Super Bowl 2012: Judging the Movie Trailers

Almost as notable as the movie trailers we saw during the Super Bowl were the trailers we didn't see. For example, there was no Dark Knight Rises teaser (Warner Bros. clearly knew they didn't need any extra publicity for what's likely to be the summer's biggest hit), no Amazing Spider-Man, nothing for Pixar's latest offering Brave and zilch for Ridley Scott's kinda sorta Alien prequel Prometheus. On the other hand, we got our first good shot of the Avengers all assembled together, a second peek at The Hunger Games (which actually aired during the Super Bowl pre-show, but we'll count it) and what appears to be a Transformers spin-off called Battleship. Here's our take on what Hollywood had to show us, listed in alphabetical order:

Act of Valor
What Is It?
No, it's not a recruitment video for the Navy SEALs although it sure as heck looked like one. But it is an action picture starring actual Navy SEALs in a fictional plot about a squad of soldiers hunting down a terrorist cell.
Best Moment: The skydiving action looked pretty cool.
Worst Moment: That quick "Be safe"/"You know I will" exchange between a soldier and his wife in the first scene. Going by standard war movie protocol, that either means the dude is toast or the movie will end with him hugging his kids. Either way, it's a cliché.
Did It Make Us Want to See the Movie? Not really, but it did make us want to dig out our copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

The Avengers
What Is It? You're kidding, right?
Best Moment: The assembled Avengers gearing up for the fight of their lives.
Worst Moment: That there wasn't more.
Did It Make Us Want to See the Movie?
Like we needed another reason.

What Is It? A big-screen version of the classic board game involving battleships, now with lots of transforming alien robots... for some reason.
Best Moment: Taylor Kitsch's new hairstyle. Lookin' good, Tim Riggins!
Worst Moment: The general presence of Rihanna.
Did It Make Us Want to See the Movie? We're still waiting for footage of someone (preferably Liam Neeson) uttering those immortal words: "You sunk my battleship." Then we're onboard.

The Dictator
What Is It? The new comedy from Sacha Baron Cohen, which casts him as the cruel dictator of a fictional foreign nation that resists democracy at all costs.
Best Moment: The dictator takes out his fellow competitors in a 100-yard dash with a pistol.
Worst Moment: Megan Fox's cameo. That's soooo 2009.
Did It Make Us Want to See the Movie? Meh. After Hugo, we're more interested in seeing Cohen work with other directors than doing more of his own schtick.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation
What Is It? The sequel to the other film franchise based on a line of Hasbro toys. Now with all-new actors and characters!
Best Moment: The ninja sword fight on the side of a towering cliff.
Worst Moment: "Call me Joe." Really, movie? That's the best line you can hand to Bruce Willis?
Did It Make Us Want to See the Movie? Well, it can't be worse than the first one. At least... we hope not.

The Hunger Games
What Is It? Only the next Harry Potter and/or Twilight-level blockbuster based on a popular line of YA books.
Best Moment: Seeing the Mockingjay pin. That's a crucial part of Hunger Games lore, y'all.
Worst Moment: The digital F/X still seem iffy. At least the studio still has a month to get them up to snuff.
Did It Make Us Want to See the Movie? As with The Avengers, we didn't really need any more convincing.

John Carter
What Is It? An adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs's vintage slice of pulp fiction about a Civil War veteran (Taylor Kitsch again) who ends up joining another rebellion... on Mars.
Best Moment: Kitsch facing off against that giant alien creature in the arena.
Worst Moment: John Carter's costume, which bears too close a resemblance to Dolph Lundgren's He-Man get-up from the live-action Masters of the Universe for comfort.
Did It Make Us Want to See the Movie? We're still hoping that the film's director -- Pixar genius Andrew Stanton -- can pull this sucker off, but so far the ad campaign hasn't done a great job easing our qualms.

The Lorax
What Is It?
The year's first would-be animated blockbuster -- an adaptation of Dr. Seuss's environmental parable.
Best Moment: Danny DeVito's familiar gruff voice emanating out of the Lorax's mouth. Talk about perfect casting.
Worst Moment: The line "From the creators of Despicable Me." Were we the only ones who found that movie massively overrated and really pretty terrible?
Did It Make Us Want to See the Movie? Who are we kidding? We already know we'll be forced to see it with our kids... or someone else's.

Star Wars: The Epic Saga
What Is It? Hey, remember those movies you grew up loving and are now kinda sick of? Yeah, we'll they're coming back on the big screen in 3D. Yay?
Best Moment: The thought of seeing The Empire Strikes Back in 3D. Cloud City is gonna look bad-ass that way.
Worst Moment: Realizing that we're not actually going to see the 3D version of Empire Strikes Back until 2016, at which point George Lucas will have probably re-edited the whole movie again.
Did It Make Us Want to See the Movie? Very little on this Earth would make us want to see The Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones again, 3D or no 3D. Call us in 2014 when Revenge of the Sith drops.




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