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Movie evaluator reviews TV spots

Who would have thought that in a night when Christina Aguilera flubbed up the national anthem, the Black Eyed Peas flopped during their TRON inspired halftime and the Packers won the Super Bowl that all I could think about was how good the upcoming movie season could be?

Yet, that’s exactly the sentiment I came away with in the wake of my spinach artichoke dip, Mountain Dew-induced Super Bowl Sunday hangover. If the TV spots showcased during the big game are any indication of the success flicks will have this summer then I better start lining up now.

The TV spots for films did exactly what they were supposed to — create anticipation. In doing so, each spot has to show just enough to stick out among the bloated commercial onslaught, while simultaneously leaving much to the imagination. In short they give us a taste of their fry sauce, but withhold the fries, cheeseburger and Coke.

By far the best “fry sauce” of the night came with the TV spot for Super 8. Written and directed by every nerd’s hero, JJ Abrams, the film pays homage to Spielberg films of the 1980s. From its evocative cinematography to its inspiring musical accompaniment, this TV spot is breathtaking.

At times, the advertisement feels like E.T. while I can’t help but feel a dash of Close Encounters of Third Kind and The Goonies love there as well. All I know is that it looks beyond good, definitely great, with the possibility of being epic. I wonder if Abrams will go way nostalgic by throwing in some “truffle shuffle?” I certainly have my fingers crossed.

Another reason for my excitement is the presence of coach Eric Taylor of Friday Night Lights fame, leaving me to proclaim that Super 8 simply “CAN’T LOSE!”

Okay, enough of my Super 8 obsession. The night was full of other movie spots. Surprisingly, the new Transformers actually looks exciting. After Revenge of the Fallen’s missteps with “Robot Heaven,” Optimus Prime sized plot holes, and Megan Fox not being near as sexy as she was in the original, I am left with no reason to see a third explosion-filled foray. Yet, the Super Bowl spot completely has me salivating. Dark and gritty are the best adjectives to describe the new Transformers flick.

Hopefully director Michael Bay has learned from his mistakes and is prepared to deliver a genuine cap to his trilogy. As for Shia, please don’t mess this up like you did Indiana Jones. Ruining franchises is career suicide — ask Jar Jar Binks.

The 2011 summer movie season looks to be saturated by superhero films. Marvel is releasing both Captain America and Thor. DC is releasing Green Lantern. None of the superhero movie spots did anything to differentiate themselves from one another. However, Captain America’s World War II setting does seem the most interesting. Nonetheless, Thor has Natalie Portman and there aren’t too many hotter than Hollywood’s Black Swan!

Also looking to invade movie theatres this summer is aliens. Battle: Los Angleles and Cowboys and Aliens, look to terrorize and entertain as well.

Cowboys and Aliens has Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and James Bond (Daniel Craig) as its stars, while Battle: Los Angeles has Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). While I must say Dent could take Bond any day, I have to go with Solo in the end. Similarly, I must say that Cowboys and Aliens looks slightly more interesting than Battle: Los Angeles, like a sequel or rehash of alien epic District 9 — which isn’t exactly a bad thing.

Near the end of the game, we finally caught a glimpse of Captain Jack Sparrow back in action in the fourth installment of the wildly successful Pirates franchise. As excited as I am for this film, the TV spot did little to inspire me. Instead of giving me that “fry sauce,” all I got were stale crumbs. In fact, I actually lost interest in the film after the TV spot. Depp and devoted Disney fans like me deserve more. Hopefully, the film is far better than the commercial or else this film may end up not on “stranger tides,” but “bankrupt beaches.”

Unlike Fergie’s halftime howling, the TV spots were actually worth my time. And for the most part the movie commercials played their tune correctly — something Miss Aguilera certainly couldn’t do. Hopefully this was a sign of a summer movie season akin more to the Packers and less to the Cavaliers.

Now that we’ve had the “fry sauce” let’s get on with the burger and fries!

Matt Howard is a senior communication major from Nephi. He can be reached at mhoward@suunews.com.

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