Posts Tagged ‘Super Bowl

04
Feb
14

Super Spots V

Not even Morpheus could contain his excitement over seeing Grimlock's Super Bowl trailer.

Not even Morpheus could contain his excitement over seeing Grimlock’s Super Bowl trailer.

In what started off as a seemingly easy way to start off this blog five years ago, my annual ‘Super Spots’ post has become a beloved tradition. Though I think it’s getting harder to discuss and dissect Super Bowl trailers when studios are being more budget conscious and not participating as much as in past years. This year, only four studios had spots during (and before) the game.

It’s definitely been a sad trend, but I honestly can’t blame the studios. The price of a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl has only risen in the five years I’ve been running this blog–and I don’t think it will stop anytime soon. Two years ago the cost of a 30 second spot was $3 million dollars. This year it was reported as being $4 million. In my very first Super Spots post I postulated that the reason studios got in on the Super Bowl was because they have a captive audience to which they can announce the coming of their tentpole films. Sadly with the increasing price of Super Bowl advertising, I think the trend of studios continuing to bring trailers will continue to slide.

Looking at this year’s crop of trailers, only one really stood out and I think the big reason why is because Transformers was giving us our first look at the film. All the other trailers that were shown were from films that have had a trailer or two out already–basically it was sort of stuff we’ve seen before. If you’re spending $4 million dollars or more and have only got 30 seconds to get your point across, you’ve got to bring your show stopper; something that will blow people away. A good case in point . . . last year’s big game spot for Furious 6. You remember that one don’t you? The one that introduced us to “vehicular warfare” and ended with a car exploding out of the nose of a plane. Need I say more?

Like I said, only one trailer this year sort of had that level of cool while the rest were just kinda meh. Here’s a rundown of this year’s Super Bowl trailers and my rating on how excited each of these got me for their impending release.

Draft Day :: Pre-game :: Excitement Level – 2/5

A trailer for a movie about the NFL, authorized by the NFL, and playing during the Super Bowl . . . talk about home field advantage. Under the endorsement of the NFL (they wouldn’t be able to use real teams or NFL logos if they didn’t) Draft Day makes perfect use of its Super Bowl spot to announce to everyone that this movie is where the next season starts for the NFL. While dramatizing the draft might not seem all that exciting, I like what Summit did here by co-opting all the hype around the NFL draft and directing it towards a dramatization of the draft. From playing on the “season starts with the draft” mantra, to Denis Leary’s proclamation as the Cleveland Browns coach that “this city deserves a championship”, to the montage of intense draft day negotiations, hopefully Draft Day can wrangle in some of the 111 million football fans watching the final game of the season.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier :: Pre-game :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level – 3/5

Marvel couldn’t have picked out a better place to debut their trailer than in the area of the broadcast sandwiched in between America the Beautiful and the National Anthem. Aside from the smart placement and the common themes of patriotism that came with it, all they really had was old footage set to a slow instrumental of a violin playing America the Beautiful. Ending with the Winter Soldier punching Cap’s shield to top off the trailer was great and all, but there wasn’t much to get excited about. Except for when they direct you to the second full length trailer online. I’ll give them an extra point for that.

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Noah :: Pre-game :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level – 2/5

Sadly I think most of the footage shown in this spot we’ve already seen. The one bright spot though was appearance of angels descending to Earth (in that one scene where yellow lights are heading towards Earth–maybe?). Hollywood’s got a bushel of religious based films coming out this year and from everything in the first trailer I couldn’t help but notice that there was no mention of God at all. I think you could tell the tale of Noah without bringing up God, but I think it would be pretty hard to do. Seeing this potentially divine reference says that they’re definitely keeping some stuff in Noah close to the vest, but still . . . I wished they had showed us more.

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Need for Speed :: 1st Quarter :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level – 2/5

What I like about this trailer is that they play up to their title with the quick montage of different vehicles going really fast. It gets your blood pumping a little, especially with the quick cuts of all the different drivers in the film–intensely driving. There’s definitely a bit of an early Fast and Furious vibe going on, but other than that, there’s nothing really earth shattering about this trailer.

