The Desperation Of “The Spirit” Marketing Is Now Just Pathetic

The-Spirit-Pathetic.jpgI’ve said 100 times how bad “The Spirit” looks and that I have little to no hope for it. The other day I mention to you guy that two friends of mine (both journalists) saw the film separately and both despised it… one went so far as to suggest it’s the worst film since Battlefield Earth. Yikes!!!

I’ve also been saying that just because Frank Miller is a great graphic novelist, and just because he sat on Robert Rodriguez’s lap and called himself a “co-director” for Sin City, doesn’t mean he’s qualified or ready to direct a multi-milion dollar hollywood film like “The Spirit”. This thing has smelt like a disaster, and now it looks even worse.

This is how pathetic and desperate the marketing campaign has become. I’ve JUST watched a new commercial for The Spirt while watching Monday Night Football (Go Bears). In the commercial the narrator says the following:

“Critics are wild about The Spirit”

Ummm… ok. Really? I haven’t read one single positive review about it yet. What critics? Well… the commercial then shows us quotes from these “critics” with the narrator reading them out loud. The quotes said:

“Brilliant” with no reference to who said it. Then the next quote flashes on the screen, narrator reading out loud:

“Jaw Dropping” with no reference to who said it. Then the next quote flashes on the screen, narrator reading out loud:

“One of the best films of the year” with no reference to who said it. Then the next quote flashes on the screen, narrator reading out loud:

“It’ll blow you away” THIS TIME it actually tells you who said it. Was it Roger Ebert? Nope. Was it CHUD or IESB or COmingSoon or even The Movie Blog? Nope. It was a quote from some guy named Scott Hoffman from an obscure little website call MoviePictureFilm.com. When I went to find this review, I discovered that ALL THE QUOTES IN THE COMMERCAIL WERE FROM THIS ONE CRITIC. ALL OF THEM!

Then the commercial gets even more pitiful. It started throwing up more quotes… in the exact same manner and in the exact same font as the critic quotes. The phrases that popped up were:

Heart Pounding
Eye Popping
Mind Blowing
Wild Fun

But get this… none of those were quotes from anyone. They were just words the commercial was throwing up there disguised to appear as if they were quotes from critics. PATHETIC!

I’m not naive enough to believe that this is the ONLY movie commercial that has pulled a stunt like this, but this really is despicable. Lionsgate (which is a studio I actually like most of the time) should be ashamed of themselves for this kind of bullshit.

I have never actively campaigned AGAINST a movie before, but this commercial has inspired me… so I am encouraging everyone to avoid seeing “The Spirit”. The film looks just awful and the studio has shown their hand that they know it and are using the cheapest and most pathetic marketing tricks to try to fool you into spending your money on it.

So join with me international friends. AVOID SEEING THE SPIRT! Don’t let your friends see The Spirit. Don’t let your family see The Spirit. Hell… go see Marley and Me instead, even if you know how the stupid thing ends… it’ll still be better than this!

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150 thoughts on “The Desperation Of “The Spirit” Marketing Is Now Just Pathetic

  1. I should have visited this site earlier..i was so depressed after watching The Spirit…it’s totally garbage…I could’nt believe that they could actually release such crap to earn some bucks…shame on everyone who’s involved in this film…I need a break…Octopus (played by Samuel L.Jackson) aka Moron is still haunting me…

  2. Hey Alex,

    You’re an idiot.

    I’ve clearly said from the beginning that this film looks horrible because of the trailers. Now this deceptive commercial stuff.

    I never called for a boycott.

    And you’re an idiot because you say I have a “personal” problem with the film. What do you exactly back that up with moron?

    Sounds to me like you’re another studio plant. Not very mature of you.

  3. It sounds like to me John has a more deep rooted problem with this movie than he let’s on. You have been bashing this movie from square one, and because some marketing suits have decided to throw up some less than reputable quotes you decide to call in a full blown boycott of this film?………. Hmm sounds to me like you have some personal problems with it, not very mature.

  4. Why are you bashing this flick, but embracing garbage looking flicks like Bitch Slap?

    Bitch Slap looks like Spy Kids 3D, just substitute it with nasty looking girls with fake tits.

  5. I wanted to kill myself during the movie how can hollywood go to make puke movie like this.
    Hoo wait you will find some no life telling you that this art. Well yeah some people sell shit on on a paint and it work.
    And that movie is crap the story as no sense at all the caracter are like all out of a mental hospital.
    It look like a cheap made in china cartoon just made to patch a hole on a tv schedule.

    the only tumb up is for the marketing to have successfully manage to lure me in that below B movie type film.
    Yeah the marketing guy just won the 4 place after banquer,lawyer and politician as worst human on earth

  6. No, John was absolutely right, the movie looked like it would be terrible and last night I made the mistake of giving it the benefit of the doubt and went to see it… WORST MOVIE DECISION OF MY ENTIRE LIFE

    Me and my friends watched 20 minutes of it and just left… That was the first time in my life a movie caused me to walk out on it… It was so incredibly absurd and over the top that I just couldn’t believe someone could even try to take it seriously… People were laughing at everything that happened, which means that either I just didn’t get it the way I was supposed to, or that the absurdity was causing everyone to laugh at parts that probably weren’t intended to be funny

    This movie has to be given late consideration for worst movies of 2008, if it hasn’t already been

  7. @person who called me a hypocryte,
    I go to a movie based on my personal interest in that movie, such as plot or basis of the story being told in a movie, i’m just not going to boycott a movie for commercialism, or give an [Uninformed] opinion based on the previews and commerical tactics of a movie, which seems apparent in this blog to me atleast. I, in fact, went to the movie last night, and I thought it was good, but i’m no movie critic. i admire the outragousness of the scenes where octopus and his main henchman are dressed in rediculous outfits.

    I wasn’t reading properly at the time and didn’t make an accurate judgement of the blog so i apologize for my buligerentness.

    NOW, on the the other hand, i’m dumbfounded by Liongate’s valentine horror film valentines day massacre 3D. Particularly, In the preview, in which the killer Throws his pickaxe, and [The GIRL in the CAR Moves DIRECTLY IN THE WAY of it, I mean, Who the hell does that?! If I saw a axe being thrown at me, I sure as hell wouldn’t align it’s path with my head!

