super bowl movie trailers

The Super Bowl is the ultimate expression of the American id: a game where people hit each other really hard, advertisements for cheese flavored chips, extravagant halftime shows put on with colorful panache, and, of course, trailers for the biggest, loudest movies coming within the next year.

I kid because I love. The Super Bowl is ridiculous and the ads are ridiculous and the culture surrounding it is ridiculous, but it’s a good time. Plus, even when the game stinks (and last night’s game really stunk), you get to watch a whole bunch of movie trailers that have to be good because movie studios spent an exorbitant amount of money to buy this ad space. And if there’s one thing more American than the Super Bowl, it’s devoting a few thousand words to breaking down all of the noteworthy spots that premiered during last night’s game.

There were also a few noteworthy heavy-hitters missing from the Super Bowl line-up – Ghostbusters, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice were noticeably absent. The first two are especially surprising, since both films have barely even begun their marketing campaigns and could have used a Super Bowl-sized audience to announce themselves to the world. Then again, Ghostbusters probably wants to reveal itself at its own pace and Rogue One marketing will probably wait until Star Wars: The Force Awakens will is officially out of theaters.

10 Cloverfield Lane

Previous trailers for 10 Cloverfield Lane (and previous comments from star Mary Elizabeth Winstead) suggested this film spent the bulk of its running time inside an underground bunker run by a very domineering John Goodman. However, this new Super Bowl spot revealed a much larger scope, showcasing quite a few scenes that take place above ground. Take special note of this shot, which finds Winstead staring up at a house as something lurks behind it. What kind of something? Some kind of large, glow-y something.

10 cloverfield lane

The real kicker here is that the reveal this large, glow-y something is accompanied by a monstrous roar, which is very peculiar. After all, everything we’ve heard about 10 Cloverfield Lane is that it is a sequel to Cloverfield in name only, possibly using that title to establish a series of small-scale genre films from various filmmakers. We can draw one of three conclusions from this roar being used in the spot.

  • Number one: 10 Cloverfield Lane does take place in the same world as the original film and the monster problem has only gotten worse and driven people underground.
  • Number two: there is a completely different monster in this film, which is going to be a little weird for people expecting to find connections between this film and the original.
  • Number three: the marketing people placed a roar in here just to drive home the connection to the original Cloverfield, hoping to get butts in seats even if it means setting people up for a direct sequel when the actual film doesn’t deliver on that front.

Honestly, this whole movie is mysterious enough for each of those to sound wholly possible.

Independence Day: Resurgence

If you were alive and watching the Super Bowl in 1996, you remember the original spot for the first Independence Day. It’s probably one of the most famous moments in all of movie marketing, a 30-second slice of brilliance that effective established the genetic code for how movies are sold today. It may seem a little silly by modern standards, but this is easily one of the most important movie advertisements ever devised. Seriously. All anyone could talk about was the shot of the White House getting blown up.

And the Independence Day: Resurgence spot? It’s fine. It’s totally decent. It’s a dramatic and effective enough piece of marketing that manages to quickly and succinctly sell its concept while providing glimpses at returning characters and new faces alike. The destruction on display is unparalleled. It looks like a good, silly time.

Yet, it has to live in the shadow of its predecessor’s Super Bowl trailer, which is just plain unfair. To watch these two back-to-back is a case study in how movie ads have evolved in the past twenty years and it’s fascinating that the hokey spot from ’96 (which now seems so small) had a seismic impact, whereas this slick piece of business just reads as okay.

Captain America: Civil War

There are two major points to take away from the Super Bowl spot for Captain America: Civil War. First of all, Tony Stark seems to have gone and built himself what the internet has already dubbed the “Iron Watch,” which means he’ll always have a little bit of Iron Man on his person at all times. We’ve got to hand it to the Marvel movies – they never seem to run out of new ways for Tony to evolve his technology.

civil war 1

But more importantly, this trailer confirms every single rumor we’ve heard about Team Captain America and Team Iron Man. Yep, the line-ups seem to be identical to what was initially rumored months ago. In this corner, we have Captain America, the Winter Soldier, the Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Ant-Man (with a new helmet, apparently), and Falcon.

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And in this corner, he wave Iron Man, War Machine, Black Widow, Vision, and Black Panther.

civil war 2

Noticeably absent from the fray is Spider-Man, which means Marvel is truly biding their time before before revealing Tom Holland‘s new take on the character. Will they try to keep him hidden until the movie is actually in theaters? Maybe. Possibly. Then again, Spidey feels like a real ace in the marketing team’s sleeve – they’ll bust him out when they feel like they can really use him.

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