Trailer Takes: Super Bowl LII TV Spots Edition

Trailer Takes: Super Bowl LII TV Spots Edition


Avengers: Infinity War

Juliana: This trailer started playing during the Super Bowl while I was facetiming my dad, and his expression sums up pretty much everything that I feel towards it: full-on shock, eyes wide open, jaw dropped, total excitement. It’s incredible, and it’s beautiful, and I don’t think there will ever be a moment when I’m not hyped up for this movie. The orchestral background music just keeps getting better and better, now reaching the point where thirty seconds is enough to blow my mind. And speaking of thirty seconds: can I just say that I’m legitimately impressed with how much Marvel can put in a trailer? In the past 24 hours, I have seen numerous fan videos about easter eggs and cameos, and each of them includes a more awesome theory than the previous one. We’re also definitely getting to seeing the return of more characters in this trailer, like Nebula, as well as some other new features, like Captain America’s shield being replaced by some interesting Wakandan weapon. Anyways, I wish I could say more, but I can’t. I’m shook. I’m speechless. I’m seriously wondering if Peter Parker will be OK, despite the fact that the Spiderman: Homecoming sequel is a thing. I’m in love with everything about this movie, and I’ll definitely be watching it opening weekend.

Jake:It’s all finally coming together. I’ll never not be worried about Infinity War’s massive roster of characters, but I have faith in the Russo brothers to bring together the massive cast and tell a coherent story. If you think about it, that’s what they’ve been doing since Arrested Development and throughout their time with Community: taking massive groups of talented actors and interwoven plotlines and making something great. If there was ever a great application to direct Infinity War, it was Civil War. I doubt I could make any points here about the small easter eggs peppered throughout the trailer that haven’t been repeated ad nauseum from every other news outlet around the world (Iron Spider! Bleeding Edge armor!), but I will say how happy I am to be proven wrong, time and time again, by Kevin Feige and the team at Marvel. I’ve always got the same lingering fear that the next Marvel movie will pop the superhero bubble that my 8 year old self would have lost his mind over, and despite some setbacks (hot take: Thor Ragnarok wasn’t that good) there has been a consistent level of quality coming from Marvel Studios that is simply unprecedented. Looking forward to only being able to buy a ticket for a reasonably timed showing weeks after release

Eman: That feeling when The Avengers (2012) first came out six years ago is being amplified now. Seeing our six heroes together in a big movie back then was huge. This time around, there’s a reported SIXTY-FOUR main characters in the movie. We tributed Infinity War its own extensive trailer take when the first trailer dropped, so I won’t say much here. But man, imagine years ago, being a kid growing up reading comics and being just content with the Spider-Man and Batman solo outings, and getting super excited when there was a little easter egg in a Batman movie about Metropolis just existing. Now we have Dr. Strange, Iron Man, and Spider-Man in the same freaking shot! Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy hanging out! Black Panther being a major player of the team! Shit’s wild! But I digress. Everytime I hear that Avengers theme, I get chills. I only hope that the Russo brothers can put together some iconic imagery on the level that Whedon was able to in The Avengers. The solemn take of this Big Game teaser spot is effective, and I have faith in Marvel 100% on this one. They’re spoiling us this year with this bad boy, AND Black Panther, AND Ant-Man and the Wasp!


The Cloverfield Paradox —

Juliana: Wait, this movie is already out? What?! Well, I guess I’m happy for the fans of this franchise, since the wait for this one is apparently already over! I absolutely adore the live feed camera effect they used for the trailer. The constant buzzing in and out must have made it seem like a live transmission for those watching it during the game, even if the Netflix logo in the corner breaks the effect a bit. I don’t have much background on what this movie is about, but the small flashes of overall murder and creepiness have me hooked, and the woman narrating the message – Ava Hamilton (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) – will give me nightmares. Unfortunately, one of the biggest drawbacks from this risky all-of-a-sudden release is that a quick Google search on the cast ended up spoiling some bad reviews. But all in all, I’d argue that this is one of the most hauntingly beautiful trailers I’ve seen lately, and I might end up watching it while surfing through my Netflix options.

