I’m sure at some point in my life I will go to San Diego Comic-Con. I have no doubt it would be fun to meet some of these great creators, and be a part of the Hall H madness. On the other hand, my patience and stamina would be tested beyond belief as I wait 85 hours in line to catch a glimpse of a two-minute trailer that instantaneously goes online, although we’ll talk about that later. I guess it’s a give and take. I’m someone who’s not going to be swindled by the excitement and hoopla that Comic-Con creates. I’m sure Marvel put on a very fun and unique presentation, but I am that guy who sits with his arms folded saying “I’ll wait for the final product.” That’s what it’s all about. The final product. If an NFL team goes 4-0 in the pre-season, does it really matter?
I’m not here to talk about the meaning of life when it comes to Comic-Con though. I’m here to get down to brass tasks. There were a lot of movie trailers that came our way this weekend (and some that didn’t). I loved some. Didn’t like others. And some may have swayed me in a positive or negative direction. What were those trailers? Well Geez Louise, let’s find out – my complete breakdown of all the Comic-Con Film trailers. Roll ‘em up!
THE BEST TRAILER (WONDER WOMAN)
Director: Patty Jenkins (Monster)
Even with all the BvS hatred and whining, there aren’t many who didn’t love Wonder Woman. That momentum has certainly carried over to this trailer. Stunning is the cliché word of the day. Part Thor/Part Braveheart/Part Captain America. The film looks monumental. Themyscira looks fascinating as hell, and I love the World War I setting. I’m thrilled Chris Pine is a part of this. He’s really going to add a level of quality to the already stacked cast that includes Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen. Speaking of cast, I have to fully admit I’m not entirely sold on Gal Gadot yet. She was superb in BvS, but we still don’t have a full picture yet. When she’s in costume, Gadot is awesome, but the Diana Prince scenes look somewhat troubling. The very last scene in the trailer is well-written, but some of the delivery from Gadot leaves a lot to be desired. The most important element to Wonder Woman is that she’s a warrior. That part they nailed hook, line and sinker.
THE “I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M EXCITED” AWARD (DOCTOR STRANGE)
Director: Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose)
I can’t remember the last time I was legitimately excited about an MCU film, but here we are. The first teaser was intriguing, but this one was the true show stopper. I can’t believe I’m about to write these words, but if you told me Christopher Nolan directed this movie, I’d believe you. The Inception influences are clear. The magical elements in general are eye-popping. Tilda Swinton looks great as The Ancient One. You can’t go wrong with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mads Mikkelson. Now can someone help me out here? Are they both villains, or is one of them a villain? Regardless, can this please be the one time we get a great MCU villain? Come on! And even though I wasn’t blown away by the Cumberbatch casting, he looks to be significantly upping his game. This trailer even gave Wonder Woman a run for its money, up until that last scene. To be honest, I’m both frustrated and thankful they showed the Wi-Fi joke. It’s a humbling reminder that no matter how great this looks, I still have my Marvel blinders on. That joke was Kevin Feige screaming to the audience, “Don’t worry. We’re still Marvel. Everybody relax.”
THE “I FEEL BETTER ABOUT LIFE” AWARD (JUSTICE LEAGUE)
Director: Zack Snyder (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Man of Steel)
We’re all worried about Justice League. The funny thing is I’m worried about Justice League for the same reason you might be excited about it. The Marvelization. As someone who loved Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I wanted Zack Snyder to carry on that same tone. In reading the set reports and responses from some of the film’s producers, there’s no doubt the studio executives are infusing a fun atmosphere, and putting director Zack Snyder on a leash. What scared me to death were all the reports about Batman’s humor. I understand there’s a dry wit to Batman at times, but the first thing you think of with Batman should not be humor. When I saw this teaser, it alleviated many of my concerns. There were a few “Marvel Moments” that did make me shake. The “He said no” scene between Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman is very Marvel. All and all though, I was impressed. The Bruce Wayne/Barry Allen sequence was great. Cyborg looks awesome. Ben Affleck’s performance looks stellar, including selling some really tough lines. “I hear you can talk to fish.” That leads us to the best part of the trailer – Jason Momoa’s Aquaman looks incredible. He didn’t even have to say anything. I still have a few reservations, but at the end of the day, this feels like it’s still in the world of BvS.
