We’ve made it folks. We have seen trailers belabor the point more and more over the course of the 21st century, slowly inching their way to three minutes in length (or more), revealing endings and plot twists because marketing departments don’t care about spoilers (money…they care about money).
We have seen trailers for trailers, which is to say snippets of a trailer that play at the beginning of a trailer just in case you forgot that you were about to watch a trailer and were about to click away from the video on Youtube. Studios that believe every internet-perusing teen is a coked-up ADHD mental case that can’t sit still for two seconds have both elongated the movie trailer and shortened it into what are essentially GIFs waiting to happen.
Now we are on the verge of America’s most indulgent Holiday since Thanksgiving went out of style in the 1960s: the Super Bowl. Get your beer and your buffalo wings ready, because this Sunday we are about to get some movie trailers for the most anticipated movies of 2017! We’ve got Transformers. We’ve got Ghost in the Shell. We’ve got Baywatch. Will we see a trailer for the anticipated festival darling coming hot out of Sundance, The Big Sick? No. Well f**k it, we’ve got Pirates of the Caribbean 4! Oh wait, it’s Pirates of the Caribbean 5? Even better!
Not only are we going to be blessed with the most indulgent trailers for the most indulgent films of the year during the most indulgent sporting event of the year, but we are lucky enough to get trailers for those trailers just days before said event.
These teasers are 30-second spots posted online to get people hyped for the full-length trailer that will drop during the Super Bowl broadcast on Sunday. Because people will definitely decide to watch the Super Bowl once they know that Transformers 28 will debut a two-minute ad-spot just before halftime. Without the teaser, they would have never known to watch the Super Bowl.
Two of these 30-second spots adorn the front page of IMDb today. Transformers: The Last Night and Ghost in the Shell. These spots are like empty calories; that gassy, bloaty feeling you get after downing a beer too fast when you don’t want to miss that third down snap.
Anthony Hopkins is in a Transformers movie. That’s what I learned today. Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins. Transformers 5. And Mark Wahlberg is wielding a lightsaber, as far as I can tell.
Clearly I know very little about Transformers. And why should I? I’m not getting paid enough to be subjected to that. I’m not getting paid at all! What I do know is that Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are both good guys, and they are fighting each other in this spot. I think. Or that is some other big blue-and-red-obviously-meant-to-illustrate-western-patriotism robot throwing that yellow thing around like a ragdoll. Either way, I really don’t care.
So there you go Transformers fans. Optimus Prime is a bad guy. Dom Toretto is a bad guy. Up is down. Backwards is forward. The world is falling apart at the seams. And all the while, Mark Wahlberg’s hair game is on point.
Then there is Ghost in the Shell. A live action adaptation now famous for its white washing and little else. The trailers we’ve gotten so far aren’t doing much to make up for this negative press. It’s a lot of slow motion shots prepping action sequences that don’t seem all that compelling.
“But in this ad we see Scarlett Johansson strip off a trenchcoat,” I hear you saying. Sure, horny teen. That we do. But it is only to reveal the gross, white body suit underneath that she will be sporting throughout probably the entire movie.
Guys, just watch the animated film. It’s good enough. There really is no need to be hyped about this casting choice. Johansson is merely a vehicle from which Paramount and Dreamworks can cash in big on an opening weekend of upwards of $50 million. The real travesty is that this film is likely to be woefully mediocre. There is an electricity to Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 film that is noticeably absent from these trailers.
The only thing that we know the 2017 remake will definitively do is require that anyone Googling the original film will have to add a 1995 keyword to the end of their search to get accurate results.
As always, thanks for reading!
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)