Super Bowl XLVII: Judging the Movie Trailers

by Ethan Alter February 4, 2013 12:47 pm
Super Bowl XLVII: Judging the Movie Trailers

We critique all the big movie ads that aired during last night's big game, from Iron Man 3 to World War Z.

Cracking the Code of The Avengers Trailer

by Ethan Alter February 29, 2012 1:12 pm
Cracking the Code of <i>The Avengers</i> Trailer

Apparently inspired by last week's 30 Rock, the good folks at Marvel Studios have given us a whopper of a Leap Day present: an all-new, all-expanded trailer for Summer 2012's first superhero blockbuster, The Avengers. Unlike the first teaser, which hit the web back in October, this one features more dialogue, more effects-heavy action (to be fair, most of the effects weren't finished four months ago) and more clips of the costumed heroes trading Joss Whedon-scripted barbs with each other. Even with all the bonus footage though, the studio is still keeping us mostly in the dark about what exactly is going to happen in the film beyond the Avengers assembling to squabble amongst themselves and battle some kind of invading interstellar army led by Thor's newly emboldened adoptive brother, Loki. (This is a Joss Whedon joint, so there's got to be more to it than just that, right? Or maybe this time the big twist will be that there is no twist...) But through a few close viewings, we did manage to tease out a few potential story points from this two-and-a-half minute sneak peak, things like...

Super Bowl 2012: Judging the Movie Trailers

by Ethan Alter February 6, 2012 9:34 am
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:

We Watches the Watchmen Trailer

by Zach Oat July 17, 2008 4:40 pm
We Watches the <i>Watchmen</i> Trailer

It's finally here! The moment we've all been waiting for! Well, by we, of course, I mean hard-core comic geeks, die-hard Zack Snyder fans and die-core timepiece enthusiasts. The trailer for Watchmen, described by Warner Bros. as "the most celebrated graphic novel of all time," premiered in front of The Dark Knight this weekend, and it's already up on Apple Trailers. And it is quite possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Knowing: You’ve Probably Seen All the Good Parts Already

by Mindy Monez March 18, 2009 12:50 pm
<I>Knowing</I>: You’ve Probably Seen All the Good Parts Already This movie weekend is surprisingly balanced with different kinds of movies opening. Great job, Hollywood! High five Ari Gold for me! You've got I Love You, Man for laughing, Duplicity for knowing what a farce not dissimilar to professional espionage that romance is, and Knowing for knowing that the world is an unavoidable ticking time bomb of doom and destruction.

Quick Knowing plot synopsis: Nicolas Cage plays a man of science whose young son digs up a 50-year-old time capsule that predicts the dates and death tolls of impending disasters (because of how worthwhile things are always being put in time capsules) and Cage has to stop something called "The Whisper People" who look like Krycek with a Spike dye job from ending the world. The trailer feels really Shyamalan-y with the whole there's an event happening and a man who sees no meaning in the world is taught that the world is lousy with meaning and he has to get it together to save his family and stop the world from ending thing. But really -- if the damn world is ending and there are supernatural albino fake Kryceks whispering around perpetrating it, what's Captain Corelli's Mandolin going to do about it? Make out with Penelope Cruz and hope the Nazis don't see? If that is the twist ending of the film and I just spoiled it for you I apologize. I should have written that down and put in a time capsule instead. I know that now. I have learned my lesson. Anyway, I watched the whole trailer and this movie looks a lot like these other movies:

10 Reasons <I>Notorious</I> is Even Less Vital to Your Life Than <I>8 Mile</I> Was

With rare exceptions (like Control and, oh, I don't know, the masterpiece that is Selena), biopics are usually just straightforward, throwaway, lie-filled award bait. That's all fine and harmless, but it still doesn't change the fact that almost every single biopic is exactly the same, and that the marketing for each of them doesn't even remotely try to disguise this. Which is weird, because it's not like the moviegoing public as a whole is like, devoted to the "humble beginnings/wows a label guy on a chance meeting/gets famous/fame ruins his life/is redeemed at the end" formula or anything. Certainly not in the way they are with romantic comedy and horror conventions, anyway. But hey, I'm not a focus group runner, so I can't be sure.

Half-Blood? More Like Bloody Brilliant!

by Zach Oat July 30, 2008 2:51 pm
<i>Half-Blood?</i> More Like Bloody Brilliant!

Dear God -
Thank you so much. I know you don't go in for the whole magic thing, it being in direct contradiction to your laws and all, but I just want to say how swell it is of you not to smite anybody involved with making the Harry Potter movies. (Well, except Richard Harris, but he had it coming.) Because I just saw the new Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince teaser trailer, and it is the most beautiful thing I have seen in several days -- which reminds me, I never thanked you for The Dark Knight! You rock!

Who’s Got Spirit? Not Me.

by Zach Oat July 15, 2008 12:52 pm
Who’s Got <i>Spirit</i>? Not Me.

I never wanted to be one of those dudes on the Internet who criticizes everything. Especially not someone who criticizes a comic book movie for being a less-than-faithful adaptation of the source material. Especially not someone who is basing their opinion on a 2-minute trailer for said movie. But what the hell is going on in Frank Miller's Spirit trailer? [It's been taken down, but presumably not for improvement.] I mean, seriously? We get it, you've got some hot actresses in your movie. But at what point does the film stop being an adaptation of Will Eisner's classic hero and start being a domino-mask-wearing version of The Bachelor?

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