Yesterday was nerd Christmas, with trailer after trailer and major announcement after major announcement flowing out of San Diego Comic-Con. Well, now it’s the morning after Christmas, and we’re left sorting through all of our new toys. In fact, there are so many of them that we need to just sort them into piles. So, below is a rundown of all the major superhero film trailers. For the non-superhero film trailers, head here, and for a rundown of the big TV trailers head here.
Reaction: I know next to nothing about Doctor Strange’s comic book mythology. I’m not jumping for joy after this trailer because I just saw the live action debut of this character or that character because for that to happen I’d have to know those character’s names. Instead, I just watched a freakishly formidable cast run through what will easily be the most visually inventive comic book movie of the modern era. The big question will be whether or not all of that dreamlike imagery will make for an interesting movie or simply a pleasant The Art of Doctor Strange coffee table book. However, why can’t it be both?
From what I understand of Doctor Strange’s comic book history, at the height of his popularity he appealed to those people in the 60s and 70s who were into psychedelia, either due to habitual drug usage or a pure fascination unique to the times (or both). On that same note, I get the impression this movie will blow lots of minds, and will become a popular choice for “watch this while you’re high.”
But will it be anything more than that? Um, did you see that cast? Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton! They seem more than capable of pulling of a “Iron Man with magic” story, if indeed that’s what this adds up to. Although, we still haven’t seen much of McAdams’ characters. Plus, insert obligatory reference to the whitewashing controversy.
Release Date: 11/4/16
Reaction: And “Operation: Baby, I Know I Hurt You With Batman v Superman. Please Take Me Back. I Promise to Never Hurt You Like That Again” continues, although they might need a new “operation” name. That one’s pretty long.
First, they held court with all manner of invited journalists on the Justice League set, and then imposed no press embargo on them, thus kickstarting the inernet news cycle far sooner than your average blockbuster. Now they have an extra long trailer for Comic-Con even though they’re not even halfway through filming yet. The Who song “Won’t Get Fooled Again” should be playing on repeat in our heads right now, yet they’ve clearly taken the BvS criticisms to heart. This whole trailer might as well have been prefaced with a video message from Geoff Johns explaining, “Look. You all at least liked Batman and Wonder Woman in BvS, right? Well, here they are again, and this time they get to actually crack some jokes.” And I have to give them credit – this is a pretty good trailer. Yeah, but this is still Zack Snyder movie. I know, but dude, let them have this moment. Their little trailer is already more entertaining than the entirety of BvS. That’s something, right?
Lastly, I’m not completely in love with Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen, but I might be completely blinded by my affection for Grant Gustin’s TV version. More than that, though, this seems like a pale impression of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, and I don’t even know what to do with that costume right now.
Release Date: 11/17/17
The LEGO Batman Movie
Reaction: Walk into any Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy or any place you can buy new Blu-Rays and DVDs right now and you’ll find LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Gotham City Breakout in the new release section. They might also have the slightly older LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes direct-to-video movies like Cosmic Clash or Justice League vs. Bizarro League. What began as a cheap cash-in repackaging of the cut scenes from the LEGO Batman video game has turned into an ongoing series of direct-to-video movies, all featuring the LEGO brand’s signature lighthearted, self-aware humor which gives audiences of all ages something different to appreciate.
Into this environment comes The LEGO Batman Movie, which needs to answer a very basic question: why is this coming out in theaters? Why isn’t this going straight to video alongside the LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes movies? The animation is only marginally more impressive. All of the characters are voiced by big name actors (Will Arnett as Batman, Michael Cera as Robin, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred, etc.) instead of the often more capable professional voice actors. But in what more meaningful way is this really any better than the LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes movies?
Because it’s Batman!
Well, that’s good enough for me.
It should be noted that Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who created this particular version of Batman in The LEGO Movie, are nowhere to be found in The LEGO Batman Movie‘s list of writers, which might be why the jokes don’t feel quite as sharp or consistent. To be fair, though, the following joke is so good, yet so obvious I can’t believe I’ve never seen it made before: “Robin: Wait. Does Batman live in Bruce Wayne’s basement?/Batman: No, Bruce Wayne lives in Batman’s attic.”
Lastly, do you think Will Ferrel and his kids will make an appearance, or this LEGO Movie spin-off going to completely ignore that movie’s central twist, i.e., that everything we watched came from the imagination of a little kid playing with his dad’s LEGO sets?
Release Date: 2/10/17
Reaction: Seriously, why would you watch this? This movie comes out in two weeks. WB has been unleashing new footage non-stop for what seems like months now. Here’s even more new footage pieced together with some old footage in a 3+ minute video which just happens to also showcase songs from the film’s soundtrack. You probably already know if you’re going to see this movie. This trailer won’t change your mind; it will just spoil more of the movie for you.
Says the hypocrit because I’m definitely seeing this movie, and I totally watched the trailer. It has a couple of new Harley Quinn moments that made me smile.
Release Date: Two weeks from now
Reaction: I already geeked out over that one yesterday. Here’s the part where you’re supposed to follow the link to the article I’m talking about.
Release Date: 6/2/17
Marvel also unveiled the first new footage from Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but at last check those trailers were SDCC exclusives, not publicly released for online consumption.