Category Archives: Movies

These posts will be about PR in the film industry.

Is the Governator returning to acting?

Image Credit: guardian.co.uk

Arnold Schwarzenegger is no longer the governor of California, so what is his next career move? Why, returning to acting of course! In a Tweet posted last Thursday, Schwarzenegger wrote:

“Exciting news. My friends at CAA have been asking me for 7 years when they can take offers seriously. Gave them the green light today.”

Schwarzenegger’s personal aide, Daniel Ketchell, confirmed the Tweet last Friday morning, according to an article in USA Today. The former governor hasn’t starred in a movie since 2003’s “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” although he did have a cameo in last years Sylvester Stallone vehicle “The Expendables.”

After leaving California with an estimated $25 billion deficit, Schwarzenegger seems quite content with returning to his old career.

Now, I love me some Schwarzenegger action movies. Whether it’s “True Lies,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,”  “Predator,” or even “Eraser,” he has never really failed to entertain me in his films. But is the public ready for another Schwarzenegger film? Or, possibly, another Schwarzenegger-centric “Terminator” film?

Image Credit: TriStar Pictures

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve heard a single positive thing about Schwarzenegger’s acting (or political) career since he became governor of California back in 2003. I would definitely go see him in another film, but I can’t think of even five of my friends that would want to see it.

Also, his return to acting was announced via Tweet. I understand that Twitter is becoming the new way to communicate to people in this Digital Age, but if he wants more support from his fan base (if he still has one anymore) he is going to have to do a little bit more to win over their affection.

I just don’t think that a Tweet is enough. After all, how much information can a 140-character sentence really say? I expect a lot of ridicule from the media about his desire to return to acting, like this article in the LA Times.

I think Schwarzenegger needs to do something to communicate more effectively with people. I feel like he has become a joke to most audiences today and either he or his representatives needs to create some kind of image campaign to show everyone that he isn’t a complete failure at life like some people seem to think he is.

More importantly, if he is truly to return to acting, it needs to be in either a) a legitimately good movie, or b) a wild shoot-’em-up action movie. What say you readers? Do you want to go see another movie starring Ah-nuld?  Or would you rather not see him at all?

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Disney trying out some mature material at the ‘Prom?’

It looks like Disney is trying to catch up with the times and not have the innocent G-rated fare that pervades their extensive library.

Not to say they’ll be doling out PG-13 teen movies; but according to an article written in USA Today on Tuesday, Disney’s new film “Prom,” out April 29, is facing a lot of skepticism from people who think the film “won’t be able to handle any edginess in the storytelling.”

Director Joe Nussbaum (“Sleepover,” “Sydney White”) maintains that they’re “not going to show sex and drugs and cursing, which is a part of teenage life, for sure. But there are a lot of other parts to teenage life, too — insecurity, anxiety, disappointment on the negative side, and also falling in love, having crushes, and the excitement of an event like this on the positive side.”

So, who exactly is Disney trying to target here? High schoolers? This reassessment of their target audience seems similar to what the studio did with “Tangled” back in November when they tried to market their last fairy tale movie to boys.

I suppose I belong with the skeptics in this situation. Granted, I think the movie looks cute, but the trailer looks a little bit too similar to “High School Musical” to me:

I appreciate what Disney is trying to do. They are facing a generation where cutesy cartoons just aren’t bringing in the money anymore. 2009’s “Princess and the Frog” was a moderate success at best in terms of box office gross.

I honestly hope for the best for Disney. I personally would like to see more mature films released by them. I’m just not sure how all of this is going to fly with the parents of small children who are used to seeing the cute fairy tale princess movies. Parents can be a tough crowd, and Disney is rather famous for doing what they want.

So my question is: Can Disney succeed in marketing its films to new audiences while still retaining the audiences they used to cater to?

I realize that small children and their parents aren’t going to be completely left out, but the number of films released that cater to them are going to shrink in number. And I’m also not including Pixar films in this post. I am talking about straight-up Disney films.

What do you think guys? Is Disney making a smart PR move here? Or does it seem like a disaster in the making?

Kevin Smith purchases his own movie for $20; announces road tour

Red State teaser poster; Image Credit: The Movie Poster Shop

Independent film director Kevin Smith (“Clerks,” “Dogma,” “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”) announced this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival that he would be severing all ties with Hollywood, according to an article in Entertainment Weekly. In a bold move by the director, Smith gave a nearly 30-minute-long speech after the screening of his new religious horror film “Red State” explaining how he was planning on using his fan base to help distribute his film.

The unusual thing here is that Smith announced via Twitter that he was there to sell his film to a studio for distribution, knowing that he had no such plans to do so. He announced that he was going to purchase his own film for $20 and use Twitter and a road tour of his film to raise money and release the film himself, without the help of the studio system.

While Smith did apologize for the deception about the auction, he did claim that the people in the studio system has “lied to [him] many times,” further motivating this hoax.

