This DIY ad campaign, “Obama in 30 Seconds,” with the winner getting guaranteed national rotation and some free loot, seems like both a very good and very bad idea at the same time — the latter mainly because of the loons it will bring out. I was swayed a bit, however, by looking at some of the entries for the previous contest from 2004, “Bush in 30 Seconds” — especially the winner, which is thoughtfully restrained. The submission period runs March 27 through April 1 (a bad end deadline), and in addition to first-round online voting, final entries will be judged by an intriguing 24-person panel that includes Ben Affleck, Moby, Matt Damon, Naomi Wolf, Julia Stiles, Eddie Vedder, Oliver Stone, Jesse Jackson and Ted Hope. So have at it, all you politically agitated aspirant filmmakers. One question, though — whither the DIY John McCain ad campaign?
The trailer for Deception (20th Century Fox, April 25), formerly titled The Tourist, is online and in theaters, pegged to this weekend’s Shutter, and it crackles like nicely made genre fare should. Starring Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams and Maggie Q, with a bit of Natasha Henstridge also thrown in for good measure, the film is centers on a workaholic number-cruncher who gets introduced to a white-collar sex club by a slick lawyer, only to become a suspect in a woman’s disappearance and and possibly bigger crimes.
As the overwhelmed accountant who has to account for his actions, McGregor is back in nebbishy mode, something he does surprisingly well, for those who might have forgotten. Jackman, meanwhile, is the slick power broker. It looks like a combination that works, these two playing off of one another. Despite the fact that its title is now completely anonymous, and will likely eventually share shelf space with some Shannon Tweed straight-to-video “erotic thriller,” Deception looks stylish, fun and well put together. The trailer seemingly conveys a few of the twists — chiefly just that it will eventually be a game of tables-turned retribution — but mainly strikes a nice balance between the lurid and the conventional, which is what this collision-of-worlds conceit is all about. For more information on the movie, click here.