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Transformers: Age of Extinction :: 2nd Quarter :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level – 4/5

Before the game I knew that Transformers: Age of Extinction was going to be my most anticipated trailer of the game because it was the only film that was going to give us our first look at the film. All the other films debuting spots already had previous footage of them out there, but this one, we were going to get our first look at Mark Wahlberg and potentially the Dinobots! With my expectations already high, the trailer definitely delivered the goods. From Optimus seemingly getting blasted by Galvatron (maybe?), to a flying dragon/dinobot Transformer; all culminating with what appeared to be Optimus riding on the back of Grimlock with a sword, the trailer blew me away and was by far the best one out of this year’s bunch. Doesn’t get a perfect score due to the Michael Bay factor.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 :: 2nd Quarter :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level – 3/5

The sad part about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is that their first trailer just blew us all away with the possibility of the Sinister Six being in the mix. How do you top that in your Big Game spot? Well, you can’t really in my opinion. Granted we do get some new footage of Gwen and Spidey falling and Spidey rescuing a falling Gwen in another shot, but aside from that, the biggest thing this trailer gave use was the EnemiesUnite.com website. If you happen to mosey over there you get a nearly four minute long trailer which shows us the origin of Electro and more of the crazy special effects orgy where Electro shoots lightning at Spidey. Mainly going off of the Super Bowl spot I give it 2 points with an extra bonus point for an extended trailer online.

If you happened to have the pre-game broadcast on really early you might have seen a few more trailers for Monuments Men, Robocop, and Pompeii. They aren’t included in this roundup since they were on more than a half hour before kickoff and I simply just didn’t have time to wait around during pregame to look for them. Instead, I’ve got a few more movie related commercials that I thought were fun . . .

“The Truth” with Morpheus for the KIA K900 :: directed by Carl Erik Rinsch, 47 Ronin

I had heard about this commercial before the game, but actually seeing was just totally hilarious. Seeing Morpheus pull his “red pill/blue pill” monologue from the first Matrix was one thing, but the sheer hilarity from his pseudo-Matrix Revolutions Neo-like opera singing was the icing on the cake. Granted it was corny as hell, but it was still really fun.

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British Villains ‘Rendezvous’ for Jaguar :: directed by Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech, Les Misérables

What’s great about this commercial is it’s not only that they’re so right that Brits have the best villain roles, they also have all the best good guy roles as well. It’s so fun to see these guys really revel in their villain personas–even if it is exaggerated for this commercial. If there was a real movie with these actors in it all playing villains; I’d totally watch it.

With the prices for Super Bowl advertising continuing to go up, I can see a day when studios no longer advertise during the Big Game. With a decent trailer being at least a minute long, it might not be that cost effective or feasible to grab someone’s attention with a 30 second spot, especially with it going upwards of four million. As if this year’s crop of trailers show, the trend seems to be to cut a decent spot together, then direct everyone to the full version online–there by getting the most bang for your buck. I fear eventually the studios are just going to realize that if they’re putting their trailers online to begin with, is it really worth it to shell out $4 million for a Super Bowl sign post directing people to our trailer? Probably not.

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07
Feb
12

Super Spots 2012

Darth Vader wasn't too keen on this year's crop of Super Bowl trailers. And he wasn't the only one.

The Super Bowl. Probably the single biggest sports day in America every year. With approximately 111 million people tuning in to this year’s game, it’s understandable why commercial spots reportedly were coming in at $3.5 million for 30 seconds–with a captive audience you know your commercial is going to be seen by a lot of people.

With that in mind, I didn’t think this year’s crop of trailers provided any Earth-shattering splashes. Almost all the trailers shown this year employed a good mix of combining new and old footage. What I didn’t like this year was the whole “teasing” or “previewing” and even releasing of trailers and commercials days before they were to air. To me, you spend all this money to play it before a captive audience and I just feel it dilutes the commercial by releasing it online before the game. Isn’t the point to try and make people stay to watch your commercial and not give them a reason to not watch it during the game? I don’t know, maybe that’s just me.