  8. sorry john, i watched it. And yea, the movie was bad… theater started off packed… as the movie went on, more and more people left the movie (screaming things like “this movie’s wack!”) till at the end of the movie, there was less than half the theater… never seen that b4 in my life…

  9. I saw “The Spirit” last night, Dec 25th. I am a long time fan of the Spirit as created by Will Eisner and I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt this movie is SO bad! The dialogue was horrible, the acting due to the dialogue was bad. What was supposed to be funny is extremely lame. For some reason Miller thinks that cloned henchmen were funny? It was annoying, they wore shirts with stupid names, the actor who played that character should be banned from movies. The story was lame, the characters were lame. Lots of jewish references? have no idea what that was all about (just like the “Bee Movie” with Seinfeld) The whole Laurelei sequence was weird, the german sequence was dumb! The fighting, the over punching of the Octopus in the opening fight scene was similar in the fight scene from “They Live” (remember roddy piper trying to get the other actor to put the glassed on?) I can’t say enough of how BAD this movie was. I went in hoping it would have some redeeming qualities, but it didn’t. I knew from the opening 2-3 minutes, that I was in for a dull, boring and a waste of time. This movie is not even worth renting, that’s how bad this was. Miller should stick to comics, were he is ideally suited. As a director he stinks. One more thing, if you’ve seen Sin City, this was more or less the same only worthless characterizations, lame storyline and acting. I liked Sin City, but then again, I NEVER read the source material and it was only “co-directed” by Miller. The Spirit, as done by Will Eisner needed to be a straight up period piece, similar to Indiana Jones but with heavy mood lighting like the old film noir movies of the 40’s. Add the serial cliff hanger like action sequences and you have damn near captured the Eisner flare for fun, mystery, romance and adventure. One more thing, Miller added some strange power the Spirit has over women, obviously this was needed because he painted the spirit in a hole of sorts that he couldn’t write him out of… the German scene to be exact.
    For what it’s worth, I wrote an anonymous letter to the folks considering the Captain America movie and it needing to be a period piece, and a damn good WWII movie setting up the origin and fight between Germany and the Axis with a showdown ending with Zemo and the Cap getting dumped in the icy waters…. with the closing of the movie flash forwarding to the present with an aerial shot of some eskimos gathered around a block of ice, worshipping the man in the ice and a U.S. led team arriving at that moment (with Tony Stark and Nick Fury both turning their heads with a look of HOLY SHIT!)

  10. I think the points that John was trying to convey have been lost in this discussion. What John is saying (I think) is that a studio shouldn’t lie about what critiics are saying about their movies. Sure there haven’t been any laws broken it lying about what critics are saying about their movie, but it just isn’t that ethical to fool people into giving you money for a product that you know it bad. And sure there is one guy that is praising this film, but when they say critics, it makes the comments reflect on the community of critics as a whole and not just this one guy.

    This is a problem since if people believe this quotes and see the movie, believing the critics are saying good things about this movie, it takes down the critics reputation as a whole and not just this one guy. I know that some are going to say that that will not happen, but just look at the time this film is being released Christmas. Releasing a film on Christmas is a way of hiding the film, since people don’t have time to read reviews. So when people watch this movie and it sucks, they will become weary of trusting reviews, by no fault of the critics.

    This is wrong, plan and simple.

  11. @ Akira – Does that mean you go to see every single movie put in theaters? If you don’t you’re a hypocrite.

    By picking one movie over another you yourself are making a judgment if you think a movie looks better or worse than another. So your argument doesn’t make any sense whatsoever and is self contradictory.

  12. I can’t believe you’re wasting your time analyzing and criticizing the slogans such as “it will blow you away”. The worst movies and the best movies have generalizing critic quotes, so to really be angry about it is quote stupid and of course, those quotes NEVER EVER EVER EVER accurately describes the goodness or badness of a movie. Yes it’s not the only movie, BECAUSE, EVERY MOVIE DOES THIS, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT.
    I’m going to see the Spirit, and would you like to know why? I WILL GO SEE THE SPIRIT, BECAUSE I WOULD LIKE TO DECLARE A MOVIE, AFTER, NOT BEFORE I ACTUALLY SEE IT. HONESTLY, YOU HAVE DECIDE A MOVIE IS BAD BEFORE YOU SEE IT? GOOD .LOOK AT THE COVER OF A BOOK AND WRITE ME A SUMMARY OF IT.

  13. @Shane

    You do make some valid points. In fact, some of the things you mention were discussed in my business ethics course that I took like 3 or 4 semesters ago in college. But as avid consumers of media entertainment, we do have some standards. Now, this is not me trying to sound like I’m fucking high-minded or some shit, but the thing is that just because most businesses make superficial claims about the quality of their products does not mean that a Studio like Lionsgate can just decide to employ shoddy marketing practices to promote their film. And I’m not debating the legality of the thing, all I’m saying is that there are boundaries and these motherfuckers jump right clear over them. Making exaggerations is one thing, but taking something that’s is not substantive enough (At least in the eyes of the informed buyer) and stamping it all over your marketing plan is something else entirely. Anyway, let’s just all agree to disagree because this is getting ridiculous. Nice discussion but I honestly could care less about this movie.

  14. @ Frank

    You mention “business ethics”. What exactly is so unethical about what they’ve done compared to usual advertising? Look around at most ads, and you see ridiculous scene’s that regardless of the quality of a product, would just never happen.

    Has ANYONE ever raved to you, wide-eyed and excited, about a cleaning product? Have you ever seen a large crowd united by their love of a particular brand of soft drink? Since when have business ethics prevented a company from exaggerating about a products popularity?

    This ad claims that “critics are wild about The Spirit”. If in fact only 1 in 7 like it, as Rotten Tomatoes currently indicates… is that really such an unethical lie? The ad doesn’t claim any percentages, “more than 50% of critics are wild about The Spirit”. Ads for almost any film will ALWAYS try to make them seem like they’re popular. Nobody is going to advertise their film as being a disappointment and unpopular.

  15. @ Alexander

    Which definition of “obscure” are you going off of? The Heritage Dictionary has like six different definitions for this one word. In relation to an “obscure” website I there was two definitions that stood out to me.

    1. Not readily noticed or seen; inconspicuous

    2. Of undistinguished or humble station or reputation

    I do not see either of these as derogatory, myself. Pretty much anything off the beaten path or not mainstream can be considered obscure by these two definitions. Where a website like IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes may be considered mainstream, the website quoted for the Spirit add could be considered obscure for the mere fact that it is not readily noticed in terms of movie based websites, and thus it would also be undistinguished for similar reasons. Nothing negative about that. Now if the guy and website earns himself a reputation and becomes a mainstream website that everybody know, it would more than likely no longer be obscure.

    Just something to think about.

  16. If I ran a website and some other website refered to mine as being ‘obscure’ I wouldn’t perceive it as a compliment. In fact I would consider it derogatory. The fact that the movie studio is ‘in the wrong here’ is what deserves flaming. You could have just said, all quotes came from just this one site called http://www.whatever.com and people can formulate for themselves whether that site is obscure or reknowned.

    just my 2 cents

  17. Hey Alexander

    It’s not Scott Hoffman’s fault at all. He saw it, he liked it… and I don’t suspect anything wrong with that, or the fact that he said he liked it at all. This is the STUDIO’s issue.

    Is The Movie Blog anything special? Damn right it is. But even though TMB is special… it’s pretty obscure too. Being obscure isn’t a put down.

  18. >Nope. It was a quote from some guy named Scott Hoffman from an >obscure little website call MoviePictureFilm.com.

    It’s not Scott Hoffman’s fault that he gets quoted. Or is he in on the deal?
    Anyway, no reason to label that other website as being ‘obscure’.
    Is the movieblog anything special?

  19. Is amazing how many of you have an optimistic view for this movie. Yeah, there are 5 “awesome” reviews for it, but that’s compare to the 1000 or so negative reviews it has received that come from, for the most part, more credible critics. And that’s ultimately what this fucking post has been about, people. Okay, so I understand why some of you defend the studio for making a conscious business decision to counteract all the negative buzz surrounding its product, but there’s also another concept that is tied together with how a company decides to get people to buy and/or change their perception of something their selling: business ethics.

