Friday, May 02, 2008

Snap Judgment

Iron Man (rated PG-13, directed by Jon Favreau, screenplay by Mark Fergus & Hawk Otsby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway, based on the comic book created by Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby)

Man, Jon Favreau has come a long way since playing that billionaire Ultimate Fighting Champion contestant on Friends, huh? Makes you wonder if that show imparted some kind of magic pixie dust to its guest stars. Perhaps next year we'll see the gala premiere at Cannes of un film de Ugly Naked Guy. Anyway, Iron Man also features Gwyneth Paltrow, who has apparently banged out enough oddly-named children to resume her acting career -- just in time, too, because if those mortgage payments were held up any longer, her husband was going to have to resort to making cameos in Kanye West videos. (Oops, too late.) The movie's getting all kinds of crazy buzz and positive reviews, but that scene in the trailer where Iron Man outruns a couple of fighter jets has to be making the airlines nervous -- it's bad enough that they're crippled by a sinking economy and stratospheric gas prices, and now they have to worry about the inevitable market competition from dudes in red metal suits who can fly you from LAX to JFK in two hours without that annoying $25 extra baggage fee. Sure, you might laugh about it now, but when Iron Man appears on Delta's inflight entertainment, let's see which scenes they cut.

Made of Honor
(rated PG-13, directed by Paul Weiland, screenplay by Adam Sztykiel and Deborah Kaplan & Harry Elfont, story by Adam Sztykiel)

Ahem. Producers? Studio dudes? Marketing department? C'mon over and let's have a little chat. I'll need your full attention, so leave your BlackBerries and iPhones with your assistants. (It'll be okay; they can thumb-type "NOT UNDER ANY FUCKING CIRCUMSTANCES" just as well as you can, and probably with better spelling.) Ready? Okay. We need to discuss the concept of movie titles. Because you people clearly aren't getting it. Now, I'll grant you, lame wordplay in titles is a necessary evil. Puns, double entendres, creative misspellings, all par for the course. Done well, they can be cute and even kind of clever. Legally Blonde, for example. Made of Honor, on the other hand, makes no freaking sense. It just sounds like a low-budget, direct-to-video film about a selfless Roman soldier (probably played by Kevin Sorbo) who's forced to slay a bunch of burly extras in order to rescue his kidnapped fiancee. How does changing Maid to Made signify the fact that the maid of honor is a dude? It doesn't. It's that rare nonsensical pun, formed in such desperation that it doesn't actually mean anything. Like making a movie about a traveling pharmaceutical rep and calling it Breath of a Salesman, even though it has nothing to do with halitosis or lung disease or anything of that sort. See, ordinarily a blunder like this wouldn't be that big a deal. But you've been so shrewd about everything else with this movie so far that it's really a shame. I mean, on the weekend that Iron Man opens, you present the female filmgoing populace with Patrick Dempsey in a wedding movie. That's genius on the same level as putting a little high-tech gadgets section into Anthropologie or Sephora. And you even dowded up Michelle Monaghan enough so that women, rather than being demoralized by her freakishly unachievable beauty and physique, will walk out of the theater thinking something along the lines of, "Y'know, if she and Dempsey were in a bar together and I walked in, that bitch would crying into her cosmo within five minutes while McDreamy and I made the beast with two backs in the coatroom. Can I get a hell yeah?" Seriously, to blow the title after all that is just unforgivable. That is all. You may now get back to your busy day of yelling at the maitre'd of Craft while surreptitiously surfing porn.

Redbelt (rated R, written and directed by David Mamet)

Is there anything David Mamet can't do? Of course not. Plays, books, essays, screenplays, TV, jujitsu, whatever. If he wanted to become the world's top snail racer, he could do that. And then someone would interview him about it, and he'd say something like "The secret is, you must always remember that a snail is a snail; it's not a stapler, or a deck of playing cards, or a fifth of bourbon."


At 5/02/2008 12:12 PM, Blogger Myasorubka said...

Sweet! When's Breath of a Salesman coming out? Alexis and I are gonna go see it.


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