The Oscar for Saving the Audience from the Worst Movie goes to...
I have always appreciated movie trailers as thrilling precis -- two hours of film, compressed into less than two minutes of the best scenes, the funniest gags, the greatest lines of dialogue. But really, there are two kinds of trailers: some you should see instead of the movie, others, in anticipation of it.
Why would you sit through two hours of Terminator 3, when you can see the best explosions in a small, convenient package, saving you nearly 120 minutes of sitting in a dark room, watching Arnie grow old?
Why would you suffer through 101 minutes of a failed attempt by Rob Schneider to grow beyond 2 minute SNL skits in the 'Hot Chick', when you can experience him in his original 2 minute comfort zone, by watching the trailer (2 minutes, 28 seconds.)
The "Die An Other Day" trailer manages to pack the entire plot, the three best explosions, the neatest gadgets, the titties!-money-shot (thanks Halle!) and all three lines of witty dialogue into a mere 2 minutes and 22 seconds!
But, you may find yourself asking, "What if I really, really like the trailer? Halle is just so hot! Pierce is just so handsome!" Then, by all means, watch the trailer again! Don't, in the case of this movie (and most others), unless you have a penchant for masochism, make the mistake of seeing the actual movie. Save yourself ten dollars and 130 precious minutes -- time in which you could garner every worthy moment from sixty other movies, for free!
Indeed, one or two of the sixty other movies may actually be worth seeing -- and their trailers, too.
Some trailers, quite apart from the movies themselves, are true works of art. They give no hint of plot (or explosions or boobs to come) and only toss out an occasional line of dialogue. Instead, they speak a subtler language. Alluring music, a character's contorted face, a passionate kiss, a surprised look, an intrigueing scene set-up, lush colors... After two minutes, you are left not with an incomplete plot, but an overwhelming feeling of wonder, curiosity, amazement. And you just have to see it, must see it. You have to watch the movie of which that too short wonder was born.
The trailer for "Talk to Her" is one of my favorites in this genre.
The teaser trailers for "Puch-Drunk Love", which can be found here, under the movies section (try "Jeremy Blake's Love"),
the trailer for "Adaptation", and the teaser trailer for "Hulk".
Apple's Quicktime Movie Trailers section contains a nearly completele collection of movie trailers for current, just past, and upcoming movies -- around 200 clips at any given time. It's a treasure trove, really.