Eman: A large portion of this movie was filmed in my hometown. I even visited the set with my friends a couple of times between classes and eventually made it onto The Rock’s Instagram. So, of course, I have some bias towards Baywatch. Unfortunately, or perhaps thankfully, that bias was deflated by this Super Bowl spot. It’s evident that the comedy here is sort of a discount 21 Jump Street style of comedy, but with jokes that will definitely seem dated in the future. Baywatch doesn’t look to be a timeless action comedy satire (the opportunity is literally within grasp when we’re talkin’ about this source material!). The jokes aren’t really hitting, the music is very mellow, and it seems like they’re really pushing hard on how attractive their cast is rather than how entertaining this movie could be. And oh God, how bad is that green screen towards the end?!
Karis: I agree with Eman—the first thing that comes to my mind when watching the trailer is 21 Jump Street. I haven’t seen the original TV series with David Hasselhoff, so I can’t compare the two or judge how the movie will strike fans of the original series. The trailer fails to really capture my interest. It has a few mildly humorous jokes, a few explosions and action scenes, attractive actors in bathing suits, and no real storyline. It may be entertaining, but I have no real motivation to go see it in theater. I’ll probably spare myself the price of an AMC ticket and wait for it to premiere on HBO.
Mary: It’s hard to find enough enthusiasm for Baywatch—especially with this Super Bowl spot. I doubt even fans of the classic TV series will be vying for tickets on opening night. Perhaps the comedy is just simply not to my taste, but I feel like we’ve seen too many of these moderately amusing and substance-lacking films. Having been an avid Zac Efron fan from the High School Musical days, I am disappointed to see that he has been typecast into the same characters. His roles in Neighbors and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates are virtually indistinguishable, and I fear that his portrayal of Matt Brody in Baywatch is no exception. As for the trailer itself, it seems to only focus on the star-studded cast and their perfect physiques. In addition, while I am all for The Notorious B.I.G’s “Hypnotize” in the background, I find that it just contributes to the contrived nature of the film.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dwrh5cObgSw
Eman: I’m not the biggest fan of the first Guardians but I totally dig the zaniness, and Guardians 2 seems to be doubling down on the zany epic fun that the first film exhibited. There’s a great deal of expansion in the world building of Marvel’s cosmic setting and the makeup and special effects are leaving a nice impression. This was undoubtedly an exciting TV spot with the primary function of introducing the Guardians for this new adventure. It’s got the style of the first film but with a fresh playset. And Baby Groot. If anything, we’ll all go see this movie just to see Baby Groot. How can something be so cute? He didn’t even say “freakin.”
Karis: It’s a Marvel movie. Obviously it’s going to be entertaining and wildly successful. All of our favorite characters are back in action, and the new character, Mantis, will likely be a welcomed addition. I think it’s safe to say that this movie will look similar to the first: straightforward plot, a fun and upbeat vibe, lots of jokes, a cameo by Stan Lee, and an appearance by a Marvel character from another film. Not only am I excited for more Drax, but I also can’t wait to see what songs will be on this soundtrack. I am definitely looking forward to this movie.
Mary: I haven’t seen the first Guardians of the Galaxy, so I am not really sure what to expect from Vol. 2. However, that being said, Marvel usually does not fail to deliver in terms of excitement and entertainment. The diverse characters, crazy visuals, and plentiful comedic elements in this TV spot hint at a promising film. It also doesn’t get much better than Chris Pratt and Baby Groot. At the same time, part of me feels like I probably will not need to see this movie more than one time; like many other Marvel franchises, there is pretty much only action and adventure. However, I definitely look forward to letting loose and enjoying all the nuttiness Guardians of the Galaxy has to offer.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqftOTvYYd8&t=2s
Eman: Pirates of the Caribbean films have their ups and downs. Curse of the Black Pearl was pure swashbuckling fun (when I was kid, I could apparently quote the entire movie). Dead Man’s Chest expanded the world and had some inventive set pieces. At World’s End was divisive but the epic climactic battle at sea made it my favorite of the series. However, On Stranger Tides was one of my least favorite blockbuster films ever and I thought it stretched out and tainted the beloved Pirates branding. The first teaser for Dead Men Tell No Tales rubbed me the wrong way (why does Hollywood keep trying to shove Brenton Thwaites down our throats?). But I was definitely swayed by this Super Bowl spot. When it came on during the Big Game, I was pretty close to blown away. The tone and use of Johnny Cash (PSA: always use Johnny Cash) established my expectations and the spot delivered. There’s a lot to talk about in this short minute. Right away, I’ve gotta say the makeup work looks to be incredible this time around; I could absolutely feel the pain of the sunburn on the pirates’ faces, and every character seems to have a distinct pirate look. Speaking of looks: UNF at Barbosa. I must’ve went back to that closeup of his face a dozen times. There’s a dozen stories to be told by that face and that expression, and the juxtaposition with Javier Bardem’s villain jumping into frame behind him as he realizes what’s coming is a really cool touch. But oooooh those crystal blue eyes. There’s some great crisp work with cinematography and imagery, which is sort of new to the Pirates franchise. A sequence of the bad guys running across the water, with the camera looking up at their feet from underneath the water, is a particularly awesome, inventive shot. Will Turner’s back, and he’s got some marine deformation going on… looks like someone hasn’t been ferrying the dead as he should’ve? And the Jack reveal at the end is a welcome touch as he’s always been at the center of this franchise. Man, this was a lot. I initially did not wanna look forward to this movie after having been wronged by the fourth film. But darn you, Disney. You may parlay with me once again! Pirate’s life!
