Aquaman’s Missing Trailer Means it’s a Crap Film ….. Discuss.

One way that the major studios drum up audience interest in their “forthcoming attractions” is by dropping trailers of hotly awaited films to coincide with the actual release of actual hotly awaited films. This works in so far as it drives eyeballs, but on the other hand, the routine has set up something of a negative expectation amongst audiences; because if a trailer doesn’t drop like clockwork nine months before a film’s release, the rumor mill kicks into action with all sorts of concerns that the film in doomed doomed doomed. Scott Mendelson discusses the problematic trailer strategy with regard to Aquaman over at Forbes.

If Aquaman works on a primal “underwater Lord of the Rings” way, then there is zero incentive to release a too-early first teaser. If Aquaman stinks, then there is no reason to let the cat out of the bag…to appease a fan base that has become spoiled by early marketing campaigns…

My Friend the Rapist, My Friend the Survivor

Each year I join the pre-selection committee of the Monte Carlo TV Festival Golden Nymph Awards. I truly love this experience because it exposes me to a whole bunch of top flight global television that I maybe wouldn’t otherwise get to see, and my life is definitely richer for it. Over time, it’s been interesting to note the content, developed all around the world, comes in thematic waves. Two years ago it was Nazism, last year, immigrants, and this year there are several entries about the rape and abuse of women. (the above image is Emily Mortimer in Apple Tree Yard.)

Interestingly, it would so far appear that rapes in these series are not chucked in as plot points or useful mechanisms for driving the drama (I’m looking at you Christopher Nolan) but as devastating pivotal moments in the lives of real human beings. Whether this approach is because of increased awareness of global activism – #MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc – or instead a cynical ratings ploy of commissioning editors jumping on bandwagons, remains to be seen. Perhaps it’s both? Film, after all is both a reflection and a driver of culture.

I’m musing on this now because the issue is close and personal. Back in 2016, (more…)

Skyscraper: the sky’s the limit for Dwayne Johnson

Skyscraper is the year’s biggest “not based on anything” studio release, and the weight of its expectations is resting on the broad shoulders of its affable lead, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Johnson is one of a tiny handful of modern-day movie stars able to front mid-to-big budget vehicles based on their perceived value to the audience moviegoer. And before Skyscraper, there’s Rampage, the movie trailer that got me thinking about our Dwayne this morning….

Stranger than Fiction

Stranger than Fiction was playing on tv this morning while I was getting ready for work, and I could hardly drag myself away. I’d forgotten how much I really loved this sweet, whimsical, absurdist tale of a buttoned-up and completely anal IRS agent (Ferrell) who begins hearing a prim, British, female voice in his head, narrating his life with potentially devastating consequences…..

More surprising now, as I look back, I realize that this, one of my favorite films ever, was directed by Marc Forster, who went on to make Quantum of Solace and World War Z, both cracking, complex, big-budget action adventures. This is something quite different and really quite lovely.