July 25, 2016

We've Ranked Every San Diego Comic-Con Movie Trailer, Completely Subjectively

Don't just watch 'em, rank 'em!

San Diego's latest edition of Comic-Con has wrapped up and we were treated to sneak peeks of some of 2017's biggest prospective blockbusters. The convention is valuable because we, as audience members, finally get a chance to see if all the hype surrounding any of these behemoth titles might actually have a chance of panning out into something great. How, you may ask? Trailers.

Take last year's first look at Batman Vs. Superman for example: four-and-a-half minutes long, overstuffed with sequences from just about every action scene in the movie, loud, and well, obvious (we all  pretty much understood, even at this early stage, that Batman would probably end up fighting Superman.) It's a worrying sign when blockbuster trailers favor a myriad of action sequences over rousing plot points, interesting characters or strong dialogue. And in this case, the trailer turned out to accurately foreshadow DC's release woes to come.

A little further into the convention, however, they gave us the first trailer for Suicide Squad, and it pretty much did everything right that BVS got so, so wrong. We'll see in a couple weeks, however, whether or not that actually turns out to be the case. So, this year, what looks like it could be a BVS turkey and what has ascended into the rare air of Suicide Squad? Here's a totally subjective ranking of every movie trailer based on the opinions of one nerd who has watched a lot of trailers.

9. Blair Witch

The Blair Witch Project is one of the top five highest grossing independent features of all time. The tiny film, which was made for $60,000, ended up with returns close to $250,000,000. More importantly, it was a terrifying, one-of-a kind film. That is, until one year later, when it was decided a sequel should be released. Thus we were given Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, a film which cost $15,000,000 to shoot and only made $26,000,000 at the box office. 16 years after that, we have this: a trailer for a generic, trope filled, re-hash which, in it's chilling final seconds, features a line from a Sting ballad. Why?

8. Doctor Strange

This is Inception, right? Not that it looks terrible or anything, it's just. Is this Inception?

7. Suicide Squad

It's been a long year, full of anticipation for DC's apparent savior. It's almost impossible not to have noticed that the amount of promotion for the film in the past couple months has really been jacked up. This isn't really surprising, but it is still somewhat worrying, as we've seen similar patterns emerge from previous DC blockbusters.  There's nothing new here for us really, but the footage that grabbed us last year remains worthy of our attention. What once seemed so fresh, however, is dangerously close to growing stale. 

6. Justice League

We're going to lump most of DC's footage into the middle of the pack here. Zack Snyder made it painfully obvious in Batman Vs. Superman that there is a Justice League movie coming, so it's nice to see the ball is moving and there's a light at the end of DC's origin movie tunnel. Indie stalwart Ezra Miller looks like he could actually end up saving this one as The Flash. Here's a tip for all you DIY-er's out there, a White Stripes score can make anything look good.

5. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Not a superhero movie! Guy Ritchie's made some great films and some turkeys. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was one of the smarter, more enjoyable action flicks to have come out in recent memory, so it seems safe to have high hopes about this one too.

4. Wonder Woman

Unanimously heralded as the best part about Batman Vs. Superman, we finally get a look at the stand alone Wonder Woman. It's hard to tell exactly what's going on here plot-wise, but we like that they're going in the vein of Captain America with a sort of period piece. A horde of Amazonian woman storming beaches evokes memories of Snyder's early days with 300. The visually-oriented director actually won't be directing this one, stepping aside for female (!) writer/director Patty Jenkins. That ups the film's credibility in our book.

3. The Lego Batman Movie

Plain and simple, this is a dream come true for every Arrested Development fan that wanted to see Michael Cera play Robin to Will Arnett's Batman. Yes it's for kids, and no it's not being helmed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, but there's a strong chance you'll end up enjoying this animated version more than any of DC's other options next year. Clearly, they have given us a lot to choose from.

2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Remember at the beginning when we stated that this was would be a totally biased ranking based on very little factual information? Let's just say that Harry Potter's world returning to the big screen gets us more excited than any run of the mill super hero movie by a wide, wide margin. J.K. Rowling's first venture into screenwriting is both new and exciting. 

1. Kong: Skull Island

Surprised? We were too. The first real footage from this non-Peter Jackson update looks absolutely stunning. Does anyone else get the feeling they're watching a sequel to Apocalypse Now?  We have yet to catch a full glimpse at the titular monster, but a giant bloody handprint smack dab in the middle of a cliff does more than make up for it. It leaves us gasping for more. And that, friends, is what makes an effective teaser.

What are you most excited for? Do you agree with our picks?     

Your Comment

11 Comments

Friend of mine was a stuntman on Kong. The trailer may look great, but according to him it was a clusterf**k from day one with a director completely out of his element, and a star (SLJ) who wanted nothing to do with said director by about day two.

July 25, 2016 at 6:36PM, Edited July 25, 6:36PM

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July 26, 2016 at 7:54AM, Edited July 26, 7:55AM

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You voted '-1'.
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Matt Nunn
Amateur
518

There are only three films that I will see on this list...

