Infernal Affairs (2002)
dir. Wai-keung Lau and Alan Mak
Shit, we've got a no-English-speaking movie we gotta sell to a we-don't-like-to-read-subtitles public. Let's play up the accolades. All the critics loved this movie. We'll put up a list of all the awards. Oh, but wait, we don't folks to think this is just some artsy movie—those don't sell. Mention the cops and robbers plot; Americans love that shit. But we can't have snippets of dialogue; again subtitles Americans no like. We'll get an American narrator.
So step right up folks, we've got a hard-boiled crime picture that the critics also like, but not so much that it's artsy, and there's violence and...what was that about a foreign language and subtitles? We didn't say anything about a foreign language and subtitles. Who said anything about a foreign language and subtitles.
[Infernal Affairs trailer:]
The Departed (2006)
dir. Martin Scorsese
By this point in his career, Scorsese was more than just a well-known commodity, he was synonymous with everything that was right about cinema in general and gangster movies in particular. And so, when advertising any of his movies, studios knew enough to play up Scorsese's involvement. Hence this trailer's opening: a dark silhoutte walks across what appears to be an auto shop and pontificates on the right and wrong side of the law. Intercut with this are images of Leo in prison and Damon in uniform. And, oh yeah, did I mention "Gimme Shelter?" Oh shit, is this another Scorsese gangster picture? Sure enough, it is. Sweet awesomeness.
By the way, it's no accident that the final title image in the trailer bears more than a passing resemblance to the poster for Scorsese's breakout picture, Mean Streets.
[The Departed trailer:]