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When Bad Marketing Happens To Good People. Oh, Neil Patrick Harris, Why?

By Joanna Robinson | Trade News | April 5, 2011 |


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Some of you grumble because we here at Pajiba often pre-judge a movie or TV show based on nothing more than a description, an image, or a teaser. But isn't that the job of the Hollywood marketing machine? To convince us that this, this product, is worth our hard-earned shekels? Some projects have the huge advantage of snagging a really likable star. One you may think would never steer you wrong. (Well, hardly ever.) An actor so likable, the mere mentions of their three-letter nickname puts a smile on your face. JGL! (See?) NPH! (I told you.) And sometimes, even with those people on board, the marketing department still finds a way to f*ck it up.

Hesher
The Good: JGL! Natalie Portman! Positive festival buzz!
The Bad: This poster. If they were going for "gritty," they misfired and landed in "grimy." It makes me want to shower with all the exfoliating products Sephora has to offer.
The Verdict: Well, I have word from a reputable source that this film is the goods, but I'm going to bring my travel-sized apricot scrub to the theater.

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The Best And The Brightest
The Good: NPH! Amy Sedaris! John Hodgman!
The Bad: This preview. The terrible, cheesy music backing up the "hilarious" premise of stuffy people enjoying dirty words. Blech.
The Verdict: No. No way. Not unless you tell me otherwise.

Untitled Susannah Grant TV Project
The Good: Jennifer Ehle! (aka the one, the only, Elizabeth Bennet) Patrick Wilson! (he of the pillow lips)
The Bad: The logline down there sounds like a cross between "The Ghost Whisperer," "Touched By An Angel" and "Grey's Anatomy." That's a poisonous combination. Also, did I mention that it's for CBS? CBS. Those three letters make all the smiles go away.
The Verdict: I don't think so. Oh, Lizzie, what would Mr. Darcy say?

"Centers on an ultra-competitive surgeon whose life is changed forever when his ex-wife dies and begins teaching him what life is all about from the here-after."
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Priest
The Good: Paul Bettany! Karl Urban! Maggie Q!
The Bad: That poster. Are those bats trying to evoke Batman? Is that a gattling gun motorbike? DOES THAT SAY 3D? You bastards.
The Verdict: Oh. Hell. No. Also? I saw Legion once. Don't think you can trick me into seeing it again.

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Take note, you marketing weasels, this is how you do it.

Immortals
The Bad: Isabel Lucas (who?), Daniel Sharman (no idea), Luke Evans (hunh?), Henry Cavill (supermeh), Kellan Lutz (a Twilight kid!), Mickey Rourke (you're still on notice for Iron Man 2). Also? I saw Clash of the Titans and it made me weep.
The Good: Director Tarsem Singh (if you've yet to see The Fall it's on Netflix Instant Watch), my love of Greek Mythology, THOSE BADASS MELT MY FACE OFF THEY'RE SO GORGEOUS POSTERS.
The Verdict: Yes! A thousand times yes! With bells on!

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Henry Cavill as Theseus

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Kellan Lutz as Poseidon

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Isabel Lucas as Athena (Oooo, she's blonde, I don't know how I feel about that. Nope! Still on board!)

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Daniel Sharman as Aries (Holy helmet!)

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Luke Evans as Zeus (Not even the chain in place of a thunder bolt can dampen my enthusiasm. I am all in, people.)


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