Friday, February 11, 2005

If Yer Gonna Make a Movie...

If yer gonna go to the trouble of making a movie, at least be honest in your efforts. I'm tired of seeing movies and feeling lied to.

Last week I went to see Sideways with Sam. Now, I didn't know nearly anything about the movie except 1) It was nominated for Best Picture and 2) It is a comedy. Well one of those two items is true. All over TV there have been commercials saying how hillarious this movie is, and how it will make you laugh, etc. Well guess what, this is just another classic case of the movie industry lying to everyone to get them in the seats. I went in expecting a comedy, and what I got was a depressing drama with a few hints of comedy. I think I laughed out loud maybe 2 times, and chuckled with sarcasm another 3 times. I laughed more during Titanic, frankly.

This is just one example of this occurence in the movie industry. I can see the next one coming a mile away too. In fact, its already started. Have you seen previews for this new movie called "Hitch" with Will Smith? They are promoting it as a regular comedy - showing the funniest scenes and getting the preview audiences laughing. Here's the no spin truth - this movie is a romantic comedy. A chick flick disguised by a cool actor playing the lead. Guys, steer clear if you are able. I realize some of you will see it anyway, either because you don't mind romantic comedies, or becuase you have been genuinely duped. Either one is fine, but when you do see this movie, expect lovey dovey garbage. I'm just warning you in advance.

So what is going on? Obviously, its the money. Someone somewhere did not believe in Sideways. A marketing group or the filmmakers probably looked at it (I'm speculating now) and said, "This won't sell on its own, we need to juice up the ads. We'll pass it as a comedy and hope we sell more tickets." If they had promoted it as the dramedy it is, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more. But I kept judging it against the standards of comedy, and not dramas.

For the movie industry, there is something to be said about being true to your art. Let your work stand on its own, for what it is. When you fake out the public, you denegrate your own work. It makes it look like you don't have faith in your art enough to be honest about it.

For the movie goer, beware. Movie ticket prices are way too expensive these days to be wasting our money on bad or mispromoted movies. (Can I get an Amen!?) Make sure you do your research before going to see the latest "awesome, thrill packed adventure", which may just turn out to be about a woman crossing the desert on a camel writing a book about her experience - with a narration. Get the point?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Hitch" was a bad example to use. Its obviously a romantic comedy. There has also been a lot of press about Will Smith doing this movie, since it is his foray into the chick flick genre.

Your experience with Sideways teaches you not to listen to the media when it comes to movies. You already know how they are with politics, why would film be any different? It all comes back to the green. Take the previews and critiques with a grain of salt. Million Dollar Baby is a good example. Its not about boxing. But not as many people would go see it if they knew it was really about assisted suicide. Look at Blair Witch. That film was a success becuase it was portrayed as a documentary, when in reality its entirely fiction. You just get used to it after a while.

As for Sideways, I'll make my judgement on that tomorrow. I'm going with Erin(Ford) tomorrow.


"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton