Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Recap: 2017 Super Bowl Trailers

This year's Super Bowl has come and gone, but there's no doubting that this is a game that will be remembered for quite some time. Whether you hate the New England Patriots or not (I certainly do), you have to admit that it was one hell of a comeback, capping off an insane year for sports finals. Villanova's buzzer-beater to defeat UNC in the college basketball National Championship game, the miraculous comeback of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the first title for the Chicago Cubs in 108 years, a last-second touchdown to push Clemson over Alabama, and the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history- I'd say it was a pretty good year to be a sports fan.

But as much as I'd like to talk about some of those other events, I'm not here to do that. Of course, I'm here to talk about all of the movie trailers that debuted during the game! The studios love to drop teasers for their big releases during the most watched television event of the year, and 2017 was no different. There were 10 major ads for upcoming entertainment releases, and I'm not even including the pre-game spot that debuted for this Friday's John Wick: Chapter Two. That means that we have plenty to look forward to over the next several months, and while it doesn't all look great, the Super Bowl gave us a good glimpse at some hotly anticipated titles. Check out my recap of all the trailers from the big game below!


A Cure for Wellness has already screened for critics and audiences across the country, and unfortunately, when the embargo broke earlier today, the word wasn't all that positive. The film stands at 37% on Rotten Tomatoes and 46 on Metacritic, which is pretty brutal considering how impressive the trailers were, this TV spot included. Fox debuted two spots during the course of the evening, but this clever spot was the more engaging of the two. Even with the bad reviews, I'm still excited for this ambitious film and I'm hopeful that Gore Verbinski can deliver something memorable.


If you weren't sold by the first two trailers for Logan, this Super Bowl spot probably wasn't going to be the one to sell you. Set to a haunting rendition of "Amazing Grace," it highlights the somber vibe of the first R-rated Wolverine flick, while giving us another quick look at the action and the major players. I'm in all the way, and I can't wait to see this thing. Another excellent move by a fantastic marketing team.


I've been on the fence about Life, which seems like a bizarre, generic mash-up of Gravity and Alien. And when there's a new Alien film from Ridley Scott coming later in the year, what's the point of getting excited for the discount brand? However, this ad changed my mind just a little bit. They're clearly taking the Alien marketing model and running with it, but in the context of a big-budget sci-fi film, maybe that isn't such a bad thing. The final shot of Jake Gyllenhaal at the end is all kinds of intense, and I have to say, my interest is piqued. This could go very wrong, but I'm intrigued.


Out of all the trailers and TV spots, this new look at Ghost in the Shell gave us the least amount of new footage. Rupert Sanders' adaptation of the classic Japanese anime still looks visually stunning, even if I'm concerned that it could be a prime example of style over substance. Nonetheless, I hope that Ghost in the Shell is a massive hit, if only to encourage studios to make more bold, insane action films like this.


The Fate of the Furious looks like exactly what you would expect. Seriously, this franchise is not going to give you anything new. It's only going to get more and more ridiculous. But unlike some of the other sequels on this list, I'm still beyond excited for another chapter in this absurd action saga. I'm confident that this will be two hours of mind-numbing schlock, and when it comes to the Fast & Furious franchise, that's all I could ever want.


The marketing campaign for Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 is an exercise in the benefits of familiarity. Marvel hasn't promised us a darker or grittier sequel- just more of what we loved the first time around. And when it comes to one of the most beloved superhero films in recent memory, that's a perfect strategy. This was perhaps the best spot shown during the big game, as it highlighted everything that audiences will want from this movie- stunning visuals, great characters, spectacular action. I can't wait, and I'm confident that James Gunn will knock this out of the park.


Why did this get a Super Bowl spot? Seriously. Does anyone know? Can anybody tell me why this is happening? Okay, looks like I'm just screaming into the void.


Did we need a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie? No, absolutely not. The franchise has only gone downhill since the breakout surprise of Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003, culminating in the tedious slog that was 2011's On Stranger Tides. Even though this one will probably be terrible, I'm curious because of the return of several of the original trilogy cast members. Orlando Bloom is back, Javier Bardem is joining the crew, and the special effects look better than ever. This could be a fiasco, but here's hoping for a fun, swashbuckling adventure.


According to Michael Bay, Transformers: The Last Knight will be his final film in the franchise. I'm not sure I entirely believe it, but if this is it for the director, it looks like he'll be going out with a crazy bang of Bayhem. The iconic filmmaker ratchets up the action with each new installment and The Last Knight looks like a visually stunning burst of craziness. I laughed out loud at the brutality of the smackdown between Bumblebee and Optimus, and I can't wait to see how this insanity plays out. These movies aren't good, but they sure are entertaining.


Yes, it's true- the most anticipated trailer of the Super Bowl was for a TV show. Stranger Things was the biggest cultural phenomenon of 2016, and the excitement level for Season 2 is reaching a fever pitch. I actually didn't realize this was a spot for the show at first, but once it got rolling, it proved to be a fantastic tease. The reveal of the newest giant monster to terrify Hawkins, Indiana, was pitch-perfect, and as soon as the instantly iconic theme song kicked in, a certain feeling of nerdy excitement washed over me. The Halloween release date is slightly disappointing (I was hoping for a summer premiere), but nevertheless, Stranger Things 2 is quite possibly the most anticipated cultural event of the year. It's gonna be something.

That's it for my wrap-up of the 2017 Super Bowl trailers! I've been a tad behind lately, but look for more content in the coming days.

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