Since my beloved New England Patriots got their asses handed to them by the Baltimore Ravens in this year's AFC Championship game, I had only two interests in this year's Super Bowl: tasty food and funny commercials. Thanks to my wife's love of theme cooking, I spend last night gorging myself on Baltimore crab cakes, Louisiana gumbo, and sourdough bruschetta, along with an assortment of beers, chips, dips and cookies. I thought this year's crop of Super Bowl commercials were only okay, with my favorite probably being the whispered wanton destruction of a library, courtesy of Oreo. Thankfully there were a number of ads for some highly anticipated flicks, so let's break it down.
IRON MAN 3
The first entry in Phase Two of Marvel's cinematic universe is supposed to be more of a standalone sequel, as opposed to the tiresome universe-building efforts of Iron Man 2. (Then again, there's also a rumor, fueled by pictures of an upcoming toy, that at the film's end Tony Stark will don the white Deep Space Armor and blast off to meet the Guardians Of The Galaxy, but even if that happens I expect it to be after the credits.) Shane Black has taken over directing duties from Jon Favreau, which excites me in ways you can't believe. We only caught 30 seconds during the big game last night, but there was a URL pointing to "an extended look," and that's what I'm featuring here, because more is better. I'm already going though Marvel withdrawal, so this can't get here fast enough.
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS
Probably my most anticipated movie of the summer. (It trades places with Pacific Rim on a weekly basis.) While the first movie has some serious second act story issues, those mostly stem from shooting during the writers' strike so my hope is that the script will be a little tighter for this go-round. This spot is short, so it's a lot of what we've already seen. Two things of note: the shot of the Enterprise seemingly falling to its doom has generated a bit of buzz, but I find it hard to believe they'd blow up the damn ship inside of two movies. Secondly, we get a new line of dialogue from Benedict Cumberbatch, declaring that he's "better" at "everything", which practically screams "I'M A GENETICALLY ENGINEERED SUPERHUMAN!" If it turns out that he's not playing Khan, I declare this marketing campaign to be the greatest cinematic shell game of all time. (Sidenote: you can currently purchase tickets to an advanced screening on May 15th through the Star Trek Into Darkness mobile app! I've got mine...)
FAST & FURIOUS 6
On the one hand, I can't believe this franchise is still alive. On the other hand, did you see Fast Five? It was FANTASTIC. They've thoroughly transformed the series from "douchebags drag race in silly neon cars" into "Ocean's 11 with stunt driving." Also, they've added The Rock into the mix, and that's never a bad thing. It looks like the whole crew is back, plus the return of Michelle Rodriguez's Letty character, who was thought killed in the fourth movie. I hope this series progresses to the point that we get Fast & Furious In Space.
THE LONE RANGER
Hey look, Armie Hammer's in this movie! And in the title role no less! You'd never know it from the marketing to date, including this poster which bizarrely crops out his left arm. Up till now it's looked less like The Lone Ranger and more like The Adventures Of Tonto And His Wacky Horse. That said, I'm slowly warming up to this film. The last few Pirates movies were bloated and terrible, (I tried watching the fourth one on my flight home from LA last weekend and it was so tremendously boring that I gave up halfway through.) but maybe a change of scenery will light a fire under Gore Verbinski. Hammer feels like a guy who deserves his own fun adventure franchise, even if he is playing second fiddle to Johnny Depp on the down low.
There were a few other spots, including World War Z and Oz The Great And Powerful, but they were fairly underwhelming. These were the four that really jumped out at me.
Anyway. Football is dead.
Long live hockey.