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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (“leaked” redband trailer)

This showed up online over the holiday weekend, ostensibly a pirated version shot in a movie theater. Movieline calls it Sony being sneaky:

· An ostensibly pirated, surreptitiously taped red-band trailer has accrued 1.4 million views (and counting) in less than three days — and has yet to be pulled down by YouTube, which routinely, aggressively polices such videos with its studio partners.

· The soundtrack — an industrial-electronic cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” by Trent Reznor and Karen O — is crisp, clear and in stereo.

· As indicated by The Hollywood Reporter, YouTube-watchers traced the uploader “dobvlvstiuwir” to the Netherlands; Sony reps told the publication they believed the video was uploaded after being captured at a Stateside Hangover Part II screening.

· There’s no one else in the theater — no heads, no bodies, no noise, nothing.

Movieline also nails why this is a bad thing:

It’s about Hollywood marketing in general — how consumers who are threatened with prison time and/or a fine for pirating movies are sold on a movie by the impression that it was pirated. Studios’ disavowal of guerrilla tactics by fans eager to get any taste they can of an anticipated film, then the application of those same tactics by studio marketers seeking the biggest viral bang for their buck. You try to play by the rules, but one day you wake up and suddenly there are no rules. The studio, the filmmaker and the MPAA are all implicated in a gambit that assumes you and I will bite at anything, when we’ve long conditioned ourselves to uphold their antiquated, old-media standards. Because that’s how it’s supposed to be. Or something.

Though also, this:

All that said: “The Feel Bad Movie of Christmas” is one of the best taglines ever.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opens in the U.S. and Canada on December 21, and in the U.K. on December 26.

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