  20. Let people think for themselves!! Everyone.. try to see the movie… Download it or have it any way posible.. but make your own opinions!

  21. AARON
    holy fucking shit dude…thats like the 5th awsome review that movie has gotten so far….i dont know man it looks like the people who has actually seen it ended up loving it….

  22. @Shane,

    You’re right on this one. As John even stated, it’s not uncommon for a studio to be slightly misleading in their ads. The whole point is to sell the movie, and with a $50 mil investment, they are under pressure to make a profit if not at least break even.

    I’m not sure how we can hold it against a studio for just doing what is natural for them. They are a business entity whose goal is to make money. They are not doing anything out of the ordinary and I would say that nearly every major company has done the same thing in their ads.

  23. Seriously… what’s so misleading about the ad? I normally agree with John on most things, so I think I’m entitled to disagree with this one. ;-)

    At worst, they’re guilty of pluralizing the term “critics” when they’re only quoting one. But then, just because they’re only quoting one doesn’t mean there aren’t other critics who gave good reviews. So really, what’s the issue. They’re using exciting sounding words to give potential viewers an idea of what they think the film offers?

    They’re trying to SELL people something. Why would they not throw around words to make people think this is a fun, eye popping, brilliant film? Whether people actually agree with that is all subjective.

    I really cannot see what is so deplorable here. They haven’t made up fake reviews. You obviously figured out that they’re not reviewers quotes in the last half of the ad. Anyone with some sense could figure that out. Even when ads use real quotes, they can hardly be considered the best source of a fair and balanced review. Ads will always pick out the most highly positive quotes, regardless of how crap the film may be. And anyone too dimwitted to realize that, is probably not the kind of person who is going to see a film because a critic recommends it anyway. They’re probably just going to go see it because there’s guns and hot chicks in it.

    The use of what you’re calling “quotes”, that aren’t attributed to anyone is not deceptive. I’m not offended that a company describes it’s own product. Who do restaurants attribute quotes to when they tell us how “delicious” their food is? Which critic describes how “fun” toys are when they’re advertised? Just because it’s a common tactic used when marketing a film to use quotes from critics, doesn’t mean that only quotes can be used to describe a film in an advertisement. It’s not deceptive, it’s not even remotely wrong to do so. Every other product you see advertised uses emotive, descriptive words which the advertiser has come up with.

    What are they guilty of here? Trying to sell something which a lot of people have already decided isn’t good. WELL OF COURSE THEY’RE GOING TO TRY! They’re trying to sway people’s opinion against negative reviews. So what? Since when have we ever expected advertising to represent anything other than a skewed, one-sided, overly positive image of whatever it’s trying to sell? And since when would you expect people would obey an advertisement and go buy what it’s selling (or go see a film) just because the ad says it’s great.

    John, in all honesty, do you really believe that anyone will actually go to see the Spirit, purely because some unnamed critic apparently called it “Eye popping”, and they won’t bother to see who said that, but still want to spend their money based on the mystery-critic’s glowing use of two consecutive words?

    “Holy crap kids! That ad just said that a critic called the Spirit “Mind blowing”. Quick, lets all get in the car, we’re going to see it right away. If I can’t trust an opinion being anonymously offered in an advertisement, then who can I trust? STOP! We better get some McDonald’s first, because some guy on TV is LOVING IT. It must be GREAT!”

  24. I was originally going to see this on Christmas. I’m with John though… The only thing that we can do to stop these misleading tv ads is to prove to the studio that we aren’t buying it.

    Though I keep getting the feeling that the movie will make bank solely because its Frank Miller and a comic book movie.

  25. I agree with you on this one John, but I think the writer needs to share the blame for this. I actually went to the blog that has the review and the way it is written, it seems like the guy was either paid to write it, or wrote it so he could get quoted in a movie poster/trailer. The sentences are basically written just to include quotable phrases (he has the trailer posted on his blog to highlight that he was quoted btw)

    1. See movie getting all bad reviews
    2. write good quotable review
    3. get quoted in trailer/poster
    4. get traffic increase
    5. repeat 1-4 while getting invited to more advanced screenings
    6. get more ad revenue and possible publication

    profit!

  26. A lot of decent marketing can get you a nice opening weekend (i.e. The Day The Earth Stood Still), but word of mouth spreads fast, and by second weekend the drop off can be significant.

    Dennis

  27. How the hell can you say that Marley and Me is a stupid thing. It was a very good movie. It was heart warming. Directed by the guy who did Devil Wears Prada.

    If anything Bedtime stories is stupid.

  28. this might actually bomb too, since word of mouth is the source of a movie doing theatrically well at the box office, we will see but it has a change of bombing. However, just a gut-feeling i have that it’ll open at like $11 M

  29. @Jeremy

    I didn’t mean for you to take what I wrote as an insult, but if you interpreted it that way then I apologize. It’s just the way I express myself. Anyway, back to topic at hand. I believe that I’m a pretty smart dude, but I just can’t come up with a fitting description for what I think this movie would look like once it’s finally release other than to call it as I see it. Yes, it is all just based on a trailer, but that thing looks like shit.

  30. @ Frank

    /comfort

    Really? From what I could tell John and I had a decent discussion there. No insults past or anything, well I guess until you came in added that part about eating feces. I think for the most part it was each of us trying to prove our point, a decent debate in my opinion. I doubt John feels offended by our discussion, and I found it quite enlightening to be part of a discussion with the OP. I am not trying to “devalue” John’s argument, merely to understand it and provide my alternative. Read it as you like and no, I do not think it looks like shit. Shit looks like shit and only shit taste likes feces, anything else and it is not shit.

  31. @Jeremy

    Why are you being so persistent with your attempts of trying to devalue John’s argument? He has repeated his point enough time now for you to get a clear picture that his beef is not with the movie itself but with the people pushing such a misleading marketing campaign. And liking or disliking a movies does indeed come down to personal taste, but if you are even thinking about giving The Spirit a chance when it comes out than you must truly enjoy the taste of feces. I mean, the movie looks like shit, bro. At least admit that much.

  32. BTW, John:

    Good discussion today, be sure to put up a good and controversial post tomorrow so today can be repeated. This post has made the past four hours at work fly by, going to need something really good and juicy to get through work tomorrow.

  33. The Spirit – a movie made by a weird guy who writes comic books and who knows nothing about making movies.

    The Spirit – If you flushed your turd down the toilet this morning – no worries – A huge steaming TURD is coming to theaters – The Spirit

  34. @ The Fool

    I disagree. More often than not I have gone to see a movie based on the trailer and found that I did not enjoy it at all. At other times I have not seen a movie because of a trailer, and ended up enjoying it when a friend forced me to watch it on DVD. Honestly, it all comes down to personal preferences, and it is rare in my own personal experience for a trailer to provide enough information for me to determine if I will like the movie or not.

  35. “Romance, Desire, Action, simply the best film of the year” – THE FOOL

    This kind of marketing is the devil’s instrument and people who admire it love to watch Battlefield Earth, Batman & Robin, S1m0ne, etc.
    Watch the trailer Jeremy, a trailer can always tell 80% of the time the chances of whether it will suck or not and it seems pretty clear.

