Godzilla, Transformers and How Trailers Play With Our Emotions

Categories: Film and TV

I like action movie trailers more than I like action movies. I don't have anything against mindless violence mind you, but I do have a serious issue with wasting two hours of my time on bad plots, questionable dialogue, and shaky special effects. A trailer gives me a better return on investment; sure I may not get the money shots, but I also don't have to sit through all the "acting" either.

Of course, occasionally a trailer looks so cool it's enough to trick me into watching an action film. Sometimes the end result is good (300) and sometimes the end result is real, real bad (Terminator: Salvation). There should be awards for the guys who put together great trailers for bad movies.

We're still a bit away from the Summer blockbuster season, but I must confess that two trailers have really stuck with me lately, but not in the ways I expected. One is for a movie that I know will be awful, perhaps beyond awful, and yet I find myself defending the movie based on the trailer. The other is a movie that I think will be good, that I hope will be great, but that I fear may not be either.

Let's talk Transformers: Age of Extinction and Godzilla.

Let me start off by saying that I don't hate the first Transformers movie; it's big and dumb, but big and dumb in a fun way. The effects are too over the top and I hate most of the characters, but it's a giant robot movie and it mostly works. I also don't hate Michael Bay; the man directed Bad Boys 2, and that's enough to get a pass from me. If he wants to go all Peter Jackson on his career and keep pumping out bad franchise movies for the rest of his life, that's his call and I'll just not watch.

And I haven't. The first Transformers flick sated any desire I had to see giant fighting robots. I haven't watched the two sequels that have already come out, I haven't bothered to watch Pacific Rim yet even though I own it on blu-ray, I haven't even revisited Robot Jox, my personal pick for best awful giant robot movie of all time.

But then I saw those damn robot dinosaurs in the Super Bowl spot, and suddenly I wanted giant robots back in my life. And I know this is a bad idea. I know I'll be mad every time Mark Wahlberg has to say some poorly written piece of dialog. I know I'll complain every time the robots do anything because the special effects are so overdone I can't actually tell what's going on.

But come on people: we're talking about a giant robot with a giant sword riding a giant dinosaur robot. That's every 5-year-old's daydream materialized at the cost of millions. That's worth at least an illegal download waiting for it to hit Netflix a ticket at the dollar movies.

Maybe. Fool me once and all that.

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