Yeah, it’s only February. But come Sunday, Wolverine is just two months away.
That makes this a perfect time to grade out on the trailers for the biggest movies of the summer:
WOLVERINE (May 1): Let’s make an agreement here and now that I won’t have to type out “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” every time I mention this movie and you won’t mention it when I don’t. K? K. For all the talk about how the trailer is failing to live up to expectations and how the production has been a problem from the start — I’m not seeing it. We get some great introductions to Tim Riggins playing Gambit, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool and Liev Schrieber as a toned-down version of Sabertooth. Fine by me. When I see that helicopter jump in the movie, I’m still gonna love it. GRADE: A-
STAR TREK (May 8): Let’s start off by saying I have no connection to the Star Trek franchise whatsoever. I’m not Trekkie, and I don’t really care if people are or aren’t. I’m extremely middle of the road. I never liked the TV show, I kinda like the movies — especially Khan — and had a Trekkie uncle growing up. So I can go either way. That’s kinda how I am with the trailer — I can go either way with this. The car chase/race opening reminds me a little too much of the opening of Crystal Skull — never a good thing — but the rest of it I can get on board with. It looks like they’re going to make this the origin story of Kirk and Spock, but I doubt they’re gonna show them making out in the opening scene like they should. Worst case scenario: It makes my Blockbuster Queue. Best case: I see it second weekend. GRADE: B
ANGELS AND DEMONS (May 15): I’m still wondering why Tom Hanks came back for a second Robert Landon movie when the first one was such a disappointment and turned his rock-solid history of great career choices into a long-haired question mark. Same goes for Ron Howard. Someone had some iron-clad contracts that the principles couldn’t weasel their way out of. They have a lot to make up for from the first one — and it doesn’t look like it’s happening here. I’m holding all of these guys responsible for the bore-fest that was Da Vinci Code, so they need to prove something to me. This trailer isn’t doing it. GRADE: D
TERMINATOR: SALVATION (May 21): I also have no connection to the Terminator series. I still haven’t seen 3, and I gave up on the TV show last year. In fact, that’s what we should call it. SUMMER 2009: THE FRANCHISES I COULD GIVE A FLYING, FLAMING SHAT ABOUT. This is a fanboy’s trailer, which means it doesn’t really do that much for me. If they threw in Christian Bale yelling at the director of photography, then we’d have something going here. GRADE: C
LAND OF THE LOST (June 5): Chalk up another one I don’t care about. Farrell has been on a role for me lately, and I like the concept of turning what was an unintentional joke (the TV show) into a full-on, 100% joke. Still, I hated Elf and I hate it every time Adam Sandler makes a family comedy. So I have no intention of seeing this — even though the trailer is somewhat appealing. GRADE: B
TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE FALLEN (June 24): I get it. Michael Bay is getting old. But before he let this trailer be approved, shouldn’t he have remembered that that first 30 seconds of it look exactly like the the Armageddon trailer? You know, Armageddon? One of his earlier crapfests that you can’t stop watching? I couldn’t get by that, no matter what they did in the rest of it. For the record, the rest of it? Not that good. Looks like the same problems from the first one, too much confusing transforming to the point that you can’t tell who’s who and what’s going on. Oh yeah, and Shia LaBeouf is still the star. Problem. GRADE: C-
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (July 17): Looks like every other Harry Potter trailer to me. I can’t even be sure this isn’t the trailer for any of the first ones. Good luck figuring it out on your own. GRADE: B-
FUNNY PEOPLE (July 31): Not quite sure what to do with this. Is this a regular comedy, or the most depressing comedy ever? Or is it just Spanglish 2? I’m not falling for this one just because it’s Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow. Not for a second. GRADE: D
GI JOE (Aug. 7): Since Lent starts today, I figured out what I’m giving up — getting excited for this movie. I thought I had it licked a while ago, then they had to throw out a kick-ass teaser like this during the Super Bowl, and now I’m hooked. So I’m going cold turkey. No trailers, no hype, no love for GI Joe, since it’s bound to get screwed up somewhere along the way. Although hot damn I like this teaser — especially the Snake Eyes-Storm Shadow quick-cut face-off. GRADE: A
INGLORIOUS BASTERDS (Aug. 21): If you’re promoting a Quentin Tarantino movie, you need to show a couple of things:
–A tough, scary, intimidating central male figure. Brad Pitt present and accounted for, asking for Nazi scalps.
–Guns. Lots of guns. Done and done.
–A woman in trouble. No problem, we’ve got Melanie Laurent with a bloody face running across some German field.
–Some kind of pop culture reference. Oops, where did that go? Are we supposed to count a misplaced and angry Hitler?
Still, this is effective in getting you ready for Quentin’s Kill Bill magnum opus follow-up, disappointing only in that the making of this movie means The Vega Brothers, if it’s ever going to happen, is pushed back another couple years. GRADE: B+