Since December 2003, we have been making objections to Buena Vista International Japan, the Japanese distributor of the film "Master and Commander:the Far Side of the World", on their promotional campaign of the film that is far removed from the film.
We held a signature-collecting campaign from March 1st to March 8th, 2004. 84 people signed and 80 of them wrote sincere comments.
This is the translation of the signers' comments we sent to Buena Vista International Japan. We also sent this to 20th Century Fox and Mr. Peter Weir with this letter.
(1) Why do you repeat undesirable conduct?
A company must remain humble and listen to consumers' (audience) voices. They must also take an immediate and sincere action when a criticism is delivered. That is an iron rule in any industry. If I take it badly, it appears as if you consider "a product" to be something that disappears, that you pretend as if it will eventually be cast into oblivion, but if so, you are gravely underestimating reality.
Deceived consumers (or audience), or those who detect fraud will never forget that experience. Because its proof still abounds in public.
I find your reply from March 5th to our petition quite deplorable. It's enough to infuriate consumers. Put it simply, its nature is identical with the following insistence: "I have broadcasted an image of an apple. But in reality it's not an apple. It is only one aspect of an apple with a versatile nature." "If you interpreted it as an apple, that is your own doing."
Anyhow, most of the comments that follow had been posted before your reply arrived.
Please take this into consideration and read them carefully.
Dear sir and madam, I acknowledge your intention for backing up "Master and Commander".
I've also been to the premier screening. Many of the invited guests seemed to come from the mass media. After the actual release of the film, many middle-aged or older males and married couples were seen among the audience.
I have the impression that young females like those who have been posting massages on the BBS of the official Japanese Max Pirkis website aren't crowding to the theaters.
Had you promoted the film as a piece that would appeal to a grown-up taste, it could have attracted more audience.
I hope you would strive more to make this film a box-office hit. Please let me count on you.
(3) Films you distribute are not yours.
To whoever made this trailer:
An advertisement should be made according to the product,
NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.
You butchered the film, picked up some of the pieces and created your own ORIGINAL short film, and called it a trailer.
And you tried to make the film closer to your own short film, inserting subtitles that fitted your own concept.
Don't call it an "advertisement." Don't call it a "trailer." It is not.
You may be talented, far more talented than Peter Weir, but if you have to show your brilliant originality, do so with your own money, under your own name. Don't ruin somebody else's work.
To Mr. Peter Weir:
In Buena Vista's reply to our complaint, they stated that you "understand" the Japanese promotion. But, with respect, I can 't understand your understanding.
Their promotion was full of lies and absolutely nothing to do with your splendid film, and they have never quitted their "Young boys were sent to the battlefield because of the adult soldier shortage,""The fighting angel only twelve years old,""Farewell, my dear mum, I 'm going to fight my last battle" adverts despite our complaint.
They added some other versions of TV-spots and newspaper ads because of our complaint, and I admit the new versions are much better, but majority of the promotion remains "true" to their original concept. The new, better versions were aired too little and too late to make any difference.
And I believe they have never removed that "fabricated" subtitles from the film but for our strong remonstrance. Their action is far from understandable.
(4) I've joined the petition
"Why is Stephen Maturin nowhere to be seen in the Japanese trailer although he-- together with Jack Aubrey--is one of the two main characters in the book?" This was a sole disappointment for me, but other than that I refrained from any further critique until I saw the film myself. Now that I have seen it, I agree with the points made in this petition and decide to join it.
(5) It is a film for grown-ups
Among many films of today which tend to be over-stimulating, this film is truly reality-driven and its quality stands out. Such a film that satisfies mature taste deserves a promotion that introduces the real subject matter. What has already occurred cannot be changed, but only through correcting the past mistakes you could earn fans' respect, I believe. What's important is how you deal with the problem from now on. I am counting on you.
(6) It's not too late.
Dear Sirs and Madam, It may not be possible now to advertise the film in such magazines as "Ichikojin", "Jiyujin", "Nikkei otona no off", "Rapita" or "Croissant", but it may well be for Nikkei newspaper's evening edition, or perhaps in "Syukan dokushojin"; "Master and Commander" has even received a review from Mr. Shinada. When you release the DVD or the Soundtrack, would you please take into consideration to sell advertisements to the media listed above. By the way, I am very happy with the exhibition you have organized to take place at Kagakukan. I have not yet had the chance to visit, but I'm very much looking forward to it.
I am grateful to the staff of Twenty Century Fox and the director, who has given me a film that enables me to believe in humanity. I was touched by the working rhythm of the seamen who understand their profession inside out and their reporting voices or the calls repeating orders. They inspired me to cherish everyday life and work earnestly.
(7) For future films to come.
When I look back on the trailer or the newspaper ads you are responsible for after watching "Master and Commander", It is quite clear that you have taken only a tiny element of the film and distorted it with your wild interpretation to fit your promotional needs. Even if it were the last resort with a good intention of selling the film, I'm sorry to say that this time your policy did not make sense. Had there not been those ads and trailers, I could have even found Blakeney (played by Max Pirkis) touching. There is just an unbridgeable gap of images between the Blakeney who countlessly repeats the line "I don't want to die" in the Japanese trailer, and the other Blakeney who strives to fulfill his duty as midshipman. Isn't this just too sad for both of them?
I believe that this film has a lot more hidden charm and strength than you seem to give credit. There must be many other elements to focus on, many other points to sell.
Above all, it is not about tragedy, and it is not a film that should constantly bring you to tears. For the future of this film and also for the future films to come, I ask you to listen to our voices.
(8) Please come up with a proper promotion.
I believe your theatrical trailer and ads propagate just the opposite image from what the filmmakers have originally intended the film to carry. Please promote the film truthfully and sincerely from now on. Please create ads laden with the true charm of the film, something that includes helpful information for understanding the film, not unnecessary and false information. That's what a film promotion is about.
I ask you to pay respect to a film and its creators whose work you are distributing. I am not only talking about this film.
I am grateful to the staff of Twentieth Century Fox and the director, who have painstakingly created such a find, graceful, profound and high-quality human drama.
(9) Please immediately
change the leaflets, posters and billboards. Please include the information "Two Oscars from the 76th Academy Award!" and renew them with sensible contents. When I went to see the film on the release day, I found out that the majority of the audience were middle-aged men and women, just as it was expected. Your promotion is just like a child's play, and you should stop it immediately. It is all so embarrassing.
If a drink was offered to you as tasty Coke, but in reality it was tasty Mentsuyu (*1), anyone would spit it out as soon as taking a sip. Even if it were Mentsuyu made from good Dashi (*2).
The way you have been promoting "Master and Commander" arouses uncalled-for aversion among the audience just like the example I mentioned above.
Why could you not straightforwardly communicate the natural "tastiness" of this film?
It has won two Oscars. I ask you to take this as a good opportunity for a complete overhaul of the promotional campaign.
I want as many people as possible to understand how wonderful this film is.
I ask for your reconsideration.
