MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Do You Think…

… there is a good reason for the Elizabethtown trailer being cut like any dumb studio romantic comedy instead of accentuating the fact that this is a Cameron Crowe film?
Addition, 6:52p, Fri – My guess is that you who are responding are not refering to the trailer, linked above, but the “internet preview,” which has all the Crowe earmarks and looks wonderful.

43 Responses to “Do You Think…”

  1. Wrecktum says:

    Where’s the trailer? The only thing I’ve seen is the online preview/Elton John video, which I thought was very effective.

  2. JckNapier2 says:

    Just what Elton John song is that, by the way? Thanks.
    Scott Mendelson (wow… shortest post ever)

  3. Joe Leydon says:

    My Fathers’s Gun (from Tumbleweed Conection)

  4. L&DB says:

    Because Poland, they have to sell this flick to teenagers. Who could give two shizers about the director. Of course, the people who love Crowe, will find this flick. The reviews will also mention it being a new Crowe flick. So they have to sell Bloom to his audience, and Dunst to her’s. Of course, Poland hated the RENT trailer. I am starting to believe Poland does not have the greatest perspective on marketing sometimes.

  5. Joe Leydon says:

    BTW: This is a terrific trailer. Dave, sorry, you’re just wrong on this one. (And I’m not saying that just because “Tumbleweed Connection” is one of the best albums ever recorded by anyone at any time.)

  6. AH says:

    Got to agree. Sorry Dave. Not your good point marketing… What is by the way?

  7. Chester says:

    I haven’t seen the official trailer yet (for some reason it won’t load on my computer) but I saw the long Internet preview yesterday. I liked it but didn’t see all that much to love there, and IMHO the filmmakers should be grateful if it does as much business as Crowe’s financially disappointing “Almost Famous.” Frankly, the preview’s funereal background gave it the same vibe as any episode of HBO’s “Six Feet Under.” And Crowe lost his aura of infallibility after the insufferable travesty that was “Vanilla Sky.”

  8. jeffrey boam's doctor says:

    anyone see that CNN poll about this wknd’s openers? Out of 115,000+ pollsters a mindblowing 44% wanted to stay at home and watch a DVD instead. See Dave NYT is always right 😉

  9. Mark says:

    Trailer or not. It is going to be a great movie.

  10. Josh Massey says:

    If I would marketing the film, I would at least want a “from the director of ‘Jerry Maguire'” tag in there somewhere.

  11. joefitz84 says:

    This is Bloom’s chance to show he has what it takes to be a star. If you drop the ball in a Crowe directed movie? Then forget it.

  12. sky_capitan says:

    *watched only the trailer*
    I’ve managed to never see a Cameron Crowe movie, but the trailer is only decent. I laughed at the “is there such a thing as partial cremation” line and the “you’re always trying to break up with me and we’re not even together / we’re not?” lines. The Tom Petty song is perfect. Kirsten Dunst looks like an adult now (about time).
    What don’t I like??
    HATE THE END OF THE TRAILER: Have we not seen the coffin awkwardly slipping into the grave about a million times by now? To me that screams “this movie is going to suck.” And do we have to see the corpse in the casket earlier? This isn’t Land Of The Dead, why would you want that in an upbeat trailer? I found that jarring.
    So Dave should be happy that the trailer works for me as a “dumb studio romantic comedy” once my suggested cuts are made (cut the corpse and the end). Why wouldn’t you want a trailer like that? Everyone can find out it’s a “Cameron Crowe Movie” once they’ve paid their money and they’re sitting in the theater.
    I’ll agree with Chester though, because from what I’ve seen, they’ll be lucky if “Elizabethtown” grosses as much as “Almost Famous.”

  13. L&DB says:

    Sky captain, check out all of Crowe’s filmography. If you can name yourself after a friggin half-assed, goofy CGI serial, then you should be able to accept Lloyd Daubler into your life.

  14. KamikazeCamel says:

    I’m not one of Crowe’s biggest fans. Jerry Maguire is my favourite of his, Almost Famous underwhelmed me and Vanilla Sky I hate with with a passion (yes I really like Abres Los Ojos. strange)
    I couldn’t be bothered downloading this trailer but I’m sure with Kirsten it’ll be decent.
    Kirsten is 100 times the actress that Kate Hudson is.

