Calum Marsh October 22, 2013
Jokes about “Last Vegas” practically write themselves: it’s “The Hangover” for old people. It’s a quick paycheck for aging icons. It will no doubt feature, among other things, jokes about viagra. This kind of gentle mocking was probably always a given — the expectations are built into the concept, and the insults were bound to follow no matter how capable the execution. Social media, of course, only amplifies the response, making it easy to quickly survey the tech-savvy world of tweeting pundits to get a sense of their perception going in. Much has been made, in recent years, of the heightened effects of word-of-mouth in the social media era, when opinions are disseminated among networks so rapidly that a disliked film’s box office is almost instantly and irrevocably affected. In this climate of fickle tweeters and unpredictable popular taste, what’s a Hollywood studio with a widely mocked movie to do?
Well, if you’re CBS Films, the studio handling “Last Vegas”, you take to Twitter to shift public perceptions one person at a time. You may have even noticed yourself: if you happened to mock or demean or even so much as passingly mention “Last Vegas” anytime over the last several weeks, you may have found yourself called out and summarily corrected by somebody at CBS. Their official, verified account has been a constant source of amusement for those keeping track of this strange endeavor, which exhaustively seeks out anybody who, say, compares “Last Vegas” to “The Hangover” to inform that, why, “Last Vegas” couldn’t be further from that film.
This raises several interesting questions. First of all, who exactly is running the CBS Films account — a dedicated intern, a lowly employee instructed to make this their top priority, or maybe Robert De Niro himself? But more importantly I wonder what the purpose could possibly be. Public perception is a huge, amorphous thing, affected by an incalculable arrangement of variables. Going around and trying desperately to change the opinion of individuals could only have the most negligible effect — it would be like staging a presidential campaign by going door to door across America. This account may in fact convince one or two skeptics to see “Last Vegas” when they’d otherwise written it off, but even then it seems more likely that it will only convince people that the CBS Films twitter account is funny. You want original comedy? You got it, and in 140 characters or less.
The merits of “Last Vegas” aside — it screened for critics almost two weeks ago but remains under embargo — it’s at least worth sharing in the humor of this account. With that in mind we’ve compiled some of our favorite CBS Films responses and retorts below.
Billy Eichner thought he had a pretty good zinger worked out, but CBS Films handily one-ups the joke with a fake admission. Proof positive that these guys have a good sense of humor about their own film.
More typical of the account is something like this: a straightforward riposte to a claim that the movie is a cash-grab or a half-baked idea. You will see many, many defenses which invoke the apparent genius of screenwriter Dan Fogelman.
CBS once again takes on the haters by deferring to the basics: the film’s original vision and Oscar-calibre cast and crew. Because Jon Turteltaub, director of “National Treasure”, would never make a hackneyed movie. One thing that elevates this account above its jokey corporate contemporaries is that most branded accounts steer clear of ‘sensitive’ topics, like, say, dead sex workers. This strikes me as a pretty good way of adding a punchline without getting controversial.
Likewise with this one: this most succinct response to Alice Roth’s joke possible.
CBS Films hates comparisons to “The Hangover”, which is a little weird actually given how successful and well-liked the “Hangover” movies are. In any case, they’re not strident about it, as seen here. It’s hard to image a tweet like this actually convincing the guy above to see “Last Vegas”, but on the other hand this is way better than just straight-up telling someone that they’re wrong. Note that the original tweeter was tickled enough by CBS’ response that he re-tweeted them.They are equally capable of lightly insulting prospective audience members…
…and basically telling them they’re dumb.
On the other hand, their boasts are at least extreme enough that you can’t take the grandstanding seriously.
And they were even nice enough to shout-out our editor with a tip of the hat to CSI.
“Last Vegas” opens in theaters on November 1st.
Categories: FeaturesTags: Calum Marsh, Kevin Kline, Las Vegas, Last Vegas, Marketing, Michael douglas, Morgan freeman, Robert deniro, Twitter