For me, the highlight of the event that has become of Super Bowl commercials are the movie trailers.
America's favorite sporting event falls conveniently on the calendar for the upcoming blockbuster movie season, and the Super Bowl offers many their first look at movies aiming to rule spring/summer box offices.
Typically, the previews shown during the Super Bowl are the kind of mindless summer fare that attempt to entertain with dazzling visual effects.
This year appears to be no different.
Take a look at the vitals for the game, the full list of previews that BusinessInsider.com reports will air during the Super Bowl broadcast, and then I'll highlight the three which have me the most interested.
When: Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
TV Info: Fox
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
|Need for Speed||March 2014|
|Captain America: The Winter Soldier||April 4, 2014|
|Draft Day||April 11, 2014|
|Noah||March 28, 2014|
|Transformers: Age of Extinction||June 27, 2014|
|3 Days to Kill||February 21, 2014|
|The Amazing Spider-Man||May 2, 2014|
|RoboCop||February 12, 2014|
|Neighbors||May 9, 2014|
Need for Speed
I first realized this was actually going to be a movie, when I saw a trailer in the theater.
Originally, I was blown away that Aaron Paul was recruited to star in an ad for a video game.
Which of these movies do you want to see the most?
The initial storyline was laid out: Paul's character is getting out of prison and has spent his time behind bars thinking of how to get back at the people who put him there. I thought, "Well, that is completely cheesy, but I guess it will do for a video game."
The funny thing is that the trailer just kept going, and there were no shots of the video game. It finally occurred to me that this was going to be an actual movie.
At that moment, I felt bad for Paul. As a fan of his work on AMC's Breaking Bad, I'd like to see Paul succeed in something else, but that has been slow to come.
In the midst of lamenting Paul's career, I found I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.
The cars and the driving scenes looked absolutely spectacular. Obviously, this conjures up images of the Fast and Furious franchise, but from the early looks of the cinematography in Need for Speed, this movie could push the genre even further.
Granted, it doesn't appear to add any substance to that genre.
I have to believe the plot of this movie will be best treated as an annoying detail to help connect the action.
At some point, however, I expect Paul to pull in all viewers with his gift for portraying a person in a state of emotional torment. Especially considering that the legendary Steven Spielberg picked him for the part:
Steven Spielberg picked 'Breaking Bad's' Aaron Paul for 'Need For Speed' http://t.co/jf7Qo1xssL— Zap2it (@Zap2it) January 29, 2014
For us males old enough to remember when the original RoboCop came out, but not old enough to think Catcher in the Rye is all that provocative, this film franchise holds a special place in the heart.
In the 1987 original, the future-set film touched on issues like corruption, gentrification and dystopia, but those facets were largely lost on my pre-teen brain. What wasn't lost was the insane violence with a protagonist that was a man made seemingly invincible as a robot.
This movie was so dark that some of the gruesome violence had to be edited out to keep it from receiving an X rating, which is NC-17 now.
It was still, easily, the most wonderfully gruesome and dark movie I had seen.
The trailer for the updated version of this franchise is certainly glossier than the original, as this one has gotten the full Hollywood treatment. This included the requisite suit makeover. RoboCop is now in a more menacing black color. Although, he apparently starts off in silver:
Also, stars like Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson were brought on board to help boost what relatively untested director Jose Padilha (Elite Squad) has to work with.
I am a little worried that all of the Hollywood treatment will keep this one from being as wonderfully dark as the original.
Still, it appears as if there is a quest to tackle questions like free will, and the action sequences look fantastic.
Transformers: Age of Extinction
I'm kind of ashamed to admit this, especially considering I am a writer, but I love the Transformers franchise.
Sure, the plot lines are as bad and void of substance as any that you will find, but the action sequences are fantastic. They move with the fluidity of a symphony and the effects are as good as Hollywood has to offer.
The robots and cities being destructed mesh together in a visual masterpiece.
So, when I learned that Michael Bay was at work on a fourth Transformers, I was excited. I'm still excited even though little is available about what the movie will be about.
IMDB offers up this plot synopsis: "A mechanic and his daughter make a discovery that brings down Autobots and Decepticons - and a paranoid government official - on them."
Gone from the franchise is acting lead Shia LaBeouf. Mark Wahlberg is the new lead. That is a little weird, since all throughout the series the main human connection was a teenager.
Also troubling is the fact that John Turturro is not in this movie according to IMDB, and, honestly, he was the only character who added any value to the first three beyond aesthetic appeal and a link to action sequences.
Who cares, though? I'm not going to see this movie to challenge my mind. I'll leave that for movies coming out in Oscar season.
It also looks like this instalment will have the Dinobots, which is probably meaningless to many, but, for any other person who had that set of action figures as a kid, is a bit of a treat:
Transformers 4 TRAILER SUNDAY😱 pic.twitter.com/7ezdOVZmn0— Ebonies & Retros (@Jagel_Bagel) January 31, 2014
With Michael Bay behind the camera, I have no doubt the action scenes will make up for any lack of substance in the plot.