Selling Bad Times at the El Royale

The Hollywood Reporter has my recap of the marketing for Drew Goddard’s throwback mystery Bad Times at the El Royale.

The movie comes from 20th Century Fox with a description that reads like something more out of the late 90s post-Tarantino era than a movie in 2018. Drew Goddard writes and directs the story of seven strangers who all come to one hotel that straddles the Nevada/California border one fateful night that will be filled with revelations, mysteries and more than a little danger.

via ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’: Noir Nostalgia Sells Fox Film | Hollywood Reporter

Cinderella Man – Marketing Recap

You can read my full recap of the marketing campaign for Cinderella Man at Film Threat.

On the one hand you have Russell Crowe, who always turns in a solid performance, even if he looks like he’d rather be somewhere else like in Proof of Life. He’s been the best part of some mediocre-at-best movies (cough/”Gladiator”/cough).

The Longest Yard – Marketing Recap

You can read my full recap of the marketing for The Longest Yard at Film Threat.

Once again, Sandler mugs for the camera and acts like an ass, this time in a remake of the iconic Burt Reynolds film “The Longest Yard.” Apparently studio executives weren’t aware it had already been remade, if in loose fashion as “Necessary Roughness.”

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith – Marketing Recap

You can read my full recap of the marketing campaign for Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of The Sith at Film Threat.

Not a day has gone by since mid-1998 that Lucas and the marketing departments of his myriad organizations that haven’t been focused on the release of this, the final movie in the prequel trilogy. The first two movies (which I have to admit here that I actually like) were the setup for not just the third and final act but also were trial runs for marketing strategies. In fact, it could be argued, that the marketing for the Special Editions was a warm-up lap for the Prequels. Everybody remember how many potato chip bags and such had Star Wars tie-ins in for the SE’s?


Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Marketing Recap

You can read my full recap of the marketing campaign for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy at Film Threat.

It’s been a twenty year journey for “The Hitchhiker’s Guide” to get to the big screen. Adams himself says in the introduction to a collection of the first four books that he had been working on it in 1985. Just a few years ago it looked like it was going to happen with Jay Roach of Austin Powers infamy in the director’s chair. Prior to that the adaptation had gone through a number of hands, most of which were attached to filmmakers. Those filmmakers ultimately decided to do other things and the movie never, as you may have noticed, got made. Until now.

Disney (perhaps the last company I would have chosen for the adaptation of book filled with very dry and very British humor) finally got the movie made. Their first obstacle was the material itself. How does a movie studio, which not only embraces but actually runs to with open arms and heaving breast the lowest common denominator, film a book filled with very dry, very British humor? After all, their primary audience is a bunch of ape-descended primitives who still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea. And American ape-descended primitives at that. The answer to that question remains to be seen in its entirety.

The second obstacle is marketing said adaptation in such a way as to accomplish two simultaneous yet possibly mutually exclusive goals. Goal #1: Ensure fans of the book, who rival “Lord of the Rings” fanatics for the devotion to the source material, will be satisfied and therefore spend heaps of money at the theater and DVD store. Goal #2: Make sure the material is dumbed-down enough to appeal to those who aren’t familiar with the books because quite frankly those British tend to be too intelligent with their humor. These people are probably going to be happier with “XxX: State of the Union” and really should be written off. It’d be better for everyone.


The Interpreter – Marketing Recap

You can read my recap of the marketing campaign for The Interpreter at Film Threat.

Nicole Kidman teaming up with Sean Penn, who has emerged as one of the finest actors of this generation after narrowly avoiding becoming typecast as Spicoli for life seemed very interesting to me. Couple that with the direction of Sydney “Really, I realize ‘Random Hearts’ was a mistake” Pollack and you have the foundation for a pretty decent movie.

Film Threat’s 2005 Summer Movie Preview

I contributed a few lines to this look by the FilmThreat staff at this summer’s raft of big-budget silliness. Surf on over and see cheap one-liners from myself, Pete Vondar Haar, Eric Campos and others.

Sahara – Marketing Recap

You can read my recap of the marketing campaign for Sahara at Film Threat.

“Sahara” tells the story of… look, does it really matter? Present Maguffin. Insert unassuming hero-type into mythical/mystical/historical premise amongst exotic locales. Turn on Apple II-E to handle CGI. Don’t worry about script (indeed some recent movies seem to be actively avoiding scripts). Stir.

Sin City – Marketing Recap

My latest post at Film Threat is a recap of the marketing campaign for Sin City.

I have to admit to not being familiar with the Sin City graphic novels. I love Frank Miller’s work on The Dark Knight Returns and was conversational if not learned on his run on Daredevil. That being said I knew of Sin City and knew it was some sort of hyper-noir with outlandish plots and just a love of gritty storytelling. The movie, though, looks very interesting and is definitely on my list of movies to see.

You can read the whole thing here.


Miss Congeniality 2 – Marketing Recap

You can read my full recap of the marketing campaign for Miss Congeniality 2 at FilmThreat.

Sandra Bullock is done. Has been since about five minutes after “Speed 2” opened. Her career since then reminds me of that old Borscht-belt joke: This woman died six months ago, but no one has remembered to tell her. So Bullock’s career is dead, it’s just that no one has had the heart to tell her.(Brief addendum to the above statement: The trailer for “Crash”, directed by Paul Haggis and starring Bullock and a raft of others looks very cool but even it can’t compete against “Two Weeks Notice” in the karma category.)

Interestingly “Miss Congeniality 2” marks only her second sequel along with the aforementioned “Speed 2”. Let’s hope it stays this way since the world just can’t be prepared for “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood 2: Back in the Hood”.