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Super Bowl 2014: Judging the Movie Trailers

by Ethan Alter February 3, 2014 11:43 am
Super Bowl 2014: Judging the Movie Trailers

We recap the big, blowout movie trailers glimpsed during last night's big, blowout game.

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 The Avengers 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...

The Amazing Spider-Man: New Spidey, New Look, New Footage

Strangely absent from the Super Bowl's batch of movie trailers was a teaser for The Amazing Spider-Man, the impending reboot of the lucrative Spider-Man movie franchise with Andrew Garfield taking over web-slinging duties from Tobey Maguire. The movie has certainly piqued the interest of fans, from the fact that it sends Peter back to high school and re-tells the story of how he became Spider-Man to the decision to swap the series' previous love interest Mary Jane out for Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) to the darker tone suggested by the first trailer. (Also? No more organic web shooters. Andrew's clearly got a bigger brain than Tobey.) We haven't seen any other footage from the film since that two-minute teaser debuted last July, but that changed today, when Sony held a simulcast of a new trailer and sizzle reel from The Amazing Spider-Man (due out July 3) at select theaters around the word. We attended the New York screening -- there were also presentations in Los Angeles, London and Rio de Janeiro, Berlin and Tokyo -- and here's our take on what we saw.

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:

Five Thoughts About The Avengers Trailer

They're heeeeere! Joss Whedon's all-star adventure The Avengers is still seven months away from hitting theaters, but Disney is wasting little time getting footage out there to the superhero-starved masses. After a new batch of photos hit the interwebs last week, here comes the movie's first official trailer, which offers a far more substantial peek at the movie's scale and set-pieces than that short teaser at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger did. Here's our instant reaction to a trailer we're sure we'll be watching over and over again in the run-up to the movie's May 4, 2012 release.

Five Thoughts About The Hunger Games Trailer

by Ethan Alter August 29, 2011 6:00 am
Five Thoughts About The Hunger Games Trailer

Leave it to The Girl on Fire to ignite an otherwise sparks-free awards show. Last night's Video Music Awards offered the usual mix of underwhelming live performances (Adele excepted), slumming movie stars shilling for their upcoming features (way to slip a Moneyball reference into your stage patter with Nicki Minaj, Jonah Hill!), forced acceptance speeches (could Katy and Kanye have looked more awkward?) and embarrassing attempts at comedy (go back to your day job Kevin Hart... whatever that is). But things finally started looking up towards the end of the night when Jennifer Lawrence appeared via videotape to introduce the first footage from The Hunger Games, the upcoming film version of Suzanne Collins' best-selling novel (the first in a trilogy) that's due in theaters on March 23, 2012.

Footloose: Five Ways to Modernize the Remake

The day that every child of the '80s has dreaded is here: the just-released trailer for Craig Brewer's Footloose confirms that this remake of the beloved 1984 classic is a real thing that will actually be in theaters in October to teach a whole new generation about the dangers of censorship and the exhilaration of dancing around abandoned warehouses in a wife beater. Based on this early glimpse, Footloose 2.0 looks an awful lot like its predecessor, right down to the VW Bug our hero Ren (professional dancer Kenny Wormald slipping into the tight, tight jeans previously worn by Kevin Bacon) drives around the small Southern burg of Bomont, which has banned dancing and "dangerous" music after five kids died in a car accident following a wild party. Sure there's a lot of truth to the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," but there are a few ways Brewer could update the '84 version to reflect this modern age. For example...

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Five Movies the Trailer Reminds Us Of

The first trailer for the Planet of the Apes prequel/remake/reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, has hit the Internet, and it looks pretty great. That's mostly because it looks nothing like Tim Burton's overwrought remake of Planet from 2001, but also because it seems to borrow as much from recent horror films as it does Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, the 1972 film that it partially draws on. Here are the other movies I couldn't help but think of as I watched the trailer.

Green Lantern: We Have Some Questions About the Mask…

In the abridged Green Lantern footage released on the Internet following Wondercon, superhero fanboys got plenty to look at from the upcoming movie: The Parallax entity, the reciting of the Lantern oath, the thousands of aliens who make up the Corps -- and we also got a quick explanation of why Hal Jordan wears a mask while other Lanterns don't, and why it comes and goes. Apparently, it manifests itself when Hal needs to hide his identity, and while we aren't sure an explanation was necessary, the fact that there is a set rule behind it raises some questions. To wit:

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