Movie Marketing Madness: Aeon Flux

I remember years ago occastionally watching the animated version of Aeon Flux. It seemed cool enough but honestly I don’t think I watched enough of it for a long enough period of time to really get the whole mythology/backstory on what was happening and why. I did know that the main character was smoking hot and that it seemed like she was fighting some overwhelming government conspiracy but couldn’t get past that. All I ever caught seemed to be variations on the character Aeon Flux climbing up – or occasionally down – an elevator or ventilation shaft.

So news of the movie didn’t exactly cause me to break out into song. In fact I reacted in the same way I did when I heard they were making a movie of Tomb Raider. That would be, “Really?” In this case, though, I thought they could at least digitally enhance the chest of whoever would play the lead. When I heard it was Charlize Theron taking the part I figured that was good but that Theron would be squatting and pissing all over her Monster-earned acting credibility. Now shes’ doubling up on that by simultaneously shitting on the good will she earned with North Country.

The Posters

The teaser poster just featured an enormous eye looking out from a triangle that seemed to be painted on a concrete wall. I don’t know if that means something in the context of the story but for the uninitiated it was meaningless. It kind of reminded me of a Big Brother type feeing but that’s about it. I think this was created prior to the casting of Theron so the

There have been a few posters released since then. The first couple were pretty cool, with an image of Theron as Flux painted against that same wall looking background. One was a more or less full body shot, with her body pointed away from the camera but looking back over the shoulder as she pulled a gun out of a holster on her back. The other was a closer-perspective of that same image, only this time with a swath of red across her, as if a piece of paper had been ripped away.

The final theatrical poster takes the latter image but instead of a drawing it’s a photographic shot of Theron, with a crowd just beyond her set against some tall imposing looking columns. It’s probably my favorite of the batch since it’s a photo-shot and more accurately portrays the smooth, sleek lines that not only Theron but also the entire movies seems to have.

The Trailers

There’s just enough backstory here to present the world of Aeon Flux as a sort of post-apocolyptic 1984-esque society, with a repressive and secretive government that dissappears people at will and a lone group of outsiders fighting against it. Most of the emphasis, though, is on the action set pieces that make up the film. There are plenty of shots of Theron kicking the asses of anonymous government soldiers and flunkies and of her is tight revealing outfits, sometimes at the same time. It’s not bad and is definetly designed to attract fanboys looking for material to ponder as they retreat to their parent’s bathroom.

The Website

The “Photo Gallery” that is at the top of the list of sections is pretty robust. I can’t even estimate the number of stills here, most of which are taken directly from the trailer. You can either use the cool bubble navigation system at the bottom of the screen or the gallery will automatically run as a slide-show for you. “About the Film” contains the usual mix of material on the production, a synopsis of the story and so on.

“Features” is fully stocked with goodies. First is a Timeline tracking the evolution of the walled city that serves as the background for the story. Characters doesn’t go into much depth but at least gives you a sentence or two of biographic material on the main players. Fan Art is a great feature by Paramount that allows fans to submit their original artwork for display on the site. Production Art is just what it sounds like. The geeks will have further fun with an original online comic book produced by Dark Horse Comics, the Comiccon Presentation of the movie and a Teaser Introduction that is a bit lame but is slickly put together nonetheless.

There’s nothing out of the ordinary in “Downloads” so unless you’re looking for something specific don’t bother. Same with “Media”. The cross-promotion efforts get into full swing in the next few sections. “Video Game”, “Animated DVD Collection” and “Comic Book Miniseries” all are there to make visitors aware of the releases of those products, which are intended to help sell the movie and which the movie is intended to help sell. Each of these sections has trailers, episode guides, downloads and other such things as are appropriate.

Overall

Not bad. I initally thought this movie looked like crap but now I think it looks like very well made crap, like the people behind it really are trying to make a decent movie. Whether or not they were successful is up in the air since Paramount decided to forgoe advanced press screenings of the movie, a move which does not inspire confidence. I’m a little concerned that everything seemed to draw from the same scenes presented in the trailer, something that makes me think there’s not much else to the movie. The release of the movie at the height of Oscar season makes me think they know they have a bad one on their hands and so were not counting on it to be a summer tentpole type release. If any of you out there see it over the weekend please drop your reviews in the comments for me.

X-Men 3 teaser trailer description

Scott Chitwood at ComingSoon has a blow-by-blow description of the upcoming teaser trailer for X-Men 3. It contains a lot of shots of Wolverine and Storm, as well as some shots of new (to the movie series, at least) characters Beast and Angel. Go on over there for the full account. This is expected to be attached to King Kong when it opens in a week or so but will be online after this weekend. Stay tuned for more on this.