*1 Mentsuyu is Japanese soup for noodles. In some regions of Japan, it is as dark colored as coke.
*2 Dashi is the bouillon in Japanese cuisine.
(12) I ask you to reflect on what a promotion is about.
During the two hours, I slipped out of the reality into the world of "Master and Commander" and was captivated by the way of life of alluring seamen.
The film does not require a fraudulent campaign. Please ascertain where the true heart of the film lies.
I would like you to pay respect to such a wonderfully, painstakingly, and convincingly told film.
I look forward to a genuine promotion.
(13) It's not just limited to this film.
I often come across a TV-broadcasting of press conference of film staff and casts visiting Japan. I notice that there are many questions that reveal ignorance and lack of knowledge on the part of the Japanese mass media. I hear that in many cases they write magazine articles based solely on the information from press sheets provided by the distributor. If that is true, it lacks respect to the visiting staff and casts, the fans, and Patrick O'Brian, especially when we consider that the film is based on a popular novel abroad. I ask BVJ to reflect on this matter.
It is simply outrageous to insert a line with a fabricated piece of information into the Japanese subtitles in the previews.
This film is based on a maritime novel and is laden with naval terms and jargons. Many ship lovers including yacht club members are taking interest in it. There must be an alternative form of promotion to draw those people into theaters who do not usually go to theaters to watch movies.
It has not been long since "Master and Commander" was released. I wonder if you have checked and read feedback and reviews appearing in various media. Some audience could not appreciate the film because it turned out to be different from what your promotion had promised it to be. I request you to refrain from launching any kind of promotional campaign that betraying the identity of a great in future.
(14) Why is it so substantially different from the TV-spots?
"Master and Commander" is a greatly moving humanity film. Why did you willfully change the theme in the TV-spots? Was it your intention to attract audience by exploiting the images of young boys? If so, then I find it putrid and lacks respect to all who created the film. Given the fact that the actual film is far more splendid than what your promotion portrays it to be, I must say your deed looks down upon all of us cinema lovers.
(15) Please reflect on your folly.
As a Russel Crow fan, I have been looking forward to the belated Japanese release of "Master and Commander". Before the Japanese release, those who had already seen it informed me that the actual film is greatly different from what is told by ads and trailers, and that made me upset. However, having not seen the film and lacking a basis for comparison, I was not able to ascertain the conspiracy. Now that I have seen it, sadly I came to realize how grave the problem is.
Regardless of being a fan of Russel, I am greatly angered by your promotion that has been degrading the piece painstakingly created by the director and so many wonderful casts.
Just as I wish Japanese film industry a further development and future success, I sincerely ask you to reflect on how you could contribute to it without betraying the fans who are supporting it.
Without any prior knowledge, I watched "Master and Commander" in an airplane flight.
It was absolutely magnificent. I was so captivated by it that I watched again and again all the way till the landing. Not to mention that the action scenes were fantastic, I was moved by the profound human drama.
Coming back to Japan wanting to recommend it to my friends, I checked the Japanese official website and was appalled.
There I found another "Master and Commander" completely unknown to me.
I ask the Japanese distributor to be more confident of the movie they are promoting. Most of all I expect them to treat it with respect. A quality film would always win recognition without some cheap tricks.
It is a responsibility of a film distributor to help the staff and film casts and the audience find a way to each other. I cannot repress anger when I see a film distributor betraying the trust in a partnership and out of promotional purpose distorting the identity of a film to pursue its own ends.
I wish we the audience would be given a just and fair opportunity to watch not only "Master and Commander" ? a wonderful piece ? but also all the great films without any kind of falsification in future.
(17) I am very sorry.
It seems that there are many people who failed to appreciate "Master and Commander" only because it's different from "what they have expected", even though the film itself is splendid. I am very sorry to see my favourite film receiving negative feedback due to such reasons.
(18) Please stop inseminating false imaginations.
I usually enjoy various film promotions. I find them very helpful when they provide useful information that ease understanding of a film, but falsification is not welcome, and I do not wish any prescription for how I should be affected and moved by the film introduced in them. I honestly ask you to stop inseminating false imaginations.
It was a film I was very much looking forward to, and I saw it twice in theaters.
I was rather annoyed by the fact that there were many among the audience who were dissatisfied with it and were questioning it due to the misunderstandings caused by a fraudulent promotional campaign. I believe that Japanese distributor who propagated something quite different from what the film is actually about should take responsibility for this. They are also greatly at fault for manipulating the mass media to write articles in line with the promotion. Even though the writers who are capable of exercising judgment are coming up with fair reviews, it seems.
I don't perceive disappointments or displeasure from the audience who came to see the film with correct information.
I ask you to refrain from this sort of promotion in future.
Lastly, don't underestimate the fans!
(20) The trailer alone would not have enticed me to see the film itself.
The trailer alone would never have enticed me to actually go to the theater to see this film.
Before the trailer started playing in the theaters in the beginning of February, I was told by those who have already seen it abroad that it would be such a "great film", but I did not get the impression it should be "so great" while I was watching the trailer. The image gap was so significant that I could not associate the recommended film with the trailer. I was certainly not attracted by a film that carried the line "Farewell, mother" which appeared to be such a tear-jerking piece of boys' war movie. I would have thought in the end that my taste would simply be different from those who recommended the film to me. Had I not been informed that the actual film is far different from what the ads portray, and had I not come across the fan websites struggling to rescue the film, I would not have cared and would easily have forgotten about it. I wish a promotional campaign to be something that connects a film with an individual, an instrument to realize such an encounter. Isn't a promotion that hinders such opportunity counteractive to its ends?
(21) Even though the film itself is so brilliant...
When I saw the film in a theater for the first time, I was absolutely awed by its quality and perfection. It is a classic that will go down in history, not only as a maritime adventure, but also as a film about war, about youth, about life and love.
But I found the trailer despicable. I literally hated it. I would have never seen the film had I not been informed by those who had seen it, and even with their recommendation, I was half in doubt.
In contrast, I imagine that those who went to see the film enticed by the trailer would end up hating the film. A lot of Japanese movie websites are currently filled with such disappointment and anger about this film. I can't even get angry with them. Rather, I can't help feeling sorry for them. Can you imagine how miserable and bitter I feel?
This situation has been well predicted. We warned you over and over again. You've doggedly ignored our warning, and the promotion ended up attracting flocks of people who despise the film with all their hearts.
The fans understand that promotions may contain lies and exaggerations. But nobody expects such an enormous distortion of the fundamental theme. This is no longer an advertisement or a trailer.
I can take criticisms and attacks if they are based on the actual content of the film. In a sense, I am even able to enjoy them. But the hatred and contempt this film is receiving are uncalled for under normal circumstances.
It is a terrible, terrible thing to do to such a brilliant film and the people who could have loved it.
