Archive for the ‘Film Criticsm’ Category

Everybody’s Marketing! Film and Theatre.

June 13, 2008

Not only does being Artistic Director of a theatre company (Theatre Unleashed) keep me too busy to make any money, but you couple that along with acting in the shows, writing original material for the shows, producing the shows, being at every meeting and on every committee…well, you start to see where my 40 hours a week goes.

But it’s all for a great cause (my need to be an artist), and I’m learning too much. More than I ever wanted to. I jest, it’s a good thing.

But all of the chores that pertain to the skill sets above, the one I didn’t mention, and the one that challenges me in ways that I enjoy is being the Viral Marketer on the Marketing Committee. As much as I love live theatre, I do love film, and this gives me the opportunity to combine both of my passions. Basically I’m shooting short films to help promote the stage shows.

But they aren’t just short films. The trailers are dictated by the tone of the shows. They have to get people curious enough to pay 20 bucks and sit in a seat for two hours…a few more dollars than a movie with explosions and stars. You have to excite them about the live experience.

Here’s a trailer I put together for our currently running show (check out the website for details and come see it! I’ll have a few other trailers below.

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Summer Trailers and their Marketing Plans – No more surprises for Batman.

May 27, 2008

***Normally an image would be here, but so as not to spoil anything, I have refrained from showing too much.***

How else to do a raspberry in the title of an article without doing a smiley? Hate it. I’ll sue myself!

It was inevitable that no matter how long I kept my eyes closed during the trailers of the new Batman film I was going to see what the Joker looked like. 2 images spread across the internet like wild fire. Okay, fine. I can live with it.

But that’s it. Even though I’m beginning to feel left out, I continue to close my eyes. I want to retain that feeling when I was a kid, when every movie was a surprise. When they were smart enough not to throw a visual from every scene of a movie at the audience in a trailer.

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New Line Cinema vs. Semi-Pro

March 31, 2008

So New Line Cinema fired a bunch of people? The last I heard of any of this was a few weeks ago and it sounded like it happened or was going to happen because movies like Semi-Pro did poorly at the box office.

First of all, I laughed quite a bit at Semi-Pro. It was just as good as Ferrell’s last few films. (more…)

“There Will Be Blood”: Jack Torrence is “Shining” Through

February 19, 2008

There Will Be Blood Oil

While “There Will Be Blood” hasn’t been a box office stud it’s being called a movie that will never be forgotten, which it may become, whether anyone has seen it or not.

The ShiningThe people that do never see it will think that it has something to do with milkshakes and bowling pins. Of course those that never saw The Shining will always remember that movie being something about an axe and Johnny Carson. It’s no surprise to me that Blood has entered into the public consciousness as The Shining did, as through my eyes I can confidently say that the former has influenced the latter exponentially.

Aside from quotable lines some of the other similarities include a larger than life performance by a highly regarded actor; performances that while the films were still fresh people complained they were perhaps too exaggerated. Then there’s the unsettling Bowling Pinwide shots and long takes with drawn out silences and the post modern music that heightens the tension; some incidental moments are even by the same composer. When P.T. Anderson claimed his movie was more like a horror film in last week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly it’s obvious he wasn’t lying.

It’s one of the things I love about Blood. Its willingness to really let loose and unhinge itself from anything human. These character’s represent the worst of their kinds.

Over at Jim Emerson’s Scanners (“Biggest Acting, Best and Worst; Over the Top, Ma!”) there’s talk about over acting and when it’s applicable and when it isn’t. (He also makes comparisons to The Shining.) I responded to the article with this: “If there’s a level of truth in the performance, and when I say truth, I mean emotional truth, then as far as I’m concerned the actor can be as over the top as he wants.” In some instances it’s left up to the viewer to find that truth. It doesn’t help if the creator of the films cheats…will come back to this. Being truthful and unlikable are two different things. Truth can sometimes be even more poignant when the character isn’t likable in the least.

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Reviewers Destroy the Fun of Cloverfield, a Critical Response

January 19, 2008

Cloverfield

There’s always a lot of talk over at Jim Emmerson’s: Scanners about the critic’s place in the world today. Do they have any power over the audiences of today or are they out of touch with the general movie going public? After having been proven wrong so many times I guess they decided to get their revenge. And in doing so ruined many of the surprises in one of the best advertised films in a long time.

If you haven’t seen the previews for Cloverfield then you’ve missed out on something incredible. Hand held home cameras and an attack on the Statue of Liberty that had everyone drooling during the trailer before Transformers this last summer. Now there has been a good 5 or 6 months of speculation as to what the heck took off Liberty’s head! No more can there be speculation thanks to our reviewers.

First there was Roger Ebert giving away the attacker of the film in his blurb above his review of Cloverfield, not even in the body of the review. (I vent at my other write up Roger Ebert Undermines Cloverfield’s Campaign.) He responded to an email of mine suggesting that he thought it was common knowledge now, pointing me to the IMDB tagline which refers to the attacker as a “monster”, but what kind of monster it doesn’t say. Even beyond that he goes to great lengths to describe images in the film that are much better experienced for the first time in the movie theatre. But it’s unfair to reprimand Ebert alone.

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Roger Ebert Undermines Cloverfield’s Campaign

January 18, 2008

After months of witnessing one of the best ad campaigns for a movie since The Blair Witch Project I’ve just had the surprise of Cloverfield given away in the blurb at the top of Roger Ebert’s review in his weekly email update that innocently appeared in my inbox.

After months of speculating and not knowing, the fun of the event surrounding Abram’s new film has been crushed.

I would say this is breaking movie etiquette just as much as talking on your cell phone during a movie would be.

Here are some other spoiler blurbs for movies that have come and gone that Ebert could have ruined, but was smart enough not to.

“Man escapes deserted island to find that things can change.” — Cast Away

“He can’t see the ghosts, because he’s one himself.” — The Sixth Sense

“Have you ever tried beating up yourself? Ed Norton and Brad Pitt are the same person!” — Fight Club

“Oh, my goodness, he’s been on Earth the whole time!” — Planet of the Apes

“I guess all it takes is your wife’s head in a box to push you over the edge.” — Seven

Thank you Roger Ebert for not making those mistakes. If there was only a way to reverse time and stop you from ruining the surprise of Cloverfield for half of America…in a blurb.