Monday, February 8, 2016

A Reel Opinion: The Super Bowl Movie Trailers: The Good, The Bad, & The Glorious

The National Football League; the premier sports-league in the United States, and the movie industry have evolved into a mutually beneficial relationship over the years. The NFL often uses cinematic themes and borrows from popular films to sell its product with all the drama and fun it can find, and the movie industry is more than happy to spend a few million promoting their films during and at games. There is arguably no other event in sports that is bigger than the Super Bowl, and the film industry always capitalizes on the opportunity to catch the attention of people it might not otherwise get. This year, at the 50th Super Bowl, there was, once again, plenty of Good, Bad, and Glorious efforts. Here’s how they broke down:
JASON BOURNE – If you’re going to debut a new trailer at the Super Bowl, you might as well show something new. The fifth entry in this action-spy franchise used the opportunity to not only debut new footage, but for the first time, give up the title of the film; JASON BOURNE. High marks for taking full advantage of the night.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS – Looked exactly like you’d expect a movie to look like involving mutated turtles and rhinos running around fighting each other. Plus it gave us the first look at a fan-favorite villain for the first time.
10 CLOVERFIELD LANE – Actually ran before the game started, but this quick spot for the CLOVERFIELD sequel created a lot of tension without giving away the farm.
DEADPOOL – The latest, and perhaps one of the last trailers for the much-anticipated comic-book flick was full of laughs and action. If someone isn’t sold on this character by now, they never will be.
INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE – Started off strong with aliens attacking a formation of military jets doing a flyover at a football game (nice tie-in), but then regressed into an unfocused mess of CGI overload. No semblance of story or character to care about. And while we’re at it…the film feels like it’s taking itself way too seriously. The first INDEPENDENCE DAY film was all about fun.
X-MEN: APOCALYPSE – Fans of this long-running superhero franchise were thrilled to get a good look at fan-favorite Psylocke (Olivia Munn), but the rest of it was another unfocused headache of CGI overkill. No hint of a story to care about.
GODS OF EGYPT – Just more CGI fuckery with Gerard Butler yelling really loud.
THE NO-SHOWS – You get negative points for not showing up. The new GHOSTBUSTERS film has been met with vile from long-time fans, and a good Super Bowl spot would have been a great time to try and turn the tide. They didn’t bother, so they’re still ice-skating uphill. There were also noticeable absences from big releases such as WARCRAFT, NOW YOU SEE ME 2, THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR, LONDON HAS FALLEN, and Pixar’s FINDING DORY.
THE JUNGLE BOOK – This brilliant trailer was presented under the guise of a widescreen format (with black bars on the top and bottom of the screen), only to have the various animals leap out of that frame in a great effect that was better than any goddamn 3D. And as a bonus, we finally got to hear Bill Murray as Baloo the Bear.
EDDIE THE EAGLE – This trailer for the film about Britain’s first Olympic ski-jumper was packed with real-life NFL players. It was a nice tie-in and a natural fit.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR – United we stand, divided we fall! That was the chilling chant which kicked off the new trailer from the third CAPTAIN AMERICA solo film and the next chapter in Marvel’s series of connected films. Lots of new footage was shown in this epic showdown of super-friends battling each other.
HULK VS. ANT-MAN – Not really a trailer, but a commercial for Coca-Cola (cross-promotions are becoming more and more of a thing), had Marvel’s biggest hero (the Hulk) and their smallest (Ant-Man) fighting over a can of Coke. It was funny, it was fun, and a pleasant surprise.
BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE – Again, not really a trailer, but a commercial for Turkish Air which came in two versions. The first spot promoting this highly anticipated film of rock-em-sock-em superheroes actually aired before the game, and was set up as tourism commercial for Gotham City…complete with Ben Affleck in character as Bruce Wayne. It was short and sweet, and looked legitimate enough to fool anyone in the first few seconds, and it gave us a first real look and feel for Affleck’s take on the character. This was followed up by a similar tourism commercial for (ahem) rival city Metropolis; complete with a few quick flybys by the Man of Steel, and Jesse Eisenberg in character as Lex Luthor. Both spots ended with a nice standoff between The Batman and Superman. Very well done.
Watch all of the trailers HERE

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