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Movie Blog: Rating Super Bowl Movie Previews

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Eric Henderson Eric Henderson
Eric Henderson joined the WCCO.COM web team in June 2006. As a member...
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By Eric Henderson, CBS Minnesota

None of the top 10 most engaging Super Bowl commercials (according to TiVo) were the movie previews that ran throughout. It used to be that some of the most talked-about ads were previews. I’m thinking of the year when the shot of an exploding White House made Independence Day the must-see movie of the summer of ’96.

Not so much this year. Here are all the trailers that ran during the Bowl game, and a quick rundown on how well the ad amped up excitement, on an anticipation scale of 1 to 10.

(For the record, here a chart of which ads inspired the biggest buzz on Twitter. I’m pretty surprised at the #1, to be honest.)

Universal Pictures: “Cowboys & Aliens”

“Must See” factor: The alignment with Iron Man suggests a neat postmodern spin on old-school metallurgy.
“Yawn” factor: Didn’t we already see Deadwood Gulch turned into an industrial action zone in Wild Wild West?
Overall anticipation: Daniel Craig with stubble pushes this up to a 5.

Paramount: “Transformers: Dark Of The Moon”

“Must See” factor: A riveting steely pulse for a soundtrack; that fantastic shot of a malevolent bot twisting through a city street like the mecha-Tasmanian devil.
“Yawn” factor: “More than meets the eye” is bound to become “less than meets the eye” after a few sequels.
Overall anticipation: 7, hoping for guilty pleasure action vulgarity. Think we’ll get it?

Marvel: “Thor”

“Must See” factor: You want pecs the size of Casaba melons? Chris Hemsworth’s got them right here, baby.
“Yawn” factor: This is one of the movies Natalie Portman is going to follow up her Oscar win with?
Overall anticipation: The effects look all over the map, but it settles in at about 5.

Paramount: “Super 8″

“Must See” factor: Stephen Spielberg isn’t directing (J.J. Abrams is), but this still looks like it bears the master’s imprimatur in classic Close Encounters mode.
“Yawn” factor: Is this scary or wondrous? Light or dark? The preview suggests it could be anything.
Overall anticipation: Because nobody does summer like Spielberg, and Abrams’ Star Trek was solid fun, this gets an 8.

Marvel: “Captain America”

“Must See” factor: A cool 1940s look and Chris Evans’ amusing transformation from 98-pound weakling to puffy, muscle stud.
“Yawn” factor: None of the action shots looked altogether … exciting?
Overall anticipation: If Evans maintains a sense of humor about himself, it might be worth a 5.

Universal Pictures: “FastFive”

“Must See” factor: Cars! Crashes! Stunts! Vin! Boom! Aaaaah!
“Yawn” factor: At five movies in, they have to be on cruise control.
Overall anticipation: A 6, but only if I get to drive one of those cars.

Disney: “Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”

“Must See” factor: Johnny Depp seems to let his freak flag fly further with each new entry.
“Yawn” factor: So does the budget, and doesn’t each of these more or less feel the exact same?
Overall anticipation: Depp’s scream lifts this to a 5, but it’s seriously time to put this series out to pasture.

20th Century Fox: “Rango”

“Must See” factor: Maybe it’s just True Grit lingering, but doesn’t this whole thing suggest a Coen brothers cartoon?
“Yawn” factor: Still unsure as to what this is going to be about, but I doubt that matters.
Overall anticipation: I’m not automatically predisposed to ‘toons, but this gets a 7.

20th Century Fox: “Rio”

“Must See” factor: Pretty tropical colors.
“Yawn” factor: Sass overload.
Overall anticipation: Par for the course: 5, even being stuck (as we are) in the dead cold of February.

Universal Studios: “Limitless”

“Must See” factor: The biggest “concept” of all these previews, technically.
“Yawn” factor: Sure Bradley Cooper is good-looking, but does anyone buy him as a neo-Stephen Hawking?
Overall anticipation: Surprisingly limited: 4.

Disney: “Mars Needs Moms”

“Must See” factor: The same neon-hued palate that almost saved Tron: Legacy.
“Yawn” factor: “Fire butt-blasters.” Ha. Ha.
Overall anticipation: A strict 4. Hope Pixar’s Cars 2 is better than this year’s batch of Super Bowl cartoon movies.

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