  36. @ John

    I would personally not say it looks like shit, but it is definitely not my cup of tea. However, there is very little out there that does not deserves a certain amount of respect when it comes to people putting the amount of effort into the creation of something as big as a movie. Sure you may be putting a coin or two into the pocket of the studio, but I think part of seeing a movie (a big part to me) is that I am honoring the cast and crew for the movie. Sure they got paid, but for a lot of them they are not making anymore than you and I. But for them being up to stand back and see that this movie they worked on for a year, or however much time, just scored huge in the box office I bet is very satisfying. To have that opportunity thwarted because people chose not to see the movie on the merit of the studio kinda sucks. Don’t see the move because you think it looks like shit, not because the studio is stupid in marketing is all I am saying.

  37. Hey Jeremy,

    On that point I totally disagree with you. The movie is owned by the studio. The studio is the one who will profit from you or me going to see it. The cast and crew of The Spirit got paid.

    The studio in this regard IS the movie.

    Now, if we’re going to talk about QUALITY… then I still don’t want to see this movie because it looks like shit to me and I don’t want to supporting from that regard either.

  38. @ John

    Just used quality as one basis for drawing a line. But you are right, quality is not at question here, but other things should be brought into question. The studio may own the rights to the movie and they are paying the checks of those working on it, but those people are still not responsible for the marketing the studio approves of. You still have a director, cast, crew hands, prop people, effects people, and a fuck load of other people that would like to have there movie acknowledged despite the poor marketing. The way the studio treats their movie does not necessarily reflect the attitude of those that were actually part of the creation process, and thus they should not be thrown into this idea that the studio and the movie are the same entity. That because one of the sides fucks up, then the other side should pay for it. But you are saying that the movie should not be seen because of the studios marketing scheme, which is not fare to the crew and people that worked on it.

  39. Hey Jeremy,

    Yeah, I basically agree with you. A bad studio can screw up a movie… a good studio can properly support a movie creatively to increase the chances of it being good… but ultimately the quality of the film will come down to the creative people behind it.

    But as I mentioned above… I’m not really talking about the quality of a movie here.

  40. Oh ya, I ask that because I have always been under the impression that a shitty studio can still make a good movie, just a good studio can make a shitty movie. Sure the studios own the rights to the movies, but there is definitely a line that separates the studio from the movie; otherwise, a shitty studio would only make shitty movies and a good studio would make only good movies.

    I may be an exception to this, but when I look at a movie I usually check to see who directed it, wrote it, starred in it, and maybe even composed the music for it, but I rarely look at what studio made it.

  41. Hey Jeremy,

    How on earth do you arrive at that conclusion from what I said.

    We’re not talking about QUALITY here. I can like a movie for it’s quality and dislike a studio.

    I can like a studio for how they conduction themselves but dislike the QUALITY of a movie at the same time.

    But I’m not talking about quality of a movie. I’m talking about the principle of how this project is being handled and how they are actively trying to device and disrespect the film goers. In this regard, the studio and the film are one entity.

  42. @ John

    So with that logic, because they are the same, if you like the movie then you like the studio. If you like the studio, then you like the movies they put out. The same if you dislike them. Or are they only the same in the sense that you want them to be the same when it fits your objective? Again, serious question, not trying to be disrespectful.

  43. Hey Allan,

    Please note I have never used the word “boycott”. I’m not going to see this movie. I’ll encourage others to not see it, but I’m not calling for a boycott, signing petitions or any of that other ridiculous stuff.

    And I respect your view… but the studio IS the movie. They own it, they market it, they profit from it, they promote it. Miller is a part of that team. I don’t think you can compartmentalize it like that. But that’s just my opinion

  44. John,

    According to your logic, are you saying we should boycott Bridge to Terabithia because Disney presented a misleading trailer? Should we boycott a movie anytime a studio mishandle its marketing? I still believe marketing and the movie should be judge as a separate entity.

    Yes, Frank Miller gets paid but what about his reputation and validation for his work? As a filmmaker, wouldn’t you want your work be seen by as much people as possible?

    I can’t believe I defending the Spirit…

  45. “To those that say “Don’t punish the filmmakers for what the marketing company does” – who do you think is going to collect all the profit from the lying ads? The studio stands the most to gain, the movie belongs to the studio, the studio approved the ads. Avoiding The Spirit doesn’t punish the filmmakers, it punishes the studio. Don’t shed a tear for Frank Miller, he gets paid either way.”

    What was your point here? Sure the studio has money on the brain, but the people that made it are putting their blood, sweat, and tears into it. Before you were saying don’t see the movie because of scheming marketing. Now your saying don’t see the movie because of the scheming marketing that will get the studio money. I say fuck the money, fuck the marketing, and fuck the studio. If you feel like seeing it, then see it. If you don’t feel like seeing it, don’t. It may suck, it may not. If I directed, starred, or merely held the boom mic, I would still like people to see it just because I put my time into it and I would prefer it not to be judged on what the studio does marketing wise or to make a freaking dollar. How would you feel if you directed something for a studio, then they did something like this and everybody protested by not seeing it? I assume you would not care since you still get paid.

    Anyway, does Hollywood run on lying, cheating, and stealing? Well, and of course the almighty dollar. I could be wrong, but I thought that was how it was run from the very beginning. I am not saying it is right or wrong, but to blow up about one movie is pretty crazy. To neglect the work people put into a movie because the studio mishandles marketing seems pretty damn crazy as well.

    Perhaps I am just stupid and totally off on this. Which it would not be the first time. :D

  46. I agree with I’M A FAT BOY WITH BIG PANTS

    That was one of my biggest problems from the start, I’ve read some of Will Eisner’s original “The Spirit” and the look and feel of it are nothing like Sin City. Frank Miller just used the same look that he saw Robert Rodriguez did to the Sin City movie based on Frank Miller’s own graphic novel.

    It’s like he’s ripping himself off through a 3rd party, and then applying it to something that does not apply.

    If he directed the next Will Ferrell comedy, he’d probably try the same look too.

    Like I said I am a huge Frank Miller fan, Sin City and The Dark Knight are in my top 5 graphic novels of all time (Watchmen being #1 of course), but this doesn’t change the fact that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

    Dennis

  47. john
    dude im shocked you read all these comments…i mean…ive only completely read one of darren j seeley’s comments ONCE
    i mean his comments are fucking huge
    and soem of these are ginormous too!

    but darrens comments are always so grand its great lmfao XD

    good stuff.

  48. To everyone,

    I’m not sure I could have made it more clear, but let me emphasize this again.

    I am NOT suggesting people avoid “The Spirit” because it looks terrible. If you read my post (It’s amazing how many people don’t actually read my entire posts before commenting) I am specifically offended, as a film fan, how Lionsgate (a studio I like on many levels) has choses to try to dupe film fans with misleading ads. THAT’S my point.

    To those that say “but other films have done this”, I don’t consider that a valid excuse or argument.

    Also, I’ve never seen THIS specifically done before. Yes trailers use quote whores and credit the whores… that’s one thing. But for a trailer to mention “critics” in a plural context, and then to go on to give 4 critic quotes that all come from one guy… and then to give other huge quotes of praise that APPEAR to also come from critics but really don’t is deplorable.

