Rent blog

First off, let me just say that I am very much looking forward to Rent in a few weeks. I saw the play when it was first here in Chicago and loved it. I listen to the soundtrack every now and again and I’ll definitely be there when the movie opens.

Anyway, every once in a while when I start ranting about the lack of adoption by movie studios of blogs, RSS and such someone will leave a comment about the Rent Movie Blog. I’ve been reluctant to mention it and certainly do not think it is exemplary of blog adoption. First, it has no RSS feeds. Secondly, the “posts” are by the characters from the movie, a tactic which I’ve discussed before. Lastly, all the “posts” are in the form of video clips from the movie. The actors (or a marketing person posing as the characters) couldn’t even be bothered to create original content for the so-called blog.

Putting up a micro-site and stocking it with video content does not make it a blog. It makes it an extension of the “Videos” section of the standard website. Let’s not have set a precedent here where any website with the word “blog” tacked on to the end all of a sudden fulfills the obligation – yes, an obligation – by the movie studios to change their “push” thinking into “pull” thinking and embrace new media technologies in a meaningful way.

Libertine trailer and poster

“Johnny Depp in a powdered wig.”

I’m sure at some point that sentence was uttered during a pitch meeting for The Libertine. I have to say that despite my misgivings toward costume dramas (lately they’ve been very bad, substituting today’s moral climate for an accurate historical presentation) the trailer looks pretty good. The poster – pictured at the left – works fairly well, too. I like the darkness of it, how it doesn’t look like it’s trying to be all fancy and funny and such.

Contacting MMM

OK, I thought I would say this one more time: If you are from a studio, an agency working with a studio or someone who does marketing on behalf of a studio or other entertainment outlet, drop me a line at moviemarketingmadness-at-gmail-dot-com. I love hearing from the few people who have contacted me and have gotten a lot of good material to pass on from them. Your studio could be among that group but first you have to talk to me.

The reason this is on my mind is that today alone I’ve noticed visites to MMM from at least four major movie studios and yet nary a contact. I’m not setting myself as the end-all-be-all in movie marketing news but the more resources I have to draw on means my readership could increase and so on and so on and so on. I definitely agree with this article from PR Week:

The online survey polled 821 bloggers and found that half wrote about a company or product at least once a week. When asked how they would like a company to contact them, only 2% said they didn’t want companies to do so. A majority of respondents favored a personalized e-mail.

But only 16% of bloggers reported that companies or their PR firms generally attempt to interact with them in a personalized manner, and only 21% reported at least weekly correspondence from companies or their PR representatives. And they reported much of the contact as a simple press release.

So drop me an email and let me know what’s going on, what’s new and what is happening in your neck of the woods. If you want to send me physical swag that would be great and will definitely review it here. Those little trinkets go farther with me than they do with general movie reviewers. They just see them as items used to butter them up. I see them as material to be reviewed. Think about it, columnists and reviewers rarely mention the promotional items whereas that would be all I would do.

UPDATE: I corrected the spam-proof typing of my email address. Thanks to Andrew for pointing that out.

Water trailer

Beautiful with lush scenery and an emotional undercurrent (no pun intended) this trailer for Water actually made me run to Netflix to see if I could find the rest of director Deepa Mehta’s “Elemental Trilogy”. You really need to watch this trailer, telling the story of a widow who defies tradition in India in the early part of the last century. Such powerful acting and seemingly a heartbreaking story.

I Love Your Work trailer

Part satire, part drama, and looking very much like a David Lynch-type flick, I Love Your Work seems interesting but flawed, at least based on the trailer. With it’s ensemble cast and patchwork structure it was hard for me to get my head around the trailer with any sense of understanding. There seems to be a movie star who is being stalked but is also stalking someone himself. It’s almost a case of too many characters being thrown at me without enough of the sinnew of the story being explained.

Looking For Comedy In The Muslim World trailer

Until I watched the trailer for Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World I don’t think I quite got that Albert Brooks was playing himself. He’s contacted by the U.S. government to go to the Middle East to find out what makes the population there laugh as a way to better understand them. That’s a great plot device and it looks like it’s very well executed. There’s bound to be something in there to offend everyone. Definitely want to check this one out.

Last Holiday trailer

Queen Latifah continues her quest to become the next Sandra Bullock by appearing in The Last Holiday, another middle-brow comedy about a woman who finds herself because of ______. The trailer is so incredibly unremarkable it’s ridiculous. Watch it and then see if you can remember anything – I mean anything – about it five minutes later. Other than the fact that LL Cool J is looking larger and larger every passing year there’s nothing in there that will stick with you. It’s like eating a McDonald’s cheesburger and then taking an Ex-Lax. Nothing of value went in and it’s not sticking around for long.

More on the 50 Cent billboard flap

Last week I mentioned Paramount Pictures was catching some flak for billboards for their upcoming 50 Cent biopic Get Rich or Die Tryin’. An advocatcy group felt the placement of the posters, which show Fiddy with a gun and a microphone, around preschools was inappropriate.

Well Paramount has decided to appease the groups and taken down the billboards and, according to a studio exec, they will reassess the placement of the ads. Of course the star and subject of the movie, rapper 50 Cent, says – and this is an important point – that the controversy has helped to raise awareness of and promote the movie. No shit.

On a related note, a group calling themselves The Bubble Project put word balloons on a ton of ads for the movie in public spaces. People are then supposed to write in their own commentary, but the ones they put on 50 Cent posters are largely still blank. AdRants theorizes this is because people are, you know, scared to make fun of the rapper.

Final Destination 3 trailer

As funny as I thought the poster for Final Destination 3 was, the trailer is even more so, if only because it takes itself so damn seriously. Another group of young adults (though it looks like Ali Larter came to her senses and got out of the series) is missed by and then stalked by Death or someone. Quite frankly I don’t care and really neither should you.

Looking For Comedy in the Muslim World poster