Colts vs. Bears? Bring on the Super Bowl Commercials!

Whether you'll be watching Sunday's showdown for the gridiron action or waiting to see what millions of dollars in advertising money looks like, we'll be here logging the best and worst of this year's Super Bowl XLI spots! Place your vote!

They've already told us not to expect any huge movie trailer premieres (unless you're desperately looking forward to "Pride," "Meet the Robinsons," or the old guy biker gang comedy, "Wild Hogs"). But Super Bowl commercials are always great no matter the sponsor, right?



Travolta riding easy in "Wild Hogs"


Well, you be the judge of that. We'll keep a running tab of the commercials as they happen -- cast your vote on the best and worst of this year's offerings, or just discuss 'em with fellow couch quarterbacks.

Our pick for best bet? Kevin Federline's Nationwide Insurance spot, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog slinging for the NFL, Robert Goulet for Emerald Nuts, and the Prince halftime show!

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3:09 pm: First Trailer
If you turn off the sound, the trailer for Antoine Fuqua's "Shooter" starring Mark Wahlberg and Danny Glover actually looks a lot like "Live Free or Die Hard," except without the hype or the excitement. You can check out the trailer we have available here, which goes more into the story and doesn't feature quick cuts. Or you can the image below for the flipbook:



3:15 pm: Ghost Rider

There's not much here that we haven't seen before in previous "Ghost Rider" trailers, but it does look like a decent comic book movie with slick CGI sequences and bright colors. The only problem is it's coming out in February, the month when Studios put out films that they don't have much confidence in. Check out the trailer for the Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes starring "Ghost Rider" here - it's not much different than the one shown in the Super Bowl.



3:25 pm: Game on!
It's raining.

3:25:20 pm: TOUCHDOWN BEARS!

Hmm...Bud Light's rock-paper-scissors spot...Doritos...those Blockbuster critters. Not laughing out loud yet.

I's great how the first three Superbowl commercials feature gratuitious violence: a man gets hit in the head with a rock, two people suffer automobile accident-related head injuies, and there's a shocking sequence of rodent-on-rodent violence. Man, that JT-Janet halftime show seems positively quaint by these days.

Sierra Mist's one-two punch: the beard comb-over and the lesser-funny soda-protection karate class. Meh. What a waste of Michael Ian Black and Jim Gaffigan.

The "Pride" trailer is pretty lame. Looks like a typical movie where lives are affirmed and spirits are uplifted. Terrence Howard stars. It's tough out here for a swimming coach!

The Coke Grand Theft Auto spot; now that's cute!

Cheesiest ad so far: salesgenie.com. My goodness. It looks like a parody or something.

We've also seen a vaguely homophobic Snickers commercial (the one where the two dudes share a Snickers bar, then rip their out chest hair) and a vaguely racist Bud Light commercial (the one where it's supposed to be hilarious that people have accents). Not amused.

Can't forget that Chevy commercial with various people singing songs with Chevrolet references, such as Nelly's "E.I.," Elton John's "Crocodile Rock," and the Beach Boys' "409." It's pretty tuneless, except for Mary J. Blige. She rules.


THE HALFTIME SHOW!



Prince has got to be one of the best Super Bowl halftime performers ever. Even in his old lady head scarf. Need I point out:



  • The glow-in-the-dark marching band
  • The "Artist Formerly Known As Prince" symbol-shaped stage
  • The weird early '90s-esque matching dancing ladies
  • The "best of Prince" set list
And the most memorable/huh? moment: Prince covering Foo Fighters ("Best of You") ostensibly as a thank you for Foo Fighters covering Prince ("Darling Nikki"). But do we really have to cut the intro to "Let's Go Crazy" short?? The opening monologue is the best part!

I hope they cut short this football business and give us a full-length Prince concert. Play "When Doves Cry!!" And, in a bit of irony: Prince plays "Purple Rain" in the -- you guessed it -- pouring rain!!

Now it's over and you've got to wonder: who's the genius who first thought "Prince" and "NFL" would go together in the first place?




THE SECOND HALF

To start the second half, there was a Bud Light ad in which a bunch of people were slapping each other; a Philip K. Dickian GM ad in which a robot commits suicide; and a pharmacutical ad in which a guy dressed in a heart costume is brutally assaulted in an alley. Apparently, violence sells beer and cars, and reminds people to take better care of their hearts.

Coke and Tostitos pay tribute to Black History Month. Now that's something we can get behind, not least of which because neither ad features any brutal beatings.



5:40 MEET THE ROBINSONS

Featuring the voice talents of Angela Bassett and Tom Selleck, "Meet the Robinsons" looks like a mix between "Jimmy Neutron" and "Toy Story." Not exactly spectacular, but could be decent family fare. Check out the trailer here.




6:39 HANNIBAL RISING

It's the same trailer you've been seeing on TV and elsewhere. It stars Gong Li. Check out the trailer here.




AHH, SUPER BOWL 41

Mediocre game, mediocre commercials. Too many fumbles all around. Fortunately, Robert Goulet livened things up with an Emerald Nuts ad. The commecial itself is so-so, but Goulet himself is genius.

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