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Why February Is the Best Month

It’s STILL winter. Politics suck, the weather sucks, and we’re all sick of being inside. Our Winteritis stories are for women who can’t read another think piece, who’ve pushed the outer limits of time it’s possible to spend on social media, and who kind of want to shop online and hibernate until spring is here.

It’s been so cold this week that every walk from the car to my apartment has felt like the sinking scene in Titanic. My coat is useless. My gloves and boots mock me. The sky is so clear that when I look up at it in frozen sorrow, the stars spell out jeers and taunts. “You begged for this in July,” they claim. “You were, ha!, too hot.”

Welcome to February. A month rich in misery, in windchill, in ceaseless “wintry mixes.” A month that is to quote Thomas Hobbes, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Its claims to fame are Groundhog Day (six more weeks of winter, how dare you), Valentine’s Day (hard pass), and the painful memory of crying in a Pizza Hut bathroom during my friend’s eighth birthday because sleepovers made me homesick. But February has an advantage that few other months (or people) can claim. It’s honest. It’s a month without compromises or artifice. It tests us. Tries our will. And if we’re smart and have decent indoor heat, we triumph.

It’s not impressive to rail against February. In fact, it’s weak! It’s groupthink! And I won’t have it. While I could dread February’s arrival, I instead choose to revel in the lack of FOMO that comes with nights so frigid we all just tacitly agree not to make plans. I don’t bow my head in defeat. I stare unblinkingly back at the calendar as I consume worrisome amounts of discounted Valentine’s Day chocolate. I play Groundhog Day on repeat—regardless of the animal’s official prediction—and remind myself that Andie MacDowell is a cinematic treasure none of us deserves (and one no month will take away from me). I shout-remind everybody who will listen that freezing temperatures kill off germs and flu season, and then I tell myself that once every four years, February gives us the Olympic winter games. (February says, You’re welcome.)

I start to stand up straighter while confronting my old, outdated grudges against February and wrap a fourth blanket around myself in victory as I recognize that its ruthlessness has forced me to challenge seasonal norms and the myths that come with it! February is not the enemy. It’s the tough-love life coach that pushes us all just a little bit harder. It’s the Mr. Feeny to our Topangas and Corys; the Jimmy Dugan to our Rockford Peaches.

And what do we prefer, anyway? Spring? A season that manipulates us until we dust off our jean jackets, only to be greeted with a surprise snowfall? Summer? A season that makes some of us (me) pass out in convenience stores from dehydration (that one time when I was 17)? Fall? … I mean, OK. Fall is fine. I don’t have issues with fall.

But February demands results. It forces us to acknowledge our emotions and re-assess how we cope. It pairs sun with icy tundra to make us appreciate just how much this planet has to offer. (Until we kill it with climate change, of course.) It provides junk food, often in heart shapes, unlike its vicious predecessor January, which doesn’t want us to have pleasure, and March, which is useless. February is unapologetic and brazen and couldn’t care less if we like it or not. February is Mary Poppins.

Matt Reeves Reportedly Wants A Famous Face For The Batman

It’s been a wild week for DC fans, who are no doubt exhausted from the myriad updates regarding the live-action universe. Beginning with the first glimpse as Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), exciting updates arrived for both The Suicide Squad and The Batman, essentially breaking the internet in the process. The latter will be directed by Matt Reeves, with the film finally moving forward with a release date.

Matt Reeves also revealed that the film is focused on a younger Bruce Wayne, with Ben Affleck apparently hanging up his cape and cowl in the process. The casting process for The Batman hasn’t begun, but there are already plenty of names being thrown around. And they should be, as the Planet of the Apes director is reportedly looking for a familiar face to play the Caped Crusader.

This news comes to us from Variety‘s Justin Kroll, who reports that Matt Reeves is looking for a big name actor to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in his upcoming DC blockbuster. And he’s looking for a very specific age range for the younger vigilante, making the casting process very specific. Still, it doesn’t look like we’re getting an unknown actor suiting up to play Gotham’s protector.