In any case, there were some things that got me excited for the upcoming crop of films that we’re going to get later this year. A thing to remember about these “mini-reviews” is that they mainly talk about the level of excitement that I felt for the film after watching the trailers AND NOT on the potential quality of the films.

THE HUNGER GAMES :: Pre-Game :: Excitement Level: 4/5

As we’re only about six weeks out from release, it only made sense that Lionsgate released a trailer from the film. While there was old footage shown, I thought we got a lot great new footage as well. Of the new stuff that we saw, I think I enjoyed seeing the interaction between Stanley Tucci’s TV host character and the District 12 tributes in the scenes where they’re being interviewed. The sacrifice of the Reaping and the hardship of the games themselves were definitely conveyed well in the trailer as well. On a side note, fans will be happy to know that this trailer wasn’t just limited to being seen during the Super Bowl. The minute long trailer is also a theatrical trailer and will be playing in front of select movies at a theater near you.

21 JUMP STREET :: Pre-Game :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level: 3/5

I thought there were some really great one-liners that this trailer brought out that definitely are playing up the comedic vibe of the film. I don’t really recall ever watching the TV series, but I don’t think it was a comedic television series. Jonah Hill we all know can bring the funny and hopefully by playing off straight-man Channing Tatum will make the new 21 Jump Street a fun action comedy.

 

GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE
Pre-Game :: Trailer :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level: 2/5

Wasn’t too excited by this trailer. Probably the best thing going for it is that there seems to be some really well done CGI action sequences which come through from the trailer. Other than that, there’s not too much to write home about.

ACT OF VALOR :: Pre-Game & 4th Qtr :: First Reaction(s) :: Excitement Level: 4/5

Probably what I liked best about this trailer was that they mixed great footage with Eminem’s Not Afraid–which by itself was pretty good to begin with. However, what really made it better was that they sync’d it to the chorus; which I thought really fit with the theme of the film and the scenes they showed in the trailer. Inspirational, harrowing, a sense of brotherhood . . . all the things Navy SEALS represent or convey.

 

SAFE HOUSE
Pre-Game :: Trailer :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level: 3/5
I think it’s safe to say that anytime you have Denzel Washington going guns-blazing, in hot hot heat, and getting into Ryan Reynold’s head (which all appear in this trailer) . . . you’re going to end up with a fun time at the movies. The trailer plays up the movie’s strengths: the chemistry between the two leads and showcasing the action. Formulaic to be sure, but it’s got everything you need for a solid star driven action film.

THE DICTATOR
Pre-Game :: Trailer :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level: 2/5
I actually think it was a good movie to cut this trailer for the Super Bowl. With the exception of the introduction about knowing the final score of the game, all the footage is from the current theatrical trailer. When it played, everyone at my viewing party seemed to get pretty good laughs out of it–a good indicator that the current trailer hasn’t had too much exposure. Personally, I’m not a Sacha Baron Cohen fan, but like I said, good exposure for the film.

BATTLESHIP :: 2nd Quarter :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level: 3/5

I don’t know if it was a good thing or a bad thing that for maybe the first 10-15 seconds of this trailer, people thought that it was another installment of the Transformers franchise. I will say that I liked seeing a lot of new footage of the aliens and a lot more action sequences. What definitely troubles me is that we actually saw the aliens themselves and I don’t ever recall the last time we’ve ever had “cool looking” aliens. After seeing the new footage in this trailer I’m a little bit more excited for the film, and hopeful as well because it was partly shot in Hawaii.

JOHN CARTER
2nd Quarter :: Trailer :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level: 1/5
I just don’t know what it is about this film, but I can’t really get excited for anything about it. I thought the clip-collaging in the shape of the film’s title was the most uninspiring thing in the world. It was as if the title of the film is more important than showing us what it’s about. Granted the extended version (linked above) shows more full screen footage that shows off the film, but what we saw during the game didn’t have that. Not good when you only have a few seconds to make a great (or not so great) impression.

