So Christina Aguilera blew it with her flubbed Super Bowl national anthem and Ben Roethlisberger blew it with his faltered fourth-quarter comeback drive. But what we’re really talking about the next morning has nothing to do with Fox’s in-game Super Bowl coverage.
Instead, we’re fixated on the barrage of movie trailers and Hollywood-themed ads we checked out during commercial time — extended looks at “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Super 8,” “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and others. While the Green Bay Packers enjoy their Super Bowl win, let’s go ahead and anoint the night’s big Hollywood winners
Perhaps the night’s biggest winner was Abrams, the director of “Super 8″ and — according to the none-too-subtle subtext of the new trailer — the inheritor of Steven Spielberg’s genre-bending, family-focused Hollywood blockbuster crown. Together, Spielberg and Abrams seem to be positioning the film as the successor to “E.T.” Whether that’s what “Super 8″ turns about to be remains an open question. For now, what we can say is that Abrams has come a long way since “Star Trek” and “Lost” recently. He’s officially a top dog in Hollywood.
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
We need not rehash the hand-wringing over the letdown that was 2009′s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” but Michael Bay’s latest ad for his third alien-robot flick, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” goes a long way toward reassuring fans that the new installment will be the best of the bunch. How bold to deliver a Super Bowl movie trailer containing not a single line of dialogue? Instead we got balletic and beautiful fight scenes, an ominous air horn-driven soundtrack and the tagline “Earth goes dark.” We can’t wait!
“Captain America: The First Avenger”
Fans really haven’t known what to think of this Marvel adaptation. Some peeks at Chris Evans in costume as the Captain have left observers underwhelmed, and many remain skeptical about the prospect of Joe Johnston (“The Wolfman,” “Jurassic Park III”) in the director’s chair. Yet this trailer — the first-ever look at footage from “Captain America: The First Avenger” — should help quell any alarm: There’s a cool look at Evans’ transformation from frail wannabe to badass super-soldier, some satisfying fights, and a well-executed period-drama look to the whole thing.
We’re not sure if it made us want to go out and buy a Passat, but this ad was one of the funniest of the night. A young boy, dressed up like Darth Vader, attempts to use the Force on everything from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to a washing machine, only to train his faux-powers on dad’s parked car. And guess what? The car starts and the boy is shocked. Turns out, Dad started the car remotely, via the Passat’s high-tech set of keys. Will parents raised on “Star Wars” rush over to the local Volkswagen dealership seeking the sense of familial togetherness apparent in the commercial? Who knows? But at least we’re talking about these cars, which is not the case with so many of the products advertised during the big game.
Some studios, like Warner Bros., largely sat out the Super Bowl. No studio, however, went as all in as Paramount, which delivered looks at “Captain America,” “Super 8,” “Thor,” “Transformers” and “Rango.” The studio’s ads were among the most talked-about of the night and trended highly on Twitter and Google. Sometimes, it pays to go big.