It’s unusual to see two trailers for the same film that (a) use different titles and (b) present the film in a somewhat different light. The movie is Jake Goldberger ‘s Don McKay (Image Entertainment, 4.2), a spider’s web drama that plays like a cut-rate Coen brothers film. It’s fairly awful. Drink hemlock, stab yourself with a pen knife, jump off a 30-story building, etc.
McKay played at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival. And yet last fall a trailer used the title Moment of Truth, and a YouTube blurb called it a “darkly comedic thriller noir.” About five weeks ago a new trailer for Truth, re-titled as Don McKay, sold it as a straight Fatal Attraction-type melodrama.
Directed and written by Goldberger, Don McKay stars Thomas Haden Church (who also exec produced) and Elisabeth Shue with Melissa Leo, James Rebhorn, M. Emmet Walsh, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Keith David in supporting roles.
I was having trouble believing what I was watching. I was convulsing in my seat. It felt like a bad acid trip. I was asking myself, “Is this really happening? Somebody made this movie and I’m watching it?”
I’m stunned and amazed by the disparity between Church in Sideways and Leo in Frozen River and Shue in Leaving Las Vegas and coming away from these films persuaded that these gifted people are fairly golden and sage observers of the human condition, etc. And then you see them in a film like Don McKay and you wonder, “Are these guys trying to commit career suicide ? What happened to their brains? Couldn’t they have told the director ‘hey, this makes no sense’ and somehow improved their performance?’”
I’ll run my full pan (which I wrote this morning) closer to opening day. There’s no hurry.