Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nerd Rage: False Advertising

Ok, to start things off, watch this trailer for Battle Los Angeles:

If you've seen the movie then you know this is a pretty good representation of the movie and its subject matter. It's a nice taste of what you're going to see, and it acts as an enticement to get you to see the movie. Most importantly, it doesn't promise what it can't deliver.

Now take a look at this trailer for Passchendaele:

Alright, so watching that you'd think this was a war movie with some time spent on the home front, right?

If you haven't seen Passchendaele and intend to watch it, then stop reading now as I'm going to give away most of the movie below. Fair warning.

Still here? Okay then. The trailer is full of lies!!!

I'm being over-dramatic of course, but not too much. Based upon that trailer you'd think this was a movie about the Canadian contribution to the first World War, a look at how Canadians proved themselves in the blood and mud and earned the name "storm troopers". It looks as if finally the contribution that was made by our soldiers was finally being taken seriously, and being celebrated while at the same time showing the true horrors of the war.

Yeah, not so much. And to make it worse, this trailer is the most balanced one I've seen, and I remember most of the commercials for this movie at the time it came out highlighting the war aspect. If I could have found the advertising from History Television for a recent broadcast of the move I would have put that up, as it skips the romance/home front aspect altogether.

The movie is book-ended by the brutal war scenes, and then spends most of it's time on the home front and focused on the romance between the two main characters. While I'm more than happy to stare at Caroline Dhavernas onscreen for a couple hours, when I went to see this in the theaters I was looking forward to a war flick, not a romance. To say that I was displeased would be an understatement.

Passchendaele is forever tainted for me because of way it was advertised. To be honest, I wouldn't have seen the movie in theaters if it had been more truthfully portrayed in the trailers and commercials. But then I would have missed seeing two things; trench nookie and Paul Gross's character literally getting crucified. (You'll have to watch the movie to get those references.)

Why am I writing about this? As I said earlier, recently History Television showed the movie and they continued with the false advertising, and the contrast between that and how Battle Los Angeles was portrayed just stuck in my head.

I hate false advertising. I understand that companies want to make money on movies, heck they put the money into making they should get something in return, but portraying a movie falsely doesn't help in the end. For me it means I'm less likely to go a see the next movie that company puts out or the next thing starring Paul Gross.

And in the end I still haven't gotten the war movie I wanted.

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