  15. joyfool says:

    Ug. Not good. Cameron Crowe has left the building.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Wait is Dunst’s character supposed to be one of those quirky flight attendants who makes 14K a year but has the gaul to keep you up when you just want to get some sleep with asenine questions about “so stranger, where’re ya headed” – bitch where do you think I’m headed…now shut da f*ck up and let me sleep…
    Louiville my ass!

  17. Harley says:

    The extended internet trailer is interesting. Tho’ the casket/funeral gag was funnier on Twin Peaks.

  18. L&DB says:

    Much like Stripes before it. Elizabethtown actually had most of it’s shooting schedule right in freakin Louisville. Even here in the hood for a week or two. Thank god Crowe loves to use locations. Because nothing worse than director’s who use LA and TO for everything.

  19. L&DB says:

    Everytime I read, hear, or see the words “Twin Peaks.” I want to get all Peter Griffin and yell; “BUFFY AND ANGEL, FACE!” Such animosity towards David Lynch, and I havent a clue why. Hold on. Little dude with an oddly masked voice just pisses me off.

  20. Josh Massey says:

    I quite honestly liked “Vanilla Sky” more than “Almost Famous.”

  21. Harley says:

    Ahh, that little dude (Michael Anderson). The backward stuff was sorta reverse backwards forwards. In other words, the dialogue was written and performed backwards (dereviled sdrawkcab) and then played, erm, backwards. Which made it forwards. In a weirdly backwards kinda way.
    I have a headache.

  22. Zach Braff says:

    Um, hello, I already made this movie? And I had the much hotter Natalie Portman in mine. I’ll bet Tom Cruise loved my movie, too.

  23. Pave Doland says:

    Do You Think…
    … there is a good reason for the Mutiny City News shorts being cut like any dumb film student’s first project? Instead of explaining what the hell this crap is supposed to be, it just sits there, pointless, lacking wit, grace, coherence, and style.
    Addition, 6:52p, Fri – My guess is you all agree the latest one is even worse than ever before. A bunch of bad handheld ass shots of a porn actress who’s so not famous I’ve never heard or beat off to her. Everyone knows that I prefer to beat off to Hollywood jail bait like Jessica Alba and Lindsay Lohan, then make snide comments about their existence to cover it up by linking to articles about them.

  24. Dan R% says:

    I’ve watched the ‘My Father’s Gun’ preview about four times now. It’s a real shame that they couldn’t tack that on the beginning/end of some film this summer. I’ve only shown it to one other person but she fell in love with it too.
    As for the ‘real’ trailer, it’s effective. It doesn’t seem to be marketed wrongly. They need to sell Bloom & Dunst, and I’d say they’ve succeeded. I actually think this will be the film that Bloom grows up in. For all intents and purposes ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ overwhelmed him. This seems to be something that is more suited to his style of acting.
    joefitz is right. Heaven help you if you drop the ball in a Cameron Crowe film. I’m a huge fan of Crowe though, so I’ll admit that it’ll take a lot for me to be underwhelmed by Crowe (I even enjoy ‘Vanilla Sky’). If this approaches either ‘Jerry Maguire’ or ‘Almost Famous’ in terms of quality he’ll have a hit on his hands. Of course another ‘Say Anything’ isn’t too bad at all either.

  25. David Poland says:

    Uh, Pave… you are welcome not to like Mutiny… I think Jamie is talented… still evolving… and I think suporting the growth of young filmmakers is part of what we should be doing at MCN.
    Of course, you certainly have the option not to watch. Such is the nature of the web.

  26. jeffmcm says:

    Hey Dave, with all due respect, I’m a film student and the Mutiny stuff is pretty much what you would see in a first-semester class at USC. I’m sure Jamie’s a great guy, but there’s nothing worse than bad comedy.

  27. jj says:

    ummm….it’s Garden State. Though it looks a little cutesy to me.

  28. Angelus21 says:

    I liked the trailer. Too romantic comedy ish and not enough Crowe but it does its job as a first trailer.

  29. whahoppa says:

    Just watched the most recent Mutiny City News. Three big problems. It’s pointless. You have an Asian-American guy doing a stupid Uncle Tom impersonation of an Asian stereotype. And you have an average-looking girl doing an impersonation of a hot girl. Each of which proves that this Jamie guy is an idiot. Oh, but he can edit like a music video editor, so never mind.

