Millions of people in Fresno and all over the world today tuned in to watch Super Bowl XLVIII, where the Seattle Seahawks scored an landslide victory against the Denver Broncos with a final score of 43 to 8, their first Super Bowl victory in the franchise's history. And along with the big game, fans were also treated to some of the most impressive advertisements of the year. All of these ads are impressive, but the ones that stand out the most to this examiner are the TV spots for this year's upcoming blockbusters.
There were not as many TV spots this year as there have been in the past, in fact, only three of them aired during the big game itself. However, they were still quite entertaining and worth making note of.
For instance, the TV spot for RoboCop, which will be released on February 12, was essentially a thirty-three second action piece that announced the film was coming out, quickly showed off the actors, and kept focus on the film's major action sequences, including a shot of RoboCop and ED-209 falling during their climatic battle. Also, that a look at the international version, which puts more emphasis on the film's plot instead of the action.
For the younger crowd, or the young at heart, there was the spot for Muppets Most Wanted, the sequel to Disney's 2011 blockbuster The Muppets. The spot is a hilarious parody of post-film release spots that highlight the positive reviews a film receives, in this case glorifying the Internet bloggers responses to the early TV spots and trailers. Sharp-eyes viewers will notice brief appearances by not only lead human stars Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey, but also several guest stars like Christoph Waltz, Stanley Tucci, and Tom Hiddleston. It is so funny that this examiner has a hard time explaining it, but it does fit in very well with the Muppet's sense of satire and with the Muppet Studios recent success with producing viral videos since 2008. And, surprisingly, the spot ends with a somewhat foreboding twist as the spot is hacked by Constantine, Kermit's evil double. Muppets Most Wanted is slated for release on March 21.
Another film advertised this year was NOAH, the upcoming biblical epic starring Russell Crowe as the title character as he undergoes his mission to build an ark to save his family and the animals from a oncoming flood. The TV spot emphasizes the epicness of the story, promising this to be "the untold story of the world's most epic event." As Emma Thompson's character says this to be the end of everything, Noah assures her that this is the beginning of everything. NOAH is set for release on March 28.
Need for Speed, staring Aaron Paul, is a action film about a street racer who, after being released from prison for a crime that he didn't commit, sets out to race cross-country and avenge the death of his friend. The TV spot heavily emphasizes the stunt work, car chases and urban feel of the film, very much reminding this examiner of what we have all come to expect of the Fast and the Furious series. The films is set to be released on March 14.
Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth-installment in the Michael Bay-directed film series based on the popular Hasbro toy line, reveals the first official footage from the hotly-anticipated film we have seen so far. Replacing Shia LeBeouf this time is Mark Wahlberg, leading a human cast that also includes Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Sophia Myles, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer. Leading the robot cast this time, once again, is Optimus Prime, this time sporting a sleek new look that is supposedly meant to make him look more "heroic." We get glimpses of a Decepticon that turns into some sort of cannon, and another silver Decepticon that, despite his blatant death in the previous film, bears a resemblance to Megatron; it is possible that this is intended to be Megatron's evolved form, Galvatron, from the classic series, but that is all speculation at this time. We also see what appears to be another Decepticon invasion on its way, a green robot floating in the air with parachutes (possibly the character Crosshairs), and most exciting of all, two shots of Bumblebee grabbing onto a robot resembling a Pterodactyl and of Optimus Prime riding a giant robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex, undoubtedly the Dinobots Swoop and Grimlock, respectively, officially confirming the fan favorite characters will finally be making their big screen introduction. Transformers: Age of Extinction is set for release on June 27.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 also released a new TV spot today, both in broadcast format and as an extended trailer. Again, this TV spot focuses on the action sequences of the film, plus a funny scene between Peter and Aunt May at eh end, while the extended trailer delves deeper into the plot than the either the broadcast spot or the first trailer. Interesting.y, the TV spot advertises a website, EnemiesUnite.Com, an official website for the film where the full trailer can be watched and which features the character Harry Osborn (played by Dane DeHaan) examining footage both of Spider-Man and of the other elements that will play a role of the film's events, now that the countdown timer on the site has run out. The extended trailer greatly expands on the TV spot by going into greater detail about the origins of Electro (played by Jamie Foxx), while also maintaining the elements of Harry's contacting Peter, Harry apparent transformation into the Green Goblin, and teasing shots of the Rhino. The trailer helps make the whole piece look much more exciting, colorful, and overall more fun than the previous film. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set for release on May 2.
Finally, we got a new, full trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. While the first trailer put emphasis on the political tension between Cap's old world beliefs and the way S.H.I.E.L.D. and the rest of the world operates today, this new trailer puts the emphasis on the telling us more about the title villain, the Winter Soldier, telling and showing us what he can do, giving us glimpses into the process that created him, and how Cap will never find this "ghost" of a saboteur with no past or true name...Or perhaps Cap and Winter Soldier have some sort of history together after all? The trailer also showcases the dynamic between Cap and his ally teammate the Falcon (played by Anthony Mackie), as well as showing Falcon in combat a lot more. Of course, the trailer also offer a lot of action spectacle, highlighting Cap's taking charge of operations around him to confront this new threat, and giving us more of his solo battle against the Winter Soldier. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is set for release on April 4.
All of these TV spots and trailer were great delight to look at and all of them succeed in their job of getting us all hyped for the ultimate release of all these films. Whether any or all of the films will deliver on what these spots are promising, well, that still remains to be seen.