It should be interesting to see who Matt Reeves ultimately lands on to play Batman. There are certainly some big shoes to fill, as Batman is one of the most popular comic book characters of all time, and has already been adapted for the silver and small screen quite a few times. The most recent is obviously Ben Affleck, who brought an experienced and jaded Caped Crusader to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

While Batman v Superman and Justice League were critical and box office letdowns, Ben Affleck’s performance as Bruce Wayne was widely considered a high point. He brought an energy that no other Bat has brought to the silver screen before, with his action sequences closely resembling the Arkham video games. But after the disappointing performance of both films, it appears that Affleck is ready to step away from his role in the DCEU.

Now the question is: who could take on the mantle of Batman for Matt Reeves’ upcoming solo flick? Comic book casting is a tricky process, as the fandom is eager to cast judgement if the “wrong” performer is selected. The new Batman may be younger than Ben Affleck’s version, but he’s still going to need the right physicality, intensity, and the charm and looks to pull of Bruce Wayne.

Matt will focus on the detective side of the Dark Knight with The Batman. Furthermore, there will be a rogues gallery of villains. Hopefully this includes Penguin, so Josh Gad could stop campaigning for the role.

The Batman is currently set to arrive in theaters on June 25th, 2021. In the meantime, be sure to check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Alita Reviews Are Up, Here’s What Critics Are Saying

Alita: Battle Angel had a long road to theaters, but the battle is almost over. The film was co-written and co-produced by James Cameron, and directed by Robert Rodriguez. Alita stars Rosa Salazar in the lead role, with star-studded backup from Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, and Michelle Rodriguez. Alita has now screened for critics, ahead of its Valentine’s Day release, and the response has been very mixed.

CinemaBlend’s own Mike Reyes was a big fan of Alita: Battle Angel, giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars. He noted in his review that the film lays a foundation to further explore this world, and he hopes that happens:

In the current market, it’s not hard to find a potential franchise starter, or big-budget eye candy, at any given moment in theaters. And yet, Alita: Battle Angel feels like it’s put its best foot forward. The love for the world being crafted by Robert Rodriguez and his collaborators can truly be felt throughout this entire film. No corners are cut, no shortcuts are taken, and if something feels unexplored, it’s because it’s being saved for the sequels that totally need to happen.

Karen Han of Polygon was also a fan, although she pointed out some shortcomings:

Absolutely everything about Alita: Battle Angel is unapologetically outsized — there is interplanetary war, there is a sport called “motorball” that’s basically jai alai with robots, there are slo-mo shots of objects of varying degrees of deadliness flying out of the screen — and it’s delightful. […] That the story isn’t particularly interesting is occasionally a drag, but, again, that’s not the point here. Sure, each character only gets one defining characteristic (Alita loves to fight, Ido loves to be a dad, Hugo loves Alita, etc.), but it’s enough. Alita: Battle Angel is pure visual spectacle; it’s not trying to be anything more than it is.

Michael Nordine of IndieWire gave Alita: Battle Angel a B+, praising the sci-fi epic as Robert Rodriguez’s best movie since Sin City:

Alita: Battle Angel is his best film since he brought Frank Miller’s graphic novel to the screen, a sci-fi epic that does something rare in an age of endless adaptations and reboots: lives up to its potential while leaving you wanting more.

Molly Freeman of ScreenRant gave Alita 3.5 stars out of 5. She pointed out issues with the story and clunky dialogue, while recognizing that the true star of the film is the visuals:

All in all, Alita: Battle Angel is a must-see for anyone wanting to check out stunning filmmaking in theaters before they run the risk of missing out on the next Avatar-style spectacle. It remains to be seen whether Alita: Battle Angel has even a chance of reaching the heights of success as Avatar, but given the wide world introduced in Rodriguez’s movie, hopefully it’s successful enough to warrant a sequel. As we’ve seen from other franchises that have introduced heroes with an origin story film then found greater success once the heroes’ stories are truly allowed to flourish, Alita: Battle Angel sets the stage for even more compelling and visually beautiful filmmaking to come.

That perceived focus on the films to come irritated Dan Murrell of Screen Junkies, who gave Alita 4.5 stars out of 10:

I am so tired of a movie coming out that is about the seven other movies that they’re going to make after this movie.