    To those that say “Don’t punish the filmmakers for what the marketing company does” – who do you think is going to collect all the profit from the lying ads? The studio stands the most to gain, the movie belongs to the studio, the studio approved the ads. Avoiding The Spirit doesn’t punish the filmmakers, it punishes the studio. Don’t shed a tear for Frank Miller, he gets paid either way.

  49. my real thing is…why did he go the route and make the Spirit look the way it does? The comic looks nothing like that from what I know of it. Seems a silly why he chose to make it in that black and white sort of deal with limited color. Made a lot more sense for Sin City since that is the way the comic looked.

  50. I am a huge fan of Frank Miller’s Graphic Novels, and I was really hping his style would translate well to film. But “The Spirit” appears to be headed to “The Razzies.”

    I am going to see this film, because I love, bad, Ed Wood-like films), but I probably will wait for it to come out on DVD, or watch it on cable.

  51. well, they’re in it to make money. they’re learning from sony’s lesson with Godzilla. when they learned they had a bomb on their hands, they stepped up the marketing because they knew they had to make their money opening weekend, before word of mouth got out. to me, smart (if desperate) move on their part.

    of course, no way am i going to watch it.

  52. This sites seems to be increasingly negative or perhaps pessimistic is a better word. Every movie that has yet be seen by this site, always has the same “I think this movie will suck balls” posts. How about being a bit optimistic and try to support movie makers. Better to try and fail then not try at all right?

  53. @ Rob

    I disagree, I haven’t read anything John has said that states he has seen it. Just that it will suck or it looks like it will suck.

    On a side note, I wonder how Robert Rodriguez feels about Frank Miller directing on his own. If he thought Miller was ready for such a position after his help on Sin City. Or if he has seen the Spirit and what he thinks about it.

  54. Observations:

    1) A studio being misleading with fluff ads for a movie isn’t new. There used to be a time where if a critic said (for example) “The actor is great in a bad film” the studio will pluck out the word :”great” and throw on a “!” at the end. Or (and this gives away my age) they would have that Sixty Second Preview guy’s quote. There used to be a time when they would scour the earth for ANY newspaper, radio or magazine critic big or small. Oh, how times change. Who needs critics? (Keep an eye open, folks: I’m betting the film won’t be screened for critics)

    2) There is no need to call a boycott. I have this feeling Spirit will fall faster than the apple in Times Square. There are other (and better?) films to see this season.

    3) I don’t entirely agree with John regarding first time directors; however, most of the successful ones tend to start out on lower budgeted pictures and/or not as high profile. There is the ‘lightning in a bottle’ types…but even some of them have worked on a picture in a second unit or a DOP…Frank Miller is called ‘a director’ of Sin City because much of the film’s visual style is facelifted right off his pages. It’s “his” vision directed by others who stuck close to that vision.

    I don’t think many people were dead set against Miller directing ‘Spirit’-it is more than clear that someone wants another ‘Sin City’, which was a mistake, but I understand it. When the early teaser trailers came out to the Ennio Morriocone score from The Untouchables, I myself was jazzed. (LGF-don’t quote me on that) But the more I saw, aside from Eva Mendez, whose assets are well hinted at, the more I (and apparently others) decided if push came to shove, we’d rather be sipping eggnog than killing our brain cells.

    HOWEVER

    I do have to take a stand here for the moment. I sadly have to side with those commenters who are not in favor of John’s assessment. I (as well as others) can say the picture looks horrible, sounds horrible, and if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…and I (and others) will see another picture or drink eggnog, if not hot cocoa. But I’m *not* jumping on a bandwagon and saying “Frank Miller is a horrible director” (aside from the fact that hordes of his fanbase, the internet community and the rest of the geeksquads thought it was a great idea at the time this thing got going) until I see the film…eh…four months from now on DVD,

    4) Lionsgate ……..Lionsgate….anyone from Lionsgate……anyone…I notice a bit of a pattern here. Help me out if anyone can:

    What is with the ad campaigns for your film slate? It seems LGF has been under-promoting films, regardless of quality, I mean, it’s a small wonder Transporter 3 has stuck around as long as it did; the only decent promotion LGF has done in the last six months is for next month’s My Bloody Valentine 3-D, and all I know is that rave quotes better not be from MoviePictureFilm.com….

    5) Will this film be a cult classic? Hard to say. There is such a thing as discovery and becoming a fan, there are such things as good films that deserve better fates. I don’t know if that will ring true for The Spirit.

  55. Yeah I noticed how in the commercial it said the critics said this and that…but I knew that shit was all LIES to try to get people to go see it.

    John, I fully support the BASHING OF THE SPIRIT!

  56. Your right, John, it is pretty weak that they would market the movie in such a way. But you are wrong in trying to start a campaign to not see a movie because of it. As stated already, blame the marketing not the movie. It is like all those people that were protesting outside of military bases here in the States when Bush decided to invade Iraq. Protesting the wrong people. If you are going to protest, protest where it matters. Those people on the bases are just following orders which is part of what being in the military is. Standing outside protesting an entity that has no control of what somebody else has done is a complete waste of time.

    With that said, you also need to be careful how you respond to people, John. You contradict yourself. At one point your questioning somebody in regard to stating a movie “looks” bad, and then in another posting your saying the movie “will” suck. Where “look” leaves an opportunity that it might not, saying “it will” makes it into a closed minded thought. You say at one point you have a little bit of hope that it will not be bad, but you already said it “will” suck. Contradictions.

    Another problem is that in regard to the Punisher movie you state that unlike the Spirit you never had anybody tell you it sucked before you saw it. Did you have anybody after you saw it tell you it sucked? Did you have anybody after you saw that your respect tell you it sucked? Why would it matter if somebody told you before or after if the movie sucked? I am just asking this because I am sure you had some people tell you it sucked after you saw it.

    One last thing. You mentioned that you had a couple people you respect tell you the Spirit sucked. I respect my mother, but we have mixed feelings when it comes to movies. I respect my friends, same thing with the mixed feelings. Some times we see eye to eye, other times we differ. Now, I will go ahead and respond to this one for you, since I am sure you will state something along the lines of “people that I respect that are in the movie industry or in some way more knowledgeable in what is and is not a good movie. Yes, I respect my friends and family as well, but they do not know movies like these two do.” Or something along those lines anyway.

    Anyway, do not take this as any disrespect or anything, just some things I pulled out of what you said in OP and responses to people. Overall I say fuck critics and marketing. I am not interested in the movie and with Benjamin Buttons coming out the same day why would anybody go see the Spirit? But, I am also not going to actively boycott or campaign a movie that “looks” bad and most definitely not going to hold the movie to blame for a shitty marketing team with even shittier marketing schemes. To each there own, and in the end I hope everybody has an awesome holiday.

  57. So, we all know it will suck donkey nuggets from a critical perspective. But, could I have to wonder how much *cult classic* potential the film has. It definitely has a wacky aesthetic to it.

