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Trailer Round-Up (Super Bowl 2012)

A couple of weeks ago, all of Portland groaned in disgust. The 49ers had lost to the Giants, blowing our chance to have a team represent the West Coast at the Super Bowl. It was now the Patriots vs. the Giants, with halftime entertainment courtesy of Madonna.

So basically, there’s really only one reason why any Portlander would watch the big game this year. Yes, I’m referring to the commercials.

Super Bowl commercials are made a bigger and bigger deal every year. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly common for websites, TV stations, and movie theaters to show clips of Super Bowl commercials, so that viewers might be encouraged to tune in and watch the whole thing. Commercials for commercials. Ye Gods.

Anyway, the Super Bowl has become an advertising tentpole for numerous corporations, and the major movie studios in Hollywood are no exception. We’ll be getting to the Super Bowl previews for upcoming films in a minute, but there’s something I need to get off my chest first. This isn’t a movie commercial, but it is movie-related. If you haven’t seen it already, this leaked online some time ago.

Sweet merciful Apollo, it’s painful to watch this.

First of all, way to totally miss the point of the character. The entire movie was about sticking it to authority and making fun of expensive shit we don’t need. And now Matthew Broderick is selling out one of his most iconic characters so Honda can use nostalgia to sell cars. John Hughes would not approve.

Secondly, what the hell is up with Broderick’s acting?! I know Broderick’s career has taken a nose dive over the past few decades, but Jesus Christ. I’m not sure how to describe what’s going on in my head as I watch this, other than invoking the Uncanny Valley. It’s like I’m watching something that looks and sounds so much like the real thing, but without any of the emotion, energy, or warmth of the genuine article.

Yes, this video prompted me to describe a flesh-and-blood person as an uncanny automaton, and a fictional character as the real thing. I don’t know if it’s me or the commercial, but something is seriously wrong here.

*sigh* Anyway, that’s out of my system. Let’s get to the coming attractions.

This commercial leaves me nonplussed, mostly because there’s nothing in here of value that I haven’t already seen in the full trailer. That aside, I’m not sure what to think. On the one hand, what I’ve seen of the movie so far makes it look like a huge waste of comedic potential, both for the subject matter and for Sacha Baron Cohen’s talents. On the other hand, Cohen’s brand of humor is known for being rather risque, and it’s entirely possible that the advertisers are holding back on the raunchier and more controversial jokes. I suppose time will tell when The Dictator is released on May 11.

Oh, and by the way, I appreciate that Megan Fox has a sense of humor. It’s nice to see Fox embrace her status as a pretty-looking punchline, much like Pamela Anderson did before her.

The advertisers are making it very difficult for me to stay optimistic about this film. First they take the all-important “of Mars” from the title, then they make totally generic looking posters, then they give the film an impossibly bland title design, here celebrated in this mess of a commercial. Unless you’re watching this commercial one frame at a time, I can’t imagine how anyone is supposed to see anything noteworthy here. Seriously, how could any studio be having such a hard time marketing an epic space fantasy in a post-Avatar age?!

John Carter comes out on March 9th. I can only hope that it validates all those decades in development hell and puts these worthless advertisements to shame.

God, I hope this movie doesn’t suck. Yes, I know that the track record of Dr. Seuss adaptations is spotty at best. Yes, I know that a lot of the voice actors seem like they were cast to fill out the poster more than anything else. Still, in these environmentally aware times, bringing the Lorax to the screen just feels right. And for all my forebodings about the cast, how could anyone beat Danny DeVito as the Lorax? Additionally, though the humor does look a touch obnoxious, it’s still a far cry from the lowbrow pop culture references and scatological humor that come standard with movies like these.

The Lorax comes out on March 2nd. If it blows, at least we’ll still have the original story and the TV adaptation.

No matter what happens, this isn’t going to end well. The Universal/Hasbro relationship has fallen on hard times lately, as several of their collaborations have fallen out of development over the past few years. Even their planned Candy Land adaptation recently went from a fantasy epic to an Adam Sandler vehicle. Seriously.

Studio politics aside, there’s no way this movie isn’t going to make money. For better or worse, it’s just too darn similar to the multi-billion dollar Transformers franchise, and Universal is smart to market it as such. Then again, there’s also a small possibility that it might get drowned out (pun!) by the crowded summer schedule. I suppose that all the Transformers fans out there might stay away from a fake or maybe they’ve grown tired after three movies, but who are we kidding here?

Battleship comes to theaters May 18. But if you’re smart, you’ll be ignoring that film in favor of…

Now this is what I’m fucking talking about!

Finally, we get a trailer for this film that focuses on the group as a whole, instead of just on Iron Man. Finally, we get some awesome shots of Hulk. Finally, we’re seeing all the heroes suiting up, fighting together, and just being badass. Oh, and we also get a brief glimpse of the alien menace helping Loki, which Marvel has been very stringent about keeping under wraps.

This is how it’s done, folks. The commercial is superbly put together and the movie looks even more awesome for it. The Avengers comes out on May 4, but you should already know that if you’re a good movie geek.

*yawn* All I’m seeing is a head-scratching quotation from Jay-Z, a bunch of action I couldn’t care less about, and some new toys for Hasbro to sell. Also, Bruce Willis playing a generic action star. At least Cobra Commander now looks more like he did in the comics and cartoons, I guess that’s kinda cool.

I didn’t bother seeing the first G.I. Joe movie, and nothing in this commercial encourages me to get started with the franchise. In any event, G.I. Joe: Retaliation¬†hits on June 29th.

My attitude toward this movie has long been one of apathy. Aside from the involvement of one beautiful and talented Jennifer Lawrence, I have absolutely no investment in this film one way or another. I have a similar attitude toward the books, as the first one was good enough that I could enjoy reading through it, but not good enough that I felt like reading the sequels. All of that said, there’s one question that I feel compelled to ask: Are we actually going to see the Hunger Games in this picture?!

I’ll grant that I haven’t been following this production very closely, but I’ve yet to see a single commercial, trailer, or poster for this film that shows more than the barest glimpse of the actual games. This commercial goes on for a full minute, showing us glimpses of almost all the major characters and the relationships between them, and it also gives us an idea of just how important and fatal the event is. So basically, this commercial shows us everything except the one thing that takes up half the book, contains all the movie’s action, and provides the franchise with its title!

Fortunately, those who are hoping for a film that delivers on its premise won’t have to wait much longer. The Hunger Games¬†hits theaters this March 23rd.

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