Matt Maytum of Total Film was also unimpressed, giving the film 2 stars out of 5:

This is a grim, frequently violent world, but it’s also very, very silly, and Rodriguez might have fared better had he pushed it further in one direction or the other. Only Ali gets to have some fun, as a baddie who’s the mouthpiece for a bigger, off-screen villain. From the cyborg aggressors that look like overdesigned video game bosses (led by an unrecognisable Jackie Earle Haley), to the ripe dialogue and not particularly compelling romance, there are frequent unintentional laughs. Throw in a few distracting cameos, and the result is an extremely bizarre mishmash that seems desperate to set itself up for a sequel, even though it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to spend much more time in this world.

Overall, some critics were excited by Alita‘s debut and eager to see more of this world while others were frustrated that the film seemed to exist to set up more story ahead.

You can judge Alita: Battle Angel for yourself when it’s released in theaters on February 14. Keep up with all of the movies ahead in our 2019 release schedule.

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6 Women Try Maybelline’s New ‘Universally Flattering’ Lipsticks

Call it the Fenty Effect, but diversity is finally no longer just a buzzword, but something brands are starting to take seriously as a philosophy. Maybelline has been raising the bar in the drugstore sphere when it comes to shade range. Last year the brand doubled its beloved Fit Me Complexion line from 16 to 32 shades. Now, Maybelline is moving beyond foundation and tackling inclusion when it comes to a different category: lipstick.

The brand has just launched the Color Sensational Made For All Lipsticks, a collection of seven shades specially created to complement all skin tones. According to the brand, the lipsticks were tested on 50 women across the skin tone spectrum to ensure they flatter every single complexion. That’s no small feat. Think about every time you’ve loved a color on a friend, only for it to look awful on you.

Generally, so-called “universally flattering” products fall into two camps: Sheer rosy-pink tones (think NARS Orgasm or Diorglow) or “nudes” that flatter only a handful of skin tones. Maybelline said “F that,” and gave us a full range of pigmented lipsticks in a mix of matte and satin finishes, including a killer ’90s brown, peppy fuchsia, and classic red.

The premise of this line especially makes sense at a drugstore price point, where there’s usually no way to test makeup before buying it. Maybelline is so sure that you’ll love every shade in the line that it’s offering a money back guarantee on every purchase. That’s what I call that putting money where your mouth is.

Still, seeing is believing, so we challenged Glamour staffers to put the whole range to the test. Read on to see their favorites from the line.

Ariana Grande And 2 Chainz Connect And Squash Any Ill Feelings On ‘7 Rings’ Remix

By Trey Alston

Ariana Grande’s trap-infused, Thank U, Next single “7 Rings” came with a visual centered around an iconic pink house. 2 Chainz noted the similarities to his own Pink Trap House promotion and Grande’s video, sparking rumors that the situation created bad blood between them.

Grande ended all speculation with the release of the official remix of “7 Rings,” featuring Chainz himself. The rapper adds a snarky, telling verse to the original. Listen to the remix below.

2 Chainz’s funny barking is displayed in full force on Grande’s single. Among his typical barrage of jaunts, jest, and similes, there’s one line that seems to acknowledge his influence on the “7 Rings” music video: “My ideas are priceless / I know I’m the nicest,” he raps.

2 Chainz released his fourth studio album, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, in 2017 and opened up a pink house in Atlanta known as the “Trap House” as a promotional attraction. Since its opening, the house has offered free HIV testing, Halloween attractions, and a number of other community services and activities.

Grande’s upcoming album Thank U, Next drops on February 8. The song “7 Rings” was responsible for Grande’s recent tattoo snafu when she had Japanese kanji characters for “small BBQ grill” etched on her skin instead of the song’s title. But don’t worry — it’s since been fixed.

Ben Platt’s Powerful Debut Single ‘Bad Habit’ Will Give You Chills

Can anyone emote quite like Ben Platt? Known for his emotionally devastating performance in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway — which earned the singer a Tony, Grammy, and Emmy by the age of 25 — Platt is now baring his own soul to the world with his forthcoming debut album, Sing to Me Instead.

On Friday (February 1), the performer released the first two tracks from his first solo studio release, including its lead single, “Bad Habit.” The piano ballad finds Platt yearning for a former love, the lingering thoughts of whom he can’t seem to kick — like a bad habit. The song builds and ultimately swells to a crescendo of raw emotion and pitch-perfect vocals.