  58. and adding to this..yes i have seen the same ad as John and i was yelling at the TV going “they haven’t even said any of that!”
    this is almost as low as that person who spoiled Marley And ME to everyone(not that i care to see it, but that was really low)

  59. wow this topic is popular, it’s gotten like 60 comments since mine last night lol. But yeah, so pathetic and one person who went to the premiere, not a critic, your typical movie goer said that it was bad

  60. Hey John, I’ve never seen you this upset with a film before, but I can understand your frustration, but I can’t necessarily support a boycott because a film lied. I think that a lot of movies have done this in the past. I can remember a movie that did this in the past (I can’t remember the name) that did this and the only reason I knew they were lying,was because I either read the review from him or heard him on a podcast or TV speaking about the film. I think that we should all realize by now that if someone is selling you something, they are going to give themselves a great review regardless of how crappy there product is and anyone fooled by the marketing is a bit naive.

    That being said anyone that does boycott this movie isn’t missing much. I work at a movie theatre and we were able to see the film last night at our Christmas party. IT IS NOT A GOOD MOVIE. I went into it with the expectations that it would be bad and it only in one brief scene was able to elevate my expectations just slightly. I never saw Battlefield Earth so I can’t compare it to it, but I can say that it was one of the worst movies I’ve seen. I was pretty bored for most of the movie. But at the same time, I know one guy that came out and said he enjoyed it, so maybe someone else will find it interesting, I just personally didn’t.

  61. How can you campaign against a film you haven’t even seen? This just appears as if you are jumping on the bandwagon of people who have said the movie isn’t any good! It doesn’t really matter if the movie is is all of the buzz words used to promote the movie. You are showing people exactly why you have no credibility whatsoever and should shut your site down for good!

  62. I can appreciate their effort from a business standpoint. If I had $50 mil invested in a movie I’d probably try something like this to try and recoup some of that.

    I stopped listening to those kinds of ads a long time ago. Seriously, the movie looks stupid and I’ve thought that from the beginning. Anyone who gets sucked in by it deserves to lose that $10 admission fee. And Frank Miller is severely overrated.

  63. Here’s what one reviewer wrote at Ain’t It Cool News:

    “This is not a movie that is so bad it’s good. This is a movie that veers towards that threshold, but is such a failure it can’t even achieve that level of incompetence. It’s a limp dick being flogged for 90 minutes and having nothing but a rash to show for it.”

    I’m sorry, but that is hilarious. This movie sounds like another Batman & Robin type disaster. So bad it’s great for a drinking game. I think I will try to rent this at some point just so I can laugh my ass off at it.

  64. For once we agree. I saw the same ad last night during the game and was thinking the same thing. I won’t call for a boycott because people are going to see it either way and I don’t really give a shit. If people want to see garbage movies, then that’s their prerogative. And if they’re that stupid not to pay attention to trailers and research a movie before they go see it, that’s their own fault.

  65. I’m not saying someone can’t suspect what a movie is going to end up like, but there’s a big difference between saying “I suspect this movie is going to have problems” and “this movie is going to suck” as if that was a absolute fact.

    I especcially think you have no way to make a claim as specific as “this isn’t original at all. It’s just doing what someone else did and doing it much worse” when all you’ve seen is a trailer. A statement that’s particualrly ironic given that what that other person was doing was bringing FRANK MILLER art to the screen.

  66. Critic Quote:
    “The special effects in Battlefield Earth are dazzling…I found myself cheering for the good guys in the final battle.” – Scripps Howard News Service.

  67. It’s not really that pathetic, John. It is the movie BUSINESS after all. You do what you can to sell your movie.

    The multiple quotes per critic thing is also quite common, generally when the studio can’t find proper praise from various outlets (or permission from those outlets to run the quotes).

    Whatever the case, you could tell me this film would give fellate me in the theater and I’d steer clear.

  68. No Angela, there are “go to” critics for folks to quote so they can say “Critics say…” At least that’s the way it looks. There are some out there that make the stupidest statements about some projects that’s it’s almost shameful.

    And I suppose that if a company were to lay down $$ for something, they might as well pitch it with their best “real estate agent ‘tude” as best they can for that first weekend run.

  69. Hey, I noticed the same thing when the commercial came out. I was actually wondering if they pulled some guy off the street and had him watch it. I mean… what’s the point of qoting critics if you can’t source them or they don’t have any real qualification. It’s like saying, Joe the Plumber says, “It’s eye popping.” Oh well. I would have just preferred they showed us some decent material that actually made you want to watch it instead of fluffy it.

  70. The film has too much makeup, too much avant-garde stuff all compacted into one place, thus making it difficult for our minds to perceive the art in the picture and difficult to conceive the main idea they were going for. Side effects of this formula = just plain boring and stupid. That’s what I see everytime I see the trailer.

  71. @john

    you seem to be very knowledgible when it comes to marketing (not a smartass remark, its the truth) why not try and get a job for marketing in hollywood

  72. I must say if I were in charge of Lionsgate and spent 50+ million on a movie that I know is BAD, I would have NO moral problem whatsoever in running a quote from a little known website in order to get more people to see the movie. Actually, thats just doing business in the real world. DO you remember Jeff Graig- He wasn’t even a real guy. It was a name used by some group that had multiple people giving good reviews to everything so they could get media exposure. All the studios would use Jeff Graig QUOTES! Again as a business owner myself I would do the very same thing Lionsgate is doing. While I can see right through it I still understand ther predicament from a financial point of view!

    Chuck

  73. I’ve always looked at all those independent statements of glory as just that, singled out phrases tossed into the marketing of a movie.

    I can’t tell which way this will go. I keep thinking The Crow when I hear about this movie… coming back from the dead thing…

    This is general reference, not truly specific to The Spirit:
    “Critics are wild about The Spirit” – Yep… wild in how they are reacting to the marketing of the film.

    Or it’s just critics buttering the side of their bread that helps them stay afloat and somehow, they can sleep at night.

    I recently saw Sin City. Eh. It was a great time filler on TV while I blogged and there were spots that were entertaining… to me. But I have unique tastes.

    I’ll wait for the word from the masses before deciding how to spend my thinning dollar. Look at TDTESS. Big opener that flatlined the next weekend. The masses have spoken there, the true critics!

  74. lol john, didn’t you once say that you would do the exact same thing as this guy if it meant getting your quote on the dvd cover?

    & this post is just giving this movie some free publicity…

    also every movie, good or bad, has these kind of quotes & they really
    mean nothing…

  75. (sarcasm begins here)
    ya, let’s all campaign against this movie, maybe the one critic who liked it will be forced to shut down his website, and then maybe the whole crew who worked on it will never get a gig again.
    (sarcasm ends here)

    way to go on making things worse.

  76. I saw the exact commercial you’re talking about a few days ago and I remember going WTF when it was listing off all those positive critic quotes. I should have figured they were all from the same guy. Probably the one guy they could find and pay off. Meh, I was planning on skipping this one anyway.

  77. Holy shit. How retarded are some of you people? Learn to read. John repeated himself a couple of times.

    He’s not saying avoid the movie because it looks like shit. This article was about how manipulative and deceiving their ad tactics are. For fuck’s sake.

