Wednesday, March 11, 2009

When Yoink Goes Wrong

By now, you should probably know what "Yoink!" means. It has to do with taking something. And, in the cartoon world of Springfield, it usually signals good things for whomever does the taking.

Sometimes, the person doing the taking can actually be acting against their own self-interest. That's when yoink goes wrong.

Take Warner Brothers, for example. They spent a ton of money making a film called The Watchmen. Then they put out this trailer months ago to announce its forthcoming release:

If I had read the graphic novel, I'd probably have been excited. But it looked like someone mashed Batman with Heroes and pooped out a billion dollar film that probably wouldn't be interesting enough to pull me away from the NCAA Tournament. Maybe I'd see it on Blu-Ray.

Then, they bombarded me with this trailer:

The film was made to look like an extraordinarily cheap knock-off of Batman. It was a gross affront to my artistic sensibilities. Didn't I just watch that movie 10 months ago? How dare you lazily regurgitate something and expect me to waste my time and money on it! Shame on you Hollywood! Do better!

The second trailer turned me completely off to the film. I believe I said to someone, "After that waste of 250 seconds of my life, there is no way I will ever see that film under any circumstance."

Then, the movie opened last weekend. The homie Trey, who is a fan of the book, went to see it. He told me I absolutely had to see the opening credit sequence and he sent me this link:

Uh...holy crap. That looks like a spectacular way to spend $12 dollars of my money. In fact, I can't wait to fork it over.

But, like, why in the hell did the studio "ask" the firm that created the sequence to remove it from their site? It's not like yU+co were a bunch of pirates. They were collaborators. And they were sharing one of the most beautiful opening credit sequences to be projected into any cineplex. Also, it was free advertising.

Perhaps there's a principle involved in preventing anyone from sharing any piece of a work to which you hold the copyright. But if the act of you upholding that principle causes a person like me, who has been known to live at the movie theatre, to be so offended by the putridity of your marketing campaign that I committed myself to never seeing your film at all...isn't it a good thing that someone wants to allow the work to stand on its own?

Even if the movie turns out to be a corn-filled piece of cinematic crap, I kinda need to see that sequence on a giant screen with THX sound. And I'm going to plop down $12 at the neighborhood ginormaplex to do so. Right after the Tournament brackets are drawn on Sunday.

And the only reason I will is because I saw the opening credit sequence. Which, for reasons unknown, Warner tried to yoink down. Yoink almost went wrong for them this time. Next time, they should probably just let their collaborators share work.

Or, maybe, don't make crappy trailers for their movies.

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