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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: michaelreyes72@hotmail.com

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Monday, June 9, 2008

My Abusive Relationship with Hollywood, Episode 3: Redefining "Disaster" or, "THIS is all it takes to sell a movie these days?"

I don't know about the rest of you, but I had a wonderful weekend. After my family's early celebration for my grandfather's impending 7oth birthday, Danielle and I left for an overnight in Egg Harbor. We stayed at a nice hotel, had a great breakfast the next day, and dealt with the somewhat sweltering heat as we walked through Smithville's various shops. It was a great weekend, good enough that I wasn't dreading work too much. I was content with the illusion of a Monday with out the world hammering me over the head with its stupidity.

Boy, the Internet sure is good for ruining even one's simplest expectations.





Watch and burn. Burn in the hellfire that is Dreamworks Animation's latest grab at parent's money. Yes, from the studio that inflicted the Shrek franchise and the probably soon to be franchised Kung Fu Panda, comes this fall's greatest cinematic abortion since Sex and the City. (I can hear the distant cries of, "Let it go!". Never.) This trailer is all about the unnecessary. Unnecessary annoying early to mid 90's pop song (repopularized by the offspring it has indirectly created), unnecessary close ups of animal ass, and unnecessary usages of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, and David Schwimmer. Oh yeah, and unnecessary sequel.

And with that, I have something to say to some of those involved in the film...

Ben...you restored part of my faith in you with the Tropic Thunder video you did at the MTV Movie Awards, and you used to suck at those too! I'm not so sure I'm going to go see Tropic Thunder now, or if I do, I'll close my eyes when you're on screen and pretend Robert Downey Jr. is playing your part too. (It'd probably be cooler/funnier that way.) Point is, restore my faith again.

Chris...your career is dead. Go back to directing films, Head of State was pretty damn good, all things considered. Or go back to stand up, people laughed at you there, right? Just stay away from the animated films.

Ms. Smith...stop riding your husband's coattails. The only movies I can remember seeing you in, and NOT wanting to kill something were The Nutty Professor and The Matrix films, and that's because of the surrounding casts. Do not doom yourself to be labeled as a "black hole" of acting, like Hayden Christensen. Gloria the Hippo is ANNOYING! Don't let yourself be labeled as such.

Mr. Schwimmer...you were an asshole in Band of Brothers, and you did a really good job with it. I forgot Ross, and saw an asshole. A well acted, well fleshed asshole; but an asshole nonetheless. Try some more drama, I hear you're pretty good with it. Oh, and maybe some dark comedy. Don't let this film sink your career, you're too talented.

Borat...you're shit is still funny...NOT. PLEASE go back to Ali G, or create a new character! The Lemur King deserves to be eaten by The Lion King. Oh, and you didn't get enough credit for Sweeney Todd. You were quite good as Pirelli. Could you do something like that again? Maybe play a role where your real accent is featured. It's ok, we know you're a real person behind the characters. We can accept that.

It's not just kids movie that suck now though, because adults have to wade through their own mountain of shit to find something entertaining.



That's right, from the mentally retarded duo who can't seem to stop making shitty films that teens will voluntarily go to, since they can't get into R rated films, come Disaster Movie. Omar Aviles from JoBlo.com summed up this new niche of film pretty well: "...a series of barely coherent pop culture references and spoofs in which Carmen Electra, Kim Kardashian and Vanessa Minnillo strut around in skimpy outfits." That's all these movies are...one long chain of tenuously connected contemporary films with played out jokes that merely require that you know what they're talking about to "laugh". To paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson: "Enough is ENOUGH! I'VE HAD IT WITH THESE MOTHERFUCKING RETARDS AND THEIR MOTHERFUCKING MOVIES!"

It really seems like some of the movies out there today not only appeal to the lowest common denominator, they are also poorly sold to the public. A fair amount of getting people to see your movie is selling the film the right way, and some of these movies are only selling themselves on fumes. The "Movie" movies are capitalizing on two different things: gullibility and brand recognition. Teens are gullible to see this film, because there's nothing else that's good under the PG13 label at that time of the year. (Remember, these movies are typically released between January and Late April, one of two "mostly shit" seasons of films.") They also recognized the brands of different movies, being used in a clusterfuck of a mash up that promises to be funny in how it references the films at hand.

Here are some basic sales pitchs for this type of movie movies, let's take Meet The Spartans for example:

Hey guys! Did you see 300?

(If Yes) We have all the kick assed action of 300, AND we remembered to bring the funny! Oh, and we have a Transformers joke in there too. Yeah, we're PG-13, but the PG stands for "Pretty fucking Good" (The F is silent). We don't have any pansy ass shit in this movie, but if you're not satisfied we pushed the envelope further with an Unrated cut on DVD. And let me tell you, you thought the PG13 version was hardcore, whoo-boy wait'll you see the Unrated DVD in about six months. I swear you'll remember to buy it on the day it comes out, it's that good. So, I can count you in for opening night?

(If No) What? You weren't old enough to see it?! Well, did you see Transformers?! I knew you'd say yes! Well, you can come see our movie, it's rated PG-13! We have all the kick assed action of 300, AND we remembered to bring the funny! Oh, and we have a Transformers joke in there too. We have a Britney Spears joke too, just in case you haven't grown tired of those. OH, and this kick assed Paris Hilton joke we were gonna save for the Unrated DVD, but we HAD to include it in the actual movie so we just airbrushed a bikini on our actress and knocked one of her eyes out of alignment so she'd look all dead eyed like Paris. So, I can count you in for opening night?

Basically, kids are sold this movie because there's nothing else out there at the time of release, and they planned it that way. The "movie" movie has become a brand of itself...the only problem is it's a brand that capitalizes on other brands to make its brand. (Think of a new jean company that basically sewed together the factory seconds of Levi's, Lee, and Wrangler to make a "new line of jeans".) And since all the kids show up opening weekend, because once again there's nothing good at the cineplex, these movies have relatively high openings for the season they open during.

I have a message for Jason Fredberg and Aaron Seltzer (whose namesake is about as funny as his writing):

You want to prove your movies are "funny" and "popular"...open up against a big movie. Slate your next film against the Harry Potter film during the Family Movie season in November. Open it during the "prestige" picture season in December. Hell, postpone it until next summer and take on some of the big dogs. I guarantee you'll get your asses kicked, because people will have options, and when people have options it's hard to fuck up. When there's no option but to see your shitty movies, of course people are going to see them and of course you're going to make a killing. Put your money where your mouth is, or sit in the back of the class with Uwe Boll where you belong.

Hollywood, don't let these douchebags take over modern Cinema...put an end to the "Movie" movie, put an end to the shitty kids movie, look at what you're greenlighting carefully, and stop generally retarding the public by letting shit like this get made. Or suffer this now humoristic, but possibly fatalistic possibility...

Not all hope is lost though. For kids,

and definitely for adults as well...

And on a final note, look for my own "movie" movie, Oscar Movie. I'm currently drafting it, hoping to film it, and have submitted the pitch to Cracked Magazine. (I'm not even kidding.)

2 comments:

Seresecros said...

After Disaster Movie comes out and goes straight to no 1 (there is no stopping the damn thing), my only hope is that the rest of the World will take notice and retaliate with a swift attack to wherever the dynamic duo live. I'm not kidding in any way. I've already written two short letters to the French, issuing my demands. This is going to happen.

Mr. Controversy said...

Seresecros, whatever I can do on my end, I'll help you. I'll provide intel, infiltrate their writing process, I'll even be pointman on the operation. This is not only going to happen...this HAS to happen.

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