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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I think you missed something there, Hollywood

Advertising can be anything, and everything can be advertising. Weird but true fact.

Something that kinda hacks me off a bit is how advertising can be intentionally misleading, but not outright illegal. Ads can't lie, not blatantly, but they can lie a little by omission. Hollywood is the worst for it. How many times have you watched a trailer or seen a movie poster, and gotten all excited about what looks like the latest action movie, only to go see it and find out that it's really some angsty, arty shit that has less swearing than a rom-com?

....Okay, that could just be me, but you get the idea. I likes me some action and blood - less so the angst. Twilight made me want to throw glitter all over people then punch them to death with an Edward action figure.

Today's little fail is actually hard to see. You'd miss it, in fact, if you weren't paying attention. Take a look at this movie poster:

True Grit was released in December. Pretty good movie, if I recall right. I didn't notice the posters at the time.

You don't see it, do you? This poster, kids, is LYING TO YOU. Top billing for the three dudes, that little picture at the bottom with three figures on horseback - you'd think this is a film about them, yeah? Well, you'd be WRONG. Let's go to Wikipedia...
True Grit is a 2010 American Western film written and directed by the Coen brothers. It is the second adaptation of Charles Portis' 1968 novel of the same name, which was previously adapted for film in 1969 starring John Wayne. The film stars Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross, and Jeff Bridges as U.S. Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn along with Matt DamonJosh Brolin, and Barry Pepper.
What's that I see there? Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross?! Who is this person? Well, if you're familiar with the novel True Grit is based on, or if you've SEEN THE FUCKING MOVIE, you'll know that Mattie Ross is the  main character. She - yes, SHE, this shit wouldn't happen to a male lead - is the 14-year-old girl who hires the U.S. Marshal to go after the guy who killed her father, which is, in fact, the whole goddamn plot in a nutshell. And the actress's name isn't even mentioned on the poster.

Yeah, yeah, I know Hollywood likes to keep the top billing for the stars who'll draw in the most people, but seriously?! This shit is still misleading. If I'd seen nothing but this poster, I'd think it was a western about three cowboys because you left out the fact that the protagonist is a young girl!

I'm cynical enough to believe that it's down to Hollywood sexism - and if anyone's going to tell me that doesn't exist, I reserve the right to laugh my fucking ass off at you - but the bigger concern here is that it's still lying by omission. And that, children, is bad advertising.

The movie's alright, though. And the book too. Here's the original 1968 hardcover, which actually has a picture of Mattie Ross on it OH NOES IT'S CLEARLY A LESSER BOOK BECAUSE THERE'S NO COWBOYS ON THE COVER.


CJ, over and out


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