Karis: I had heard a while ago that there would be another Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but this was my first time seeing a trailer for it. I have mixed feelings about this sequel. I was intrigued by the trailer. The music (“Ain’t No Grave” by Johnny Cash) and the special effects do a great job of creating a dark, mysterious setting and capturing my interest in this film. The trailer played to my nostalgia for Pirates of the Caribbean movies very well. I’m glad to see Orlando Bloom will be reprising his character and I’m sure Javier Bardem will do a great job as his character. Also, we see Barbossa out of his customary outfit and with a new wig. Maybe we’ll be going back in time and see him pre-curse. The trailer’s caught my interest and I want to have high hopes for the movie, but this film series has let me down before. The sequels have failed to live up to the hype. The first film was awesome. The second and third were less great. I honestly don’t even remember what the fourth film was about. After watching this trailer, I am cautiously optimistic about this sequel.
Mary: This trailer does its job well, and it sets a relatively high expectation for the film. The visuals are stunning and there is just the right amount of information revealed. I may not know much about the general storyline, but I am already willing to give the film a chance. In the past, the only Pirates of the Caribbean movie that had any affect on me was the first one. The other three all seemed to morph together, as there was nothing particularly impressive or standout about them. I hope the same cannot be said about Dead Men Tell No Tales. With any luck, the refreshing and original cinematography, coupled with the appearances of Will Turner and Jack Sparrow, will make for a great fifth addition.
The Fate of the Furious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9FU7Ia-BKg
Eman: “THE RULES HAVE CHANGED.” Were there really ever any rules? The Fast & Furious franchise has evolved into a bonkers superhero series of movies. I loved the way Paul Walker’s death was handled in the end of Furious 7. And I like fun so I can handle crazy car stunts and cheesy one-liners. I think every one of these movies is a closer step to some kind of cartoon. I don’t know if I like it or if I’m insulted by it. There are some very obvious plot devices already. Hobbs obviously gets put into the maximum security prison just so he can exchange some tough guy jabs with Jason Statham and then they can be broken out and join the team. I’m curious about the motivations this time around, because they seemed quite heightened from an emotional standpoint in 7. How do they try to make these movies bigger and louder every time? This time, there’s a submarine. And Dom can apparently evade a missile by turning a car midair? I hope there’s space travel in Fast 9.
Karis: Full disclosure: I am not a fan of The Fast & Furious franchise. I have nothing against it, I just haven’t watched the movies. I have only seen the commercials for the many movies in this franchise, and every time I see one I think, “Really? They’re making another one?” It’s impressive; people must really like these movies for there to be an eighth one. I am always fascinated to see the intensity increasing in each movie. The cars are faster, the guns are bigger, the stunts are crazier. This time, cars are falling out of buildings, dodging wrecking balls, and driving across tundras. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on, but this movie is action-packed and seems very fun and entertaining. If you liked the first seven movies, I see no reason why you wouldn’t like this one.
Mary: Oh boy. Prior to watching this trailer, I was not even aware that we had more than three films in The Fast & Furious franchise, let alone eight. These films aren’t on my radar because I don’t find big explosions or flashy car races very compelling. While I do admit that my opinions are backed by very limited knowledge, I don’t feel the need to rewatch any/all of these movies. My philosophy is as follows: If you’re like me and had trouble getting through that one minute trailer, definitely don’t bother with the actual movie.
Eman: I don’t know what it is, but everything I see or read about this movie seems so uninteresting. Sure, you’ve got some great actors in tow, with what looks to be competent special effects and thrills. But this story seems so familiar that the suspense just is not felt at all. You’ve got your very obvious Alien ripoff when it comes to the conflict, and then you’ve got the added layer of the crew coming against each other. This should make it interesting, but I’m really just not feeling compelled at all. I’m numb to this film’s ambitions. This TV spot is especially unsatisfying because it’s unable to try to get across the arc of suspense that the movie wants to portray. Life just isn’t that interesting. Go figure.
Karis: Hmm. At the beginning, I found the trailer really interesting. The music and the darkness of the scene built suspense. As the trailer progressed, I thought, “Wait, didn’t someone do this movie already?” Like Eman mentioned, It seems to just be a 2017 remake of Alien. A crew is trapped with a dangerous extraterrestrial life form in space (where no one can hear them scream). Hopefully there’s more to this story, but right now this TV spot isn’t giving me much to be excited about. I will probably wait to see this when it comes out on Netflix and watch it when I feel like procrastinating on work.
Mary: When it comes to science fiction-horror films, I am pretty neutral. Life does nothing to change my stance. The pounding beat and screaming characters in the TV spot are not particularly refreshing. Like Eman and Karis, I find the familiarity of the storyline to be a let-down. I am also not particularly drawn to the visuals and the settings, probably because of the numerous outer-space movies that have come out in the past few years (Interstellar, Gravity, and The Martian). Although Life may be much more thrilling for those actually interested in science fiction and horror movies, I would not be completely opposed to seeing it. The 30 second trailer may have not have provided the best representation, and I wouldn’t mind learning more. At worst I would be mildly disinterested, and the reputable cast including Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds still has a chance at saving the film.
Image Credits: IMDb