Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I Have to Disagree. A bit off-topic for this blog, but I just had to respond to the article by Edward Jay Epstein at Slate.com entitled "The End of Originality - Or, why Michael Bay's The Island failed at the box office." In it, Epstein argues: "What really failed here was not the directing, acting, or story (which were all acceptable for a summer movie) but the marketing campaign. Whatever other factors might have worked against audience creation - the midsummer release date, the clutter of competitive action films, the misleading title, etc. - The Island had to overcome the competitive disadvantage of not having the built-in awareness that comes from being a sequel, a remake, a video game, a TV series spinoff, or a comic-book adaptation. Of course, there are many original movies that overcome the awareness handicap - and, in rare cases, such as Universal's Cinderella Man, a box-office flop will be rereleased at a later date - but the lesson for studios from such fiascos is that original movies are a far more perilous enterprise than retreads of past successes."

As one of the few to actually see The Island in the theaters, I can tell you that The Island did not fail because it lacked "the built-in awareness that comes from being a sequel, a remake, a video game, a TV series spinoff, or a comic-book adaptation." It failed because people like me left the theater baffled by the story (complete with wholes large enough to drive a Mack® truck through), and thoroughly p*ssed off at having spent nearly $10 to watch two hours of obnoxious commercial placement. You can find my initial reaction on-line here (and it should say something that I wrote this post before re-reading my earlier comments back in August, and yet chose much of the same wording to describe my annoyance with the movie).

1 comment:

Josh said...

I don't even think the concept is that original to begin with. When I saw the previews for "The Island" I immediately thought it was a remake of "Logan's Run" or "The Running Man". I avoided the movie because of that.