  78. Alright. What the marketing people do is one thing. It’s not the filmmaker’s or director’s fault.

    I know The Spirit looks bad but still support Frank Miller because I like his work. I will go to see The Spirit on the big screen because I still wanna see how it is overall and experience the nice visuals.

  79. big deal, they’re using their resources to make as much money as they can on this movie even if they know it is going to bomb.

    the more i see the trailers the more i think it was meant to be a comicbook, campy, b movie style type of movie. if/when miller fails as a director i hope he learns from his mistakes and continues to make movies.

    i believe michael jordan said something like, “i failed a thousand times, that’s why i succeed”

  80. Saw the bootleg Comicon clip of the fight scene.

    “Toilets are always funny.”

    Uh…no they’re not, Sam.

    If this is what we can look forward to, I think I will wait for it to play on Starz.

  81. I’ll see it anyway. I have very different tastes than John does. We rarely agree on movies. …Plus, I don’t care about the amoral or unethical nature of things. I’m smarter than to buy into any of the Bullshit and if people are stupid enough to see or not see something because of what people do or do not say about a thing then they should be killed off due to Natural Selection anyway. See what you like. Don’t see what you don’t. I like what I see. The cheesy, overdone, pulp, hard-boiled, tough-guy, two-fisted fiction is my favourite genre. Rock it or don’t. I will. Noir is great. Overdone Noir is in many ways even better.

  82. Im one of few people who really thought the movie would be great and that campea is wrong this time. Last week, Sony gave a press Screening in Berlin and oh my god…this movie was so bad! I liked the visual style, but thats really the only positive thing i could say about it. The acting was BAD, the stupidest dialogs of the last decade, comedic/slapstick moments that made u roll your eyes, and by the way, its boring as hell. Dont go 2 see it

  83. My friend’s been trrying to get me to go see this with him. He’s all pumped because he liked Sin City. But if word on the street says this is a bad movie, I’ll avoid it like the plaque. Incredible as it seems, I got at least 5 movies I want to see this week! I need any reason I can get to thin out the herd a litlte bit.

  84. So, let’s see…..we have an entire thread of peple arguing about a film that not 1, yes thats right, not 1 of you have seen. nothing new then…

    but this seems to be rifined hatred of a film not one of you have seen, it’s not like fanboy hatred, where there are countless posts of ”It’s gona suck!!”
    how did this come about!

    Yes it’s true that the vaste majority of people develop an opinion of a film before they see it, I do it all the time, alot of the time I am wrong about a film be it good or bad. Having an opinion dosent warrent a hate campaign!!

    I’m betting a extremely large percentage of films use the same quote tactic as they have used for this flick – yet you don’t have a hate campaign running against any of them (which is the whole point, you can say “I’m not naive enough to believe that this is the ONLY movie commercial that has pulled a stunt like this”, but wheres the hate campaign against them! I mean, don’t they get equal rights to a hate campaign too??)

    Anyway, the film looks poor, very poor, I for one won’t be wasteing my time or money seeing it.

  85. You really don’t need to tell me to avoid the Spirit. I’ll be damn before I fork out money for this walking trainwreck. When I saw the first teaser, I thought it look horrible beyond belief. The only way the studios can get me to watch it is if they stick a gun to my head.

    As much as I agree with you on how shitty the Spirit looks and the way Lions Gate are sneaky bastards for pulling this crap…

    BUT

    You should fault the people behind the marketing campaign and not on the movie itself? I think its alright to tell people to avoid a movie because it looks bad but not because of the marketing campaign.

    Remember when Bridge to Terabithia was release and Disney had a campaign to fool people into thinking its a epic fantasy movie when it really isn’t. Even though Disney was in the wrong for doing this, the movie on its own merits is actually good. Do you get what I’m saying?

    Think of it this way: You made a movie and sold it to Lions Gate. Lions Gate took your movie and spin a sleazy campaign which you have no control of. Some guy saw the campaign and decide to punish your MOVIE by telling some people to avoid it because of the CAMPAIGN. Is that fair to you?

    I do however support your “Don’t go see the Spirit” campaign based solely on getting the message across to the studios to stop funding and producing more crap movies at our expense.

  86. I wouldn’t call MoviePictureFilm.com obscure, I always read that site and they have some nice tidbits and really good interviews…

  87. i seriously hope im not being misunderstood. the trailers/posters looks like shit. but i wont say that it sucks just because of the trailers and i wont let my love towards the novel make me biased about the film being good if it wont be
    what im sayign is, ive based assumptions about movies based on trailers and everyone elses feelings and ended up being dead wrong about it, and this happens to all of us, shit john said that the punisher would suck and he liked it, human mistake. i said that indy 4 was going to rock and wow, my gosh did it fucking blow. and the pirates of the caribean at worlds end trailer had me SOLD on the movie…well…enough said
    so ive learned from those mistakes

    and….i dont..GET it.
    why are movies like twilight and the spirit getting such hate when theres movies 10 times worse out RIGHT NOW that no ones talking about? i mean i saw twilight and it was okay…i mean nothing to get so worked up about but goddamn people either loved it to death or fucking HATED it…i dont get it…
    legit question btw

  88. John,

    THANK YOU for calling these motherfuckers out. I noticed this a few days ago and was appalled at how stupid the studio thinks I am. Lately, I’ve been paying more attention to critics’ quotes in commercials due to a vast majority of critics being quote whores. Most times, ads will pull dozens of quotes from a single review and pass it off as multiple sources. A website called hollywoodbitchslap.com actually has a section of their site called “Criticwatch” which tracks every major critic, how they review films, and how much they get quoted. A lot of critics simply give a film a good review to see their quote in an ad, on the DVD box, or to get special treatment from studios.

  89. Hey The Movie Vampire,

    So are you saying no one can ever say the words “That movie looks good” or “That movie looks bad” until they’ve seen the movie? That’s preposterous and I’ll venture a guess that you do it all the time.

    Yes, I see the trailers, I heard people I respect tell me it was horrible and I have no faith in Miller. Those all all pretty good reasons to form an advance opinion. We all have advance opinions… the very purpose of trailers is to influence advance opinion. So I reject your argument that you can’t form an opinion on if you think a film looks good or looks bad.

    And yes, there are first time directors who have made hits. But that’s like saying a few guys have been struck by lightning while walking outside during a rainstorm means that you have a good chance of being struck by lightning. Wrong. The examples you point out are the VAST exception to the rule. Exceptions do happen, but you’d be naive to think you have a reasonable chance of winning the lottery if you buy a ticket… even though it does happen to some people.

    Also, the argument that since other studios have done similar things means we should just ignore Lionsgate doing it in this circumstance is another argument I completely reject. The attitude you’re proposing suggests that it’s acceptable and I say that’s nonsense. Besides, I don’t know what your point is since I directly said in my own post:

    “I’m not naive enough to believe that this is the ONLY movie commercial that has pulled a stunt like this, but this really is despicable.”

    It feels like you’re just trying to make an argument for the sake of making an argument.

    If you think The Spirit looks good and are looking forward to it, that’s awesome. I honestly hope you do like it… and I hope I like it too. But suggesting that people can’t form an opinion if a film looks good or not and others like that seems like you’re just trying to argue.

