The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ishtar on Mars

"Imagine you're at a picnic, and you have a paper plate. Not the rigid kind, but the flimsy kind where you have to double up, or it won't be strong enough, only you didn't double up, so you just have one. When you get to the head of the line, you're served a large dollop of oatmealy, sick person's poop, and then another dollop. Right onto the paper plate. Two servings is too much for the plate. Being paper, it buckles under the pressure and the moisture. Still, the soup spoon keeps serving—three, four, five, six—and the slop piles high. The soup spoon starts to bend and your paper plate begins to disintegrate. Eventually you back away and, in this bad dream, you have to somehow maneuver the paper plate, without spilling it, through a cramped room packed with psychotic monkeys. But, of course, you spill it. Right down your front. Now you're covered in shit.

That's Disney's John Carter in a nutshell."

Wow! That's the opening paragraph from Slant Magazine's review of John Carter. It has been a LONG time since I recall an epic failure of such proportions for a blockbuster of this size. The movie reportedly cost $250 million to make, and had HEAVY marketing estimated to bring the total tab up to $300 mill. It is now projected to LOSE $200 million!!! I haven't seen it, and have never had any desire to do so. The point of this post is not to pile on John Carter, but to ask a simple question:

Can a web site jump the shark?

I have been a huge fan of Harry Knowles web site, Ain't It Cool News, for years. I have always admired Harry and his crew for their unabashed enthusiasm for action, adventure, sci-fi and horror films. If there is a big movie you want to see, Ain't It Cool has got you covered. Sometimes, Harry goes against the grain and lets his emotions get the best of him in reviewing a film. That has always been a draw for me, as it seems he is just a big fan of movies - just like you or me.

In recent years, it seems Harry's reviews and opinions have been off-base quite a bit. Some in the media have questioned his credibility. His web site has millions of readers, and good publicity on it can lead to a big box office for a new movie. Harry and his staff attend events paid for by the movie studios, including visits to movie sets and premieres. One wonders if these events would be offered should a scathing review follow.

So it was very interesting when Harry posted his recent review of John Carter:

Harry's 145,002 word review of JOHN CARTER!!!

Don't worry, it isn't actually that long! Needless to say, he loved it. Not only that, but EVERYONE he has spoken to who has seen the movie loved it. That includes fans of the book, newcomers, other websites, AICN staffers, and AICN readers. Huh? Is he serious?

Fast forward to opening weekend. The movie is a critical and commercial disaster from the outset. Does Harry or AICN rethink their opinions? No way!

Mr. Beaks Takes Issue With The Coverage Of JOHN CARTER!

They go fullspeed ahead defending the movie taking the stance that the media has an axe to grind and is being unfair - WAH!

Think they would let it go after that, and with continued savaging of the film everywhere? Nope!

If you haven't seen JOHN CARTER, this fan trailer nails it! This is how the film could have been sold...

Seriously!?? Are they still trying to explain why they are right and THE ENTIRE WORLD IS WRONG? Now Harry blames Disney for bad marketing. Marketing which he has PRAISED effusively on his own web site for months!!!

I think I may have to drop Ain't It Cool News from the old web reading list. These guys have gone off the deep end. Anybody got any good upcoming movie sites they like to read?

1 comment:

ian said...

Yeah, I dropped reading Ain't It Cool years ago for this very reason. I prefer FilmDrunk these days, if I read anything at all. Also, dumping and Google have been incredibly liberating. I highly recommend...