How Do I Know?

I want The Informant! (Warner Bros., 9.18), which certain parties saw in Los Angeles a week or two ago and which I’ll be seeing fairly soon, to be a dark and sardonic verite satire piece. A movie, I mean, that’s dryly amusing in a way that will leave Eloi viewers cold…yes! Nobody does non-laughy undercurrent humor like Steven Soderbergh. But what if the film isn’t that amusingly whatever, even for guys like myself, and the Warner Bros. poster creators are just trying to sell this idea in a flim-flammy sort of way in order to boost the first-weekend gross?

28 thoughts on “How Do I Know?

  1. Um, is it too much to ask for this to be funny, period? As long as it gets its laughs honestly, I could give two shits whether its humor comes at a broad-knuckle-dragger pace or in a dry dark-sardonic-attitude vein.

  2. “Based on a Tattle-Tale” Brilliant!

    Did this film get moved up recently? I could’ve swore it was a Nov/Dec release, and was surprised that it’ll be out by next month.

  3. What is that super-’80s song or music cue they use in all the trailers and TV spots for THE INFORMANT? I’m sure it was chosen with some irony probably by Soderbergh, but, damn, it makes this look and sound like some straight-out-of-1987 Touchstone flick like Baby Boom or Disorganized Crime or something that would star Martin Short and Lily Tomlin?

    Does anyone know what I mean? Some totally pre-irony, upbeat, horn-centric feel-good “wacky” music?

  4. That’s “Would I Lie To You,” by the Eurythmics, 1985. So you’re very close with the straight-out-of-1987 description.

    Dunno if S.S. chose it, but it does have some thematic resonance with the film proper but is not heard therein.

  5. No one does no-laugh funny like the Coens. They can go big and broad and barely elicit a chuckle. Masters. I’m of the camp that sees Soderbergh as having lost his touch. I haven’t seen Che and I did like The Girlfriend Experience, but he seems oddly disconnected from his films. There’s an air of resentment that’s difficult to peg, but impossible to miss – like he’ll forever be pissed about doing the Oceans series.

  6. I read this book a few years ago, and while it’s excellent, it’s pretty far from “wow, this is funny stuff that would make a funny movie.” The (true) tale is totally absurd, though, so I can see why and/or how S.S. might play that up.

  7. “I’m of the camp that sees Soderbergh as having lost his touch.

    I haven’t seen Che…”

    No, you certainly haven’t.

  8. erniesouchack has made me wonder whether Herb Alpert wasn’t responsible for the current illegal immigration craze.

  9. You’ve really jumped the shark with this eloi/morlock thing. I recognize the phrase “jump the shark” has jumped the sharked, but, enough already. Especially after you’re eloi-ish hissy-fit over wi-fi yesterday.

  10. Well, my friend mccool, what’s most interesting about JW’s remark about Eloi in this context is that it sounds as if he actually hopes this movie won’t make money, which I think runs pretty much counter to the desires of everybody actually involved in the making of it.

    That said…well, I’ll save it for my own review. I like the picture, think it’s both fun and funny. But it’s not what you’d call an “obvious” crowd-pleaser.

  11. I saw it and it’s great..getting the best long lead reviews of Soderbergh’s career since Traffic.
    Yes, the film has been moved up..was originally going to platform..but now opening wide and big. (oh my! sounds dirty!)
    a sign of confidence from the studio.
    Cast is stellar and Scott Burns’ script is fantastic.

  12. Damon hasn’t proven to be much of a box-office draw outside the Bourne films, has he?

    Also, may I be the first to coin the phrase “hoi Eloi?” You can use it but, please…credit where due!

  13. English Bob, that hardly matters. Seriously. there’s a good chance Damon is still gonna be a big star 20 yrs from now. I can tell you that his films open well in the midwest. He’s beloved out here. People really feel he is down-to-earth because you don’t seem him making an ass of himself like the rest of Hollywood. Plus, he’s a damn good actor. Looking forward to this and everything else he does.

  14. I prefer my Soderbergh films smaller (budget-wise, I mean) and more off-kilter than this will likely be.

    I’ll still see it, of course.

  15. when he has to promote the film with all 3 Ocean movies, I just don’t want to put up with it. I still feel cheated out of life from seeing Ocean’s 12 on an airplane without earphones.

  16. re: Amazon five-star “rave reviews”.

    That’s funny. Saw a nearly identical comment on Playlist (long lead acclaim. Stellar score) and had EXACTLY the same response. OTT spin, but too cliched even for PR. Wasn’t sure sure if it was satire or someone’s mom.

    Nothing to do with film of course. But so true that bromidic raves = harbingers of Doom. “Must Read”. HA .

  17. Wait a minute, Eloi? Is Wells literally claiming that he’s a Morlock?

    Sounds right to me, but I wouldn’t have expected him to say it first.

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