Every year millions of people around the world gather in front of their television screens to watch an epic clash of rivals as they duke it out for our attention. Oh, and in between there’s some football too.

Like many people who aren’t American, the actual game being played at the Superbowl is of no interest to me. I do enjoy watching the ads that are played in what has come to be the most watched event in TV, or at least that’s what the astronomical ad rates would have us believe. Superbowl commercials are the stuff of legend, from Apple’s 1984 to recent buzz-producing brands like GoDaddy.com. But in between all the cola and car commercials, there are also spots for new movies, some of which end up being our first looks at summer blockbusters. And here’s the ones from this year’s Superbowl:

Angels & Demons

Tom Hanks returns as Dr. Robert Langdon in this sequel to The Da Vinci Code. Confusingly, this movie is based on a book by Dan Brown that was a prequel to The Da Vinci Code. I liked the movie version — it wasn’t a classic, but it was faithful enough to the book’s breathless pace and style. Of the two, I much prefer Angels & Demons, so I’m actually looking forward to this one much more than the first (er, second, er…)

Fast & Furious

I have an irrational fondness for the F&F movies. They aren’t cerebral dramas about the deeper Meaning of Life; They’re the big-screen live-action equivalent of playing with Hot Wheels as a kid. Tokyo Drift‘s director Justin Lin returns to helm this one, as does the original’s cast including Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. I must admit that I was a little afraid that Lin and the original characters would not mix well — Tokyo Drift was quite a departure for the series — but the new F&F looks like a perfect marriage of the two. I’ll be first in line with a big smile on my face for this one.

Up

Everyone has that one thing that other people love but they just don’t get. For me, it’s Pixar movies. It’s not that I hate them, it’s just that they don’t have much of an impact on me, and — barring The Incredibles — I’ve never been moved to see one in the cinemas. Up on the other hand, has piqued my interest. I don’t know if it’s the whimsical idea of a house held up by a thousand balloons, or the fact that the main character is an obvious homage to Spencer Tracy, or even the fact that it’s in fancy-pants 3D, but I may just go and see this one.

Monsters Vs Aliens 3D

More 3D movies! In fact, even this trailer is in good-old red and blue paper glasses 3D, so grab a pair of anaglyph glasses if you have any around. The movie itself looks a lot nicer than I thought it would, animation-wise, and really, the concept sells itself right in the title, right? Sure, so it’s not an R-rated blood-and-guts splatterfest of Wolfmen ripping cosmic tentacle beasts in twain (or in two pieces even), but it looks like fun.

Year One

When a movie comes along comparing itself to Monty Python’s Life of Brian, it bears more than a little scrutiny. Year One is certainly broader, at least judging by this teaser, and it seems more like the Flintstones (movie) than any Python sketch, but who knows? Maybe they just put in the silly bits into this super-short trailer. However, if the whole movie is like this, then shame on them for even mentioning the Pythons. You do not invoke their name in vain.

Race to Witch Mountain

My brother informs me that at some time in our misbegotten youth, we have seen Escape From Witch Mountain, the film that this new movie is based on. I have no recollection of seeing the original, or its sequels and the first remake, but the premise is certainly interesting enough for me. It’s also a bit more intense than I would expect a PG movie to be, but that could turn out to be a good thing. Speaking of good things, this movie not only features Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) but also Ciaran Hinds and Carla Gugino. Sign me up.

Land of the Lost

More remakes of things I’ve never seen! I couldn’t tell a Sleestak from a Pakuni, but who cares when the lovely Anna Friel is in it? Will Ferrell seems to be playing some kind of cross between his usual ‘Mediocre American Man’ and his zanier characters, which should be entertaining (but what you really wanted was Ron Burgundy in a time warp, right?). The trailer makes my brain hurt with its cheerful blend of space and time warps, giant crabs and dinosaurs, but in a world where ‘fun’ and ‘high-budget’ are almost never spoken in the same sentence, this is worth a look.

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

It’s odd that in the sequel to a movie about giant robots kicking the crap out of each other, the most anticipated thing is the return of a certain tattooed brunette (and I don’t mean Shia LeBeouf). Rest easy, boys, Megan Fox is back, and for everyone who hasn’t fallen — pardon the pun — to her charms, there’s a whole glut of new Transformers to look forward to. Me? I’m quite happy that Josh Duhamel is back for this second outing. Maybe this time they’ll actually give his character something to do other than run and shoot things. To be honest, this trailer doesn’t look like much on YouTube unless you watch it in High Quality, given that much of the film seems to be shot at night, and that the Transformers themselves are as ridiculously detailed as they were before.

Still, explodey robots = good.

Star Trek

You don’t really need another trailer to tell you that J.J. Abrams Star Trek is going to kick all kinds of ass, do you? But just in case you missed the previous ones or stayed away to avoid spoilerage, this quick teaser does a good job of showing what we can expect in May when this much-anticipated film finally hits theatres without giving the game away. It’s not quite Star Trek as we’ve known it before, but I for one think that’s a good thing.

G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Full Disclosure: I had tons of G.I. Joe toys as a kid, so I’m 100% the target market for this film. I’m a bit miffed that they’ve gone the boring X-Men movie route and wrapped everyone in black costumes (you know you wanted to see the Dreadnoks in all their glory), but beyond that I’m intrigued to see Stephen Sommers‘s signature over-the-top action applied to the Joe universe. Hey, it’s basically a franchise set up to sell toys anyway, so it should be a perfect fit. Also, live action Baroness… mmmm.

So, in Europe, will they call it Action Force?

Audi – The Chase

Alright, so this isn’t an actual movie trailer. But with cinematic production values and Jason Statham ‘starring’ you could be fooled into thinking otherwise. This ad for Audi has all the right ingredients to make it — if not a classic — then at least a fondly remembered piece of entertainment. Hey, it’s only a minute and it manages to include more action and gags than entire movies.

(There’s even a making of video!)

That wraps up this look at the superbowl teasers. I hope you liked ’em.

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