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Super Bowl XLVII Movie Spots

This year, in the 47th annual Super Bowl, the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers get a turn to compete for the NFL championship. Football fans all over the country will watch to see who wins, and the rest of us will either watch for the commercials or tune out entirely.

I’ve long been curious about the interest and the money that goes into the Super Bowl sponsorship every year. The subject peaks my interest because it only seems to get crazier every year. Each new batch of commercials is more outlandish than the last, with increasing amounts of money getting funnelled into them. It’s gotten to the point where who gets commercial space is considered every bit as newsworthy as who’s playing in the game.

Even crazier, the Super Bowl commercials have escaped the confines of the Super Bowl. Kia’s ad this year has been playing in multiplexes for a while now. I’ve seen tonight’s commercial by GoDaddy advertised on YouTube and Facebook for some time. Just two days ago, Marvel released a teaser for their Iron Man 3 spot, effectively making a commercial for a commercial! It’s anyone’s guess as to the reasoning behind this rampant proliferation, but I have my own simple theory: If corporations are going to spend so many millions on a 30-second spot, they’re going to make damn sure you see it.

But here’s the thing that perplexes me: This phenomenon seems limited exclusively to the Super Bowl. Does anyone recap the commercials being played during the Olympics? Does anyone care who sponsors the Oscars or the Grammys? When’s the last time anyone watched a game of basketball or baseball strictly for the ads? Hell, all of America was glued to their TV screens for the presidential election last year, but the ads were just more of the same. Not that I’m complaining, of course, I’m just curious as to what makes this one event so overwhelmingly special.

I deeply wish that I could ignore the Super Bowl completely, but alas, I am a movie blogger. If Hollywood is spending so many millions of dollars to promote their movies, I have a sort of obligation to listen. So I’m going to sit tight in front of my TV and do a live blog about the movie spots airing with this year’s Super Bowl.

Oz the Great and Powerful

I still haven’t made up my mind about this one. As much as I hate Tim Burton’s godawful Alice in Wonderland film and all that it’s wrought (Mia Wasikowska’s career excluded), I love too much of the talent involved with this picture. James Franco is a phenomenal actor, even if he bungled the Oscars hosting job something awful a few years back. Also, what’s not to love about Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis, or Michelle Williams?

The film boasts Sam Raimi in the director’s chair, and I’ll grudgingly admit that his vision of Oz looks incredible. In particular, the flying monkeys and the Wicked Witch look absolutely terrifying. On the other hand, what little I’ve heard of the script and the dialogue leave me very unimpressed. As if to prove my point, it’s worth noting that this spot showed only the absolute bare minimum of dialogue and instead let the visuals do the talking. Still, it’s not like the premise needs much explaining, and the visuals do indeed look beautiful.

I remain skeptical, but we’ll see how the film shakes out soon enough. It’s only set to come out March 8th, after all.

Fast & Furious 6

What’s there to say about this one? The stunts look incredible, the heist film structure is being carried over, and The Rock’s character is getting more involved in the proceedings. It’s like more of everything I loved about the last film, but with Gina Carano and military vehicles thrown in. This Memorial Day, my ticket is sold.

Star Trek Into Darkness

I don’t know how J.J. Abrams does it. How could anyone show us so much while telling us precisely nothing? After a teaser, a trailer, a Super Bowl spot, and so many years of speculation, we still don’t know any more about the premise or the villain of this film than we did back in 2009. Still, it’s always nice to hear more of Benedict Cumberbatch’s dulcet tones. Also, the “Battlestar Galactica” fan in me is tickled by the visual of the Enterprise falling from the sky. Of course, in BSG, the maneuver was done for tactical purposes. I somehow doubt that in this case, the Enterprise is falling on purpose.

Well, if nothing else, we know that Abrams will really be putting the iconic spaceship through its paces like never before when Star Trek Into Darkness is finally unveiled on May 17th.

Snitch

Hm. Looks to me like a boilerplate action vehicle for The Rock. Still, I’d much rather have him making empty action films than godawful kids’ tripe. To be entirely honest, I’m amazed that any studio would’ve sprung for a Super Bowl spot so close to a film’s release. In point of fact, who is the studio behind this film? It’s strange that the commercial didn’t say.

*Wikipedia search*

Well, that’s odd. As far as I can tell, this film was a joint production between Exclusive Media (previously responsible for End of Watch and The Woman in Black, among others), Participant Media (the studio whose name is synonymous with socio-political cinema), and Image Nation (they helped fund The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Men in Black III, strangely enough).

I don’t know how it’s possible, but this looks like an independent feature. Suddenly, I’m much more interested to see how the critical reception turns out when Snitch is released on February 22nd.

Iron Man 3

Now that’s what I’m fucking talking about!

After so many posters and trailers to show Tony Stark in mortal danger, it’s about time we saw him being awesome. It may have only been a truncated thirty-second look at an action scene, but it was still great to see Iron Man taking flight and saving people as only a superhero could do. Yes, I am a little annoyed by the Facebook cop-out, but it’s good to know that there’s more material waiting beyond the 30-second limit.

Iron Man 3 hits on May 3rd. Be there.

The Lone Ranger

I want to believe in this film, folks. Heaven knows this spot looks somewhat promising. Still, I’ve been hearing all manner of awful stories about this film’s bloated budget and behind-the-scenes drama. In fact, Disney made a huge mistake right off the bat when they agreed to cast the film’s most bankable star as the sidekick. This is probably the first time I’ve ever seen a promo for this film in which the title character was more prominent than Tonto. Hopefully, this will be indicative of the film as a whole. Time will tell when the film comes out on July 3rd.

World War Z

There are no words to adequately express my apathy toward this picture. I have no idea how the filmmakers took such an absolutely brilliant book and turned it into what’s apparently the most generic zombie film yet made. By all appearances, this looks like “World War Z” in name only. Then again, given the book’s unusual structure, maybe it was foolish of the filmmakers to try adapting it in the first place.

Do yourself a favor and be sure to read Max Brooks’ awesome novel before this film comes out on June 21st.

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