Given the gentle and warm nature of the film, this protest might be considered unsuitable. But if the situation does not get improved, I swear to myself that I will never comment on the young actor featured in the promotion as long as I live, no matter how good an actor he may become, or how good a performance he may deliver in future, let alone in this film. I know too well that he can not be held responsible for this promotion, and that this is an unreasonable thing to do, and I don't want anyone to follow me suite. But I am determined to draw my line. I know well that my neglect will have no effect on anybody or anything, but I have to do so to come to terms with my own feelings.
(22) I've joined the petition.
Depending on how you handle the situation from now on, I might not be able to trust any film promotion in future.
The promotion filled with lie and fallacy seriously devastated this wonderful film. Do not let the wound get deeper.
(23) An effective advertisement for an attractive product.
I saw the Japanese promotion of "Master and Commander" without any preliminary knowledge, and that was how I came across this film.
My first impression was terrible:
"What? A tearjerker with Caucasian boys?" Moreover, that impression was so totally out of place with Russell Crowe who was seemingly playing the main role. It felt absolutely wrong. But a friend of mine just happened to be a fan of the books, and he told me that the film was totally different from what the promotion packages it to be. I grew ever more suspicious of the promotion and the distributor's exploits.
The film received raving reviews from those who saw it abroad. So I went to see the preview with delighted expectation, but then I was shocked to detect the "fabricated" (I must use the word) subtitle inserted in the first scene of the film. The film itself was far more wonderful than what I have expected, so it puzzled me even more. How could you do such a thing? Such deception may have passed unnoticed in the days when much less Japanese understood English.
I'd like you to promote this attractive product by making its attraction useful. The promotion that has nothing to do with the product drove away people who should have seen the film, and disappointed those who were attracted by the promotion. It was a double failure and a pitiful waste. It is very regrettable that it aroused profound distrust towards the film distributing industry as a whole.
(24) Give a film a promotion it deserves.
I am often disappointed with movies after drawing too high expectations from trailers, but I have never been surprised by such huge discrepancies between the two.
Having seen the trailer, I read the books because I had interest in the maritime stories. Having read the books, I thought they were fascinating, but I wondered if the film could really be the same as what was told by the trailer. I imagined it possible that the original themes would be interpreted to become something quite different, and felt apprehensive. But when I saw the film, I found it has faithfully transported the flair of the Aubrey-Maturin series onto the screen. The film has surpassed my expectation that I was completely satisfied with it as a lover of the original books.
But I'm afraid that people who formed expectations based on the trailer would be very disappointed. Given that the film is so well made, it is also quite regrettable that those who would take interest in this film might actually loose the opportunity to experience it.
I find it absolutely pointless that a promotion targets a certain consumer segment by even fabricating a completely different story, only to loose those segments who under normal circumstances would be attracted to the piece. I am convinced that the film is magnificent. It is a shame that a professional like you fails to promote it properly.
It is very unfortunate for a film with not only a great story-telling but also a beautiful cinematography.
(25) I've joined the petition.
Dear Sirs and Madam (of Buena Vista Japan),
For such people like myself who go to see only a few films per year, trailers and ads are the most important source of information for making choices. The PR staff may certainly have his/her own views, and the company may have a strategy to achieve a box-office hit. But having seen this film on the release day, I came to doubt if you had indeed seen this film before making the trailer. This movie is enjoyable as a historic maritime adventure, but it is also a human drama. Had the computer-dependent modern humans like us actually been with the crew on H.M.S. Surprise, I am doubtful of their survival. This film also depicts man's fiercely strong will to survive. It does not have a child-centered story line.
I always stay on my seat till the end of the film, until the credits and acknowledgements cease to roll (even though I can't really read them all), in order to follow the names of the many people who had been involved in the film-making process. It's always a wonder to realize that a film is made by wisdom and enthusiasm of so many. A distributor owes them to portraythe film accurately. I sincerely hope that you reflect on this, and do not let things like this happen again for those who love movies.
(27) I saw "Master and Commander" on the release day.
After the film ended, I could not stand till the lights came back. It was a wonderful "cinema." I hope you will get back to the basics as "professionals of movie business", not because you received many complaints and accusations from all sides, but because you could realize "What went wrong" and "How is it wrong."
(28) I was nearly deceived by the trailer.
I am also one of those who thought, "I will never see this film" after seeing the trailer. I imagine the trailer is targeting female audience, but I'm sure that there are many women who find its concept repulsive. Moreover, if you intend to attract those who are expecting a story about "poor children who are bearing hardships", that's a complete fraud. Fabricating a completely different story is an utterly disrespectful thing to do, not only to the film-makers but also to the audience.
I sincerely hope you make trailers that properly communicate the true charms of the movies.
(29) Japanese trailer
I've not yet seen the film, I have only viewed the trailers on both Japanese and American the official websites. The following are the questions that occurred to me.
A) In the US trailer, each scene has a cut showing Russell Crowe, making it clear who is the "Master and Commander" (i.e. the hero). On the contrary, in the Japanese trailer, a lot of Russell Crowe's scenes have been eliminated and thus the aforesaid point becomes obscure.
Why was it necessary to exchange the original trailer with a one that obscures the leading role?
B) Why is Paul Bettany almost cast into oblivion in the Japanese trailer? It is true that US trailer also features Russell Crowe, but I think Bettany plays a more significant role compared to that midshipman.
C) It seems that there are scenes in which the boys join battle, so you may be right in insisting that the trailer is not "fabricated" (i.e. a complete lie.) But I feel safe to say that the Japanese trailer is "a distortion." I hold you responsible to clarify this problem to the film-makers.
Anyway, the PR-staff should read reviews posted on the BBS of Japanese Yahoo. There are many voices complaining "I was expecting a tear-evoking drama, but it hardly brought me to tears." These comments must teach you how off the mark your promotion was.
(30) I join the petition.
I agree with the policy of this petition.
(31) I've not seen the film yet, but I sign my name.
(32) Convince us of your sincerity.
Dear Sirs and Madam (of Buena Vista Japan)
I went to see "Master and Commander" in a theater the other day. It is a truly marvelous film and I was very moved. I simultaneously felt strongly that "This film could attract lot more audience had the trailer, instead of fabricating a story, told the story the way it is." There are many fans of the books, the fans of Mr. Russell Crowe or Mr. Paul Bettany, and those who dream about tall ships or British navy. Hoping that the film will be treated sincerely and distributed fairly, I joined the petition. I ask you to take into consideration the points I make here.
Once I wanted to inquire why the Japanese version of "Pirates of the Caribbean" DVD did not come with the audio commentary which was originally included in the U.S. version, but you don't accept opinions or feedback via e-mail, so I gave up in the end.
This time I'm sending you a message concerning "Master and Commander" through this petition, but I hope you would set up an e-mail address for consumer feedback. There must be many people who want to have their voices heard but feel uncomfortable to communicate them to you on the phone. It is of course important that you handle this situation truthfully, but what is vital is an honest stance to listen earnestly to consumers. Had you assumed such a stance, I imagine you could have swiftly dealt with the issue of the trailer from an earlier stage. I am quite sorry.