A video of the speech can be found below:

Later that day, the dates and locations of the road tour were released on Bloody-Disgusting.com. This is not the first time something like this has been done with a cult film. Darren Lynn Bousman’s 2008 film “Repo! The Genetic Opera” did something similar, although to unsuccessful box office results.

Now, I have a great deal of respect for Kevin Smith, but I’m not so sure this is the best course of action for him right now. He has been in trouble with the film industry before, as evidenced by his backlash towards critics of his last film “Cop Out.”

I’m certain that others feel this way as well. Devin Faraci, of the blog “Bada** Nerd,” finds Smith’s analysis on the state of the independent film to be “hurtful to the many good people working in indie film today.”

Smith has always been a bit of a rogue in the Hollywood circuit, and this debacle at Sundance could potentially destroy his career. Granted, he also announced that his next film “Hit Somebody” would be the last directorial effort of his career. Then he will strictly be working with his own distribution company.

This announcement of his retirement from directing came as a bit of a shock as well, but that may be why he chose this point in time to directly attack the studio system and try to do something about it. Is he wanting to start a revolution? Only time will tell.

While I don’t think Smith would ever accept help from a publicist, I think it is exactly what he needs right now. If I were his publicist, I would suggest possibly taking a less radical approach to the entire affair. I understand his frustration with the studio system but I feel like, despite his 1.7 million Twitter followers, he could be isolating his fans by doing this.

If Smith truly wants to make “Red State” for the fans and bring it to them personally, I would suggest not being so preachy about the studio system. I also think that he needs to make his statements about his issues with the studio system sound less like attacks and more like actual concerns. This might garner more sympathy for his cause from his viewers and even from people in the studio system itself.

Either way, I look forward to seeing “Red State” when it is (hopefully) released on October 19 (the anniversary of the release of “Clerks,” Smith’s directorial debut).  I just hope Smith’s plan works, and that he learns to perhaps be a little bit more soft with his attacks. Although anyone who has seen at least one of Smith’s movies (with the exception of “Jersey Girl”) knows that “soft” isn’t something he is very skilled at.

“Red State” stars Michael Park, Academy Award nominee Melissa Leo, John Goodman, and Kyle Gallner. A trailer for the film can be found below the jump.

‘Scream 4’ possibly undergoing additional shooting? Uh-oh

Scream 4 Teaser Poster; Image Credit: Dimension Films

UPDATE: Wes Craven vaguely confirmed via Twitter on Feb. 1 that he was “In Michigan getting you more to #SCREAM4” and tweeted a photo of star Alison Brie. After fan concerns of reshoots, Craven stated in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly the next day that “They’re not reshoots. We had a couple test screenings and we saw two scenes where they had moments you could add to and we just saw a spectacular opportunity. Bob [Weinstein] just said to me basically, ‘You go to your dark side and I’ll give you the money!’ The two scenes were really good, but we saw how they could be spectacular, so we thought, let’s just go for it. They were key moments of the script, so we just decided to go back and go for the grand slam on them.” Also confirmed is that the ending is not being changed. END UPDATE

Well this could be one of the more depressing bits of information I have read recently.  According to OnLocationVacations.com, Wes Craven’s “Scream 4” might be heading back to Michigan to film some additional footage.

Here’s what they say:

“One of our readers, Amy, received a filming notice in Northville, MI (on Clement St. between 7 mile and Frederick) for Jan. 31 & Feb. 2 that simply listed a motion picture entitled “Z”. Anyone who was following the Scream 4 shoot last summer will remember much of the film was shot in Northville under the production name Z. So, it sounds to us like Scream 4 may be returning to Northville to shoot another scene.”

If this is truly the case I have one big concern: that these re-shoots are a result of the current print of the movie not being very good. Any movie aficionado knows that re-shoots of any kind are usually a fairly good indicator that the movie is going to be a stinker, with the filmmakers making a last-ditch effort to try to improve the film.  Just look at the remakes of “Black Christmas,” “Clash of the Titans,” and “The Wolfman,” both of which went through extensive re-shoots to produce quite terrible end products.

Also, the word-of-mouth on this could be disastrous for the film. I don’t see the point in using a fake name for the film and keeping everything so secretive. Obviously, Dimension Films does not want the plot of the film to get leaked, but since news of additional shooting has been leaked, I would at least expect a news release to be sent out explaining the reasons for the additional shooting in order to assuage any concerns fans of the series might have.

Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin in "Scream 4;" Image Credit: The Weinstein Co.

I honestly don’t see “Scream 4” being a box-office failure, but the horror community is one of the most loyal and rabid fan bases in existence. It is not wise to abuse their trust like that, which is why Dimension Films should do something to show their confidence in the film. Even Wes Craven coming forward to say something would help.

Nevertheless, Dimension Films needs some help in the public relations department and learn to communicate with their audience a bit more.

“Scream 4” opens on April 15 and stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Adam Brody, Rory Culkin, Marley Shelton, Kristen Bell, Anna Paquin and Alison Brie.

The trailer can be seen after the jump: