Trailer Hitch: Superbowl Edition

By Eric Hughes

February 4, 2009

I do not look ridiculous. I do not look ridiculous. Oh God, I look soooo ridiculous.

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Welcome to Trailer Hitch, BOP's look at the latest movie trailers to hit the Internet. This week: It's a special TV spot edition of Trailer Hitch. You saw the ads on Super Bowl Sunday. Now see what I have to say about them.

Angels & Demons – Opens May 15th

Hey! Somebody – Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, perhaps Tom Hanks himself, somebody – caught wind of the vet actor's ridonk hairstyle from The Da Vinci Code and promptly did away with it for Hanks' second adventure as famed symbologist Robert Langdon in Angels & Demons. I wholeheartedly approve of this quite positive alteration.

Though we're only treated with a mere snippet of what's to come, I have a feeling the sequel will turn out better than The Da Vinci Code. From what I remember from Dan Brown's print – it's been a few years since I've read both books – Angels & Demons is the stronger story. And though minimal, the special effects we're treated to here excite me more than anything else I saw in Howard's bloated and clunky first outing.

Grade: B
Also expected to be released on this date: The Brothers Bloom

Land of the Lost – Opens June 5th

It's always a good sign when the creators of an original work board the film adaptation train. In a way, it symbolically denotes their seal of approval on the given project. Well that's happening here in Universal's Land of the Lost, where the creators of the cult TV show, Marty and Sid Krofft, sit as producers alongside Jimmy Miller.

For those (like me!) who never got around to watching the original series (or the 1991 update), Land of the Lost is about a has-been scientist, Dr. Rick Marshall, who gets sucked into a space-time vortex. Without weapons or anything useful on the ready, the doctor is spat out into an alternate world full of menacing dinosaurs and supernatural creatures.

Will Ferrell plays the lead role in the adaptation, and it appears to fit him well. What's troubling, however, is that the funniest bit for me was his awkward interview with Matt Lauer at the beginning of the spot. But given how little can be squeezed into a Super Bowl tease, I don't think the lack of funny in the rest of the promo will be that big of an issue.

Grade: C+
Also expected to be released on this date: Away We Go


Year One – Opens June 19th

Jack Black had a big night on Sunday. Following Pittsburgh's last minute touchdown score that put the Steelers up for good at 27-23, the actor declared his enduring love for Cloris Leachman in Mrs. Albert Hannaday, a fictional movie featured in a special episode of NBC's The Office. But before all that craziness, Columbia Pictures plugged his new summer movie, Year One. Penned by Harold Ramis and two Office writers, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, the Judd Apatow-produced project is essentially a comedy set in Biblical times. Its style is more like Monty Python than the movie projects we've come to expect from Apatow.

Year One will either be comedy gold, one of the most offensive movies ever to grace the nation's move theaters (at least to the religious ones among us), or some mixture of the two. Sunday's spot offered up a good combination of laughs, including Black and Michael Cera on a cow buggy and a kid with the arm of Nolan Ryan. (Also: Did you spot McLovin?)

Grade: B+
Also expected to be released on this date: The Haunting in Connecticut, Tooth Fairy

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – Opens June 26th

The TV spot to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is everything you'd expect it to be. From director Michael Bay, the action – fireballs attacking a water vessel, machines busting through other machines – is the way he prefers it: intense, if not downright overblown. But that's all the masses want to see at this point, since the sequel won't be released for another four months anyway. Forget story. Is stuff still being blown up? A glimpse at the teaser offers back a resounding "yes", which is why the spot worked so well for me.

Back for more is Shia LaBeouf as the franchise's star, Sam Witwicky, as well as Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro.

Grade: A-
Also expected to be released on this date: None

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra – Opens August 7th

Cloverfield may have had the Statue of Liberty's severed head bouncing around the streets of New York City. But G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra upped the ante by destroying the Eiffel freakin' Tower, courtesy of some unknown, green substance attacking its structure. Unfortunately, Paramount issued a major misfire by following the calamity with a "from the director of The Mummy" tag line. Ick.

The rest of the spot looks real good, perhaps more exciting than Michael Bay's new project. I smell franchise.

Grade: A
Also expected to be released on this date: Shorts, Julia & Julia

To sum up, Hollywood did a hell of a job on Sunday. Besides Land of the Lost, which scored an OK score here, the rest of the spots appear like they're promoting some stimulating summer product. For a full list of Super Bowl TV spots, including ones I skipped because their full trailers were already reviewed on Trailer Hitch, click here.



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