Thoughts On: Hugo (Marketing Edition)

Marketing Guy: Hey, I'm back from the screening.  Scorsese's got a new picture.

Other Marketing Guy: Italian-American mobsters. F-bombs.  Disappointingly few boobs.

Marketing Guy: No.

Other Marketing Guy: Irish mobsters then. At least the F-bombs will be cheery.

Marketing Guy: No... it's a kid's movie.

Other Marketing Guy: Kid's movie?

Marketing Guy:  It's a magical Christmas kid's movie, dude. Full of nostalgia and whimsy.

Other Marketing Guy:  Like … like, what, Robert Zemeckis, sacharine-til-I-puke magical Christmas kid movie?

Marketing Guy: Well, not really.  There's a kid in it.  Though I can't imagine a kid actually watching this thing.  But it's from the kid's point of view.  And there's snow. I remember snow.  So Christmas movie, right?

Other Marketing Guy: It's a Martin-Scorsese-directed, kinda kid movie. And we're supposed to sell that?

Marketing Guy:  It's in 3-D.

Other Marketing Guy: Oh!... Wait, what?

Marketing Guy:  With nostalgia and whimsy.

Other Marketing Guy: Okay, nostalgia and whimsy.

Marketing Guy: Well, nostalgia for the birth of cinema… and whimsy at being able to echo its effect with the 3D conceit.  Y'know, like the audience who supposedly ducked out of the way when they first saw the film called L'ArrivĂ©e d'un Train en Gare de la Ciotat?  And this is a 3D film. Get it?

Other Marketing Guy:

Marketing Guy: ...

Other Marketing Guy: What the s**t?

Marketing Guy: Yeah. I know.

Other Marketing Guy:  What's it about?

Marketing Guy:  This French kid's dad is dead and he's an orphan--

Other Marketing Guy: F***ing wonderful. Sells itself.

Marketing Guy: -- he lives in a train station and he takes an interest in this old toy maker who's kind of a sad, cranky douche. And there's this robot.

Other Marketing Guy:  Finally. Okay. Robot.  Talk to me.

Marketing Guy:  Well, it's a turn of the century automaton, really.  It doesn't, like, move or speak or anything.

Other Marketing Guy:  Well that certainly lends itself to 3D.

Marketing Guy:  Yeah.  About as much as all of Scorsese's patented camera movement and concept shots.  Speaking of which.  Aspirin?

Other Marketing Guy: Bottom drawer.

Marketing Guy: Anyway, this is not unmanageable.  We run a commercial with this thing in it, it'll look like a it's a movie about See Threepio and a kid living together in a magical railway station.

Other Marketing Guy: Okay, okay. We can work with that. Who's in it?

Marketing Guy: British kid, Hit Girl, Borat, and Ghandi, and they're all playing Parisians.

Other Marketing Guy:  Now you're just busting my balls

Marketing Guy:  Jude Law's in it.

Other Marketing Guy:  Well, that's something--

Marketing Guy:  For five minutes, before the credits.

Other Marketing Guy:  Christ.  Well, too bad.  In the commercial he goes.  So, let me guess, what, the kid and the cranky old douche are raped to death by Nazis at the end, right?

Marketing Guy:  No, no, it's got a happy ending, I swear.  Well, it's really sad for a long time, cause the ole douche is really sad and really cranky and can't face his horrible, horrible past.  Like we're constantly reminded what horrific heartbreak he's been through.  Finally, you're sitting there wondering who got killed or who he had to kill, or whatever.  And it's all up to the kid to healing the old man's impossibly broken heart.

Other Marketing Guy:  >Sigh.< So what's the mystery?

Marketing Guy:  I don't wanna say.

Other Marketing Guy:  Dude, it's not like I'm gonna sit through this. Just tell me.

Marketing Guy:  No, it's not that I don't want to spoil it or anything.  It's like this huge dramatic buildup--

Other Marketing Guy:  Okay, now you have to tell me.

Marketing Guy: Um… he was… he was a famous film director and now he's not anymore.  And then the last ten minutes are like "Hoorah for obscure, genius film directors!"

Other Marketing Guy:  …

Marketing Guy:  Remember: you demanded I tell you.

Other Marketing Guy:  Yes. Yes I did.

Marketing Guy:  You did.

Other Marketing Guy:  No denying I did.

Marketing Guy:  So, commercials: Jude Law, See Threepio, magic railway station, 3D, 3D, 3D--right?

Other Marketing Guy:  F**king definitely, dude.