(33) I ask you for a promotion that portrays the film accurately.
I never read the books. When I first saw the trailer, I thought it must be "a story about a legendary captain watching over the boys growing up." I was pondering over the gap between my impression and the praise it had received abroad, when I came across the issue of the trailer on the Internet.
I saw the film the other day in a crowded theater. It was not what I had imagined. It's a great film. It is deplorable that a wonderful film gets misinterpreted to be rubbish because of the misleading promotion.
(34) I was nearly deceived.
I was nearly deceived and could have missed the chance to enjoy this film. I didn't know the books, and seeing the TV-spots, I thought I would never see it in theater.
The other day, I felt like seeing a movie and went to a multiplex cinema. Even taking a glance at a poster of "Master and Commander", I felt like not seeing a movie of this kind, but I ended up seeing it since it started timely.
After it was finished, I was puzzled. Was it anywhere explained that this would be a story like this? I came back to the poster, and thought, "Hey, this movie is not like that." I was relieved to know that it was not only me who noticed something was wrong.
Sometimes I come across trailers that exaggerate the movie, but I've never experienced one that gives a completely opposite image. I don't know what they had on their mind, but I think it is a very disrespectful to the film staff.
(35) I agree to the points made in the petition.
The Japanese trailer baffled me. I was like, "Had this young boy been given a bigger part than Dr. Maturin???". A friend and a young colleague of mine asked me "Is Russell going to abuse young boys this time?" "Does Russell take along children to war?"
The friend of mine imagined Russell as a devil set against angels. The young colleague concluded that Aubrey and Blakeney were the main characters. I gave them the correct information and recommended the film. I usually don't do this, but did it this time because I believed it's not a film for Russell's fans only.
After all, they were both very pleased with it. One liked Dr. Maturin, the other liked the beautiful ship and the men with strong characters. They were both surprised how different it was from what was shown in the TV-spots.
(36) Different types of audience.
I join the petition. I was looking forward to enjoying the film with Japanese subtitles. It is even better than seeing it in the original English version.
In Osaka, two screens are allocated for the evening round in a multiplex cinema. The multiplex near my home runs it too. It seems many theaters in Kansai area are showing it. In Umeda (Osaka), where I went to see the film twice, people from different age groups filled 60-70% of the theater. According to what I heard at the box office and eavesdropped in the elevator, people in Kansai are practical and less influenced by trailers and ads. They tend to shun preliminary information so that the film will be a fresh experience. It breaks my heart to hear that the theaters in Kanto area are almost empty.
(37) Is it that the main character of "Master and Commander" is an adolescent boy?
(38) After having seen the TV-spots, I saw the film yesterday.
I join the petition. I've seen many different kinds of film commercials and adverts, but I have never seen one so different from the actual film. I often go to see films of this kind, and I usually make my choices based on the TV-spots. In the film, the minors actually play a subdued role. It was nothing but a drama about the friendship between the captain and the doctor, which I rather liked. The episode of young boys told in the adverts is not even a part of the film, but the adverts introduced the film as if only young boys were aboard. In reality, many adult males were present.
I made an effort to look for the episodes emphasized in the adverts. But after the film was finished, I felt that such state of mind hindered me from appreciating this film properly. It was such a pity. It was a very good film. I found it pleasant though it dealt with war and battles. Had they promoted the film as such in the first place, this misunderstanding would never have occurred and I would not have been so baffled.
It makes me feel this way especially because this film is so wonderful.
(39) I join the petition.
I saw "Master and Commander". I was appalled by how different it was from the trailer I saw many times before the theatrical release. I've seen many trailers in the past with which I noticed slight difference from the actual films, but in this case I have to say the discrepancy is so great that I found it outrageous. I believe many among the audience are confused.
(40) I agree with the points made in the petition.
Dear Mr. Peter Weir
Like Mr. Russell Crowe, I grew up appreciating your films since early childhood. Thank you very much for this wonderful work. My heart is with the Surprises now. That is why I regret so much that the Japanese distributor launched a promotional campaign that triggered misunderstandings and misjudgements about your film. So I decided to participate in this movement. I will communicate to Buena Vista International Japan that I was disappointed with the promotional trailer, and that I want them to come up with advertisements that accurately convey the true spirit of the film.
Dear Sirs and Madam (of Buena Vista International Japan)
I was awfully shocked when I first saw the leaflet. Because the content was extremely different from the Aubrey-Maturin books I know, and from what I have heard from the people abroad. Above all, when the Japanese trailer was released, I was horrified and disappointed by the narration that focused on the boys who seem to be coerced into joining war and were therefore longing to return home. A friend of mine I saw the film with commented, "I was surprised to see not only boys but also grown men on board." Until she actually saw the film, She had been convinced that it was a tear-jerking melodrama about adolescent boys.
Please refrain from launching a promotion that causes this type of misunderstanding from now on. Please release DVD and Videos with adverts that capture the true sprit of the film.
(41) I agree.
I join the petition since I agree with the points made.
When I saw the trailer that begins with "Farewell, my dear mum," my honest reaction was "I don't want to see the movie, and I guess I won't." Afterwards, I learned on the Internet that there was a huge discrepancy between the trailer and the movie, and I became interested in the whole issue and went to see it on the opening day. I was surprised and upset when I confirmed that the discrepancy was even bigger than I had imagined. The theater was only half-filled even though it was the opening day.
The situation is very regrettable because the movie itself is very enjoyable, with such remarkable things like the lively activities of seamen, the beauty of tall ships and hardships of the life at sea. The trailer also betrays those who were excited by it and henceforth went to see the film. I think a trailer is important enough to define images of the movies they represent. So I sincerely hope some measures would be taken to improve this situation.
(42) The trailer of "Master and Commander" is weird.
The realistic portrayal of sea battles, the mental conflict and compassion anchored in friendship, the refined taste that permeates the whole film. The scene where Captain Aubrey (Russell Crowe) leans out of the bow in the stormy sea, with the percussion-accented music, was so realistic that made me thrilled. As for the trailer in question, I can't understand at all what they had intended by making it. I suppose they lack imagination for the nature of midshipmen in that era. How unfortunate it would be, if, as a result of camouflaging the film as a tragedy, they would never let people know the true identity or the real excitement of this movie. I can not help thinking this way, since this film is so well made.
(43) I expect a sincere effort.
I've seen "Master and Commander" twice. It's been a really great experience, and I'd like to see it as many times as I can afford. Yet I'm afraid that before long it will disappear from theaters, slowly becoming a box office anathema thanks to your scandalous promotion.
When I first saw the trailer, I presumed that the director had rearranged the story and consequently questioned his achievement, for I loved the original novels and believed that they should be valued for what they are. After I learned the truth on the Web, the liar-trailer became an unbearable pain every time I ended up watching it in a theater. It was so hard for me not to stand up and shout to tell the audience, "This is not what the movie is about!"
