Nothing bothers me more than movies that only get limited release and then go straight to home video. It's not that I don't "get it"--on the contrary. There are some movies that the suits just don't think will make money in the theater, so they decide to print a bunch of discs and hope they can sell them to some big box store and let them get stuck trying to offload the merchandise.
for instance. That was an indy film that was done right and could have made money in the theater if marketed right, but Brick
was another one of those movies that the suits just didn't know how to market because it didn't fit nicely into a category. It was a high-school drama, a mystery, thriller and noir all in one. Granted, there wasn't a lot of star power in the film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the film's biggest star by far, and yet, I'm betting that if I didn't go down the list of his filmography you wouldn't know him. That's a shame too given he's made some pretty damned good films.The Weatherman
was another example of this phenomenon. I still haven't stopped scratching my head over this one four years later. The Weather Man
starting Nicolas Cage, Michael Cane and Hope Davis (amongst others) was directed by Gore Verbinski. There was plenty
of star power in this film. Verbinski had just finished the first Pirates
movie so there was no reason for this film to get play. It was supposed to come out in March of '05, but I vividly remember the release date slipping at least three times. When it finally came out in October, it only played at the art house in town for three weeks then left. The DVD was also a soft release.
So now we come to Choke
staring Sam Rockwell. The trailer looked great and had everyone stoked since Q3 last year. It was an adaptation of the Chuck Palahniuk's book of the same title. Now granted, it was
a first time writer/director at the helm of the project, but we're talking about a project based on a book by the guy who wrote Fight Club
. How could it be doomed to fail?
The business is getting screwy I tell you. Remember
Ron Howard's film Frost/Nixon
that was supposed to come out at Christmas but didn't do so until well after the first of the year? It got one showtime a day in town. I didn't get to see it because of the poor scheduling. The Soloist
got bumped as well--now we're looking at an April 24th date, the third such date
for the film! (If you're looking for the music in the trailer, click here
.) Hell, even Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler
had a hard time finding a wide release date.
So as much as I'd love to talk to you about Choke
today, I'm afraid I just can't do that because I haven't had the opportunity to see the movie until today--the movie's DVD release date. Some days, I feel like the studios are to release dates what Elmer Fudd is to hunting rabbits.