Posted at 4:12 PM on February 15, 2006
by Euan Kerr
I am never sure if I am just late to the game on these things, but I had a strange experience when trying to find out some information on a movie opening up in a couple of weeks. It's called "Running Scared" and I received an invitation to an advanced screening next week. Not knowing anything about the movie, I did the usual google search to see what might come up, and quickly found the official "Running Scared" site.
This was clearly not the Billy Crystal/Gregory Hines vehicle from the mid-80's.
There on the front page (after a cool flash presentation drew the outline of a snub-nosed revolver and then morphed it into the real thing) the site offered the chance to watch the first six minutes of the film: "UNCUT!"
Being a sucker for free things, I clicked on the link and immediately ran into an age verification page. That's when I read the ratings box a little more closely and saw the line about "pervasive strong brutal violence and language, sexuality and drug content." Someone was obviously trying to make sure this didn't get before younger eyes.
I'm always reluctant to fill in registration boxes I run across on the net because they seem just to spawn more spam. So I clicked on the "learn more" button and found the following paragraph:
"Verify Me is an international fraud prevention, age and identity verification service that integrates a government-issued ID database check, algorithms and web-based signature capture. The service provides merchants and government agencies with Patriot Act compliance and compliance with age verification laws and guidelines."
"Patriot Act compliance"? ULP!
I decided I didn't want to sign up. Then I quickly found something else: two graphic novel versions of the first six minutes. One had the age verifier on it. The other didn't, but is bloody enough to make me wonder what the "mature" version contains. So while trying to protect some people in the web audience from the actual film, you get the gratuitous violence anyway.
Of course, it's all about marketing. If I fill in the form, I trade my info for seeing a few minutes of the film, and New Line has not only done a good job of drawing me in, it has a way of getting back to me too! It is kind of irritating.
It actually looks like an intriguing plot about a low-level mobster (played by "The Fast and the Furious" pretty boy Paul Walker, looking a lot less pretty) whose job it is to dispose of "hot" weapons. When he loses a traceable gun used in a cop-killing things get nasty.
I'm not sure yet whether I'll check out the actual movie, but the site rubbed me the wrong way just enough to make me think I won't. So much for marketing eh?
Go see the movie - it's awesome! And, yes, extremely intense. But worth it.
You really need to see this movie. It's fast-paced, and has you glued to the edge of your seat the entire time. It's not violent in the sense that people are getting their heads chopped off, and getting tourtured, it just has a great deal to do with guns. A lot of guns. But very good none the less.