Sunday, February 1, 2009

Best and worst movie trailers from Super Bowl

Who won Super Bowl XLIII?
I’d say either “Star Trek” or “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
Yes, it was a great last-minute victory by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they were heavily favored anyway. So, let’s turn to the commercials, which are a major part of the annual TV spectacle.
To me, the movie trailers were the most memorable and enjoyable part of the commercial breaks.
The studios promoted 11 movies during the big game. With 30-second spots costing $3 million, these are the movies that Hollywood is betting on to score big at the box office.
Trailers for the “Star Trek” franchise reboot by J.J. Abrams and the “Transformers” sequel both grabbed my attention. They were the only two I replayed on my DVR during the game. Let’s call it a tie for best movie trailer during the game.
In interviews, Abrams says he looked more to the original “Star Wars” films for inspiration for his young Kirk, Spock and McCoy movie than the previous “Star Trek” films. That was probably a wise move. The Star Trek universe has gotten too bogged down with its own mythology. Judging from the trailer, Abrams obviously wants to deliver a fun space adventure.
The “Transformers” sequel looks like another mega-budget, action-packed, explosion-filled picture from Michael Bay. Although it was hard to tell what was going on in the trailer, it had enough robot-on-robot fighting and Megan Fox to keep the fanboys happy.
Two issues though: One, although I really liked the first chapter, I’m not sure there’s much else they can do with these Transformer movies. Probably just new robots and new locales to destroy. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the filmmakers are going to hit the law of diminishing returns.
Two, everyone’s going to call this movie “Transformers 2.” So why not just call it that? Instead of the pretentious, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” This ain’t “The Lord of the Rings.”
I’d also give thumbs up to the comedy “The Year One” starring Jack Black and Michael Cera and directed and co-written by the consistently funny Harold Ramis.
The worst movie trailer was probably “Land of the Lost” starring Will Farrell. Dorky and unfunny.
For technical reasons, the “Monsters Vs. Aliens” trailer was pretty unwatchable. The 3-D home viewing experience is terrible with those paper glasses with yellow and blue lenses. The colors are washed out and the 3-D experience wasn’t that compelling. It gave me a headache.
Other movies previewed during the Super Bowl included “Duplicity,” a spy rom-com starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen; “Up,” the latest Disney/Pixar animated film; “Race to Witch Mountain,” Disney’s remake of its own “Escape to Witch Mountain”; “Angels & Demons,” the follow-up to “The Da Vinci Code”; and “The Fast and the Furious,” the fourth in the street racing series.
Then there’s “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” starring Dennis Quaid. This trailer actually looks pretty good until the movie’s title appears. “G.I. Joe”? Who’s the target market? I’d be embarrassed to say that name at the box office window.

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