Cinematic Slant

Cinematic Slant is where I write about movies, including the campaign recaps I’ve been doing since 2004 along with other news and opinions.

Outside In – Marketing Recap: There’s a darkness to the story that’s being sold here. Chris is obsessed, that much is clear, but it’s left unspoken whether that obsession turns violent or if he fades off in the landscape when it becomes clear his feelings will not be returned. As it is, what’s shown for the audience is a very personal story.

Lean on Pete – Marketing Recap: While there was decent buzz that came out of the festival appearances, this campaign does little to nothing to break into the mainstream audience. There’s a nice little story on display, but it’s the kind of thing that isn’t going to get anyone’s attention until it shows up as a streaming recommendation somewhere and they decide to half-watch it while doing something else.

And Now Five Vertigo Series to Adapt for TV: A while ago, in the wake of news that the Vertigo Comics series The Kitchen was being adapted into a feature film I came up with a list of five other Vertigo properties I thought would make compelling and popular movies. There were a handful I considered for that list but which I actually thought would work better on the small screen. And so, without further preamble and using the recent news that Astro City is being developed as a TV show, I present the five recent titles that would be *perfect* to adapt in a longer format, either as a limited or ongoing series.

Ready Player One – Marketing Recap: I can’t argue with the point that the movie is being sold as Spot The Reference to a great extent. I do think, though, that people who are calling that out are the same ones who are pouring over every Marvel Studios film looking for the easter eggs and clues that hint at future films or other characters. So it’s not that they have a problem with that tactic, it’s just not being done in a way that rewards them being more clever than anyone else. The campaign has evolved from one that laid out the foundations of the world the story takes place in to one that sold a fast-paced tech thrill ride. Ignore all the nods to Last Action Hero seen fleetingly on a theater marquee and the pitch isn’t that different from any other being made.

When Good Enough Is Good Enough: That “good enough” label is used essentially as a criticism. Netflix has been criticized for flooding the market with “adequate” material, crowding out other options ranging from streaming to theatrical. And the company is seen as being fine with “meh” instead of consistently shooting for greatness, as it sometimes does do. So…what’s the problem?

Love After Love – Marketing Recap: This isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, that’s for sure. The campaign isn’t very clear about the story or the characters and what there is often seems inaccessible and occasionally off-putting. But that’s part of the message, that this is difficult and should be dealt with as such. The rest of the performances are almost afterthoughts, this is MacDowell’s showcase through and through and she’s the strongest value proposition offered to the audience.

Yes, Movie Marketing is Tracking You: The Facebook/Cambridge news was huge because everyone either uses Facebook or is tracked by its ad network software on other sites. The implications and relevance were apparent to vast swaths of the population immediately. That news came just a couple weeks after a smaller-scale controversy momentarily rocked the movie industry and had it engaging in a debate over user tracking not unlike what’s happening now.

The Last Movie Star – Marketing Recap: What’s clear in the campaign is that this movie is being positioned as Reynold’s career summation statement, a final bow before leaving the stage. He may have another role or two in him, but the meta-context of an actor who hasn’t been a box-office draw for 20 years playing an actor who hasn’t been a box-office draw for a while can’t be missed.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.