Wednesday, May 02, 2007

"Lucky You": Worst movie marketing ever?

Raise your hands if you honestly knew that there was another movie opening wide this week the the 500 lb. gorilla known as "Spider-Man 3." Though I obviously can't see you, I can't imagine too many people did.

The movie that suffers this fate is "Lucky You," which, depending on who you ask, is either a romantic comedy starring Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore or an inside look at the world of the tournament poker that has taken over our TV airwaves. The failure to decide between the two in its marketing campaign may have as much to do with the movie's pretty-much-preordained failure as its matchup with Spidey.

Which, given that this is also a Curtis Hanson movie, would be a real shame. Though he's been snakebitten at the box office, Hanson is easily one of my favorite directors. In fact, I can't name one movie of his, starting with "L.A. Confidential" through "In Her Shoes," that I haven't liked quite a bit. "Wonder Boys," in particular, is just a woefully underappreciated flick.

So why should such a good director get such shoddy treatment with "Lucky You"? Well, the movie itself could, of course, just be awful, but I doubt it. The signs are there, however. Its release has already been delayed twice, from one date in 2006 and one earlier this year.

My biggest question in this debacle is how in the world could you not be able to market to the masses a movie about the world of poker? Personally, I can't stand watching poker on TV (and don't get me started on arm-wrestling, which was apparently on my ESPN2 last night as I tried to find out if the Baltimore Orioles were indeed losing yet again.) But from all I've read about Hanson's flick, it has a real "Color of Money" appeal to it, with Bana taking on his mentor, played by Robert Duvall (huzzah!)

Pretty people and high-stakes poker? I'm all in, and I will be this Sunday. And I hope more than a few of you will too, in spite of this marketing nightmare.

P.S.: I guess I shouldn't be surprised that, despite having seen the trailer for it at least twice at my local multiplexes, the late Adrienne Shelly's "Waitress" is not coming to my little corner of the world this week. It still pisses me off, though.

Peter Greenaway's "Nightwatching"

Ever wonder what in the world director Peter Greenaway has been up to for the past several years? Such thoughts often occupy my rather odd brain when I'm supposed to be working.

I actually knew the answer to this one, though, even before I came across this clip from his new flick, "Nightwatching." The movie shares its title with a truly odd multimedia installation the director has constructed at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum about Rembrandt's "Night Watch" painting. It just left me cold, frankly, but the movie that will spring from it might just be a whole lot better.

"Nightwatching" the flick, as you'll see from this clip, is a portrait of Rembrandt in the years surrounding the painting of "Night Watch." It stars Martin Freeman as the master himself. Workplace warning: This being a Peter Greenaway movie, there is a more than a little female flesh exposed even in this short clip, so be careful that you don't get in any trouble watching it. Enjoy!


jeremy said...

Waitress opened here yesterday (which I find really odd, I mean, a Tuesday opening?). Anyway, the bf is dragging me (willingly) to Spidey3 for a matinee on Friday. Saturday, I'll be Waitressing.
I've been looking forward to it for quite sometime, as you know, and the critics seem to find it endearing.
Also up for the weekend--Diggers. Haven't heard too much about it from you, but word of mouth has been good. Plus, I love me some Ken Marino (aka Vinnie Van Lowe).
So I'll wait for Lucky You to surface on video. Let me know if its worth my time.
And thanks for the heads up on Greenaway. I think the last film of his I saw was Baby of Macon--did they film that in your town? :p

Beth said...

Maybe the studio and People chatted and timed the release to coincide with Drew on the cover as this year's Most Beautiful Person.

Or, maybe, the studio figures that the movie isn't going to hold up against any big movie, and it might as well get it out there now, instead of waiting until the dead zone that is August.

Or maybe they figure that it's a good guy/girl movie to pick up the overflow of folks who can't get in to see Tobey and his cool black suit. Though I suspect that movie will open on approximately one bazillion screens.

Reel Fanatic said...

You might be right that they thought there would be some date movie potential overflow from Spidey, Beth, but the Spider-Man movies are just the perfect date movies, to me (at least the first two) ... The reviews I've read so far seem to imply that the romance of Peter and Mary Jane is kind of ill-served in the latest installment, but I'll be finding out at 12:01 Friday morning

I can say without virtual certain that no Peter Greenaway movie was ever made in Macon, GA, Jeremy, but it would certainly make a fascinating story if that were so .. As for Diggers, I don't know too much about it, and it's probably one of those flicks that won't hit my little corner of the world until DVD

M said...

I was JUST having this conversation with people about Lukcy You and us having NO clue what it is about. Seems like it will bite them in the end. Definitely is keeping me away.

"In Her Shoes"?! Really? I was just watching this again and could barely make it through it. Was hoping it might be more enjoyable as a sick day movie on TV than in the theater. Perhaps it's my predisposed annoyance with Diaz. I do love Collette though. GET HER A BETTER MOVIE!

Reel Fanatic said...

I concede that "In Her Shoes" is the worst movie Hanson has made thus far, but I still enjoyed it ... I just liked the interaction of Diaz, Collette and Shirley Maclaine .. And, like you, I like Collette just about every time I see her

Neel Mehta said...

Saw Lucky You last night. With all those delays, I should think they'd shoot a better ending. But the first two acts are pretty entertaining.

For the most part, Waitress is still in the advanced screening phase. (There's one in the UA Tara if you feel so inclined.)

Marina said...

I have to agree on "Lucky You". Personally, I think it's a bit late and though poker is still popular, I'd argue it's not as much in the limelight as it was a year ago.

And "Nightwatching" looks beautiful.

Divinity said...

I knew! I knew! And, yeah, the timing sucks and the movie might be meh, but I'll still be there this weekend. I'll probably have to do the Spidey thing too so I hope the presence of Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan can rinse the residue of Dunst out of my mind.

Reel Fanatic said...

I like the UA Tara theater quite a bit, Neel, but with both Spider-Man and Lucky You opening, I think I'll wait a week to see if Waitress gets the distribution it deserves in the coming weeks

And, I must say, Divinity, I certainly don't share your animosity toward Kirsten Dunst ... Perhaps its just a testosterone thing, but even though I know she's a ditz, I almost always love seeing her in movies

Divinity said...

I thought she was good in The Virgin Suicides And, to be fair, I should be blaming the Spiderman screenwriters for the travesty that is Mary Jane on-screen. But I am still not happy with the Debbie Harry casting.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm with you there, Divinity .. I'm still hoping that that was just her talking without really having nailed the part yet, because there are so many actresses who would be better

Divinity said...

She does like to talk, doesn't she? I think some of my animosity stems from the interview where she said that she thought it would be a good idea to kill off Spiderman and have MJ raise a Spider-baby. Mind you, you have admitted that she's a ditz.

Shannon said...

Wow, sounds like they showed different trailers there than here (Toronto) of Lucky You. I've see the preview twice and now have no reason to see the film at all - they showed what seemed like the whole thing.

Reel Fanatic said...

Actually, Shannon, I'm not sure I've seen an actual trailer for this one, which, given the number of movies I see, would be surprising .. I have, though, seen the commercials for it quite often, which only seem to play up the romance angle

relu said...

how did you put that youtubeclip in the middle of ure blog? teach me:D!

Watch Lucky You said...

My friend told me that It is one of the worst movie that he ever seen. Though, I go for this movie and enjoyed it. I have little snippets of information about the poker but still I enjoyed it. I'm surprised Drew Barrymore took a supporting role like this. She is looking great as always look :-)