Now 'Master and Commander' is showing at theaters and it saddens me to see critics' reviews apparently biased by the wrong promotional campaign.
If things had been otherwise, we could have had by now many fan clubs in Japan for the young actors such as Max Pirkis or Max Benitz and many people would be enjoying talks about the film in their forums on the Net.
Better late than never. Buena Vista Japan should admit their mistakes and make a sincere effort to improve the situation.
(44) Alternation Will Produce the Opposite Effect
I saw this movie last December in LA. I enjoyed it very much as a well-crafted action film evolving around the friendship between Aubrey and Maturin. Then I came home to Japan and saw the trailer. It gave me a completely different impression compared to the movie I know.
Even if such a fraudulent trailer succeeds to attract a certain kind of people to the theaters, I'm afraid they will end up feeling deceived.
(45) I'm all for the petition.
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie "Master and Commander", and then later learned about the faulty trailer and TV commercials. I'm awfully sorry that you failed to convey the value of this masterpiece.
(46) I join the petition.
The beautiful ships were what enticed me to a preview screening of "Master and Commander". I had not read the novels, and I was not at all interested in the outline of the story suggested by the trailer. To my surprise, the movie turned out to be great ---I've already seen it three times in the first week. Every time it fascinates me even more, so that I now have the novels, the CD soundtrack, and even "The Making of Master and Commander".
I cannot help feeling sorry and angry to hear people express their disappointments as they leave the theater---they do not get what they've expected, it seems, since Buena Vista Japan's promotional campaign gave them a misleading preconception.
Why the distributor did it I don't know. But I do know they should not have done it and I want them to stop distorting the original story. It is an insult to all who worked for this film.
(47) I almost missed it
When I saw the trailer of "Master and Commander" in January, it struck me as so pathetic that I even registered the title as "a not-to-see film". But to my surprise, it has turned out to be the opposite. I went to the theater in the first week of its release since I had chances to find out the truth about the movie--- how different it is from all the ads we are exposed to. Otherwise, I would have missed the opportunity to enjoy a good movie that is definitely of my kind. I wonder how many people actually bought the information in the ads, never became aware how misled they were, and eventually missed the opportunity to see this film?
I do understand that you have to sell this film. But how about driving away the most promising clientele and instead luring those into theaters to whom such a film is destined to be a bore, and let them spread bad reviews afterwards? That kind of tactic would not generate much profit.
What is even worse, I hear that a fabricated line was inserted in the Japanese subtitles whose information the original English version does not contain, in order to create a false substance the ads could rely on. And that it was done without the consent of the translator, the subtitler and the supervisor. What entitles a distributor to resort to such measure?
Did you really think it would pass unnoticed when a piece of information devoid of source in the original get inserted into the Japanese subtitles? How could you believe such a conspiracy would remain untold? This is a serious insult both to the Japanese audience and to the filmakers.
I ask you not to repeat such folly in future.
(48) Let me join the petition
In Japan, Director Peter Weir is probably best known for "Witness" in which an Amish boy played an important role. Is that why you put young boys at the center of your promotional campaign for "Master and Commander"? I can still accept ads that focus on children, but in this case you made them look weak and helpless at the mercy of fate. This grave mistake attests to the fact that you are misreading the time: these are the days such a novel as "*****" from that popular novelist wins popularity. The 'pretty young boy' you tried hard to bring to our notice is a talented actor who excellently plays a born leader in the movie. The young boys (and girls) in Weir films are, all in all, brave enough to face life's adversities and confront their destiny.
Most of the people who saw this movie without preliminary information agree that your trailer is one thing and the movie is another. They spread bad reviews with words of disappointment such as "I expected it to bring me to tears; it did not," or "It's not touching enough to move you emotionally." Consequently some prefer not to see it in theaters due to these negative images. Some even ridicule and pick on the film.
It is distressing.
It is true that this film thrives on realism and subdued manner of storytelling. Many are distracted by the lack climactic ending compared with many other movies (after all, it is only a part of a long story). Also, it may require a certain basic knowledge about English Navy and the history of that era to enjoy "Master and Commander" fully. You could have cooperated with the translator-publisher of the original books to provide audience with such information. Or you could have invested in a promotional project to arouse interest in tall ships, with miniatures, leaflets and so on.
(49) I join the petition.
It is only natural that the audience who saw your commercials and ads and took interest in the film ended up expressing disappointment. I'm beginning to compare other trailers with respective films, and am simply astonished to find out that so many made-in-Japan trailers are made solely on the purpose of getting attention and drawing people into theaters. It does not seem to bother the distributors if their trailers were different from the films, and they don't seem to care about the consequences---how they affect the reaction of those who will have seen the films.
They give false expectation by their ads only to cause disappointment later; there's no consideration for the consumers. May be this is nothing new. But you should be ware that consumers of today are armed with the Internet, and such comments as "The trailer deceives; the movie actually falls short of it " circulates very fast.
I ask you never to degrade movies with the wrong kind of promotional campaign.
(50) Let Me Join You, though I can't express myself very well.
I went to see "Master and Commander" on the first day of its release in Japan, not because it was a maritime adventure, but because I happened to hear about its Oscar nomination. Luckily I didn't have any other preliminary information, and I enjoyed it more than any other movies I had seen in years. But that was not the case with my partner, who was given some preconception about the movie and was ill affected by it. The theater we were in had only a small audience on that day.
I came to wonder if the reviews had anything to do with the small number of audience on the opening day, and decided to look for information on the Internet.
I learned about the terrible promotional campaign, about the disappointment of the people misled by the trailer only to find a movie completely different from what they had expected. I'm not sure if this is something new --- I myself have not had this kind of experience. I do think, as many people do, that commercials will exaggerate: it is, in a sense, their job to make merchandise look better than it actually is. But this case is quite out of line.
Naturally I hope to see no more such fraudulent trailers and ads ever again.
But what's done to this movie is done and I'm terribly sorry that in Japan "Master and Commander" has been so unfairly degraded.
(51) I agree with the points made in this petition.
I had been looking forward to this film even before it was released abroad. In order to get to know the film's background, I bought the books and read them, and was totally fascinated by the story. It didn't take long before I became a fan of Aubrey-Maturin series. The film received high praises abroad and I found its original trailer awesome and appealing, and my expectation grew even stronger. Then I came across the Japanese version of the trailer. I'm sorry to say that it immediately made me feel nauseated. The content was all so different from what I had heard, and its vulgarity put me off. I was just lucky to be able to obtain correct information about the trailer and the film on the Internet.
I saw the film twice. It is a graceful piece that satisfies mature taste. I am grateful to the director, the casts and the staff who successfully reproduced the flair of the novel in a cinematic expression. However sadly, when the film was over I heard reactions such as "It was different from the ads", or "I did not bring me to tears". It is all too logical: the world director tried to realize was so remote from what those ads were projecting. It makes me feel sad whenever I notice the grudge of people who feel 'deceived'. I also read many reviews that fail to recognize the beauty and the strength of this film and end up being off the mark. Being distressed by a movie I'm so pleased with is an entirely new experience for me. BVJ's promotional campaign is an insult to the film fans, to the film itself, and all those who took part in the production process.
I expect an improvement of the situation and a sincere effort on the part of the Japanese distributor. If the situation remains the same, people would start to wince whenever they hear "distributed by Buena Vista Japan".
(53) I agree with the points made in the petition.
I understand that a lot of people rely on information provided by trailers or leaflets when they decide which films to see in theaters. What if that information is completely unsubstantiated? Since I was always interested in England or the culture of the era in which the story takes place, I was looking forward to the release. That is why I was so surprised when I came across the ads. It provokes an image that innocent boys get abducted and are forced to be involved in hard labor on a turbulent sea. My partner indeed took it as a war movie that deals with tragic destinies of several children (Of course I tried to rectify that image by telling the real story.)
In the time of the Internet, the type of promotion you came up with backfires easily, I believe. A bad rumour gets passed through so fast you never believe, and misgivings die hard. I can imagine you take pains to attract as much audience as possible, but I nonetheless ask you to treat films with love and respect, and treat the audience sincerely.
(55) I just don't get it.
The fans of Russell Crowe, the O'Brian fans, the studio and the director all wish to make this film a box-office hit. That should be the same with the Japanese distributor.
So how could they come up with such promotion? It seems they just lack the self-awareness that they promoted the film with information which is in no way related to the film. I just don't get it.
That notorious "Farewell, dear mother..." version of the TV-spots did keep on playing until the release. Now that I have seen that excellent movie, I cannot help feeling disgusted with that ad copy which is responsible for inseminating misunderstandings and misjudgements. If only Buena Vista Japan had listened to fans when they pointed out the mistakes, and had reacted right away to save the situation, we would not have expressed our distrust toward the trailer and the distributor so vocally.
(56) I agree with the points made in this petition.
I've just seen the movie in a theater. I perceived no sentimentalism as was suggested in the TV spots. Instead, I was impressed with the sense of humour and with the humanism or the human element painstakingly captured in the battle scenes. "Master and Commander" left me feeling "refreshed".
I wish the ads had also incorporated such elements.
(57) Where the responsibility lies.
I knew I was going to see this movie because of Paul Bettany playing Dr. Maturin. But the trailers and ads did not give me any idea about what kind of movie it was or whether or not it was a kind of movie I want to see. Paul Bettany was nowhere to be seen, and it made me suspicious.
Finally I saw the movie with my own eyes, and now I know that such a splendid film full of humanism---a new type of maritime movie---can still be spoiled by advance publicity. I ask you to once again consider a decent way to attract movie fans.
(58) I agree with the points made in this petition.
Dear sirs and madam of Buena Vista Japan
I can see that your ads are meant to attract the attention of possible female audience. Nonetheless I ask you to recognize that the possibility of a promising clientele who could take interest in this type of film getting shunned was reinforced by these ads.
I am also one of those who are repelled by the idea of "innocent young boys driven to war" and would decide not to see such a film. Fortunately, thanks to the development of the Internet, I could first check out the American trailer (with QuickTime) and reviews by the media abroad, and was unaffected by such misleading preconception. But you must understand that there are still Japanese who cannot read English or who are using narrowband, that for those people trailers or TV-spots are the only source of information to base their judgements on.
This is not the first time I'm dissatisfied with your promotional campaign. I ask you to take note that, for the possible fans of a film, a provocative ad copy can be nothing other than a repellant.
I'm profoundly grateful that you are distributing such a wonderful film. As a film fan, I'm also looking forward to you providing us more moments of joy through film distribution. I also profusely thank those who gave me this opportunity to express myself.
(59) Day of Shock
I will not forget the day I first saw your version of the trailer of "Master and Commander".
Nor will I forget the day your ads appeared on the paper.
It was an immense shock to me.
I am a great fan of Paul Bettany, so I was looking forward to this movie. I naturally expected that I'd get to see his close-ups as The Doctor in the trailer in big theaters in Japan. Through the Internet, I knew about the resonance his performance had evoked in America and U.K.
But alas, Dr. Stephen Maturin did not turn up in the trailer, nor in the ads, nor in the TV spots. The original story itself pivots around Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, and I knew he was at the premiers and appeared on TV in the US. Since that day, the Japanese trailer and ads were for me a must to avoid.
I don't intend to discuss here and now about the greatness of the film I've seen after the Japanese release, but I cannot yet come to terms with the way things has gone as a fan of Paul Bettany. Also as a film fan, I was deeply hurt by your misconduct. I guess there was none among your staff who could comprehend this great epic film enough to do it justice.
(60) I agree with the points made in this petition.
I saw "Master and Commander" the other day and came to understand the anger of those who love this masterpiece.
Trailers and ads do affect our choice of films we go to see. Now in this case, I find too great a gap between the information given by the publicity and the actual content of the film. That TV-spots alone would never have enticed me to go to a theater for this film. But the angry cries of the Japanese fans on the Web made me interested that I went to see it. "Master and Commander" is added to my list of favorite movies.
Still, many people with similar taste who would have loved this movie like I do would remain not seeing it. I'm awfully sorry for them.
(61) I agree with the points made in this petition.
When I first saw the trailer, I honestly felt that it was a film of my least favorite type, and I didn't feel like seeing it. But the buzz on the Internet made me realize that I had misunderstood what it is about. I think many other people have said this, but let me repeat: what's been depicted in the promotion is so remote from the context of the film. My friends and my mother thought that it was centered on "poor children driven to the battlefield." And it seems that many people have been disappointed, expecting a story of that line. Don't you think your effort has backfired? And I have one more thing to say: having seen the film, I thought your treatment of Paul Bettany who played Maturin was absolutely unreasonable.
Anyway, I feel mortified, disappointed.
(62) A promotion should show the product as it is.
When I saw the theatrical trailer, I could recognize none of the goodnes of the film. Still, relying on the positive reviews and not the promotion, I saw it on the opening day and quite impressed by it, and four days later I went to the theater again. In other words, I would have never encountered this film had there not been the word-of-mouth. I realized that a misguiding advertisement is as harmful as an exaggerated one for us film lovers. Spoiling a film's quality is a big loss for the moviegoers. I ask you not to deprive us of the chances to encounter good films.
Please come up with proper publicity in future.
(63) I agree with the points made in this petition.
I saw it three times. Every time I see it, I am more struck with awe by its finest quality. At the same time, I am saddened by the sparseness of the audience in the large theater. I suppose many people are still missing this wonderful piece because of the misleading promotion. Why couldn't you take an appropriate and faithful action when the people who saw it abroad protested when you just launched the promotional campaign? Everybody makes mistakes. You had many chances to admit and redeem yourselves. Even now, it's not too late. Please try to avoid further risk of depriving even more people of this splendid film. Including myself, none of the people who sgined their names here intend to disturb your advertising activities. Please take these voices seriously, because they are brought out from the love for the film, the director, the actors, and the films on the whole.
