“You're a finger painting! Be a masterpiece!”
Stranger words have never been mush-mouthed by Sylvester Stallone. I am genuinely baffled by the trailer for “Reach Me,” a strange new film with an eclectic cast and a preposterous premise. It looks like “Crash” for the self-help industry, an idea that makes my skin full-on crawl.
UPDATED: The trailer that was originally attached to this story was not, technically speaking, a trailer. While we were not the first to post it, when we were contacted by the film's producers, we took down our copy. It turns out that this was a sales reel cut solely to help raise money during production. In our original version of this story, we mentioned that this is a Millennium Films release, and while that's true, they did not produce it. Our opinion of the sales reel remains, but until there is an actual finished trailer available, it's not fair to the production to leave it posted.
Writer/director John Herzfeld is also behind the films “15 Minutes” and “2 Days In The Valley,” and while it flew completely under my radar, this is yet another example of crowdfunding being used on something that stars some very familiar faces. Evidently, Herzfeld's been trying to make this film for over a dozen years, and he was mid-shoot when money dried up. That's a little surprising since I see the Millennium Films logo on the front of the trailer, and I thought they had bags of money they had to launder… er, invest.
They evidently reached out to raise $250,000 worth of finishing money on the film. Considering it stars Sylvester Stallone, Ryan Kwanten, Terry Crews, Cary Elwes, Elizabeth Henstridge, Kevin Connolly, Tom Sizemore, Nelly, Thomas Jane, Kelsey Grammar (anyone wanna bet this is why he ended up in “The Expendables 3”?), Kyra Sedgwick, and Tom Berenger, I would assume that was a pretty easy pitch to make to Kickstarter fans. I mean, they're willing to pony up $32,000 to a kid for some potato salad, so obviously, they have money to burn.
Here's what I don't get, and I'll be coming back to this one soon when I publish an upcoming interview, but how does this happen and get basically no press at all? When Zach Braff runs a completely up-front and transparent campaign, does exactly what he said he would, and then gets hammered for it in the press, it baffles me. Here's a film that the producers didn't even believe in enough to finish it themselves, and yet it raises a quarter-million in finishing money and when the trailer is finally released, no one seems to have anything to say one way or another?
I'm confused in this crowdfunding world about what is acceptable and what's not, and what people think is a good use of it and what is a bad use of it and why it's perfectly fine for this film to do it but not for another film. I think this looks flat-out awful, and the idea that people ponied up to finish the movie sort of offends me. But am I going to actively browbeat anyone who contributed? Nope. Am I going to go after Herzfeld every time the film or his name gets mentioned? Nope. Ultimately, if you wanted this made and you contributed money, I hope you're happy with the end result. My review (if this ever actually is in a position to get reviewed) won't have anything to do with the money that went into making it, anymore than it does for any other film.
Still… this? You guys gave money because you want to see this?
“Reach Me” will no doubt be available to the public at some point. Yay.