Jake: Oh boy. For some context to my take, the Cloverfield series (anthology? Borderline-experimental freakshow?) has been leading the pack with advertising through Alternate Reality Games for a while now. They’ll drop a hint about the plot on a website, and a team of addicted puzzle solvers will crack a code or find a password, which will lead to the next clue, and so on and so forth. These have always been on the periphery of my attention- I follow them when something pops up in a news feed, etc. It’s fun. It’s nice to watch a dedicated fanbase delve deeper into these films’ universe and make wild theories. But I don’t think any theorists could have predicted anything like this. In a genre-hopping, mind-bending series about seemingly whatever a director wants with the word “monster” appended to the end of their description, this might have been the most shocking thing they could do. The trailer itself? It looked pretty good, it confronted me with my own deep-seated fear of the vastness of space, and it gave me some minor Alien vibes. That being said, I think the best part about these movies has always been what they keep from the audience and the mysteries they set up. I’m worried that in an attempt to give us answers, the movie might ruin some some of the allure of the previous films and stop some of that crazy passion to craft theories. Satisfaction is the death of desire, after all.

Eman: How ballsy is it that the first trailer drops for this movie and ends with “by the way, the movie releases TONIGHT!” The marketing for the Cloverfield movies has been aces since the first one came out a decade ago, which had a mysterious trailer with no title at the end. The second, 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), dropped a trailer after nobody knew it was even being filmed and declared it was releasing in just a month. Now, with The Cloverfield Paradox, and the help of Netflix as a distributor, we can still breathe easy that secrets can still be kept in the Age of Twitter. I’m all for it. These movies have always been super inventive and clever so I’m ready to take that ingenuity to space, in what might explain that tiny easter egg at the end of the first film which many believe was the reason that monster came around in the first place. In addition to being somewhat of a straight prequel/sidequel to the first, I’m also excited for it to continue the spiritual sequel identity of the second film: the whole theme of monsters not only being huge Godzilla-like beasts, but also unlikely terrible people. And if this movie sucks somehow, I’ll still be content with its existence just because this franchise gives new talent a shot at high concept mid-budget sci-fi. And the marketing guts. I mean, c’mon, the first one had an excellent viral campaign shrouded in mystery; the second one was surprise-announced; this third one is released the same night as its first trailer; for all we know, the fourth one will have you walking down the street and suddenly realizing you’re part of the movie!


Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Juliana: I’m confused. The previous movie, Jurassic World, had ended up a mass evacuation after the dinosaurs took over. The sequel continuing the story of this park seems like the next logical move (creating another park would have just been ludicrous), but what exactly are they going to do there? Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) have come back to save them, but their plan doesn’t seem to make any sense. Are they transporting them? Are they keeping them in the same park? If so, why did they even return to the park in the first place? There’s also some new bad guys, including Toby Jones’ character, who wants to show “the future” (a.k.a. another monstrous dinosaur). Again, I’m not really sure how any of this can even happen, considering that the previous super-genetically-engineered dinosaur in Jurassic World basically released hell and caused many civilian deaths in the previous movie, but, okay, it’s the Jurassic Park franchise, I can look past it. And then there’s this little girl, who I just can’t wrap my head around. How is there a dinosaur in her room? And does every one of these movies have to have a kid being threatened by one? This movie definitely has some good things going for it. The theme song triggers some great nostalgia, the special effects to create the dinosaurs are impeccable, and Chris Pratt is, as always, a delight to watch. However, I’m seriously starting to have my doubts on this movie’s plot.

Jake: The rebooted Jurassic World series is about a group of people who take a dead concept and bring it back to life. What they brought back, however, is a terrible monster that although initially alluring ends up ruining everything. Either the filmmakers are horrifyingly self-aware and playing a massive cruel joke on the American film industry, or Jurassic World is the work of people too far up their own asses to recognize what a wonderful metaphor they’ve made for their own film. I don’t know which is worse.