In the video, Platt sits at his piano and belts out the song, before taking a cab to a photo gallery full of snapshots from what appears to be a past relationship. It’s a simple yet deeply intimate look at a young artist shedding his skin for everyone to see.

Platt tells EW that Sing to Me Instead will chart the highs and lows of a relationship, beginning at the end. “As the tracks progress, you go back to the beginning of the relationship and see where the complications come from and what was the good and bad and what brought the singer to this place of feeling this addiction so deeply,” he said. “There’s reveling in the goodness of it and there’s the vindictive break-up of it all; there’s the feeling as it dissolves and trying to hold onto it – all the different stages I created from an amalgam of the relationships I’ve had in my life.”

The second single, “Ease My Mind,” is another piano-driven track, but this one finds the singer-songwriter opening up about an anxiety that only a lover can quell. The powerful song is tinged with R&B and gospel, and if it’s indicative of what else we can expect from the 12-track LP, then we’re definitely in.

Sing to Me Instead drops March 29 from Atlantic Records.

Kirsten Gillibrand on 7 Key Issues

Gillibrand still faces pushback for calling on Franken to resign. The Huffington Post reports that people have called her “opportunistic” and claimed she only spoke up because she was gearing up for a 2020 presidential run. To the critics, Gillibrand has said, “For every one person who shares a concern with me, I have at least one person thanking me, and it tends to be young women who come up to me with tears in their eyes and say, ‘I can’t tell you how much it meant to me that you stood up and did the right thing.’”

Health Care

Gillibrand is a proponent of Medicare for All, a form of single-payer health insurance, which would replace private health insurance with a government-run health care system in the U.S. For more info on Medicare for All, check out this Vox primer on proposal.

She’s also proposed an expansion of the “Basic Health Program”, a benefits coverage program for low-income citizens, so that states can offer cheaper insurance to more people. It’s Gillibrand’s aim to make health insurance more affordable and accessible to low-income families.

Immigration

If elected, Gillibrand plans to eliminate and “reimagine” ICE. “I believe we need to protect families who need help, and ICE isn’t doing that. It has become a deportation force. We need to separate immigration issues from criminal justice. We need to abolish ICE, start over and build something that actually works,” she tweeted. But after receiving pushback for her comments, Gillibrand argued that she doesn’t want to abolish the agency all together, rather, “give it a new name and a new directive,” she said.

Gillibrand recently proposed a bill that would bring more transparency to ICE and Border Control by forcing them to keep a record of all of the people they stop and search. “Keeping our country safe cannot come at a cost to basic human rights. When border patrol agents stop and question people in New York and in many places across the country, they aren’t keeping data about why they targeted a particular person or what happened during their encounter,” she said. “Congress has a responsibility to make sure our border patrol agencies are transparent and accountable, just like every law enforcement agency in our country should be.” Gillibrand also supports DACA, the Obama-era program that gives legal status to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and attended school here.

However, when Gillibrand was running for the House in 2006, her views on immigration were much more conservative. CNN reports that she called securing the border a “national security priority.” She also said that “you have to close the borders” as a first step to “right size” immigration, in 2007. And a mailer sent out by her congressional office shared her efforts to work towards “the removal of illegal aliens by expanding detention capacity and increasing the number of Federal District Court judges.” Gillibrand’s previous views have come under fire since she’s announced her big for president, especially since she’s now running on much more progressive immigration platforms. To her critics she’s said, “I think it is important to know when you are wrong and to do what is right, and I will do what is right and I will fight for what is right and I don’t back down from those fights.”

Gun Control

When Gillibrand served in the House of Representatives, representing a rural district in upstate New York from 2007 to 2009, she had more conservative views on gun rights. According to her website from her time as a Congresswoman she, “strongly support[ed] the rights of all hunters and gun owners. She [was] an ardent opponent of legislation that will curb the Second Amendment for responsible gun owners and [had] a 100% voting record with the National Rifle Association (NRA).” Since, she’s said she is “embarrassed” about her previous stance. Now, Gillibrand is a firm believer in gun control. She supports reinstating a ban on assault weapons, and banning high-capacity magazines, as well as other restrictions.

