Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On #189: Soul Men Didn't Sell

The Weinstein Company's downward death spiral is continuing with the collapse of the comedy Soul Men starring Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac. LA Times blogger Patrick Goldstein had some musings about the possibility of race being involved in the film's failure, but I have to differ.

I think it has more to do with what I call the "Curse of the Weinstein Company" where they act as King Midas in reverse. I'd say everything they touched turns to shit, but at least shit has uses as a fertilizer, the only purpose the great bulk of films they release is to squander millions of other peoples money.

I saw some of the ad campaign and didn't see anything that could make the film appealing. The ads I saw were few and far between, and had no laughs, no warmth, no real connection. Just two middle aged men trying to recapture their youth via a string of comical misunderstandings, and contrived set, a genre that had been born and died with
Wild Hogs.

And let's not forget the absolutely awful hairpiece they slapped on Samuel L. Jackson's head. It looks like he was wearing a squirrel's hide.

The film was an R-Rated comedy about middle aged people and a musical genre mostly listened to by middle aged people. Teenagers will not go for it on principle, and it would have required a hell of a lot more effort to get the target audience, middle aged people out of their homes and into the theatres. That requires a killer ad-campaign, not the limp, drab campaign that seemed to want to coast on the memory of the late Bernie Mac than selling the film's humour.

You can't really sell a comedy off a grave, even the grave of a funny man like Mac, whose recent passing gives the film a tragic note, that would taint the humour before the movie's even seen.

I don't know how funny the film is, the reviews had been mixed, but it tracked well with viewers, and that should have helped, if it had been exploited correctly. Which hadn't.

There were ways to overcome the film's negatives, but they were not taken, making the failure of this film just another sign that the Weinstein Co. seems to have given up on the movie business.

No comments:

Post a Comment