Lewis Black once posited that if you ever want to know just how far American culture is going down the tubes, look no further than commercials for the Super Bowl. I don’t think he was far wrong.

There were some pretty bad and incomprehensible commercials this year, make no mistake. Nestled in among them were commercials for this year’s crop of summer blockbusters. Some of them were rehashes of previous trailers, but many of them were our first glimpses of the films in question. Here they are, with a few of my first impressions about them.

Battle: Los Angeles

Nothing in here that hasn’t already been seen in the trailer. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this one, though I find it probable that its gross may suffer from some Skyline backlash. In any case, the footage looks good enough that I’ll be paying for my ticket this March. And anyway, when has Aaron Eckhardt ever disappointed?

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Looks like this third movie is bringing the Bay-hem, but it was always a given that this would include incomprehensible CGI action out the wazoo. I don’t see anything else worthy of mention from this commercial, though I’m sure that fans are going through it frame by frame as I type this. No matter how good this film will turn out to be, it’s sure to make a gazillion dollars this July.

Cowboys and Aliens

Well, the alien tech doesn’t look half bad. Daniel Craig is suitably badass and Harrison Ford seems like he’s finally reminding us all why he’s awesome. Can’t wait to see Olivia Wilde’s performance, but I very much doubt we’ll be seeing any more of her naked if this gets a PG-13. Wouldn’t complain if we did, though. The film is coming this July and I think this’ll be a wild ride.

Fast Five

Full disclosure: I haven’t seen a single movie in this franchise. As such, I’m left with quite a few questions. Is there really such a huge fanbase that was clamoring for more? Are these characters so deep and compelling that they can go for so many movies without growing stale? Perhaps most importantly, is there anything in this next movie — or even in this commercial — that couldn’t be seen in the last four movies? You know, besides Dwayne Johnson? Guess we’ll find out this April.


An interesting trailer with some solid action, but nothing we haven’t already seen from the trailers. I’m glad to see Marvel stepping up the promos for this movie, but I hope we get something new before the film’s premiere this May.

Super 8

I think this may be the first footage released of this movie, and it’s pretty darn good. Abrams has been promising that this film will deliver a classic 80s Spielberg feel as presented with modern sensibilities, and that looks exactly like what we’re getting. Also, it seems that this won’t be another mockumentary, for which I’m very thankful. Release is set for this June and I can’t wait to see more.

Captain America

Wow. Our first look at this movie in motion and it’s a doozy. There’s a good look at Steve Rogers before and after the transformation, and the experiment itself looks pretty cool. The action appears quite interesting so far, and we got a brief look at Red Skull himself! The last scene with the prototype shield was rather cute as well. If this is what they put together for the commercial, I can’t wait to see what the first trailer will be like. So far, it looks like we’ll be in for something special this July.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Again, nothing we haven’t already seen from the first trailer. I’m still not sure if this is enough to wash the bad taste of the last two films out of pop culture’s collective memory, though I do know that Cpt. Sparrow’s drawn-out screaming “joke” isn’t remotely funny. Additionally, that “sword through the door” gag falls completely flat without 3D. For better or worse, the film hits this May.


I don’t know what to make of this movie, and I’m not sure the studio does, either. I know it’s a cartoon starring an incompetent chameleon voiced by Johnny Depp, but the commercial was so unfocused that I couldn’t get anything else out of it. Anyway, the film is coming out this March, so I guess we’ll learn more about it soon enough.


I’ve seen posters for this movie in theaters over the past several months, yet I had no idea what the film is about or whether I’d want to see it until I saw this commercial. Now, I’m quite sure that I don’t want to see the movie. The visuals are quite dazzling in how colorful they are, but the humor looks so damn lazy and sophomoric. Grade-school kids might have a good time with this come April, but I think I’ll be looking elsewhere.

To sum up, it looks like we’re in for a very explosive summer this year, with several established franchises returning to break box office records. So what else is new?

Congrats, Green Bay!