Foreign Policy

Why Serenity’s Advertising Team Bailed On The Movie, Contributing To Low Box Office

Could Serenity have at least made $5 million in its opening weekend with a better marketing plan? After all, the film had the Oscar-winning Interstellar team of Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway on screen, and it opened in 2,561 theaters. That’s not an indie release. However, distributor Aviron Pictures defended holding back advertising money and promotion plans after bad reviews rolled in from both critics and early viewers. Here is Aviron’s defense when accused of not honoring the publicity agreement:

We had the best intentions for Serenity. We were excited for the opportunity to release this uniquely original movie and work with such a stellar cast and talented filmmakers. As much as we love this film and still hope it finds its audience, we tested and retested the film — with audiences and critics alike — and sadly, the data demonstrated that the film was not going to be able to perform at our initial expectations, so we adjusted our budget and marketing tactics accordingly. Regardless of the spend, it’s next to impossible for an adult-skewing drama to overcome a 23% score on Rotten Tomatoes and a D+ CinemaScore. To have spent more would have been irresponsible to our capital partners and wouldn’t have made prudent business sense for an independent distributor. We have enormous respect and admiration for the talent and all the hard work they put into the film and wish the box office results were better.

So their argument is, even before the low Rotten Tomatoes critics and audience scores rolled in, and the opening night moviegoers gave Serenity a D+, they tested the film and saw this result coming. Sure, Venom also had a 29% Rotten Tomatoes score, but that’s a superhero film, not an adult drama. In their view, spending more money to promote the film would be throwing good money after bad. They wanted to mitigate the damage. Essentially, they gave it up as a lost cause.

To the Serenity team, that doesn’t fly. According to Deadline, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and their reps are furious at Aviron for not backing the film, as they agreed, and for how they handled the promotion circuit. Their side argues that only about nine TV spots aired for the film, and in obscure locations, and not during timeslots that would’ve helped create awareness for Serenity.

The A-list stars were prepared to do a full promotional campaign and junket, with as many late-night and daytime appearances as possible. But, sources told Deadline, the night before Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway were set to get on a plane for the L.A. junket, Aviron told them they wouldn’t be spending more promotion money.

It’s not like there was no promotion — both Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey have done some interviews to promote the film, and (in just one example) Hathaway was recently on Ellen. Hathaway is also on the new cover of People magazine. But how much of that was connected to Aviron and its agreement?

Since the film opened in so many theaters, it does seem like more TV spots would’ve at least helped get the famous stars’ faces in front of more potential viewers. It could’ve made more than $4.4 million in its opening weekend. It was a slow weekend for every film, but not that slow.

They could’ve tried something like Replicas did. That Keanu Reeves film also got lousy reviews, but before it even opened, they marketed that 93% of Rotten Tomatoes users wanted to see the movie. It didn’t give the film a big box office opening, by any stretch, but at least they found a creative angle. If Serenity did anything like that, the ads never made it in front of my eyeballs.

And there were definitely marketing angles to be found with Serenity, even beyond the star-studded cast. They could’ve tried to sell the controversy over the twist ending. Get some curiosity going. Get more stars on TV to talk about why they signed on, what drew them to the high-concept project, why they stand by something that takes big chances and isn’t another superhero/sequel, etc. etc. etc. It’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback, but that’s what the Serenity team is doing now.

Anne Hathaway took to Instagram to defend the film, saying she still stood by it. Ironically, the film is now getting a lot of attention because of the bad reviews and now because of the lack of additional advertising. Maybe Serenity will be a cult classic someday, but that time has yet to come. If you’re curious about it, Serenity is still playing in theaters as one of the many films on screens in this busy and competitive 2019 movie season.

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A Measles Outbreak Could Have Killed My Daughter

A few weeks ago, a child was diagnosed with measles in Clark County, Washington, just over the river from where my family and I live in Portland. I was hoping it was nothing more than an isolated incident—but the disease spread. Soon there was a full-on measles outbreak, complete with a long list of schools, restaurants, churches, and doctors offices that could be contaminated with the virus. Portland’s airport, NBA arena, science museum, even Ikea, are all on the list. Now the total number of confirmed measles cases in Washington and Oregon is hovering around 40—most of them in kids—with at least a dozen more under investigation.