  30. L&DB says:

    It’s not Garden State. It seems to me more like Big Fish. The preview with Elton John pretty much makes no damn sense. It sells 14 different films and Judy Davis. Sans Judy Davis, it remains absolutely befuddling. The trailer, though with silly TRAILER VOICE # 2, sells the movie pretty well. Speaking of pretty, Dunst has never looked this pretty in any film.

  31. Pave Doland says:

    Pave –
    Thanks for giving me permission to agree with everyone that Mutiny City News is pointless and awful. I had already come to feel that unashamedly.
    I’m just wondering what the point of it is.
    I’m also wondering why there’s a ridiculous stereotype of an Asian named Chinkasu. What if Jeff Wells had a short on his site that featured a Lebowski loving Jew named Kikebraham Moskovitz?
    Also, all we gleaned whatsoever from the latest: Jamie likes this chick’s ass, can’t shoot for shit on the move, likes to shoot her from under her face so she looks horrendous, and also since he had a bunch of coverage that wasn’t funny or interesting he decided to make it music videoish.
    Seriously it’s really, really awful.

  32. KamikazeCamel says:

    whoa, saw the trailer on ET… how… Garden State.
    Just, not as good by the looks of it.
    Dunst looks charming and so does Bloom but it all doesn’t feel very interesting or fresh. And, yeah, the coffin gag was done better in Twin Peaks. But we never know, Elizabethtown may just have Ray Wise jumping up and down on the coffin while Grace Zabriskie screams to the heavens (we can only hope that it does)

  33. jeffmcm says:

    Back to Mutiny, I just watched another one and yeah, I’m confused. They’re not well-shot (horrible handheld), they’re not well-edited (each one goes on about twice as long as it needs to), they’re not well-performed, they’re not well-written.
    To this Jamie guy’s credit, he has managed to find a venue to promote himself across the world, and I suppose MCN pays for his $20 dollar a week DV tape budget.

  34. bicycle bob says:

    jeffs a first yr film student. explains so much

  35. Terence D says:

    I can’t believe someone can come here and post and enjoy movies and have never seen a Cameron Crowe movie. Blows my mind.

  36. jeffmcm says:

    Not first, a little after that. And what are you? Fishmonger? Shoe salesman? data analyst? Male gigolo?

  37. Stella's Boy says:

    I sure hope it’s better than Garden State. That is one of the most overrated movies in years. Maybe the studio decided to cut a trailer that’s sort of generic because Almost Famous didn’t do so hot at the box office.

  38. DN says:

    My take on Dave’s original question: Why edit this like a generic rom-com?
    Answer: Trailers are about selling a movie to the widest possible audience. The average person might remember Jerry Maguire, might remember Say Anything, etc, but they won’t remember Cameron Crowe’s name. The average movie goer will respond to the generic rom-com advertising (“oh aren’t they cute,” “that was funny”, “this would make for a good date”, “I could get laid after that”). The average movie goer will not get a kick out of Crowe’s thinking man’s romance, and you can’t sell that in 2.5 minutes.

  39. joefitz84 says:

    How was Garden State overrated? Who rated it? It was a cute little film. It wasn’t trying to be Braveheart. Take it for what it is.

  40. Stella's Boy says:

    What do you mean who rated it? That doesn’t make any sense at all. How was it overrated? Um, it’s pretty obvious actually. Or at least it should be. It was heaped with praise and many said he spoke for an entire generation and movie buffs under 30 acted as if finally someone understood them. It wasn’t trying to be Braveheart? What does that even mean? Do you even know? It’s an awful movie, as far as I’m concerned.

  41. Angelus21 says:

    I absolutely LOVED Garden State. Maybe since I am a Jersey girl. But still. Zack B wrote a really good script and we haven’t seen Natalie P that good since Beautiful Girls.

  42. KamikazeCamel says:

    Really liked Garden State too. Not as much as everyone else my age, but still a definite B+. Natalie was excellent!

  43. bicycle bob says:

    portman was great. good story. even zach braf was good. peter sarsgard is always great. what were u expecting stella? why do u hate it so much? doesn’t jibe with ur elitistism?

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin