In typical Hollywood fashion, and because movie studios think human beings aren’t smart enough to separate fact from fiction, Warner Brothers has pulled their movie trailers for their new Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone film Gangster Squad (a story based on true events where a squad of off-the-books police in 1940s & 50s Los Angeles go after the gangster Mickey Cohen and other unsavories) because the preview contains the squad opening fire on a theater full of people with tommy guns.
Gawker has the story up now, complete with the entire trailer intact. Who knows how long it’ll stay that way. However, we also have it up on last week’s Trailer Hook-Up, until they take that away, too. The scene that has them wetting their collective pants is right at the end where they come through the movie screen.
Listen, I’m probably in the minority, but doing stuff like this is ridiculous. Yes, there was a tragedy. Yes, it was disgusting and awful. Changing this trailer or anything similar isn’t going to change that. The idea of “too soon” is a joke for a reason. We, as a people, can still grieve without being glad-handed. It’s almost more insulting to think people can’t handle it. I’ve been in situations like this, where people want to think for me because I’m grieving or upset. Am I the only person that just gets more incensed when that happens? I can’t be.
When I was in high school, there was a football movie called The Program. In it, the football players get drunk and lay on the center line of a road / highway for the rush of having cars blow past them, in an act of idiocy / courage / “good under pressure” / whatever bullshit thing. Well, as some of you probably know, a bunch of kids saw that movie, just like I did with my high school football team, and they went out and tried it. Sure enough, some of these geniuses got run over by large steel motor vehicles and killed. They ended up taking that scene out of future showings of the film two days later. (The only version of the film with the scene intact is on a Hong Kong Laserdisc. I’m not joking).
There’s always going to be a few stupid people, and there’s always going to be a majority that aren’t. Taking that scene out of the movie doesn’t bring the dead kids back, just like pulling the trailers for this new film doesn’t solve any of the repugnant awfulness in Aurora, Colorado. It’s just a knee-jerk reaction that some folks will claim to be noble now and then later down the road, some asshole on a blog will reference it when something else bad happens and someone makes some bizarre grandiose gesture to try to ease the hearts and minds of America. Don’t dress up false kindness in a borrowed robes. You’re trying to cover your own ass, and you don’t even have to, dammit.
If something should be done, how about we explain to each other that movies and t.v. don’t kill people. Neither do video games. Or books, even. Maybe we should teach our children the difference between right and wrong and how a movie isn’t real life. What’s next? Shutting down all future showings of The Dark Knight Rises, because it happened DURING that movie? Isn’t it bad enough that the people actually affected by this will never feel safe in a theater again or be able to see Batman without cringing? We don’t change things BECAUSE of that. Letting one crazy piece of shit with a gun change things is exactly what he wanted. He wanted his name in the papers and to be remembered. He’s going to get that. 100% without doubt. Don’t give him any more.
If you want to REALLY do something, how about giving blood. Give money to the families. Pay for medicine and hospital bills. Pay for funerals. You cutting 10 seconds out of a movie trailer is hardly noble. It’s an obvious, transparent and unequivocally FALSE reaction to something you can’t fix. Just stop before the dam breaks and we all drown.
–Murdock (Note: I don’t speak for either Sullivan or Dwight on this matter. This is all me. I have no idea what they think. But if you take issue with anything I’ve said, you know how to find me.)