It’s no coincidence that Clark County, the epicenter of the measles outbreak, is an anti-vaccination hotspot. The area has the lowest measles vaccination rates in the entire state of Washington—just 84.5 percent of Clark Country kindergarteners were current on their measles vaccination in the 2016–2017 school year (down from 96.4 percent in 2004–2005). “Measles was considered eliminated thanks to vaccination,” says Jennifer Vines, M.D., deputy health officer for Multnomah County Health in Portland. “Now we are backsliding.”

Thankfully, I’m the mother of a fully vaccinated seven-year-old. I feel very confident that she is protected, and I am not concerned that she will contract the virus. But if this had happened two years ago, it would have been a different story.

Two years ago, my little girl was battling childhood kidney cancer. Her cancer was eradicated, but months of chemotherapy and radiation ransacked her immune system. While her body bounced back, she was still at risk of contracting any number of infections—especially highly contagious ones like measles. Compromised kids, like my daughter then, can’t get vaccinations; their immune systems are too weak to develop the response that is so protective (and some vaccines contain traces of a live virus, which could lead to infections in people with weak immune systems). She was vulnerable. Unprotected. Had there been a measles outbreak two years ago, my daughter would have been a sitting duck.

For healthy kids, measles is serious but rarely fatal (less than one in 1,000 healthy children who contract measles die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). But for immunocompromised kids, it’s a big deal—pneumonia, encephalitis, and permanent hearing loss are very real concerns. And even more terrifying, the death rate among immunocompromised kids skyrockets. “In this group, death has been reported in 20 to 70 percent of measles cases,” says Dawn Nolt, M.D., associate professor of pediatric infectious disease at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

If measles had been allowed to spread when my daughter was unable to get vaccinated, scared doesn’t even begin to describe how I would have felt. She would have been forced to wear a mask out in public, and trips to places like the science museum would have been off limits. School and dance class might not have been safe. Our family would likely have been quarantined.

I’m sure scared doesn’t begin to describe how parents of immunocompromised kids are feeling in the face of the outbreak happening right now.

My daughter, luckily, is no longer at risk. As soon as her immune system was strong enough, she got the vaccinations she needed (to protect both her and the kids around her). Still, every time I hear of another diagnosis or read about another exposure site, I can’t help but worry for the children who are going through cancer treatment right now. Or for their parents, who are faced with yet another threat to their kids’ lives.

Super Bowl Movie Trailers: 10 Films That Need To Make A Splash.

No matter whether you call it the “big game,” the “Super Bowl,” or the “Human Puppy Bowl,” there’s two things you can count in with this Sunday’s upcoming scrimmage. One is that there’s going to be a physical competition that determines who is the best football team of the 2018 – 2019 season. It’s the purpose of the night, and everyone knows that’s the big draw for most folks tuning in.

However, there’s another attraction that makes Super Bowl Sunday all the more special: big ticket movie ads! While there’s a reduced number of spots being dedicated to movies during the big game, and studios like Sony are sitting out the festivities altogether, it’s going to be a little lighter than usual in this arena. But this just means there’s more of an opportunity for certain films that need the extra attention to shine even brighter.

Keeping that in mind, here’s a list of 11 films that could use the profile boost come Sunday night:

Alita: Battle Angel

With the buzz starting to build around Alita: Battle Angel, and advanced screenings giving fans a look at the entire film early, there’s a potential for this underdog to pull through into front-runner status. If the reaction from this week’s sneak peek are anything like the extremely positive reactions that have been filing in slowly but surely, one of Fox’s last blockbusters as an independent studio might be a record breaker. Capitalizing on those reactions, during a high-visibility Super Bowl ad, feels like a good step towards making that a reality.

Dumbo

We know Disney is going to have several big ads during, and in some cases after, the big game. And with a lineup that could be an historical event for the studio, they’re going to have to pick and choose which films they think deserve the extra flash. Dumbo feels like one of the movies that could really use the push of a Super Bowl ad for one simple reason: it’s still a bit of an unknown quantity. Tim Burton’s reimagining looks like it’s changing enough of the film that fans of the original will need a big hook to lure them to the theaters. Present the right content in a nice, quick package that leads audiences to a brand new trailer online, and Disney will be ready to start the year off like a champ.

