Things I Noticed Last Week – 4.20.2015

Apparently the week of April 13th will forever be remembered as fanboy trailer week. I have absolutely no idea what made this week so popular for major movie trailers, but they all found a way to get out, even if the studios didn’t want them to.

1. Unless you live under a very large rock, you saw the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer (see it here). The reaction I was able to observe on social media was a collective combination of crying, shrieking, pant wetting, and jumping for joy.

My reaction however was different entirely. It went something like yawn… more yawning… even more yawning… oh it’s a really old Han Solo… why is everyone so excited?

Now I know you’re ready to hit me Bill (Bill is what I have decided to name the guy other than my mother who reads this.), but hear me out. What did they show us that was so incredibly interesting that warranted such a collective hooray? We have a downed Star Destroyer, the remnants of Vader’s helmet, lots of hands without faces, lots more John Boyega and Dasiy Ridley, and ultimately the only reason anyone even cares: Han and Chewie.

Now compare this to the 1999 original trailer for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (see it here). You have young Annakin, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Qui-Gon Jinn, Queen Amidala, C-3PO and R2D2, Mace Windu, this weird thing that turned out to be Jar Jar Binks, and potentially the coolest villain ever: Darth Maul. Sure the movie itself turned out to be terrible but so much was packed into this trailer and it legitimately did not give away much of anything.

I guess my gripe comes mostly from the fact it really tells us nothing about the plot and shows us a bunch of things that make no sense out of context. Maybe I’m just not a big enough fan (assuming the die hard fans understand the all of the nuances of the universe), but I’m seeing a lot of characters I know nothing about without giving me any idea as to why they are even there. The prequel films were much easier for me to grasp because essentially the back story was told throughout the original trilogy. So when the Episode I trailer was released, we got to see all of these characters we had heard about come to life along with younger versions of characters we had already met. It was also jam packed with intense content. The Episode VII trailer was a slow burn leading up to look at Harrison Ford back in the black vest. Remove that and are people still freaking out?

If this trailer was able to get close to 40 million views in a week, Disney and Lucas Films should have an easy time with the next trailer. Example: show lots of broken stuff, show different versions of John Boyega looking either scared or devastated, and add Mark Hamill in at the end somewhere.

I could be very over-critical here, but the prequel films were just so bad I have learned to keep my expectations low. I will say however, the Episode I trailer was jam packed and the film was terrible so maybe showing nothing in the Episode VII trailer is a good thing. Until I see another good Star Wars film, I’m going to just going to chill because the Christmas release date is a galaxy far, far away.

P.S. Give me some Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver and I will care a whole lot more.

2. Staying the Star Wars universe, someone recorded the Star Wars: Rogue One trailer from the recent Star Wars Celebration. It was a terrible cell phone recording but it didn’t give away much anyway. Obi-Wan is narrating something about how awful the world is and you see the Death Star, that’s about it. (I’d share the link with you, but Disney is doing everything they can possibly do to remove it from the internet. Good luck!) I think the idea is intriguing to make films that take place within the cannon of the original Star Wars universe, but stand independent of the main storyline. What I can’t understand is why they would want to tell this story. The plot is something about a group of rebels who try to steal the Death Star plans to save the world. The story is said to take place between the events of Episode III and Episode IV, you know when the remaining Jedi were all in hiding. I guess my question is: Don’t we know how this ends? I could be wrong, but I think the Death Star gets made, and without Luke Skywalker everyone is collectively screwed. So you’re going to give us a film without Luke, Leia, Han, or Chewie, and we know how it ends… Disney went 2 for 2 (oh wait, they own Marvel Studies as well so 2 for 3, more on that later) in not impressing me this week.

Note: If John Ratzenberger is one of these rebels my excitement level will go way up. (Yes. John Ratzenberger was in the original Star Wars films. Look it up if you don’t believe me.)

3. Although it wasn’t planned, the Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer was leaked. In the world of “if you can’t beat um, join um” the trailer was officially released soon after. (Full Disclosure: I’m a much bigger Batman fan than Star Wars, so I’m sure Bill is going to think I’m biased. Which I probably am.) My initial reaction was puzzled, mostly because I was not watching it as intently as I should have been. I couldn’t understand what I was watching. I generally find myself doing about 10 different things at the same time whenever I am sitting at a computer (get your mind out of the gutter Bill), so I was only half paying attention to the trailer.

Upon completion, I found myself thinking about just how absurd a fight between Batman and Superman is. Ultimately, Superman is as boring as a superhero comes. If you don’t have kryptonite Superman is completely invincible. One would assume Bruce Wayne and his infinite resources would be able to get his hands on the substance, but is that any more interesting? You have an alien with every super power ever, up against a mortal equipped with a massive bank account. Either Batman has kryptonite or Superman kills him. Any other options here? With that said, a movie based solely around the two battling seems ridiculous at best and incredibly disappointing at worst.

Then I watched the trailer again. There is ultimately a lot of depth here. Superman lets the fanaticism around him go to his head and seemingly needs someone to bring him back to reality. We get a glimpse of both of the new bat-suits which look pretty awesome, there is a question mark resembling that of the Riddler, there is a giant desecrated Superman statue, and it seems very dark. I guess the moral of the story kids is don’t judge a book if you’ve only skimmed it. (Did that analogy make any sense?)

4. When it comes to movies which might not be very good but have really good looking trailers, the award goes to the new Fantastic Four film. I’m really disappointed we are going to get another origin story here, but Miles Teller, Micheal B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell! Are you kidding me? This cast is way better than the original. I wouldn’t bet on getting more than 3 films out of this cast as they are becoming some the hottest names in Hollywood, but there is a lot of credible talent here. I’m not thrilled about another two hours of them obtaining their super powers and meeting their nemesis Doctor Doom, but I will be there for this one. The trailer has me more worked up than the other 3 I’ve mentioned combined. Judge me if you must, but no one can compete with the energy and quality Marvel Studios has produced in such massive quantity over the last decade.

Thanks for reading and see you next week!