Monday, August 18, 2008

The Mudslinging of Angels

And you thought politics was the only field where denigrating your opposition was more important than promoting what you have to offer. In the Sunday arts sections of the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, the forthcoming LDS missionary-themed drama The Errand of Angels ran an ad with a unique promotional angle.

"5 More Reasons to See The Errand of Angels This Friday!" trumpeted the headline ... which then proceeded to list the current and Aug. 22 releases Pineapple Express, Death Race, The House Bunny, Mirrors and Tropic Thunder along with the detailed MPAA ratings for each one. That information -- "Rated R for strong violence and language" for Death Race, for example -- was then supplemented by handwritten-style notes. "Sick & wrong" read the scrawl for Death Race; "trashy" went the commentary for The House Bunny. In conclusion, the copy read "See something virtuous, lovely, and of good report in theaters this Friday!"

No mention is made of whether the movie is actually any good (more on that later this week). Apparently it should be sufficient for its target audience that it is not "trashy" or "sick & wrong" like its competition. I'm The Errand of Angels, and I approved this message. (Scott Renshaw)

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