The Lion King

True, The Lion King technically doesn’t need the help. Everyone’s going to line up for this movie, no questions asked. However, if The Lion King really wants to be successful, it’d be smart to present some new footage from director Jon Favreau’s “live action” remake. A new trailer would be in order, if the studio wants to go traditionally. But, if Disney really wanted to surprise fans looking for evidence of why a new version of this classic film should exist, showing an extended look at the film through a new musical sequence would be a perfect bookend to the first look that re-enacted the legendary opening.

Avengers: Endgame

Ok, this is the last Disney pitch, we swear. But how the hell do you not slot an ad for Avengers: Endgame for the Super Bowl? We’re one trailer and about three months away from the soaring conclusion to Avengers: Infinity War, and with its predecessor using the big game to push its wares, it’d kind of feel out of sorts if the big finale didn’t use the same tactic. Spider-Man: Far From Home won’t show up, because Sony is sitting this round out, and Captain Marvel is already pretty deep in its marketing blitz; so if Marvel wants to make some headlines early next week, the Endgame is pretty clear.

Hellboy

There are two things Hellboy needs in order to kickstart its engines: a new release date, and another look at just how the David Harbour variant will vary from those that came before it. The main criticism of Hellboy’s first trailer was that, indeed, it looked pretty close to the Guillermo del Toro version of the property. With an R-rating being a big difference between the two films, it might be a bit hard to show the difference between the two films in a network approved spot. It shouldn’t be impossible though, as an ad that has fun with the network limitations could pull off a feat of Deadpool-ian proportions.

Dark Phoenix

Back to the more Marvel-inclined corner of the cinematic universe, Fox’s reign as an independent studio has two projects that could use the spotlight badly. As part of its revolving release schedule, two mutant-powered tentpole films are coming out within the walls of 2019, Dark Phoenix being the larger film of the two. Considering the so-so reputation the X-Men series has earned after X-Men: Apocalypse landed with a thud, a cryptic look at Jean Grey and her impending destruction spree is just the sort of thing Super Bowl ads are made for. And it’d make a killer lead in for another commercial that should show up for the big game.

The New Mutants

Both Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants found themselves at the short end of the stick, with negative buzz questioning why both films being bumped to 2019. In the case of the latter film, there’s even been a question of whether it’ll see the light of day as a theatrical release, or as a possible original film acquisition for streaming giant Hulu. For the sake of this second, and possibly final, trip into the Marvel / Fox world of mutants, it’d be a great idea to confirm the status of this film’s release this year, as well as where it’s headed; especially if there’s room for a Cloverfield Paradox like surprise that allows fans to watch the completed film after the big game.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs And Shaw

We actually got an early start on Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, as it dropped a trailer on Friday, which might make the prospect of a Super Bowl spot airing so quickly after a bit iffy. But hear us out: with that first trailer wowing crowds as soon as it dropped, it’d be even more impressive to see a more concentrated dose of action released during the big game on Sunday. Even better: they should make Friday’s trailer an experience focused on the heroes, with the Super Bowl spot taking a more villain heavy approach. Put ‘em together, and it’s a double-barrelled shot of excitement.

Ad Astra

Not all Super Bowl movie spots need to be four quadrant blockbuster pitches. If anything, more films off the beaten path should take advantage of the big platform the event offers. Seeing as the original timeline would have seen us still discussing Ad Astra’s box office performance at this point, it seems like a fantastic time for the mysterious sci-fi drama from director James Gray to give audiences a first look. While the film has been pushed to a May 24th release date, it makes the Super Bowl the perfect moment to start the ad push on the Brad Pitt starring film. Even if it’s a cryptic teaser, it’d be enough to get everyone thinking about just what they’ll see in the future.

Child’s Play

With a TV series set to revive the character of Chucky competing with a film that’s bringing the Child’s Play franchise to life in name only, there’s going to need to be some sharp, quick contrasts drawn between the projects. Online, the series is already revving its engines with a marketing campaign trying to sell folks on the Buddi doll that will replace the killer friend that this remake obviously can’t use for its own purposes. So why not stoke the fires a little more with a fake TV ad showing Buddi in action, with just a hint of the sorts of trouble this new robot pal could cause?

And that’s the game! Don’t forget that Super Bowl 53 kicks off at 6:30 PM EST on CBS. So if you’re looking for these potential game changing spots, as well as the various commercials that will also be dropped through the night, you may want to start watching during the pre-game show.

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