I caught a TV ad today for Nicolas Cage’s Bangkok Dangerous, and joltingly realized that it’s becoming more and more likely this movie actually exists. Since Lionsgate is again hewing to its seemingly standard policy of not screening the movie in advance (see Disaster Movie, The Midnight Meat Train), I had fallen into a half-belief that the film was a hallucination on my part — that the trailer was pieced together from National Treasure outtakes and maybe footage from a honeymoon vacation and the Asian swing of an international press tour Cage did with the aforementioned film.
Professionally, when a movie isn’t screening in advance, sometimes I’ll still nab a review on opening day (see above examples), but, on a more personal level, I find that mentally I start to write these films off, and just discount their very existence. Wonkish, profit-protecting studio number-crunchers would obviously disagree, but I tend to think that a sizeable portion of the film-going public actually thinks like this as well. Yes, they see the TV ads and billboards, but when the free-media onslaught includes absolutely no reviews, they smell an attempted put-on.