Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Tagline of the week: Courtesy of Domino

“Heads you live. Tails you die.”

This is the unofficial tagline for the film Domino. We hear actress Keira Knightly say these words as the screen fades to black in the last five seconds of the trailer .

Domino is Tony Scott’s latest directorial endeavor, a film apparently based on the true story of Domino Harvey, the daughter of Hollywood actor Lawrence Harvey. As a young woman, Domino Harvey was ramped up to be the next big supermodel out of the Ford Modeling agency, but instead decided to forgo her privileged lifestyle and become a criminal bounty hunter. Keira Knightly plays the lead role of Domino and quite openly admits that she based her character very, very loosely on the actual individual. In fact, the trailer begins by showing the text: Based on a true story…..sort of.

This is the kind of thing that drives me up the wall. There are films that are based closely and accurately on real events and people, like Shattered Glass based on the Stephen Glass scandal at the New Republic. Then there are completely original, fictional works like Evil Dead. But please, none of this partially, kinda true story B.S., attempting for some sort of half-assed credibility. Not to mention the fact that horror movies like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror boldly proclaim during opening credits that they are based on a true story. The phrase “based on a true story” has become as trite in Hollywood as the “and they lived happily ever after.”

The cast of Domino is quite intriguing. It has your good old standbys like Christopher Walken and Jacqueline Bisset, but it also lists a wide variety of other stars (and in some cases former stars) in what I can only assume will be cameo roles. This list includes Mo’Nique, Macy Gray, Ian Zeiring, and Brian Austin Green among many others. Hold on, I know you’re thinking, did I just hallucinate seeing the names Ian Zering and Brian Austin Green? No, I can assure you, you didn’t. The whole supporting cast sounds like a mixer between the casts of 90210 and a Ludacris video.

I think Keira Knightly is a pretty good actress. She certainly has the looks, and she was good in Pirates of the Carribean and Bend it like Beckham, but mezzo-mezzo in the Jacket, and the God awful Love Actually. I buy the model portion of the character, but she better have done some major buffing up to convince me that she can lift anything heavier than a green bean, let alone an AK47 in each arm.

“Heads you live. Tails you die.”

Funny how if you take away the a couple s’ the tagline just takes on a whole different meaning. Don’t get your hopes up boys, I think Keira has a nudity clause.


Blogger Mike said...

I should remind you that one of the best movies of the past 10 years, FARGO, also started with "Based on a true story." It was not. It wasn't even close to being true.

The Coen Brothers were being farcical; I assume the producers of this movie are going with a similar "wry" quality, but my bet is that they end up sucking.

4:38 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

I totally forgot about FARGO. But like you said it was farcical. With this one, not so much....

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

every good writer puts part of his or her life in everything they write. so it could be said that every movie is "based on a true story". and you dont have to be super buff to be a bounty hunter. sure "dog" the bounty hunter (on TLC with theme song by OZZY) is super buff but there are many ways to skin a cat or catch a bail jumper. you are prolly right but why dont we wait and see. no need to get all excited here.

12:44 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

It is true. Every good writer does put part of their life and experiences in their work, which means there are truths in every story. However, these films often use the phrase to connote some sort of noteriety and prestige, which is just a cheap marketing trip. There are many ways to skin a cat, but if you watch the trailer for the film, they're not really going for mind over matter here, the girl is supposed to be armed and dangerous.

9:22 AM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i also seem to recall an academy award winner for best picture about a brilliant mathematician battling schizophrenia. screenplay was based on the book about his life ... but completely erased the homosexual tendencies of the protagonist in favor of focusing on a stronger relationship with his wife. based on a true story ... but edited for potentially "controversial" content. thoughts?

12:03 PM  
Blogger The New Yorker said...

Um....a personal conflict of interest prevents me from full disclosing my feelings on that film. I'll plead the fifth on that one.

11:40 AM  
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