Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wait... WHAT Film Is THAT?

You’ve heard it so often you want to scream…
Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Well, the only reason it’s such a cliché is because it’s ever so true.
Examples of it come not only in books, but films. (Still applies, right?)

Recently, I’ve been shocked by the actual footage for two films I had either read the synopsis blurb or seen a handful of advertisement.

First, Imagine That. At one point titled Nowhereland. I read the blurb for this film before it went into production. Given the old title, I came up with a very different motion picture. Okay, it could be my fault that I somehow missed the word “comedy” when reading. But you know what? I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss it, having read an early report when not much info had been leaked. Anyway, the gist of the storyline I’d been given:

A financial executive’s life falls apart. When things look their worst, he finds salvation in his daughter's imaginary world.

Don’t know about you, but I conjured up a dark, brooding near-horror flick. A broken shell of a man, tucking in his daughter, wondering what kind of life she would have if he just ended his own, glancing through her drawings, intrigued by their mesmerizing and disturbed comfort. During his awful days, he fails to push the images from his mind, soon creating his own scenarios in the bizarre, crooked nightmarish landscape. Eventually he crosses over (albeit maybe just in his mind) into an organized method to madness, hoping to escape alive. Okay…whoa, right? Exactly. I thought maybe I’d like to see the movie… and then… the trailer appeared. Man alive, had I been thrown for a loop. Hold in mind the movie I expected and then watch. I don’t expect you to be able to finish this trailer. I just want you to see the contrast.

And then there’s the upcoming District 9.
I don’t remember reading or hearing much about this one. Except that it’s about trying to contain aliens. But here’s what I did see. Images such as these:

I gathered (wrongly) that it’s a cute, light comedy, sort of an unnecessary expansion of and in the vein of the alien Mikey from MIB. (Click here for the Will Smith music video featuring him. [He's at the end.]) But..um…no. This one is a dark, brooding thriller. Far from being a madcap farce, it appears to have depth. (Not that farces can’t have depth.) It strives beyond the action flick, seeming to summon up a social commentary and poignancy. Imagine now, if you will, a silly romp of aliens trying to buy a cell phone and not being allowed (or something)… and then watch this, which I do expect you to be able to sit through.

Very different from what I thought, right? Unlike the previous movie, I do want to see this one.

Just proving once again: Don’t make snap judgments and assuming has an ass-biting quality.

I think that covers it.

No comments: