Welcome to the Weekly Movie Thread! Here we discuss films that have touched our lives, films that have been somewhat forgotten, films that you would recommend and some that you won’t. Deep into the summer season, I have to ask you one question: can I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey?
This week the Weekly Movie Thread experiences some “joygasm.” It’s the anniversary of the film that, in 1995, had the highest opening weekend of all time: Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever. RIP Joel, and I can confidently say that even when I didn’t particularly like your movies, you did make them memorable. It is with zero sarcasm that I say that you will be missed.
We may have different opinions on the film. There are those who put it on the “worst movies of all time” lists. Others who think that the movie is “underrated.”
There’s one thing that almost everyone agrees on: that album that inspired the film? It’s fantastic.
I’ve probably purchased the Batman Forever soundtrack at least three times in my life. (Also purchased more than once: the Crow, Forrest Gump, and Shrek soundtracks.) It’s got that rocking “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” from U2, “Bad Days” from the Flaming Lips, and the inescapable “Kiss From A Rose” from Seal.
Of course, not all of the songs were featured in the movie. Hey, it was the 90’s. It was the era of “songs inspired by the film.”
In retrospect, it was a horizontal marketing strategy. Put out a song that will play on MTV. The video was invariably include clips of the film as advertisement to anyone who’s just got MTV on all day. (Remember when there was criticism that music video were just ads? Well… at some point the movie advertising folks took this to heart.) Sell compilation albums in an era where singles were kind of expensive and you were getting bang for your buck by buying CD’s from various artists. The CD’s themselves were ads for the film. Rinse and repeat to market films to jaded Gen-X’ers who thought they were above selling out to the corporation.
But you know what? On the flip side, these soundtracks really did introduce me to a bunch of artists that I wouldn’t have ever checked out initially. The original may be been cynical marketing, but there was a soul beating underneath.
I don’t know if I ever want to see Batman Forever again… but “The Riddler” by Method Man will always find its way back onto my Superhero Mix List every single time.
Today’s prompt: What is your favorite movie marketing tie-in?
It doesn’t have to be an “inspired by” soundtrack. It could be the Scarface video game. Is it a movie novelization, which somehow are still being written and still making the New York Times bestseller’s lists like the adaptation of 2014’s Gareth Edward film, Godzilla? (More recently: did you know there are movie novelizations of Bloodshot and Sonic the Hedgehog?) Or it could be a Jar Jar Binks Taco Bell cup.