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Scott Roberts
Catfish
on Oct 18, 2010 at 4:28:04 pm

I also saw this movie, Catfish, over the weekend. If you've never heard of it, please watch the trailer first:

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I will keep this spoiler free, btw.


But talk about a misleading trailer! Wow... Now that I've seen it, the shots that they used for the last, suspenseful part of the trailer are just out-of-context moments from throughout the film, that don't actually have any substantial bearing on the film itself. I actually commend the movie for its, for lack of a better word "twist", but by misleading me with that trailer it sort of takes away a lot of what they could have achieved if they didn't try and fool people. But despite sort of respecting what they did with the ending, it was still underwhelming in respect to the suspense they built up for it. It was the cinematic equivalent of being 8-years-old, running downstairs on christmas morning, grabbing the most colorful looking present you see under the tree, then opening it only to find out it's just a sweater from your aunt...

But I will give the movie credit for keeping me intrigued with the mystery, that was a nice feeling, but once it was revealed it was just a "why did I really bother seeing this?" kind of feeling. Maybe worth a Redbox if you want the brief feeling of intrigue it provides. Or if you never plan on seeing it, you can just type in "what's the ending of Catfish?" on Google...

Also, apparently the filmmakers are claiming this is 100% real... I don't know if I buy that. I'm fairly confident that if they can mislead that much with the trailer to get people in the seats, they'll have no shame in lying about the legitimacy of their "documentary" as well. I'm sure after they have their DVD run, maybe a year from now one of them will admit that it was all fake. Hey, good for them, they are doing what they can to get their movie seen and it's probably made a profit (or will make a profit). Wasn't their a (very) brief time period when The Blair Witch Project was passed off as real as well...?


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Mike Cohen
Re: Catfish
on Oct 18, 2010 at 5:28:28 pm

You make a good point about movie trailers - they often take parts of the movie that don't belong together and put them together, or simply take things out of context for dramatic/comedic effect. Then when I am watching the movie, I keep waiting for those memorable scenes from the trailer and they don't happen. Likewise, trailers sometimes use popular music which does not actually appear in the film.

But they got me to see the movie, so mission accomplished to the trailer folks!

Way off topic example - the trailer for Babies makes it look like a heartwarming film with "awww" moments at every cut. Not surprisingly they did not include in the trailer the scenes of the African babies playing with garbage, surrounded by flies and the almost constant nursing. While it was interesting to see how different cultures approach child rearing, it was a bit shocking. Not sure if that was the intent.

Ok, back to Catfish.

You sure see a lot of movies Scott.

I do too, but need to start writing them down.

Mike Cohen


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Tim Wilson
Re: Catfish
on Oct 18, 2010 at 8:30:36 pm

[Mike Cohen] "You make a good point about movie trailers - they often take parts of the movie that don't belong together and put them together, or simply take things out of context for dramatic/comedic effect."

Trailers are done MONTHS before picture is locked. In some cases, not even VFX are locked. I'm amazed that any of them bear any resemblance to the finished movies at all.

Not that they always do. I haven't seen either the movie or the trailer, but apparently National Treasure 2's trailer hinted at a subplot with a character...that both wound up being pretty much axed.

Music in trailers is often dramatically different because of the lead time. Trailers are easier to negotiate - no ancillary value or revenue sharing - so rights for those songs can fall apart for the movie...if the director even WANTS those songs.

You'll often hear lines and see shots in trailers that don't wind up in the movies -- or get fixed. In the first trailer for the awful, awful, fake and abominable if not downright EVIL prequels to the REAL Star Wars trilogy...before those too were butchered...there was a major line by Natalie Portman that she just plain flubbed. It's like they cut the trailer before ADR...which they may well have done. But it was a major hoot to hear how wrong it was. It was definitely fixed in commercials closer to release, as well as in the release itself.

It's part of the reason why movies have multiple trailers. There's more you can show as time goes on. The relative weights of things change.

Of late, John Malkovich wasn't even hinted at in the early trailers and spots for RED until very recently, even though his part is a great one. (There's also a major dynamic not hinted at in the trailers that really worked for me, a delightful surprise.)

On my list of things to do, btw: write about how much I LOVED LOVED LOVED this movie. Best of the year so far, by a crazy long shot...although I saw trailers for things that look awesome...,

Definitely looking forward to Catfish. re: real or fake, you can find a lot as you poke around, but here's my favorite:

Schulman: It gives us too much credit, though. If this were fake, then it would be ...

Joost: Yeah, we would be so much smarter than we actually are.

Schulman: Yeah, we're not that creative.

Joost: It would be amazing if we had faked it. I don't know how we would have done it, but ...


Read the rest here.

re: Blair Witch, the filmmakers didn't come clean at the time, and as much as I completely went along for the ride - still one of the most remarkable leaps of imagination I've ever been around - it was impossible to miss toward the end of the movie that there's no way that all of that footage was from those people...but seriously, what a ride the movie and the community that built up around it was.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Catfish
on Oct 18, 2010 at 9:06:11 pm

Haha is that Natalie Portman flub located somewhere I can see? I tried doing a quick search for it, couldn't locate it, I'd be very interested in laughing at that!

And in regards to the Catfish guys saying they couldn't come up with the plot themselves... yikes, they are really putting themselves down with that line. I mean (still without giving anything away), to suggest someone couldn't write the screenplay to Catfish out of their own imagination is absurd. If Catfish is too crazy an idea to not just be real, then I'm surprised that any screenplays ever get written. If coming up with ideas on par with Catfish is such a magical concept, then Charlie Kaufman's head would have exploded from stress years ago! Then again, I suppose they are just trying to be funny about it while dodging the issue.

Also in that article he said if it were fake then his brother would be the next Marlon Brando because he would be that good of an actor... That's suggesting that anyone who's ever appeared in a faux documentary is a brilliant actor. That's suggesting that the casts of The Real World are brilliant actors! They are asked to redo moments all the time because they weren't caught on camera the first go around. Not necessarily saying it's an easy thing to do, but acting like yourself in a fake documentary is not the same as being Brando playing a character. It's not even the same as Zac Efron playing a character...

All that aside, it wasn't a bad movie, just a tad misleading, and a tad underwhelming. I think I'd like it better if they just said it was fake. Joaquin Pheonix spent a year making that documentary about quitting acting to become a rapper, even he (and Casey Affleck) admitted it was fake after it was released. But maybe even the suggestion that's it's real helps it out in the long run. People still look for the Loch Ness monster, don't they?


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Tim Wilson
Re: Catfish
on Oct 22, 2010 at 5:20:26 am

[Scott Roberts] "People still look for the Loch Ness monster, don't they?"

"Incident at Loch Ness" is GREAT mockumentary featuring Werner Herzog "playing" himself, lampooning the most extreme aspects of his persona.

Ignore the low grades at Amazon. Put it in your Netflix queue.


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