THE “I’M AT LEAST PAYING ATTENTION” AWARD (KONG: SKULL ISLAND)
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer)
I pretty much wrote Kong off after sitting through that putrid Peter Jackson remake from 2005. Oh man, that movie blows. When they announced this film, I couldn’t have closed my browser fast enough. I’m not going to sit here and tell you this trailer blew me away, but the movie is at least on my radar now. And even though I’m not a big Tom Hiddleston fan, the rest of the cast is pretty damn good. It’s hard to complain about John Goodman, Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson. The Kong reveal was also fantastic. Can we please not pull a 2014 Godzilla though, and only show Kong for about ten seconds in a 2.5 hour movie? Let’s not do that. Solid first trailer. We’ll see.
THE “I’M STILL SKEPTICAL” TRAILER (FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM)
Director: David Yates (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts I & II)
I’ve been a negative nelly on this project since day one. I’m a big Harry Potter fan like everyone else, but does anybody really care about Newt Scamander catching a bunch of magical creatures? The buzz on this feels dismal. The world of Harry Potter was so rich. None of that has come across in any of the marketing, but this trailer was certainly the best we’ve seen of the film. It finally feels like it’s in the of world of Harry Potter, and the relationship between Eddie Redmayne and Dan Fogler looks appealing, but I’m still massively underwhelmed by the story. I keep holding out hope that it will be good because J.K. Rowling is writing the script, but this could end up being a complete and utter disaster. We’re in full wait and see mode.
THE “WE GOT SCREWED” AWARD (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2)
Director: James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy)
If there’s one MCU film I’ll passionately defend, it’s Guardians of the Galaxy. I was really looking forward to seeing footage from this one, especially because Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone are in it. That alone has me jacked up. But alas, Marvel kept it to Hall H. I understand the rationale. These people waited in line for who knows how many hours, and they should get footage that’s just for them. Isn’t there a happy medium here? How about show the Guardians footage, but keep Spider-Man to Hall H. I totally get that. He was the break out character of Civil War, and such a massively popular character would be a cool Hall H only moment. To hold both back for the general public is irritating. I’m sure we’ll see a trailer with Doctor Strange. I’m definitely excited, but can we please calm down with the baby Groot love? I get it, he’ll be really cute. Enough already! Releasing the Disney ride attraction footage though was really rubbing salt in the wound. Seriously?
THE MOST DISAPPOINTING TRAILER (THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE)
Cast: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Zach Galifianakis, Ralph Fiennes
Director: Chris McKay (Robot Chicken)
I’m just going to say it – I don’t like the trailer. I know what you’re all thinking: “DAN, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!??! HOW CAN YOU HATE THIS TRAILER!??! COME ON!!!!” I’ll get to the Batman stuff in a minute, but first and foremost, it’s ridiculously gimmicky. I’m sorry, but the costumes joke is something you would see in a Minions movie. Coming off The LEGO Movie, I expect a higher quality. I appreciate Will Arnett, but Michael Cera’s Robin is excruciating. Yes, I get he’s supposed to be annoying, but it still doesn’t change the fact that he’s annoying. I’ll just be completely honest with you – as a Batman fan, this trailer rubs me the wrong way. First off, I’m already enraged at what the perception will be when this movie comes out. There will be a lot of people who will proclaim this is the best interpretation of Batman they’ve ever seen. I can already hear the comments coming out of the theater: “You know, this Lego version is actually better than the live action stuff.” Ugh. The only reason you’ll think that is because it will be the “cool” thing to say. It seems like it’s going for the obvious, snarky Batman jokes. He’s a loner. The voice. Dark and brooding. I already know what the jokes are. I don’t need a two-hour movie to tell me. This is one I may skip.
THE “LET’S POINT AND LAUGH AT THIS” AWARD (KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD)
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Annabelle Wallis, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana
Director: Guy Ritchie (The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Sherlock Holmes)
Flop Alert. In a day where Warner Brothers shows us Wonder Woman, Justice League, Suicide Squad, Kong and Harry Potter, they squeeze in King Arthur? Nobody cares. This trailer is nauseating. First off, Guy Ritchie and I don’t get along. His hyperactive style over substance doesn’t do it for me. Within the first fifteen seconds of the trailer, we see those stupid looking close up “my head is running on a stick” shots. I laughed out loud. Guy Ritchie and King Arthur are two compounds that shouldn’t mix. What’s funny is the first half of the trailer looks like a bad Guy Ritchie movie, but the second half shifts into boring period piece mode. It’s like two bad movies for the price of one! Add in Charlie “Sam Worthington” Hunnam, and we get a movie that won’t crack $25 Million opening weekend on a budget I’m sure is north of $150 Million. Oy Vey.
Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.