(64) I agree.
I saw it twice. It was really a breathtakingly beautiful, wonderful film. The midshipman Blakeney is one of the important characters, but he is not at all a hero, just one of the many playing supporting roles. Besides the captain, there are many important characters like Stephen, the midshipman Calamy, Hollom, the master, the captain of the Marine and the seamen. The promotion was really absurd, assigning one of the midshipmen a leading role, even though in reality the drama is a work of an ensemble performance. It made him say "I'm going to fight my last battle" even though it was not his last at all, or " I don't know how to fight " even though he's in training, and calling him an "Angel" just because he has a pretty face. I have no idea how advertisements are made, but do you make them without seeing the films? Don't you do any research about them? Was that swindle of a promotion conceptualized by a single person? Don't you have anyone to check the quality? Please promote a film with love and compassion, do your best to make as many people as possible see and enjoy it. Please don't lure people into theaters by fraudulent advertisements only to disappoint them later because the film is different from what's been told. If a film is remote from the impression the advertisement gives, it's reasonable for the audience to claim refund, no matter how wonderful the film really is.
(66) I had a doubt after I saw the film.
I just saw the film just to kill time, but I was fascinated by it, and bought the books right away. After that, I wanted to see it again, so I obtained a discount coupon (which they give away in bookshops) but was surprised by the advertising statement printed on it: "To see his beloved family, the young boy..." I was surprised by the huge difference between the film and what's been advertised. So I searched for information and found this website.
I'm really glad I didn't know about the promotion. If I did, I have never brought myself to see it. With the adverts, this film looks like nothing but "a tear-jerking story about the boys sent to war against their will to confront life's adversities."
Having seen the film, it really angers me. The boys are depicted as professional sea officers who admirably carry out their duties. To show them like that in the adverts...do they really understand the film, at all? Isn't it a rude thing to do to the creators and the boys in the film? I might have missed a lot of interesting films in the past, because of advertisements like this. I want them to stop carrying out promotions that make people misunderstand films, so I decided to join this petition.
(67) Don't you treat such a great film like this.
I went to see "Master and Commander" with a friend. Since both of us have seen the Japanese trailer, my friend was reluctant to pay money for a tear-jerker, and I can't deny that I also considered an alternative to this film.
Both of us were baffled by the fact that the actual film was so completely different from what the promotion made us believe. After a while, we came to the conclusion that the ads were wrong, and became fascinated by the lively characters and especially by Mr. Paul Bettany who truthfully lived the character. I wish I could gave seeb this film without any prejudice.
Also, neither the promotion nor the Japanese official website carry information about film's rating in the United States. It concerned me later so I went to check the U.S. official website and found out that the film is rated PG-13. Since I don't take bloodshed well, there were scenes that were rather difficult for me to keep watching. Had I known about the rating, I could have made myself prepared.
I strongly wish that any movie distributed under your responsibility will not be struck with such ill fortune in future. I wish such a great cinematic achievement like this film receives recognition it deserves.
(68) I haven't seen the film, but....
When I saw the TV-spots, I swore not to see such a tear-jerking film. But later I came to know about this petition and the pages introducing this movement, and I changed my mind. Thank you for informing me.
Since I haven't read the books and not seen the film, I haven't yet witnessed the discrepancy between the trailer and the actual film, but I still ask the Japanese distributor to listen to the voices of these petitioners and deal with the situation in an honest and sincere manner.
(69) I agree with the points made in this petition.
I took interest in "Master and Commander" even before the release abroad and had been looking forward to the Japanese release, but I was dumbfounded by your ads. It was so different from what I had been told what it would be. I thought it must be some kind of error to be corrected soon. I am disappointed that the Japanese distributor did not reconsider their policy and made no improvements despite the many protests. I have already seen the film four times in theaters. It is a wonderful piece that far surpassed my expectation, and I'm convinced that it is indeed entitled to an Oscar nomination. I urge you strongly to reconsider your promotional campaign.
(70) I join the petition.
Actually seeing "Master and Commander", I did recognize that the information in the ads was not derived from the film itself. I can not bear to think that those who could love this film would later regret not to have seen it due to the wrong preconception they formed based on the ads. I could have been one of them, and it enrages me when I think that way. I also feel bitter about the belittling treatment Mr. Paul Bettany received from the Japanese publicity.
"Master and Commander" is a truly wonderful piece.
It does not require fraudulent ads. I ask you to sincerely cope with the situation from now on.
(71) I agree with the points made in this petition.
I saw the movie the other day. I had seen the trailer three times in theaters, but, frankly, I had no intention to go to see the film. I concluded from the line in the trailer "Young boys were sent to the battlefield to make up for the loss" that it must be a tear-jerking piece about poor adolescent soldiers.
A raving review in a magazine by a writer who is also contributing an article to the film's pamphlet made me change my mind. I thought, "If it deserves such a high praise, I'll go to see it. I can ignore the story and at least appreciate the scenes with tall ships. Come to think of it, an opportunity to enjoy visuals of full-scale frigates is hard to come by." Such was my state of mind when I was still waiting for the release. Still, the minimal recognition of "Master and Commander" before the Japanese release bothered me, so I searched for information on the net and came across this site.
I intend to see M&C again, but I imagine that the number of people who are prejudiced against this film by the trailer is large, and I'm distressed thinking about it. I'd like to express my opinion here in hope of as many people as possible recognizing "Master and Commander" for what it's worth.
(72) I demand fundamental revisions of the promotion scheme.
Because BV's promotions intend to positively decieve the consumers by false information, they are vile and unforgivable. The ad blurbs such as "Farewel, my dear mon, I..."and "Young boys were sent to the battle field" not only discord with the actual movie, they are false at all; they are indeed misleading expressions for the movie. Although a distributor must convey the versatilety of the movie, there is no reason which justifies the false ads, and they can't be excused by the presence of other kinds of blurbs which are used in the ads. The director Peter Wier explained that he produced the movie based on the elaborated historial considerations, and I can't believe that he "understood" such a false promotion scheme.
In addition, the tear-jerking blurs about mother-and-son episodes are so hideous, so low that the audience would find them even embarrassing and repulsive. They would never entice the audience to go to see the movie. I think such cheap copies are insult to this movie. They do much harm and no good.
You should honestly admit that the trailer and the ad copies are faulty, and discard them immediately.
(73) Not for the short-term interest
I had heard complaints that the Japanese ads have problems. Before I came to know about this petition my friends who saw it abroad began with the protest that "The ads are scandalously off the mark" and "I'm sure many who are deceived by the ads get eventually disappointed." I came to believe that taking an action such as joining this kind of petition is a consumer right and very meaningful, for I experienced a disappointment once before with a cinematic masterpiece due to some sloppy incident caused by the distributor.
