Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Non-Promotion Publicity

It has been a while since I've written, but I haven't had anything that I'm passionate about to discuss. So far this blockbuster season, the superhero movies have been good enough, and television is doing that summer hiatus thing that it does. Plus, I've been outside doing other things that don't fit in to my blog's format. However, earlier this week, I heard about Jim Carrey and Kick-Ass 2. This was something that I don't understand. Carrey seems like a reasonable individual, but his reaction seems fishy to me.

The controversy is that Jim Carrey has decided not to promote the movie Kick-Ass 2.

The creator of the Kick-Ass comics Mark Millar responded by saying:
As you may know, Jim is a passionate advocate of gun-control and I respect both his politics and his opinion, but I'm baffled by this sudden announcement as nothing seen in this picture wasn't in the screenplay eighteen months ago. Yes, the body-count is very high, but a movie called Kick-Ass 2 really has to do what it says on the tin. A sequel to the picture that gave us HIT-GIRL was always going to have some blood on the floor and this should have been no shock to a guy who enjoyed the first movie so much. My books are very hardcore, but the movies are adapted for a more mainstream audience and if you loved the tone of the first picture you're going to eat this up with a big, giant spoon. Like Jim, I'm horrified by real-life violence (even though I'm Scottish), but Kick-Ass 2 isn't a documentary. No actors were harmed in the making of this production! This is fiction and like Tarantino and Peckinpah, Scorcese and Eastwood, John Boorman, Oliver Stone and Chan-Wook Park, Kick-Ass avoids the usual bloodless body-count of most big summer pictures and focuses instead of the CONSEQUENCES of violence, whether it's the ramifications for friends and family or, as we saw in the first movie, Kick-Ass spending six months in hospital after his first street altercation. Ironically, Jim's character in Kick-Ass 2 is a Born-Again Christian and the big deal we made of the fact that he refuses to fire a gun is something he told us attracted him to the role in the first place.  

Sandy Hook was a terrible tragedy, but let's remind Mr. Carrey of one that happened July 20th last year in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater. In September, Carrey was officially cast for his role in Kick-Ass 2.  Am I supposed to believe that Jim Carrey was able to forget about 12 people who lost their lives (ages 6 - 51) and the 58 others who were injured (including a 3 month old) in a month?  He received his paycheck for the role, so shouldn't Carrey put his politics aside and promote the film that he partook in? Unless he donates his entire paycheck to the victim's families of Sandy Hook, I'm going to question his motives.

So why is Carrey doing this?  Well, it makes sense if you think about it. Violence in this country has been escalating for years. My generation grew up with the media coverage of the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. They glorified that terrorist and now violence is an epidemic. It doesn't matter what event, someone always tries to blame the entertainment industry. They said that the Matrix and Marilyn Manson were the cause of Columbine…that’s BS…Michael Moore told us it was bowling. The truth is that people are mentally disturbed, but most of us curb our insanity. Now, I expect that Carrey believes that the Kick-Ass franchise will receive a lot of blowback when the next tragedy occurs. I think Carrey is covering his ass for when that happens.

But most importantly, this is all free publicity for a controversially violent film. Carrey's non-promotion of this movie has resulted in multiple days of coverage in the media. Google Jim Carrey and look at the news feed. It's a terrible thought to think that a film would use real life tragedies in order to promote their agenda of ticket sales, but as far as I can tell, this is exactly what is happening. The film's creators have yet to respond to Carrey's withdrawal of support for this film. Why is that? The media has used the violent content in the film and Carrey's reaction to run a plethora of stories regarding the politics of gun control.

So why hasn't the studio responded? My guess is that Brendan Behan had it right when he said, "There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary." But, I find it extremely difficult to believe that Carrey and a movie studio would use 26 people's obituaries to promote their fictional film, but until I see some other type of response from Carrey (other than a tweet) or hear what the studio or the director Jeff Wadlow has to say...I have to assume this is a sick and twisted marketing ploy.

Let me know what you think about this in the comments. Nerd On.