DR SEUSS’ THE LORAX
2nd Quarter :: Trailer :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level: 3/5
I have no idea what The Lorax is about, but I do know it’s vibrantly animated and appears to have a few good laughs. What I like is that even though the film is from a different production company and studio than the previous Seuss movie (Horton Hears a Who), it pretty much looks to have the exact same style–definitely a good thing as those that liked Horton will probably come back for more. It should also bring in people who like great animation as well.

STAR WARS: EPISODE I – THE PHANTOM MENACE
2nd Quarter :: Trailer :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level: 1/5
What I didn’t like about this trailer was the fact that they mixed in footage from the Original Trilogy (OT). I can sort of understand why they did it (it’s because Episode I kicks off the entire trilogy in 3D), but it really felt like they were trying to bamboozle people by saying that the OT films will be in 3D.

THE AVENGERS :: 2nd Quarter :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level: 5/5

This was by far my favorite trailer from this year’s Super Bowl and I was actually kind of surprised because I hadn’t heard any pre-game buzz about a new trailer coming out. What I liked was that we saw the superheroes working together more in the clips in this trailer. The best part definitely had to be towards the end where there was the camera shot spinning around the team–talk about money shot. Then to top it all off, in the extended version (embedded above) the final sequence is of the Hulk jumping in the air and taking down some flyers. Can’t wait for May!

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION :: 2nd Quarter :: First Reaction :: Excitement Level: 4/5

You have to admit, the visuals alone definitely make this movie look exciting. The film is based off a cartoon so some of the more “out there” moments have to be expected . . . I just hope that they learned their lesson from the first installment and allocated more of the budget to the CG effects AND a better story. The Rock seems to be a solid choice to be in the film, especially since he looks almost like his character from Fast Five. Though I think the addition of Willis maybe a bit over the top.

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This year’s Super Bowl also featured a number of movie related commercials that weren’t movie trailers. I thought it was a cool and smart move by these companies to go this route as it definitely offered a different hook for their spots and overall I felt left a good impression with viewers. Something else that stood out was that a lot of the spots were also directed by feature film directors as well.

Honda CR-V’s ‘Matthew’s Day Off’ :: Directed By – Todd Phillips (dir. The Hangover)

It was probably one of the most anticipated commercials going into the weekend . . . before Honda released the trailer online. They did a really great job of teasing the spot by releasing a short 10 second teaser the Thursday going into the weekend. However, by the next day the full spot was online, which I definitely think deflated its appearance during the game. Nevertheless, I liked the spot and how it riffed off of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, though I didn’t really notice the car in the commcercial. An extended 2+ minute version was also cut and released. In the extended version, there are more Day Off references and more shots of the CR-V.

VW’s ‘The Dog Strikes Back’ :: Directed by – Lance Acord (cinematographer – Where the Wild Things Are)

The movie reference in this commercial doesn’t happen till the end, but I thought it was really fun that VW referenced their Super Bowl spot last year by putting Darth Vader in the Mos Eisley Cantina as a post-credit stinger of sorts. Short, sweet, smart, and funny.

Chrysler’s ‘Halftime in America’ :: Directed by – David Gordon Green (dir. Pineapple Express)

Aside from The Avengers, I’d have to say that this was the commercial that I liked the most. The only movie reference that you’ll find in this commercial is that actor turned director Clint Eastwood narrates and appears in the spot. It’s edited together very movie trailer-like with Eastwood’s narration providing inspirational and uplifting words. Though I thought the metaphor was a little off, I still thought it was really well done and built on their “Imported From Detroit” message that they started last year with the Eminem Super Bowl spot.

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With another Super Bowl in the books, luckily us moviegoers won’t have to wait till the fall to see if the excitement from these trailers is warranted. Was there a particular trailer from the big game that you liked or another movie related commercial that I missed? Hit us up in the comments to let us know and share your thoughts!

07
Feb
10

VIII Trailers During Super Bowl XLIV

Last year, my second post for our blog was on the movie trailers that came out during the Super Bowl. I thought nothing of it at the time, it was just a fun and interesting exercise. In honor of my second post, I’m here again on Super Bowl Sunday doing another Super spots post.