Suicide Squad (2016)
Wonder Woman (2016)
Justice League (2017)

...The rest look horrible and only serve to remind me that CGI is turning big budget movies into bad looking video games. I am so sick of seeing movies dominated by over-blown VFX that have no connection to reality, that do nothing to develop the characters or the story of the film. Blech!

July 25, 2016 at 8:49PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30875

You do realize that by your logic, you shouldn't bother seeing any of the three films you picked since they too will have a large reliance of CGI. And one is a sequel to a film that was nothing but over blown visual effects (Batman V Superman). You might be better off with the Blair Witch Sequel...

July 26, 2016 at 11:14AM

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Nicholas Ortiz
Director/Writer/Stuntman
196

For me there is good CGI and bad CGI, with most big budget films falling into the bad CGI category.

>>>Suicide Squad (2016)
>>>Wonder Woman (2016)
>>>Justice League (2017)

For me these films show style over substance, where I'm willing to go along for the ride because of what I have seen in the trailers. I like the actors, the story is likely going to be straight from the comics, and hopefully Zack Snyder will have no influence over the artistic choices made in these films. ( ZS is the kiss of death to every film he's directed. I consider him to be a modern day "Ed Wood" of cinema )

...If I really had my way I would have Sam Rami produce and direct a bunch of superhero films carte blanche, as his Spiderman I and II are still my high-water mark for superhero films.

July 26, 2016 at 8:08PM, Edited July 26, 8:09PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30875

What makes for bad CGI? What is the litmus test? And isn't going to see the films that have style over substance the OPPOSITE reason you won't be seeing the other films- "I am so sick of seeing movies dominated by over-blown VFX that have no connection to reality, that do nothing to develop the characters or the story of the film. Blech!". I want to understand your logic but you seem to be contradicting yourself.

July 27, 2016 at 10:58AM, Edited July 27, 11:00AM

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Nicholas Ortiz
Director/Writer/Stuntman
196

...As with any art there is no objective litmus test for what is good or what is bad, everything is subjective. So what I like or don't like is my own personal decision. Everyone is free to pick and choose here.

When I mention "style over substance" I'm saying that the "style" of a film is enough to win me over, so I am willing to overlook everything else about it.

For me the best films for CGI work would be something like Ridley Scott's "Gladiator" where most of the CGI visual work is invisible to the audience.

Over the past 10 years I find that I am becoming a bigger fan of Indie films because on average they tell better stories than Hollywood films do, they often showcase better acting talent, and because of their limited budgets they have very little VFX work in them.

July 28, 2016 at 8:19PM, Edited July 28, 8:22PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30875

Also, there's no guarantee, based on the trailers, that there will be a solid story or proper character development in any of these films. Trailers are simply a marketing strategy, distilling a film to its most base concepts as a means of selling the film to the general audience. For all you know, KONG SKULL ISLAND could have some of the best writing and acting we've seen in some time. That doesn't mean its true, I'm just saying that there is no real way to tell but watching a 3 minute compilation cut to random music.

July 26, 2016 at 11:19AM

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Nicholas Ortiz
Director/Writer/Stuntman
196

I am definitely going to see Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad and Justice League...and maybe Fantastic Beasts.
The Lego humour does nothing for me, I'm afraid, it's just far too hyperactive.
That King Arthur film just seems all over the place, and nothing about the new Kong seems like it could in any way improve what the original did, or Peter Jacksons Version for that matter. The only interesting thing about this new version is that it might get to fight Legendary's Godzilla at some point..

July 26, 2016 at 1:59AM, Edited July 26, 1:59AM

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Justice League looks like a mess. I appreciate that they're trying to ease of the grimdark atmosphere of BvS but the jokes feel very forced and unnatural, almost as if Snyder is writing them with a gun held to his head.

Suicide Squad looks better than it has any right to, but I'm still not really sold on this version of Harley Quinn. She barely resembles the character I remember from Batman the Animated Series.

Wonder Woman and Doctor Strange both look promising but not astonishing. King Arthur looks like a GoPro ad with no relation to the legend we're all familiar with.

Skull Island looks fantastic. And I do mean it LOOKS great; it's rare to see such bold and striking color in a blockbuster these days. Definitely pumped for this one.

July 28, 2016 at 11:16PM, Edited July 28, 11:16PM

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The big problem I have with "Kong: Skull Island" is that in the original "King Kong" (1933) movie Kong was only 50 feet tall, and it seems like every new incarnation of Kong keeps making him bigger and bigger.

Based upon the "Kong: Skull Island" trailer it looks like we are now dealing with a Kong that is likely 600 feet tall which is modern CGI run amok.

What the heck does a 600 foot tall creature eat ?

Where does it sleep?

Where did it's giant ape community live ?

Just one of it's giant turds could easily bury a good size suburban home.
( the secret to Skull Island is that it's covered in a 100 foot thick layer of giant ape sh*t )

To me it all sounds just so stupid...

I can't wait for the 2030 version to come out that makes Kong 50,000 feet tall, where he farts while bathing in the Pacific ocean and causes the largest group of tsunamis ever known to man.

July 29, 2016 at 10:25PM, Edited July 29, 10:47PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
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