Just like always, the Super Bowl yesterday was the only event of the year when people actually watch, let alone discuss, commercials. Almost all of them try to be funny these days, but it might surprise you to learn that a committee of professional salespeople trying not to offend anyone may not be the most effective way to create comedy. The only thing sure to be must-see TV are the GoDaddy commercials, because not even a thousand monkeys on a thousand tabs of acid with their brains set on shuffle could come up with as strange a combination of “hot-chick” spokespeople as Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels from The Biggest Loser. Tim and Eric could huff ether-soaked rags for a week straight and not achieve that level of pure randomness.
Anyway, plenty of movies got in on the commercial action, including The Dictator, Act of Valor, The Avengers, GI Joe 2, John Carter, and Battleship. You can see all their spots here, and not on other sites, which I’ve never read, but I hear are for dong punchers.
Act of valor
Here’s Act of Valor, the Navy Seal movie starring actual Navy Seals, which opens February 24th. I don’t know what to think about this one. I like the idea of it, but something about the way it actually looks… I think they may have over-glorified. Now it looks vaguely porny, or like visual Christian rock. Also interesting to note, they stole Eminem from Chrysler, and Chrysler upgraded to Clint Eastwood:
I’m not sure if Chrysler wants me to buy their cars, or be afraid of them because they’re from the streets. I see a Chrysler coming down the street, I clutch my purse a little tighter, that’s all I’m saying. Anyway, it’s halftime, America. I heard Mike Singletary was originally cast in this, but instead of giving a speech he just mooned everyone.
Every movie trailer had lots of ‘Splosions, but I think The Avengers may have had the most. (You can see the in-depth breakdown over at GammaSquad). It looks like they nearly exhausted the comic book visual cliche machine on this one. There’s a Predator bro handshake, the Spider-Man three-point stance thing, Black Widow all diagonal for some reason (?) and enough serious faces for three more Fast and Furious movies. Also, I was able to obtain the director’s cut of that exchange near the end.
TONY STARK: The Avengers. That’s what we call ourselves. Earth’s mightiest heroes-type thing.
LOKI: I have an army.
TONY STARK: We have a Hulk.
— [extended director's cut]—
TONY STARK: Not scared yet? We also have a Russian chick with a pistol and a jockey who fights using obsolete technology from the old west.
…Did I mention the Russian chick knows jiu-jitsu? Yeah, that’s what I thought. (*flips Loki the bird, chugs energy drink*)
Man, if there’s one thing Disney wants to get across in their John Carter marketing, it’s that John Carter’s name is John Carter. “You are John Carter of Earth?” “YES.” [Cut to] “RUN FOR YOUR LIVES, IT’S JOHN CARTER!” “Grrrr, I’m gonna kill everyone here, or my name ain’t John Carter! Which means you’re dead, because my name is DEFINITELY John Carter!”
I could never have imagined a film by the guy who directed Wall E and Finding Nemo and co-written by Michael Chabon could look this crappy. What happened? This is a mystery. Of Pittsburgh.
Rumor has it this one cost $200 million to make, and all I can tell you for certain is that the script was terrible. It’ll be interesting to see whether the American public devours this as voraciously as they seem to devour all alien invasion movies, no matter how crappy (a la Battle:Los Angeles), or whether they’ll be as indifferent as everyone seems. All I know is that the way for it to be a sure-fire hit is if there’s at least 15 minutes of Rihanna sass-talking the aliens in patois. “Hey, mon, I and I no ya-gwan let dem bumbaclot aliahn tief me batty ship. BUH! BUH!”
Opens May 18th.
Here’s The Dictator, starring Sacha Baron Cohen. In the same vein as John Carter, for a movie that re-teams the director and star of Borat and Bruno and based on a novel written by Saddam Hussein, this looks remarkably pedestrian. Kardashians are hairy, and dictators shoot people. Okay. Sacha Cohen needs some regular Americans to interact with or this is going to be a long movie.
Opens May 11th.
The GI Joe trailer opens with a pro wrestler quoting a rapper as if he’s the pope. I don’t know what else I need to say here.
The Lorax looks great. What can I say, something about the voice of Danny DeVito coming out of a curmudgeonly, orange otter thing with a walrus mustache just appeals to me.
Opens March 2nd.