  90. What strike me the wrong way about what you’re doing here is that you’ve been harshly dissmissing a movie you haven’t seen, and I’m not sure what you plan to accomplish by that. You’re reasoning seems to be that A. the trailers look strange, B. Frank Miller hasn’t directed a movie before, and C. some people have told you it isn’t very good.

    I agree with you that it is a stretch to call Miller the co-director of Sin City, but I think you’re being a bit shortsighted in failing to acknowedge Miller’s contributions to that film. Also, have you ever heard of Tony Gilroy? He was a screenwriter who never directed a single thing before he made a little film called Michael Clayton. Charlie Kaufman made the jump from writing to film this year with Synechdoche New York, and there are a lot of people who love that movie. Hell, the great Billy Wilder started out as a lowly writer. How is Frank Miller’s transition so different?

    As for the people who told you it wasn’t very good… well I’ve heard a number of people tell me they hate Citizen Kane, a fair number of people tell me they hate The Godfather… etc. etc.

    How exactly can you say he’s “just doing what someone else did.” Again, you haven’t seen the movie, you are not qualified to make that kind of judgement, see the movie, then you can decide whether or not it’s devoid of originality.

    Also, this is by no means the first time a studio has made a boneheaded move while marketing a film, far from the first time. Critics are misquoted all the time and obscure websites are used all the time. With this precedant you’re going to have to boycott an awful lot of movies.

  91. Hey Hazmat,

    Yes they do… but the majority of them have REAL quotes from real critics. I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with is when they deceptively try to make it look like many critics are saying wonderful things… when in reality it was all from one, obscure critic that no one has ever heard of…. and THEN put up a bunch of more quotes meant to look like they’re from critics when they’re really not.

    Big difference between the two man.

  92. actually australia had NO advertising
    at all
    i liked it (it was great) but not once did i see a trailer for it at the movies. i did however see 2 on the tv

  93. man…you know you’re really making me want to see it now…I want to know what about the spirit is bad and if there’s anything good about it at all.

    It kind of reminds me of Australia…that film was heavily advertised (very WELL advertised I must add…not like the spirit) and having already known it was going to be total trash I went to see it just to see what was so bad.

    Hmmm…maybe I’ll just watch the dvd

  94. Hey Michelle,

    Yes, all film is subjective. But if you’ll notice I’m not telling people to avoid the film because it will suck (It will suck, but that doesn’t mean everyone will think so, some may really enjoy it). No, I want people to avoid this film to punish them for putting out deceptive ads like the one I’m referring to in an attempt to take advantage of the fans. I HATE that.

  95. Hey, John – I respect a lot of the things you say. Particularly that “film is subjective.” Such a simple and concise answer to the largely idiotic and perpetual bickering that we see so much of, especially today.

    I’m indifferent to THE SPIRIT. I haven’t been impressed by anything so far, but I’ve been proven wrong before. And I completely empathize with your anger towards the ad. Yeah, it’s a chicken-shit thing of them do to; I totally agree. Plus, being involved in journalism where honesty is the way to go, even if it makes you look bad…that puts a really bad taste in my mouth.

    But what I did have a slight problem with is your insistence for others to not see the film. To me, it seemed to contraditct this brilliant aphorism of yours that “film is subjective.”

    Hell, I even gave TWILIGHT a chance and I loathe that crap. I saw it partly because I had to write a negative review for the school paper and partly because I was (somewhat) hopeful that I would be proven wrong. I wasn’t. I might have been ostracized by every other 16 year old girl at my school, but that article was well worth it. Still, whilst I despise that massive turd with a passion, I still know that there are people out there who are going to love it. Like you said, it’s subjective.

  96. Have we even considered that the studio itself might publish that blog no one has heard of??

    Wouldnt be the first time an employee at a studio posed as a regular joe who saw the movie and is raving how good it is.

    Just sayin.

  97. John is campaigning against the movie because of the deceptive advertisements, not because the movie supposedly sucks (which from the stiff acting from the trailer I’m guessing it will).

    I’m also a huge Frank Miller (love The Dark Knight and Sin City series), but it’s not as simple as watching someone direct once, and then suddenly knowing how to do it. That’s some shit like that one awful chick’s super powers in Heroes.

    Dennis

  98. Do you think there was a point where the studio execs looked at the film and said, “Oh my god, what did we waste our money on?” If that was the case, why even release to the masses? Don’t tell me it’s because of the names attached to this film.

    John, can you at least watch the film and definitively say it’s horrible?. At least you can back up your campaign against watching the film.

  99. Hey The Movie Vampire,

    I ALWAYS keep an open mind. That’s why I can admit that even though I had no hope for Punisher, I can admit I loved it even when everyone else hated it.

    The “venom” comes from the bullshit deceptive ads they’re running. I made that clear in my post.

    And I’m sorry… this isn’t original at all. It’s just doing what someone else did and doing it much worse. That’s not originality.

  100. Look, I saw the trailer and… this looks pretty strange. However, where is all this venom coming from? At least this looks like a pretty creative effort, these kind of movies don’t get made that often, and unless you want everything to be bland corperate cookiecutter garbage you can’t shit all over experimental stuff like this when they don’t work out.

    All I’m saying is, keep an open mind, and save your anger for cynical effortless trash like Meet the Spartans or The Hottie and the Nottie.

  101. Is it wrong that, no matter what people have said, I still want to see this?

    The clip I saw from Comic-Con, which has forever disappeared, really intrigued me. It had that “so bad it’s good” quality I haven’t really personally experienced since watching the old Chan flick, “City Hunter.”

    The cheese looks intentional, to a degree that it might just be very entertaining if that’s all you expect. I don’t know how a movie that doesn’t take itself seriously could be based this hard… Unless the critics allowed to see it so far are all douchebags.

  102. Ugh. The shit keeps hitting the fan with this movie. Yet I can’t help but wonder if the movie is so-so in terms of quality, and all this desperate marketing is an over-reaction to early negative reviews. There’s still a small chance it might be watchable, depending on the audience. I’ll wait until the movie actually explodes before calling it a bomb.

    I remember there was a similar incident to this several years ago with “A Knight’s Tale” and “The Animal” where two guys got fired for inventing a fictional critic to praise their films.

  103. Hey “The Movie Vampire”

    Yup… I had a little hope for Punisher… but next to none. I ended up being one of the only people in the world that really liked it.

    BUT…

    I never had people who saw it already telling me how bad it was.

    ALSO…

    The studio never pulled the type of crap The Spirit is right now

  104. “it will suck. it will tank”
    im not being a dick i just happen to love the spirit (the novel…i dont know about the movie, because i havent SEEN IT)

    same with twilight which was supposed to turn out exactly like dracula

  105. From one of the two “fresh” reviews on Rotten Tomatoes:

    “Are either Seven Pounds or The Spirit contemporary classics? Of course not. In fact, I don’t necessarily know that I’d even call them good movies.”

    WTF? I fully support your campaign John.

  106. good call, i’ll switch the words around to how they should be:

    “jaw droppingly BAD”
    “eye poppingly horrid”
    “mind blowingly horrible”

    “it will blow you away on how bad it is”

    it’s just as though they are saying “we know it sucks but we’re faking reviews anyway.” i have not seen one, ONE review on RT that said any of those

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