Trailer Tailgate: Super Bowl Trailer Discussion Megathread

Talk about them all here, even SKYSCRAPER!

However you feel about it, it needs to be accepted: The mainstream is flowing towards a delta. There are fewer and fewer things you can count on everyone to know, to accept, to recognize.

This may or may not affect you as an individual, but you better believe it does if you’re a corporation. The question of how to deal with this issue is answered the same way corporations answer most questions: Ignore the issue, and try to make as much money as you can the old way. To wit, if there are only four or five times you can be sure a huge amount of people are going to be focused on the same event, you’d expect the advertisers to descend on those events like a whole pride of lions, rending the thing down to the last slivers in pursuit of those last few morsels of high 18-34 viewer figures, before the next televisual hungry season comes.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is there were a lot of trailers for upcoming TV shows and movies at the Super Bowl last night. Let’s talk about them all in one place!  But before you do, watch them all here.


“A life not bad for a hardy lad / though surely not a high lot / I’m just a nurse, you might do worse / than to make your boy a pilot”

You can discuss this morning’s full trailer in full, but the first we saw of the second not-quite-Star Wars movie showed an interesting counterpart to the first: Another youngster living under the shadow of the Empire (with all of the four or five meanings that entails), who gets swept up on another planet-hopping adventure that will skirt the edges of the Star Wars galaxy we recognize without spending too much time in it as to anger fans…not that it’ll actually stop the fans from getting angry.

The difference? Well, Donald Glover looking sumptuous as the young Lando Calrissian for one. That heart-stopping (for me, at any rate) monorailed, biplanar space train, for another. As I say, there’s more to chew on in the full trailer, which has not released at press time.


“Hey there, Mr. Blue / We’re so pleased to be with you”

The latest trailer for the most easily editable movie title since The Post (“The Papers” made so much more sense, seriously) had a particular emphasis on horrific dinosaur imagery: Enormous claws poised over you, dozens of teeth lurking around the corner, that fearsome T-Rex head roaring in sheer might, or perhaps talking to its two friends in the same poses every day. It certainly makes sense as a focus, given director J.A. Bayona’s pedigree in family horror/disaster movies, and the presence of The Get Down‘s Justice Smith turning his troubles into earsplitting screams rather than rhymes.

Less sensible is the presence of Toby Jones and Rafe Spall as slimeballs in suits, intent on using the dinosaurs for their own means. Have we really not had our fill of that, after four straight movies of the same threat?


“All the other kids with the pumped up kicks / you’d better run, better run / faster than my bullet”

This trailer, simply put, rules. Rob Hardy’s gorgeous cinematography feels perfectly suited to the breathless, grueling vision of just how tough it is to be Tom Cruise’s superspy avatar Ethan Hunt, all perilous hangs from ropes and persecution from your spy agency and punches from Henry Cavill’s mustache attached to a man.

I can tell there’s more than a little John Wick influence from several angles – the rave in Paris’ trendy Grand Palais in particular – but more importantly, Chris McQuarrie seems to be using that as a vehicle to examine just what the point of all this is. I have no idea what conclusions there are to be reached, about six movies’ worth of outlandish stunt work and exotic locales and rubber masks that all leads back to a potboiler Peter Graves/Martin Landau TV show, but I’m excited to see those conclusions nonetheless.


“Everybody wants a rock / to wind a piece of string around”

As a black hole bends spacetime around it, distorting relativity and how we can see the universe, so too does The “Dwayne Johnson” Rock bend every single one of his movies around himself. Despite the obvious Die Hard or The Towering Inferno comparisons, Skyscraper actually looks like it’s trying to marry the sensibilities of Michaels Crichton and Bay, with a marginalized military man trying to survive both action-intrigue shenanigans and implicitly xenophobic SF-tinged Asian corporate politics. Once you cast The Rock in that role, though, that whole plot looks like it’s going to bend around the hero being the same stone-skinned, boastful teddy bear he plays in just about every movie.

Hey, it’s at least noteworthy that his wife is a) a white woman who’s b) his age. I wish that weren’t so noteworthy, but there it is.


“I’ll look for you when the war is over / an hour and a half from now!”

Most of what we saw in the abbreviated ad felt like follow-ups to the first trailer from December – the same scene a few seconds later or earlier – and as such makes it hard to discuss an awful lot. In the trailer they said “Get this man a shield”, and in this TV spot they’ve gotten that man a shield.

It’s still worth mentioning, though, that the movie is billing itself as an ending to the MCU in general and its belligerent Marduk figure of a creator, Tony Stark, in particular. Note the last time we saw a superhero wearing glasses to deal with poor vision rather than as a Clark Kent disguise, it was Logan.

The broadcast also brought trailers for Red Sparrow, A Quiet Place, Westworld, Jack Ryan, and Castle Rock…also, somewhere buried under there, one of the most consistently exciting Super Bowl games in a long time, with record-breaking offense and a cathartic victory for the Philadelphia Eagles. Feel free to talk about that here, too – we won’t judge you for your team affiliation. Much.

  • Lilgreenman

    I feel like I could have done a better job on the song titles. I mostly wanted to use the PIRATES OF PENZANCE one for SOLO because it’s so perfect.

  • FALLOUT is the clear winner in terms of quality, with CLOVERFIELD PARADOX’s marketing cleverness deserving its own special mention.

    And SOLO’s debut actually got me excited to see the full trailer, which I was deeply ambivalent about before.

  • YayMayorBee

    M:I was my favorite of the bunch. FALLOUT looks like McQuarrie took the craziness of the Moroccan section of ROGUE NATION and just made an entire movie out of that stuff.

  • The Rockscraper teaser got a little sniffle from me: This trend of giving action heroes broken bodies and watching them fuck up some dudes in spite of it is a thing of beauty.

  • Matt Baen

    Skyscraper is the standout for me. Neve Campbell! Probably underused, but still. And an action hero braving dizzying heights a la Die Hard or Cliffhanger. Rock in serious mode is less fun, but I’ll take it.

    • Lilgreenman

      I’d extend there’s a difference between “Serious Rock” and “Straight-faced Rock”. Dude’s hanging from a mile up by his prosthetic leg.

  • MK

    Winners for me are Fallout and Solo. Infinity War was OK, but not much new was really shown.

    Also, HOLY SHIT THE EAGLES WON THE SUPER BOWL!!! If you’d have told me before the season about all the injuries we’d endure, I would’ve never believed that we’d win a playoff game, let alone win the Super Bowl. I’m so glad to have been proven wrong by everyone on the team. What a game and what a season.

  • jeves23

    M:I FALLOUT looks fucking great. I love this series (except #2, which is a big ol’ #2), and McQuarrie is looking like he might be to M:I what Justin Lin was F&F.
    SKYSCRAPER looks like ridiculous fun (also, holy hell we are getting TWO big Rock Johnson movies this year!).
    And I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Jurassic World: FK looks fucking dopey as hell, but also like it could be a lot of fun. I have a feeling it won’t go crazy enough, and that it will try too hard to be a “serious” tentpole about genetically modified dinosaurs outrunning a volcano, etc, but whatever, I’m totally going to see it.