In Japan, movie-goers have no other choice than to rely on scarce information provided by distributors to decide if a movie is worth watching (on top of that, the admission fee is rather high in Japan). Therefore the responsibility of distributors is heavy, and it is expected of them that promotion is done carefully and cautiously.
Even supposing that Buena Vista Japan's current promotion succeeded somewhat by attracting a certain group of audience that could not otherwise be attracted by honest and straight-forward ads, it is still quite doubtful if their expectations would be met and they would leave theaters satisfied. Drawing audience by deceiving them with false information would only result in discrediting the distributor. It is hardly a clever tactic. Indeed, I can't help being cautious about the movies that BVJ distributs in future.
Above all, distributors must give the highest priority to long term interests of the whole movie industry instead of their short term goals. It will profit the distributor in the long run. The current promotion scheme that completely misrepresents the real themes of the film spoils the good will and the efforts of the director Peter Wier, the casts, and the staff. It betrays the trust of all who were involved in the production process, and no distributor is entitled to taking such liberty. I ask for an immediate sincere action to repair damage.
(74) Please reevaluate the whole situation and overhaul the ad campaign.
I'm convinced that "Master and Commander" appeals to a wider audience than you seem to think, that the film even has an universal appeal. You should have marketed it as a historical piece of an ensemble play with the friendship between the captain and the surgeon at its core. It could have probably been the sensible starting point to build popularity relying on words-of-mouth.
Masking the film about no-nonsense-business seamanship as one colored by juvenile sentimentalism, your promotional campaign targets exactly the wrong clientele who would first be tricked by your ads, go to see the film, get disappointed, and then eventually spread negative reviews through the grape vine. Have you not been able to foresee this? But it is indeed happening as we can witness on the Japanese Web. What's worse, your haphazard act has not only attracted criticism, but has also been perceived as a general problem of film promotion in the Japanese film industry.
The situation is already so serious that your risk management profile is put into question. I urge you to reevaluate the whole situation and consider overhauling the entire ad campaign for "Master and Commander" concerning its DVD and Video release.
(75) I join the petition in the last-minute.
Having been a fan of the Aubrey-Maturin series, I was flabbergasted by the liar trailer. Since the movie itself was splendid (I'm going to watch it again), the more is the pity. The distributor should reflect deeply on the mistakes they made. It is a silly blunder and is in the interest of neither the distributor nor film fans in general.
(76) Should a son's words to his mother be so appealing?
We were shown the Japanese trailer of "Master and Commander", while I was excitedly waiting in a theater for a film to begin. As have already been stated among other comments, the ad copies such as "Farewell, my dear mum, I ..." or "Young boys were sent to the battlefield" only made me feel disgusted: they gave me an impression that they exploited images of young boys to create a tear-jerker. As a mother, I told my self I would never watch it, and wondered why someone had created something like that. It was so disgusting that it spoiled my excitement for the movie I was just about to see.
Regardless of how much information I receive about where the true heart of the film lies or how many times I hear praises about its achievement in the magazine articles or via the Internet, if the ad copy remains "Farewell, my dear mum", it inflicts unbearable pain in the mother in me that I would never ever feel like seeing it.
Men live, and men die, and so is a history woven. We are moved by works that depict how one lives, and how one dies. But that is a world apart from the cheap sentimentalism of "Farewell, my dear mum..."
I'm still wondering whether I should watch it or not, because I think you are more responsible than anyone else for the correctness of the promotion, and therefore I believe your decision must be justified. On the other hand, It will be unbearable to regret later that I should have watched it in a theater. I want to appreciate realistic visuals on the big screen.
I dearly hope that this petition will bear fruit and eventually release me from such a dilemma.
(77) I joined the petition.
(78) A last-minutely join
I watched the movie twice in a cinema multiplex. First time was on the release day (28 Feb (Sat) 4pm), and the audience consisted mainly of teens, couples in their twenties, and females coming with another female friend. The second time was yesterday (7 Mar (Sun) 2pm), and there were mostly couples in their forties or men over sixty. It is probably safe to conclude that the audience who were drawn in by the ads are gradually being replaced by those who came by word of mouth.
What I fear now is that the screening coming to an end before such word of mouth taking full effect. For your information, the first time I saw it, it was playing four times a day with a screen for 500 seats, while at the second time it was reduced to three times a day for a smaller screen for 250 seats. Besides, it is already excluded from the late show slots.
(79) I agree!
I ask for a promotion that speaks the truth. Lie and deception are not acceptable!
(80) Double deception for the fans
I'm one of those who had watched the US trailer before the Japanese version came out and had been aghast to witness the discrepancies. The main theme of this movie is male bonding and battles on sea. It is unacceptable that the ads not only disregard the friendship between Crow's Jack Aubrey and Bettany's Stephen Maturin which is the pivotal element in, but almost cast Maturin away. You have obviously misread the story. The group of audience who would have liked this sort of movie may regard it as "a pathetic piece featuring young boys" and wouldn't be attracted. On the other hand, those who expected it to be a piece that would move them to tears and actually watched it would probably feel deceived by the series of manly action sequences.
In this way, your promotion is a double deception for the fans and the audience. I think it is too late to expect a good box office result. If it had been an exciting trailer instead of that damp one, things could have been different. I find it regrettable. It is solely your responsibility and completely your fault.
(81) Ads should communicate the charm.
I've read some reviews of "Master and Commander" when it was first released abroad, and decided to watch it, and later I was surprised by the promotion in Japan. Had I seen the trailer first, surely I would have regarded it as "a movie I would definitely not watch". I felt that the film is of a completely different genre in contrast to what the ads have projected. After all, the movie itself was splendid. It is in no way just to disguise an irrelevant theme as the main theme of the movie. I felt sorry when I saw the audience who seemed to have been attracted by that irrelevant ads leaving the theatre complaining. Please recognize the fact that an abnormal promotion could a negative affect on how the film being evaluated . That promotion was untrue both to the movie's themes and to the historical facts. You should take responsibility for propagating false information. I ask you to formally correct the errors.
(82) I agree with the points made in the petition
Yesterday I saw "Master and Commander" in Odaiba [*1] Although I've not yet read the original, I've got interested in the movie and searched for information the net and found this site with petition movement. Since I thought the ads tell a completely different story from what's actually been told in the movie, I decided to join the petition. Before I saw the movie, I had believed that it was about young boys. Now that I have seen it, I'm very much satisfied with it, but still there must be some got disappointed. I had the impression that the ads mainly targeted women (even though I think that is a wrong strategy given that story). Had they been true to the movie, they probably could have gathered different type of audience.
*1 Odaiba a town in Tokyo.
(83) Those ads are low.
A twelve-year old midshipman Wil Blakeney: he has a definite sense of purpose for his own life and treads his life with conviction. How enviably splendid it is! (although I've not yet read the original books, I felt this way when I watched the movie.) So why does the distributor advertise this movie as though he had been dragged onto the Surprise against his will? That is the most intolerable thing for me concerning your promotional campaign.