Tag Archives: movie promo

Mood movies

I see a lot of movies for different reasons.

Usually it’s because of a favorite actor or genre. Sometimes the movie has Oscar buzz…or the subject matter is ‘good for me’ (meaning it’s gonna feel like homework, so I have to talk myself into going).

best-man-posterThe Best Man Holiday is none of these.

It’s a sequel of a movie from 15 years ago that I didn’t see. I just thought the promos looked light and fluffy and fun, and that’s what I was in the mood to see.

By now I should know to never trust trailers.

The plot was exactly what I expected — best friends reuniting for the holidays — but the film deals with some very real issues.  It’s saved from being throwaway by the quality of the cast who deliver genuine laughter and tears — lots and lots of tears.

I loved seeing Terrence Howard in this kinda role and movie–Taye Diggs and Morris Chestnut, too.

Rumor has it they are already talking about making the third movie.  No 15-year wait this time.

I’ll be there.

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App-rehension

During the pre-show at my local AMC theatre, an oft-run promo asks, “Do cell phones dream?” Personally, I want to know…

Do cell phone apps turn themselves on?

cell phone iconsNine times out of ten — when I swipe the screen on my Samsung Galaxy SIII — a random app is ready and waiting instead of the home screen that I expect.

Sometimes my camera is open and pointed at my face (which can be scary when you’re not ready for it).  Or the Seamless app is offering me restaurant choices to peruse.  More often than not, Fandango is open to their current movie push ad, which I quickly skip.

(And we all know it doesn’t take much for me to decide that going to the movie is a very good idea.)

What is making these apps pop open?  Is it something in the way I swipe?  Simple chance?  Or evil marketing genius at work?

If there are any app developers out there reading this blog — and if you are…really? —

I’d love to know.

Worthy candidate

I laughed and laughed at The Campaign this afternoon…which is really no surprise.

What made me laugh was.

I  expected Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis to be funny.  Their take on two candidates for a US Senate seat in North Carolina was over-the-top and out-of-control.  No issue was off-limits. No person, place or thing (translation: animal) was safe if their misuse provided a potential positive bump in the polls.

But for me, the surprises kept this movie from being your standard comedy.  Things the trailer didn’t reveal.  Cameos it didn’t spoil (and I won’t either).  The promos even used some alternative footage so that the real punch lines weren’t given away before you sat down in the theatre.

What a novel idea.

Probably my biggest ‘aha’ in The Campaign is how much I enjoyed the performance of Dylan McDermott as Galifianakis’ evil campaign manager.  I don’t think of him as a comedic actor, but McDermott stole every frame he appeared in.

The ending was also unexpected.  And I will surprise you now by not giving it away, except to say —

Watch the credits.

Stop sign

I have never sat in a movie theater and literally boo’ed a trailer.

Until now.

It happens every time I see  the promo for “Little Fockers.”  (Yes, they went there.)

The very funny “Meet the Parents” movie beget the extremely mediocre sequel “Meet the Fockers.”  (It’s like they thought a funny title would make up for everything the script was lacking.)

But instead of quitting while they were ahead, the producers churned out a third and what we can only hope is the concluding — please, please let it be the final — chapter in this tale of a highly dysfunctional blended family.

Based on the trailer for “Little Fockers,” mediocre may even be a stretch for this one.

How many times can we sit and watch Ben Stiller hurt and humiliate himself?  DeNiro walk the line between cranky and cuckoo?  Hoffman peacock?

And is this really Teri Polo’s only acting job?

The most frustrating thing for me is listening to all the people in the theater laugh at the promo.   Judge for yourself.

Does it really take so little to tickle our funny bones?

I mean…fock.

One man’s lie…

You might expect the trailers for a movie called “The Invention of Lying” to skirt the truth a bit.  And boy, do they.

The movie is about the first man who ever lied…and how his subsequent lies changed his life and the lives of his family, friends and ultimately, the world.

But the marketing campaign leaves out a lot. While the promos do portray the movie as a comedy — and rightly so — “The Invention of Lying” is also quite poignant at times.  This is a rather dramatic role for Ricky Gervais, and he performs it beautifully. Who knew such a sarcastic so-and-so had such range?

There are also dozens of amazing celebrity cameos that made me laugh aloud in surprise.  (I will point out that at these moments, my laugh was often the only one you heard in the theater; I guess I’m better at spotting a cameo than some.)

Perhaps the biggest omission from the trailers is the subject matter of the lies that Gervais’ character tells.  That was a very smart move.  If they had revealed this information in the marketing, a substantial chunk of the potential audience might have stayed away.  This way, they’ll already be in the audience and in a good mood when it’s revealed.  And hopefully, they won’t feel judged.

So, while I am often annoyed when movie marketing gives you the wrong impression about a film — for example, when movies like “The Family Stone” come off like feel-good comedies in the promos and then spring cancer on you — I applaud “The Invention of Lying” for holding back.

It’s a great film.  It’s funny and smart and surprising and actually makes you think.  And thanks to the marketing, a whole lot more people will see it.

(The preceding message is true.)