Friday, December 08, 2017

The Tale of Two Tentpole Trailers: 'Avengers: Infinity War' and 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom'


We are in the era that the first trailer is almost as hotly anticipated as the actual movie. It is also a very annoying era when people expect and demand major plot points revealed and storylines advanced in commercials. I've always been a fan of trailers and I remember as a kid being really excited to see what little sneak peeks I'll get at the theatre before the feature is screened. But I've always believed a trailer's job is to intrigue and leave us wanting more and have us asking lots of questions that would then be answered when we see the actual movie. In other words, they should not be the second Terminator: Genisys trailer.

The new standard bearer for great trailers has to be Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The trailer shows exciting sequences, there is tons of big set pieces revealed, but it leaves us with lots of big questions and speculations, but most of all, I feel like almost none of the actual plot has been revealed. I feel like I am going in as fresh as I can for someone who has seen the two big trailers.

This past week there have been two major trailers dropped for what probably is going to be the two biggest movies after The Last Jedi, and are the tentpoles and major summer box office hopefuls for their respective studios. Both franchises have had an instalment in the past five years that made over two hundred million domestic their opening weekend, and I am sure there are studio executives that are hoping for that same. My guess is that only one has a real shot at hitting the two hundred million mark this time (and may surpass by fifteen million), but at least the other one has a lot of cool looking dinosaurs.

Avengers: Infinity War (May 4, 2018)

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This is the grand mega event that Marvel Studios has been building up to for several years now (even Avengers: Age of Ultron felt less like a major event and more as a build to this one). Thanos has mainly just been making cameos or popping up in stingers expressing his love for pretty, colourful, glowing stones but trying to convince other people to do all the heave lifting. Now, Thanos is ready to rumble, and only the uniting of every single Marvel character that has appeared in a movie can stop him.

We get an appearance of Thanos without his helmet, and I have to say, hopefully, he keeps on headgear for most of the movie. We also see our heroes pretty dirty and somber, so you know they are taking a beating. The biggest selling point is that this movie will be crammed full of everyone, and the trailer shows almost everyone as advertised. Just seeing them all together isn't really enough to get me super excited, but rather the promise of them actually doing some interesting things together.

It definitely feels like a grand and epic event. The little hints of the action look really good, and we have teases of some interesting relationships like Scarlet Witch and Vision now being a thing and Iron Man being brand new buds with Dr. Strange. I have to say that even though everyone knew Captain America was coming back that I got a chill down my spine when Black Panthers says to get this man as a shield then the Captain comes from out of the shadows. It will be really interesting to see how Iron Man and Captain America interact with each other, as that has to be a thing but the scenes are probably best saved for the movie.

We know that someone from the team has to die, and maybe a few will be passing on. Kevin Feige has pretty much promised it, to the point of saying the title of the next Avengers has to be kept secret as it will spoil a death in this movie. As far as major hero-like characters, I can only think of two who have died in previous movies and even then, one was a villain for one of his movies and the other is a stretch calling him major.  It is the bold move that Marvel needs to make by allowing Thanos and his cretins kill off a hero and cause repercussions for movies going forward.

The trailer is obviously hinting at it being Vision, and Scarlet Witch does have bad luck with her loved ones staying alive. Vision is not an important enough character where him dying would warrant the title of the next movie. I even had to check IMDb to remind myself who Paul Bettany plays. My guess is that Marvel is smart enough to not drop any kind of hint as to who it is that actually dies and rather use the marketing to misdirect. My guess is that it will be someone really major, like a person who had his own movie back in 2012 or 2013.

Loki looks like he betrays Thor and the Avengers again, but that isn't really a spoiler. The big question is does Loki redeem himself and maybe even, does he sacrifice himself for the greater good? I feel like Loki has done about as much as he can do at this point in the story, and I would like it if he got a grand send-off.

I definitely didn't get the same amount of excitement or big questions like I did with The Last Jedi trailer. It was just seeing a visual representation of most of the stuff that was in synopsis or already being assumed from hype. Yep, all the characters are going to be in it. Yep, Thanos is going to be mean. Yep, there will be explosions. But it was well-made with a grand scale and Marvel's strong reputation is enough to keep this near the top of one of my most anticipated of 2018.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (June 22. 2018)

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I recommended and enjoyed Jurassic World, but I haven't seen it since then and in my mind, it doesn't sit as well as other movies I've liked. It leaned heavy on the nostalgia and reminding us about the all the great things about the original. I also thought Chris Pratt played really well as the lead and offered something very different than previous protagonists in this series. I wish Bryce Dallas Howard had more worthwhile things to do, but she was great with what she was given (which was not very much). This trailer makes it looks like Howard will be more sucked into the action and become a bigger part of the story. Pratt is still the clear lead though, and that means he has got a pretty big summer ahead of him.

If Jurassic World called upon memories of Jurassic Park, then Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has a story that calls back some memories of The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Both movies were about characters from the previous movie returning to the island that houses the now abandoned park, then try to protect the dinosaurs, and also avoid a group with some devious plans. They also both have Jeff Goldblum, though my guess is that his role in the new one is more on the cameo side.

While I am all for more Goldblum in movies, I am not really wanting to be reminded of The Lost World, also known as the first movie I feel asleep while watching at the theatre. I have never returned to that movie since sleeping during it in 1997 and maybe I need to make the plunge now, but if I made a worst of the year list back in 1997, it would have a prominent spot. I also wasn't a huge fan of the book that it was loosely adapted. So, I'm all for the new movie doing what it needs to do in order to not conjure up any more memories of the 1997 disaster. Hopefully, the tyrannosaurus rex stays out of people's backyards this time.

The story doesn't really seem anything new or exciting, and there is only so many fresh ways you can have people run away from dinosaurs. But in the positive, the special effects do look amazing, and some of the action sequences looks like they can provide some solid chills and thrills.

I am not crazy about this movie, but I also love me some big monster flicks. I hope this provides some jumps and maybe it is holding off on a cool dinosaur appearance for the big screen. I'll definitely be reviewing this, but the trailer didn't really lift me out of the zone of mild interest.

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