Thursday, November 19, 2009

Question: Bad Titling

A bad title can kill a book or movie. Slap on the wrong title and people won't even give it a glance. "Cooking By Committee"? Not a gander. "The Most Boring Story Ever Told"? No interest. "Stuff Stupid People Should No"? No chance. "How To Beat A Sex Crimes Charge"? Yeah, like I'm carrying that to the check out counter. Tell us, what are some of the titles that have turned you off books or movies?


AndrewPrice said...

I'll give you one right out of the gates: "The Hurt Locker". . . wiskey tango foxtrot!

Even putting aside that it was typical anti-military crapola, the title turned me off before I even knew what it was about.

Tennessee Jed said...

my personal peeve are movies that appear to use popular song titles or lyrics as the movie title. A recent example is "Serious Moonlight." Whether true or not, I feel like the producer, director, or someone invisions using the song in question as part of the soundtrack for the film. Turns me immediately off, it does.

ScottDS said...

I have nothing against this title but when Tyler Perry's "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" came out, I thought to myself, "Damn! There goes the title of my future autobiography!" :-D

I remember people laughing at the trailer for a kung-fu flick called "Iron Monkey."

And they laughed at a trailer for some college vampire flick called "Blood and Chocolate."

I just hate vague titles:
"Down to You"
"Double Take"... ad nauseam

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I know what you mean. It feels like they are trying to steal something that isn't theirs.

Scott, LOL! That's your autobiography huh? I agree about vague titles. I also don't like titles that seem to promise one thing but then come up with something else. I'm drawing a blank right now, but you get something like "King Lear" and it's about a two kids growing up in some rural backwater.

Writer X said...

I'd say the latest movie title that was a complete turn-off was MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS. Too dumb to be funny or even remotely clever.

Denis Leary has a book called WHY WE SUCK. Another turn-off.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, I'd agree with both of those. I thought the movie title sounded pretentious, and the book title tells me that he's got nothing to say that I would be interested in.

Anonymous said...

I don't like long titles. The Englishman Who Went Up a Mountain and Came down... Thats boring even writing it.

AndrewPrice said...

Anon, I don't care for the trend of using two titles: like "Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man's Chest."

I know they are doing it to create a franchise brand, but it really makes me think the work is more a product of marketing than of creativity.

Anonymous said...

I don't like those either.

StanH said...

I’ve thought about this and can think of a few but the one that grates on me was a movie I hated. “Out of Africa.” I saw this with my first wife, and by the time it was over, I wanted to get the hell out of Africa. I know that’s not what you’re looking for, but it worked for me.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, LOL! That works.

Mike K. said...

Wow! How late am I?

I refused to see "Meet the Fokkers (sp?)," or "Zack & Mimi (or whoever) Make a Porno." Tasteless.

I hate pretentious titles: "Bonfire of the Vanities" springs to mind.

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