What We Learned This Week: April 30-May 6

LESSON #1: DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU MARKETING MAKES SUCCESSFUL MOVIES— With a June 2nd release on the horizon, little articles have begun to stack up talking about the marketing or lack thereof for Warner Bros.’s “Wonder Woman.”  Outrage is a strong word for those posts questioning the soft push of PR, but curiosity is definitely fitting.  Because it’s a female-centered film, the debate has naturally skewed to feminism and favoritism for negative buzz, even with the assumed logic for waiting through the early May competitors and a site like Forbes defending the marketing push strategy entirely.  People are questioning everything from studio confidence to the unseen film’s quality.  Let me help detach you from this quicksand of hype with the title statement of this lesson.  Marketing can no doubt boost a film’s buzz, but we’ve seen it overdone. Without question, the number one marketing tool that costs zero dollars for any studio is WORD OF MOUTH.  Good movies sell themselves.  Make a good movie and people will come, period.  Come back, June 2nd and pass judgment then.  Just be happy it hasn’t been marketed like this:

LESSON #2: JOHNNY DEPP REALLY IS THE ASSHOLE WE THOUGHT HE WAS— A scathing 45-page complaint was published this week from one of Johnny Depp’s former managers and, boy, oh boy, is it damning.  His aloof snob bit appears to not be an act.  The reports of domestic abuse surrounding Depp have been building for a while, but the new stuff coming to light adds even more mold to the old bread.  Indecent legal settlements, high personal demands, and crazy financial woes are just the bullet points.  I’ve called Johnny Depp a hack for years.  I think we can add a few more derogatory titles to his business card.

LESSON #3: THERE IS SO MUCH FUN TO BE HAD IN “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2”— Aaron White and I from Feelin’ Film were lucky enough (thanks, press credentials!) to see “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” in advance and, hot damn, it is a whole lot of fun.  Here’s my review.  Without spoiling it (that’s the podcast’s job), there are so many morsels, nuggets, moments, traits, and choices that made the sequel a stellar piece of entertainment.  For a fun behind-the-scenes list, check out this piece from /Film.  Go see this film immediately.

DON SHANAHAN is a Chicago-based film critic writing on his website Every Movie Has a Lesson.  He is also one of the founders and the current directors of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle.  As an elementary educator by day, Don writes his movie reviews with life lessons in mind, from the serious to the farcical.  As a contributor here on Feelin’ Film, he’s going to expand those lessons to current movie news and trends.  Find “Every Movie Has a Lesson” on Facebook, Twitter, Medium, and Creators Media.

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