Eman: Okay, let’s get this out of the way: Jurassic World (2015) is garbage. Sure it’s dull mind-numbing CGI on a screen, but it’s also just horrible written. It tries to present that it’s disgusted with blockbusters while being a blockbuster and any intrigue of the push and pull of the film’s thematics is undercut by a script that is so devoid of real characters and by set pieces that have the slack aimlessness of pre-viz allowed to run amok. The iRex’s role as carnivorous McGuffin makes it essentially boring (all it wants to do is create enough carnage to keep the movie going). There are a number of set pieces that seem to exist only because they were pre-visualized and worked on when CGI started before shooting did, and the movie bends over backwards to fit them in. It’s unfair to compare its set pieces to the work that Spielberg did in Jurassic Park, but even looking at Jurassic World on its own terms it’s hard to find a single set piece that sings, that tells a story within its own boundaries, that grows tension and excitement. Most characters have arcs that are missing the middle, bringing them from their start point directly to their end point. I can’t help but perceive Jurassic World 2 as more of the same drab. This time around, even the premise seem ridiculously dumb, by world-that-has-a-dinosaur-theme-park standards! I especially detest its attempts at trying to establish an audience connection with Blue, apparently one of Chris Pratt’s raptors from the previous film. It’s obvious how the cliched story will go along for this little dino: she was all alone after the evacuation from the previous film, forgets Pratt altogether, and then at the last moment will save Pratt (and children) from the evil dino. There are so many ideas that are either too predictable and just plain bad on display here (what the hell is that stalker-y dinosaur creeping on the little girl in bed?). But hey, I’m not a studio suit financing the sequel to a billion-dollar movie, so what do I know? Having dinosaurs are always cooler than not having dinosaurs, right?


Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Juliana: This movie is probably going to fall into a standard spy-going-rogue narrative, but, quite frankly, original narratives aren’t what make me keep watching these movies. What makes the Mission Impossible series so entertaining are the ridiculous action scenes performed by Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt. And, boy, they definitely didn’t hold back on those for this trailer. Cruise slips off a cliff, throws people against concrete beams, crashes multiple vehicles, and even falls of a freaking helicopter. When you think they can’t get any crazier, they somehow find a way to take it up a notch. I also fully expect Hunt and his crew to face some mad espionage stuff (I think I saw a wall of water just casually defying gravity, and it was somehow both ridiculous and insanely cool). Honestly, this trailer just delivered so many impossible spy moves, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Jake: We collectively as a society need to inform Tom Cruise that he needs to slow down. One of the shots included in this trailer shows him actually, IN REAL LIFE, breaking his ankle. Tom, it’s okay. We know you can do your own stunts. We’ve seen you do them, and you’re really good, buddy. We’re all very proud. Maybe it’s time to consider just one stuntman? In all seriousness, this trailer looked awesome. I recognize that a reliance on franchises and sequels might be killing original thought in the film industry, but I have absolutely no compunctions about wholeheartedly supporting the death of art if it means I get to watch Tom Cruise fight a mustachioed Henry Cavill. These movies consistently deliver some of the best action a guy like me could ask for, and I look forward to buying a large popcorn and soda and turning off my brain to watch this movie as Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick begin to breakdance in their graves.

Eman: Now THIS is a trailer; for sure, the best movie trailer on Game Day by far. Not messing around with playing coy, not stuck at 30 seconds long, giving us a good look at old friends and new things for Tom Cruise to dangle from… I am all about this first trailer for Mission: Impossible – Fallout. It is edited supremely, jammed packed with so much delectable action and intrigue, with hearkening back to using a fun soundtrack song that uses elements of the film’s theme song (aside from Bond, it seems like that’s gone away for too long in favour of “BWAM” and “wistful/EDM cover of a classic pop song”). And that Dunkirk-esque shot of the water filling of the room sideways! Initially, I was hesitant about keeping McQuarrie on as director; Rogue Nation was awesome, but I liked that each installment in the franchise had a different filmmaker’s creative stamp on it. But his classical formalism is just beautiful to watch in tandem with the sick action being put onscreen. We’re in a golden age of stuntwork with these movies. Biggest thing to note is that each film has had its “big” stunt which Cruise performed himself in real life in efforts to one-up is previous ones (Burj Khalifa in MI4, dangling from a plane in MI5); here, there seems to be at least three or four moments that could take that “big” stunt title, which is a spoil of riches for moviegoers. Also, Henry Cavill is looking to be doing excellent work here. The cgi Stache-less Superman was totally worth it because this mustache is magnificent. And that bathroom brawl sequence literally made me gasp with how brutally impactful every punch was made to be. Bruiser Cavill is the best Cavill. Of course the cast and action looks great, but I’m additionally really into this plot. For the first time in Mission: Impossible history, Ethan Hunt will have to go rogue to solve an issue. Just kidding. But for real, the idea that this is going to be some kind of Mission: Impossible culmination is very intriguing and I love that the movie finally acknowledges literally how absurdly many times Ethan Hunt has gone rogue or been disavowed (literally every Mission Impossible movie besides MI2). I was already a huge Mission Impossible fan, as is my whole family, but this trailer shot the movie straight to the top tier of my most anticipated movies for this year!


