Tuesday, August 4

Memphis, we have a problem.

If you've devoured Michael Lewis's endlessly fascinating The Blind Side (as I have) and followed the amusing updates of cameos by Saban, the Orgeron, et al in the upcoming film adaptation (ditto), then you've probably been waiting with bated breath for the film's wide release in November. If that's the case, then Chris Mottram is going to throw some very cold water on those dreams, for he's got the film's trailer up over at Mr. Irrelevant, and . . . well, see for yourself:

How am I disappointed in thee, "Blind Side" trailer? Let me count the ways:

1. It's all about Sandra Bullock. Not that the woman Bullock plays, Leigh Anne Tuohy, wasn't an integral part of the story Lewis told in his book; she worked as hard as, if not harder than, anyone to lift Michael Oher up out of poverty. But she wasn't the main character in the book; she looks like she's going to be the main character in the movie. And that probably means that . . .

2. We've got another white-woman-saves-poor-aimless-black-people story on our hands. You could, if you were so inclined, condense The Blind Side down to that very cursory description, and to some extent film adaptations can only ever be stripped-down, USA Today versions of the books on which they're based, but still, The Blind Side was so much deeper and more complex than that. We could've gotten at least an attempt at translating that complexity to the screen, but instead it looks like what we're going to get is a lot more along the lines of Sandra Bullock being, in the words of Jack Donaghy, "Michelle Pfeiffer to your angry black kid who learns that poetry is just another way to rap."

3. The "You threaten my son, you threaten me" scene. Is my memory of the book completely faulty, or did that never actually happen? Someone telling Mike Oher to "sleep with one eye open"? What are your cheap gangsta theatrics doing in my peanut butter?

4. The use of The Fray's "How to Save a Life" in the first part of the trailer. Of the grown men I've known who have ever expressed any affinity for that song (or The Fray in general), all of them fell into at least one of two categories: a) Guys who had at least circumstantial evidence against their heterosexuality and b) guys who played it on their guitars so they'd look brooding and sensitive enough to pull in chicks. I've kind of gotten off topic here, but the point is The Fray has no place in any film that purports to be about sports.

Bright spots? Well, Quinton Aaron looks suitably mountain-sized to pass as Michael Oher (no mean feat), and Sandra Bullock is smokin' hot as a blonde. And there's always the cameos by Saban and Orgeron to look forward to. (Window treatments FTW!) Otherwise, it looks suspiciously like we've got some heavy football movie/chick flick miscegenation going on here, and the outlook, as the Magic 8-Ball might say, is not good. We'll have to save the final verdict for November 20, of course, but this grand jury is still prepared to at least hand down an indictment.


Josh M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josh M. said...

Can't see the trailer on my work computer, so I'm commenting blind. But I wouldn't worry about the trailer being Bullock-centric, because of course it's going to be Bullock-centric.

She just had the biggest hit of her entire career, and the thinking is that men are going to come to this anyway. Get the women interested in a football flick, and you have a $100 million hit on your hands. Her trailer presence might not be reflective of the final film.

And though I don't care for The Fray, I do like that song. Or did, before it was wildly overplayed.

Tommy said...

This will suck, suck, suck. Movies that try to have something for everyone wind up having nothing for anyone. Hate seeing this done to a Michael Lewis book, but I should've known that, Sandra Bullock's involvement meant this project was taking the express train to Suckville.

dstarnes said...

I hate that crappy actress from "The Bus"

Oliver said...

SCREENPLAY FAIL (I don't know how it's even possible to ruin that great book... actually now I do)

Kristen said...

Anybody with high hopes for this film needs to go listen to the recent hilarious "Origin Story" This American Life episode on NPR, where Peter Sagal talks about how his screenplay on the Cuban revolution eventually became ... "Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights." Seriously, it's hysterical.


Unknown said...

I'm inclined to agree with Josh M but that's more out of hope rather than expectation.