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October 1999, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 12 Oct 1999 11:30:00 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (51 lines)
Stephen Brody worried:

> Colleagues - Perhaps the most intelligent movie produced by mainstream
> Hollywood since "L. A. Confidential" is in danger of dying a premature
> death.  "Three Kings" did not do as well as expected during its opening
> weekend, October 1-3, and is widely rumored to have been dropped by Warner
> Brothers promotions, even though the studio paid $50 million for it.
> Theater owners in some parts of the country requesting one of the ads that
> use a "masterpiece" blurb are being told to cut and paste it from other
> publications, according to one story.
>         The film has already been badly marketed, with its trailer
> emphasizing the "macho soldiers out on a lark"  and caper aspects, and
> making a confusing jumble of the rest.  Given this faulty marketing, and
> the fact that the film's stars are more identified with action movies than
> art, is it any wonder that people who crave intelligent filmmaking don't
> know that this is one to treasure?

Is the situation really (still) that serious?  The film has garnered
rave reviews, with only a few critics apparently misled by the
marketing or with their own reservations.  For a compilation of print
and online reviews, see the Rotten Tomatoes website at:

Between sheer "action film" box office appeal and the slower audience
build that is likely to come with critical praise, I think the film is
likely to pull through.

And not to naysay it all, I do have to worry that it might also be
overhyped.  The political views of the film are contrarian and many of
its situations and takes on generic formula are refreshing.  Still,
given advance reviews, I expected more twists on the genre and a more
downbeat ending.  The film is certainly worthy of being seen and
discussed (maybe more than SAVING PRIVATE RYAN was). It's better than
most other films out there, but it's not quite *that* cutting-edge

Don Larsson

Donald Larsson
Minnesota State U, Mankato
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