Solo: A Star Wars Story

Juliana: I remember reading about Alden Ehrenheich being cast as Han Solo, but I didn’t know they had such good actors lined up for this movie. Woody Harrelson stars as a mentor figure to Solo, which gave me some serious Hunger Games vibes. Emilia Clarke’s and Donald Glover’s characters serve as interesting additions to Solo’s crew, although Clarke’s line of being the only person to know what Solo really is was borderline cliché. I don’t really know how I feel about Ehrenheich as Solo, and I don’t think I know enough about the franchise to judge whether he does Harrison Ford justice. I’m glad that the character is getting further developed though, and, if the opening monologue is anything to go by, there’s some interesting stories to tell. And, if there’s one thing that’s undeniable, it’s that the visuals and special effects are simply breathtaking. Oh, that and they went a bit overkill on the flipping switches. I’m probably not as excited as many die-hard fans out there, but I’m excited that the wait for the first trailer drop is finally over.

Jake: Stop. Please. Please stop. Disney, you like money. This movie will get you money. We both know it. People will sell their grandma’s precious jewels and remortgage their houses to see Han Solo complete the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. But where do we draw the line? When do we finally stop shelling out our cash to see another paint-by-the-numbers movie where every artistic decision is dictated by nostalgia? Will the exit of your two original directors after the film was 98% complete be enough to drive away the fanboys that will go into mild catatonic shock because they get to see Chewie and Han meet for the first time? Will reports that Disney needed to bring in an acting coach mid-production to help the guy with the range of Plank  from Ed Edd n Eddy play the most charismatic smuggler in the galaxy stop the masses from tattooing images of Young Lando Calrissian in unmentionable places? Will the fact that EVERY LINE IN THIS TRAILER SOUNDS LIKE IT WAS LIFTED FROM WHAT AN EDGY MIDDLE-SCHOOLER MIGHT WRITE IN THEIR HAN SOLO FANFICTION stop a single person from praying to their shrine to the original trilogy that they might have the strength to wait in line for three weeks and not waste away in solemn misery before they can see the moment when Emilia Clarke inevitably dies and Han Solo decides to never care about a cause again? Of course not. We’ll all go out and watch this movie. And like Kevin Bacon entering Omega Theta Pi fraternity in Animal House, we will walk out and repeat as one: “Thank you sir. May I have another?” Individuality is dead and Mickey Mouse killed it. Ngl, Star Wars gets me a little heated.

Eman: There’s not much here for me to add to the Solo conversation that hasn’t already been said. Tons of behind the scenes issues, reshoots, and controversy over the mere idea of trying replicate a legend: but really, I’m not angry or anything. Alden Ehrenreich is a phenomenally likable actor (watch Hail Caesar!) and I feel he’s in a bit of a no-win situation performance-wise here, but I’m glad he’s not just doing a Harrison Ford impression. I kinda groove with the trailer until the moments in which he speaks though, so I can only hold out hope that Hail Caesar! wasn’t a fluke. As a mighty Star Wars geek, I always wanna see departures from the regular formulas and story arcs of core Star Wars, and while a Han Solo origin is not that, I like the visual flare of it all. It’s darker than I expected a swashbuckling space heist adventure to be, but damned if it ain’t still fun. Star Wars iconography has the best legs in pop culture; the Star Destroyer and Millennium Falcon are some of the best ship designs in film history and so much imagination can be spent in composing interesting shots around them. Although I do wonder how the Falcon went from its pristine condition here to the rustbucket it is in A New Hope. I mean, who are we kidding? We’re all gonna see it anyway because it’s Star Wars! And might I add that Childish Gambino as Lando is already oozing from what little we see of him!

Image Credits: IMDb

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