Hulu) added a section of our site for movie trailers today. More to come, but having not been to the movies recently, I feel out of the loop on what's coming. For example, this trailer for Valkyrie, apparently based on a true story. Tom Cruise tried to kill Hitler--who knew?
In watching the latest Harry Potter trailer, I was reminded of a recent talk given by Brad Bird at Skirball here in LA. They offer a series in which luminaries come in to speak and screen a movie of their choice. Bird had chosen to screen Dr. Zhivago, an epic romance, since he's writing and directing a live action epic romance of his own, 1906, about the earthquake and fire in San Francisco in said year. (Brad Bird moving to live action--who knew? Not me, I'm oblivious to all but the latest poll numbers. Nov. 5 can't come quickly enough)
Bird noted that he preferred the Lord of the Rings trilogy over the Harry Potter movies because the former honored the spirit of the books whereas the latter attempted to hew to the literal word. Movies and books are different mediums, something I strongly agree with, and have very different strengths.
His favorite of the Harry Potter movies was the third, the same choice as most every person I've spoken to. I have not read any Harry Potter books other than the first, and perhaps that's aided my enjoyment of the movies.
Something my old roommate and movie buff Scott said about trailers has always stuck with me: they are a brutish art form. That said, they are useful case studies in the art of condensed storytelling.