Tag Archives: movie audiences

We look but cannot see

Earlier this week, my friend Caroline re-watched The Way We Were after many years away from the film, and was blown away by two things:

  • Robert Redford the actor; and
  • Robert Redford the amazingly good-looking human being.

robert redford TWWWThe latter is an area of universal agreement.  No man has ever looked better than Redford did in this film.

See how Barbra Streisand is gazing up at him in the still from the movie?  Insert any woman — or man of that ilk — and they will have the same look of stunned appreciation on their face.

Perfection does that to a person.

Redford’s acting, on the other hand, has not always received the same level of appreciation.  But his upcoming movie, All is Lost, has generated Best Actor Oscar buzz at film festivals.

Take a look at the early trailer below.

Perhaps now that Redford is craggy instead of captivating, audiences are better able to focus on his performance.

I’ll be there!

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Dark night

The Paranormal Activity horror film trilogy used video of audiences watching the movies in their trailers.

They look terrified.  They jumped and screamed and often laughed at their own reactions.

I remember thinking that a movie theatre itself would be a great setting for a horror film.  All those people, together in a dark room, with only a couple of visible exits if something went wrong.

I wondered at the time why no one had written that movie.  As usual, real life produced something even more horrific.

RIP Aurora.

Stupor

Is Seth Rogen too ‘goofy’ to play Green Hornet?

Writer Michael Venture posed the question on TodayShow.com.  If you’ve seen any trailers for Green Hornet, you’re probably wondering the same thing.

I didn’t read the comic books as a kid, but I’ve heard enough anecdotally to know his casting is a serious digression.  Seth also co-wrote the film, which appears to take a more lighthearted approach to the source material to better suit his comic persona.

But is ‘goofiness’ really the issue here?  I argue it’s more a question of intellect.

Case in point:  Jonah Hill, who teamed with Russell Brand in the hilarious Get Him to the Greek, is a Seth Rogen-esque film comedian in looks and stature.  Where I believe they differ is their perceived intelligence on screen.

Both can be as silly as all get out, but  Jonah’s characters can be funny and smart.  When Jonah gets out of whatever fix he’s in, it’s believable that he came up with the solution.

Seth, on the other hand, always seems a bit confused and dull-witted.  His humor has a certain charm, but it is defined by his limited mental abilities — a quality which seems to inhabit every character he portrays.

I’m not saying Seth is stupid.  I’m saying he plays stupid….every time.

A goofy Green Hornet is one thing.  But a Green Hornet who is stupid?  Who needs Cato because he can’t figure things out on his own?

Not so super.

Must see

I’ve already seen a lot of movie trailers this week (and there are two days of movie watching still to come).

There is the ‘green team’ — The Green Hornet and The Green Lantern — and for some reason, they always seem to run them back-to-back.  Poor planning on someone’s part at the studio.

And, of course, that blasted Little Fockers trailer has been running for months.  I don’t know what’s more annoying — its total lack of originality, or the audience laughing at it every time.  Depressing.

But my favorite discovery so far at the theater?  Cowboys vs. Aliens (and it’s not even a cartoon, folks).

The movie trailer opens on a dusty town you’ve seen in a hundred other Westerns.  Then, out of nowhere… aliens attack!  And Harrison Ford is in it!  And Daniel Craig and Sam Rockwell… with Jon Favreau directing!

I mean — come on!  How could this not be the funniest thing ever?

Check out the trailer.

I know, I know — it’s no Fockers. So brace yourself.

You might just see something you’ve never seen before.

Incognito

I hope the people who make movie trailers actually go to the theater and watch the audience reaction.

It can be a real eye opener.

Case in point:  I went to “Inception” last night — what a wild ride that was — and saw two new trailers before the show:  one for “The Town,” one for “Devil.”

“The Town” stars Ben Affleck, Blake Lively, Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner.  Set in Boston, it tells the story of a group of bank robbers, a bank manager they get involved with and the FBI agent who tries to take them down.  The trailer said it was from “the director of ‘Gone Baby Gone.'”

“Devil” puts a group of apparently random people in a high-rise elevator and stalls it.  Then all hell breaks loose.  There are no real name stars in the film; the trailer just touts it as being “from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan.”

Two interesting choices.

The first trailer did not specifically name Affleck as its director.  Did they suspect there might be negative connotations?  Some holdover from his earlier work in “Gigli” or “Jersey Girls?”

The second — which I think had the audience until this point — elicited groans and laughter when they threw M. Night Shyamalan’s name into the mix.  The movie appeared to lose all credibility with those three little words.

So, if anyone is listening — I think a teeny edit to the “Devil” trailer could make a big difference at the box office.

And M. Night — the slogan for “Devil” is “bad things happen for a reason.”

Try to keep that in mind…okay?

Trailers no more

Remember movie trailers in the olden days?

They promoted future movies to the captive audience waiting for the feature to begin, of course.  But they also gave the people who were running late another good 15 minutes to get to the theater.

Then the movie theaters added commercials before the trailers to make some extra dough, and suddenly movie audiences had a 20 minute window…which just made them later.

But today, movie trailers are become more and more the featured entertainment — a vehicle to get audiences in those pricey theater seats.

I’ll use “Twilight” as an example (sorry, but they do this stuff pretty well).

The “Eclipse” movie — third in the “Twilight” saga — is scheduled to hit theaters June 2010.  On Tuesday, Summit Entertainment released a 10 second “Eclipse” trailer as a “teaser” online.

Today they released the full 90 second trailer, and audiences who go see Robert Pattinson in “Remember Me” — opening this Friday nationwide — will see this “Eclipse” trailer on most prints.

Brilliant.  Summit is using the “Twilight” mania to drive audiences to “Remember Me.”  I’m sure a lot of these same people would have seen the movie anyway — since RPatz is the star — but the promise of footage of the upcoming “Eclipse” movie pretty much seals the deal.

My local AMC theater even advertises on their marquee when “Twilight” trailers are attached to films.  It’s whack…but it works.

Other films with equally rabid fan bases should pay close attention.

Those 90 second shorts can get butts in the seats.