Random Factoid #378

10 08 2010

Have you seen the trailer for “The Switch?”  Looks kind of ehh, right?  Typical late summer fare that will have to pass for entertainment (at least for those of us not fortunate enough to have an independent theater).  Just so we are all on the same page for the rest of the post, I’ll embed the trailer below.

The poster to the left doesn’t really make you want to see it much either.  The gasp on Jennifer Aniston’s face and the pretentious-looking sniffle that Jason Bateman is doing sure doesn’t tell you much about the movie.  But look closer…

Did you notice the pedigree of the movie?  It’s from the people who brought us “Juno” and “Little Miss Sunshine.”  Does that add to your anticipation at all?  It shouldn’t, given the murky relationship between “The Switch” and the two Best Picture nominees.  I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about the reference given that Jason Bateman was in “Juno,” but The Los Angeles Times did some investigating:

The studio’s marketing wizards are plugging “The Switch” as being the movie “From the people who brought you ‘Juno’ and ‘Little Miss Sunshine.’ ” But who are these “people”? The film’s directors, Josh Gordon and Will Speck, had nothing to do with either of those films. Nor did the film’s screenwriter, Allan Loeb. The film’s producers, Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger, were producers of “Little Miss Sunshine” but had no involvement at all with “Juno.”

It turns out that those “people” are the people at Mandate Pictures, the production company that was involved with both “Juno” and “Little Miss Sunshine,” as well as such films as “Whip It,” “Drag Me to Hell” and the “Harold and Kumar” series. I’m sure all the folks at Mandate are really nice people, but it feels like a big stretch to use such a tenuous connection to lure us into the theater to see a film whose writers and filmmakers had nothing to do with “Juno” or “Little Miss Sunshine.”

Do you feel cheated at all?  If you were really going to spend $10 to see this movie because you could mention it in the same sentence with “Little Miss Sunshine,” you ought to up your cinema smarts.  I don’t ever use poster connections to tell me what movies to see, largely because I will have figured out what movies my favorite filmmakers have chosen to involve themselves in.  I especially could care less for romantic comedies and mindless action movies, both of which are genres whose success is driven mainly be stars, not directors.  Sorry, David Frankel, I saw “Marley & Me” because I love dogs and Owen Wilson, NOT because you directed “The Devil Wears Prada.”  Meryl Streep is the reason that movie is good.

Fun little closing note: there is one movie that could have used “from the man who brought you ‘Little Miss Sunshine'” on its poster.  That movie?  “Toy Story 3.”  Clearly it didn’t need to tout that name to make any money.





Random Factoid #373

5 08 2010

I’ve left out a pretty significant part of my summer experience on the blog.  Sure, I’ve seen plenty of movies, but there’s something much more important going on at my house.

At the end of June, my dog (a miniature schnauzer) had six adorable little puppies.  So my family has been very busy taking care of them, spending much of our day – and night – making sure that they get enough food, that they have fresh paper, and what not.

Cinematic connection – I promise.  I’m a huge sucker for dog movies, and so is America ($144 million for “Marley & Me” doesn’t lie).  Even though I know that the dog will always die at the end, I still watch and usually cry, given that the movie is good enough.

I know why it is that we love these movies.  Dogs teach us so many lessons, such as how to be unconditionally faithful to someone. (I’ve been watching “Mad Men” recently and everyone on that show could watch a few dog movies.)  They also teach us responsibility and how to take care of someone (something everyone in “Precious” could have used).  And they also teach us that life is temporary, so we must appreciate it while it lasts.

That being said, I am going to enjoy these puppies for the three weeks until they go to their permanent homes.





Random Factoid #150

25 12 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

As I write this factoid at 8:53 P.M., I will admit to being completely and utterly exhausted.  My, what a day can do to you!

My family has two “traditions” on Christmas Day.  The first is eating enchiladas from our favorite Mexican restaurant on our fine china (although today we were tired and just ate them on paper plates).

And, with a few exceptions, we join almost every family in America at the movies.  Keeping with the spirit of being with your family for the holiday, the choice is usually something that everyone will enjoy together.  This year’s selection was “The Princess and the Frog;” in previous years, we have attended “Marley & Me” and “Cheaper by the Dozen.”  By far the most memorable Christmas at the movies was “Dreamgirls” in 2006, the only time I have ever heard an audience applaud in the middle of a movie.