Looking back on it now, many of the thoughts I had then, I still have now. Is it an effective use of studio’s money to run trailers during the Super Bowl? The more I think about this, the more I have to say, I don’t think so (but then again I’m not spending the money). An added difference is that for this year’s crop of trailers, many of them have already hit the web. To me this seems counter productive as why spend that much money if you’re going to post them before the game?

In any case it’s fun to take a look back at last year’s post to see how things turned out. The trailers that had me most excited were the ones for GI Joe, Star Trek, and Transformers 2 which I gave a four or five rating to. Well, at least one of those movies turned out good (Star Trek). The rest of the films that debuted a trailer at last year’s Super Bowl turned out to be a mixed bag. Many of them did good at the box office, but were critically bad and generally bad. While the rest bombed. Only time will tell how this year’s trailers will be and how well those films will do.

The Bounty Hunter – Pregame
Excitement Level – 1/5
The trailer showed off a lot of the comedic side to this movie. However it showed a lot of stuff I’ve already seen, so not really too much excitement generated here. To be honest, while there seem to be some very funny sequences I have a feeling this movie is not going to be that great.
The Last Airbender – Pregame
Excitement Level – 4/5
There was tons of new footage showing off the special effects in the movie. That alone got me excited. Didn’t get much sense of the story in thirty seconds, but sand stopping fire, ice and water flying about . . . this movie is going to be a feast for the eyes.
Robin Hood – 1st Quarter
Excitement Level – 3/5
Some great action scenes showing off the movie. I also like how they tried to give you some sense of the story from the trailer’s format where they mixed images with text outlining what you’re going to experience. Nothing overly awe-inspiring, but pretty good thirty seconds.
Wolfman – 1st Quarter
Excitement Level – 2/5
I’ve gotta say, I was a little mystified that Universal ran a Wolfman trailer during the Super Bowl. Wolfman trailers and spots have abounded in recent weeks since the movie comes out on Friday. Although I’ve seen lots of spots, I think there might actually have been some new footage in this spot. Nothing earth shattering though.
Shutter Island – 2nd Quarter
Excitement Level – 2/5
I guess it doesn’t matter if you movie comes out in a week or two as a second February movie debuted a trailer. This one I have to say was a good take as it played up the fact that Martin Scorsese was the director and cited his previous films as proof that this one was going to be great. Martin Scorsese + scary pic = good new movie.
Alice in Wonderland – 2nd Quarter
Excitement Level – 1/5
This trailer sort of reminded me of the Harry Potter trailers in the beginning with the wording of “You have a very important date.” After that though, it showed off Tim Burton’s distinctive dark take on Alice in Wonderland and finished it up with the pig bit. Again, not that much new stuff to see
The Back-Up Plan – Halftime
Excitement Level – 3/5
When I first saw this spot, I honestly thought it was a promo for a CBS show. Then I saw J Lo and did a double take. Great way to draw everyone in with J Lo showing her “backup” guy someone giving birth. Great attention getter with it ending with a comedic line.
Prince of Persia – 3rd Qtr
Excitement Level – 2/5
If there’s been one common theme with all of the spots I’ve seen for this film it’s been this . . . showing of the epic-ness and visual effects of the movie. This Super Bowl spot being no exception. While I liked that they tried to give some plot background with the voice over, the cacophony of scenes they showed give no real hint of what’s going on with all the action.

As a whole I thought that studios played it safe this year, with some even opting not to run trailers. Noticeably absent were trailers from high profile films such as Iron Man 2, Toy Story 3, and more. I think the thinking was that studios only wanted to spend money on bankable pictures and ones that people already know about. On an interesting note, the films they did spend money on five of the eight are coming out before the summer. Who says summer movies get all the love?

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Related Reading:

LATimes Movies – Does fewer Super Bowl movie spots mean better Super Bowl movie spots?

Heat Vision from THR.com – How Hollywood Fumbled Its Super Bowl Ads

LATimes Movies – Will Hollywood Rethink Big Game Spending?




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