Driving around Los Angeles, there are only two films being advertised on the city’s billboards. This is astonishing, because this is the movie capital of the world and there is normally shit going on – usually. But there are only two, and one of them, Cinderella, which is what you think it is – a huge Disney live-action remake – occupies about an eighth of the available ad space. Everywhere else – and I mean everywhere else – every billboard from Hollywood to West LA, from Santa Monica to the Deep Valley – is advertising a flick called GET HARD.
The billboards bend over backwards (not literally) to tell you what the film is: It’s Will Ferrell as a White Man going to prison, and Kevin Hart as a Back Man training him to survive once incarcerated. The tag line – “An Education in Incarceration” – was probably also the pitch. And the supplement posters – those cheaper ones that are placed on hoardings, trying to look “street cool” but obviously no less Studio than the big ones – are everywhere. You can’t turn around in Los Angeles without being aware of this film. And it’s ruining the brand of the film with every turn.
It’s bad. The fact that this film – which has a perfectly decent “hi-concept” premise – infiltrates my eyes everywhere I walk, drive, turn – is annoying. I have no idea how heavily it’s being promoted in other cities, but in Los Angeles, it’s absolutely bonkers. Why? Why possibly take up every billboard? Isn’t seeing the name – and the actors – and the concept – of the film seven times a day enough? Does it have to be seventy times a day?
The last time I remember a film being this plastered all over LA was the Zach and Downey road trip flick Due Date. Lest anyone forget. Overkill is overkill.