September 17, 2004

Blue Screen = Green Scene?

Ever have that sinking feeling that the hype has taken you hostage? Perhaps that's why Cinecultist finds ourselves all skittish about the opening tonight of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. [Word to the wise, the official site has four separate audio tracks and you have to mute them all, individually, so as to not hear the soundtrack feed. Are these promotional websites getting totally ridiculous or is it just us?]

First off that Gene Shalit quote, featured prominently in the TV spots and in a pop up ad for the website, is unnecessarily hostile and almost threatening. "If you don't like this film, you just don't like the movies." Insert your own bass line here. We hate to discredit someone's critical opinion based on fashion alone, but have you seen this dude's facial hair lately? Scary. (This is an old image of him from his radio days, but we swear he still looks like this.) Why would you ever say something so categorical as this about a movie? Are we being completely contrary or does this make you want to just totally hate it too, merely to thumb your nose at them?

To be honest, CC's a little Sky Captain-ed out already and it's not even into the first weekend yet. All the ads and talk and hype, it's pretty tiring. And we usually live for this sort of thing, too. A few weeks ago, CC was in the Union Square Starbucks having a tasty little Frappuccino and stumbled upon a marketing survey in progress for the movie. A young girl with a laptop was accosting people while they enjoyed their corporation-approved coffees, showing them clips from the movie and asking them their opinions. People love offering their opinions about movies to authoritative strangers, no joke.

First the survey seemed to determine how entertainment savvy the participant was, asking them if they recognized the names of various actors like Jude Law or William H. Macy. Then they watched clips from the flick all huddled around the laptop and said what they thought happened in them. The girl asked CC if we wanted to participate, but we begged off saying we wrote about film. These PR people never want a film scholar or critic's opinions when polling the masses, it seems to skew the results or something. Though we guess that does seem a bit counterintuitive, since asking us these questions would illicit a hyper informed response. Anyhoo, after determining that CC was no movie layman she moved on, and we enjoyed our sugary coffee drink in peace.

The moral of the story? Come the weekend, Cinecultist will probably just go to see Wimbledon instead.

Posted by karen at September 17, 2004 8:18 AM

I guess I just don't like the movies.
Sky-Captian was weak sauce.

Posted by: Wiley Wiggins at September 26, 2004 11:48 AM