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Deciphering all of that Trailer Madness

Last weekend ended up being pretty busy on the movie trailer front, with at least two of them generating enough buzz and angst to keep us sufficiently distracted until “Avengers: Age of Ultron” kicks down our doors. Seeing as these sorts of movies are kinda my thing, let’s take a closer look.

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Seeing as Celebration was going on, it’s no surprise we ended up seeing this trailer earlier than expected (it was, and probably still is, slated to appear before “AoU” when that hits theaters on May 1). Here are my takeaways:

  • Luke’s voiceover (a reiteration of his “the force runs strong in my family” speech to Leia in “Jedi”) certainly implies that at least some of these new characters will be the children of the Trio. The smart money is on Han and Leia.
  • That melted Vader mask; chilling in all the right ways.
  • The hooded figure with the robot hand giving Artoo the functional equivalent of a scalp massage is our only shot of Luke. Because let’s face it: that can’t be anyone but Luke.
  • The lightsaber exchange solidifies my thoughts on the first point.
  • I absolutely love that shot of Oscar Isaac’s X-Wing pilot (Poe Dameron), if only because he perfectly channels the emotions of just about everyone watching this thing.
  • Our first good look at our new antagonist, Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver of HBO’s “Girls.” I know basically nothing of Driver, but he’s 6-foot-3 and clad in mask and armor, so he’ll at least be physically imposing.
  • More of the new Nike-ized Stromtroopers, new TIE Fighters and a new Empire logo. So far, so good.
  • There’s a bit of our new heroes in this. Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) do a whole lot of running and panting and we once again see Finn in Stormtrooper armor. Whether he’s a spy, a defector or a sympathetic Imperial remains to be seen, but the first two scenarios are more likely than the third.
  • “Chewey, we’re home.” There cannot have been a better way to end this. I’ve got nothing, other than that the jacket Harrison Ford is wearing seems more Indy than Han. Interesting.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

After the initial excitement died down, it took me quite awhile to realize “Man of Steel” was not good. With that in mind, I can’t help but to look at all of WB’s upcoming DC films through a lens of apprehension. And since you can’t get bigger than the first ever live action teamup of the two greatest superheroes ever (at least until “Justice League” comes along), my scrutiny is magnified a hundredfold. So here’s what caught my eye:

  • Things are already off to a gloomy start with that opening barrage of extremely worried sounding voices, at least one of which belongs to Holly Hunter, whose roll in this is yet to be disclosed.
  • We get a shot of Superman’s (Henry Cavill) unreasonably handsome face. Supes is surrounded by people, some of whom are reaching out to him. Some in the crowd are wearing grisly skull-like facepaint. I’m assuming that they are supposed to be protestors of some sort. Keep in mind, Superman is at least partially responsible for turning Metropolis into a crater in “Man of Steel.”
  • There’s a Superman statue in a park with a presumably rebuilt Metropolis behind it. Behind the statue are marble slabs inscribed with the names of the deceased from all that collateral damage in the last movie. The statue has been defaced with graffiti stating “False God.” Okay, I can see where this is going.
  • Jeremy Irons’ Alfred is seen but not heard and we get our first close-up of Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne, looking sufficiently brooding. Note the gray in his hair and stubble.
  • It’s far from my favorite Batsuit, but damn, it’s a hellava lot better than the black rubber suits of the previous movies. Also, what the hell is Batman holding at 1:22?
  • If that’s the Batplane and the Batmobile, then I like it. And holy crap, Affleck fills out that suit pretty damn well. Consider me on board Team Batfleck.
  • Bats and Supes, at night, in the rain, in a forsaken alleyway. Batman is wearing some crazy armor and is looking to throw down. All of this should be instantly familiar to anyone who has ever read this bestselling trade.
  • “Tell me: do you bleed? You will.” Well, this looks like a barrel of laughs…

Fantastic Four

It appears someone at 20th Century Fox once again realized that they also have a summer tent-pole blockbuster on the horizon, because nothing else can explain this thing (pun intended) popping up at the close of the weekend to compete for our attention. Pretty much everything I’ve seen and heard of the new “FF” paints the portrait of an unmitigated disaster, so it is out of dutiful obligation that I analyze this to find something – anything – substantial to say. Here it goes:

  • Reg E. Cathey’s very serious sounding Dr. Franklin Storm introduces us to Reed Richards, played by the baby-faced Miles teller. No surprise there, since this film will pull from the Ultimate Universe version of the FF, who are teenage science prodigies.
  • There’s the Baxter Building, which is very helpfully labeled “Baxter.”
  • We see the rest of the gang: Kate Mara’s snarky Sue Storm (Invisible Woman), Michael B. Jordan’s cocky Johnny Storm (Human Torch) and Jaime Bell’s jockish Ben Grimm (The Thing). I’m already bored to tears by all of them.
  • In a different movie, that machine, those suits and all of this talk of interdimensional travel might interest me.
  • So they went to Mordor…
  • The machine blows up and we see the four in medical care, starting to exhibit their powers. Bell’s Thing looks positively Hulkish, and spends the whole trailer sans trunks.
  • There’s our first look at that dreadful looking Dr. Doom.
  • Good God, watching this again was a chore…

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