Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Way Too 70s To Fly Today

Not the poster. It's not 70s at all -- lacks the charm of that era. It's way 80s, complete with the number 8 for the letter B in the title. 8ogus, man.

Trailer/premise/setting/locations, though, those are totally 70s, maybe 60s. Exactly what you would have looked forward to seeing (as a kid, probably) on TV, with its massive16-inch screen, late on a Saturday night.

Thing is, today, we ain't got radio. Well, it's there, it still exists, yeah, but when was the last time you tuned in? Who listens to radio anymore?

And, how is this flick plugged into any sort of contemporary vibe? That is, what secret radio station is this? There is no talk or urban legend, no pop myth along these lines.

I'll give it its due. These coded broadcasts were used during World War II especially in England, but nobody today says, "Yeah, man. There are secret agents getting their orders via that secret radio station. Operates in the 10 meter band. Everybody knows that."

Has anyone ever brought this idea up in a conversation? In the last 30 years? WWII was a long time ago. The idea has faded. People today simply don't know. Young people (the target audience) can hardly read an analogue clock anymore let alone care about some (Oooooh!!!!) secret radio station. 

And, what about logistics? Why use radio? Why not just phone or email the hitman? If you broadcast the message, even in code, it's out there -- people will know something is going on. Plus, codebreakers will always be hacking away. If you email your operative nobody knows and, even if they do, even if they get their hands on the email, it's encoded right? They won't be able to read it. If broadcasting coded top-secret orders for the whole world to hear is okay then emailing them (or a simple phone call) would be at least as good an idea.

We had some very cool tech thrillers back in the day. 'The Conversation' (1974) comes to mind. But, this? Today? No way. 'The Numbers Station' won't hook an audience. Nobody cares about radio. They might as well have had the secret message encoded in newspaper articles. While that was a common enough motif in movies from the 40s through the Cold War it's not what you'd call scintillating today.

This is basically the same roll of the dice as low-budget single-location B-horror. Most of the action (it looks like, judging from the trailer) takes place in this underground (dark, filled with shadows, cheap as a production location) bunker. Sort of like 'Safe House' with Denzel and Ryan except they stay in the house the whole time. Just doesn't have an appeal. No sexy Bond-esque globetrotting, no exotic locations...just that bunker, those dark passage ways, those shadows. Who will want to see that?

We'll find out in April. That's when the distributor will test the waters with a release in Denmark.

April, Denmark. That already tells us something.


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