James Roberts, writer of More Than Meets The Eye, asked his followers on Twitter to come up with a tag line for the non-existent movie adaptation of More Than Meets The Eye (that doesn't exist). Winner got to know who would be joining the crew of the Lost Light before issue 28 comes out in April.
Sore, exhausted, and a little delirious after helping a friend paint their home that afternoon, I saw the challenge and not caring about whatever the prize was (I already pre-ordered the book) I started hammering out move trailer/poster taglines that would fit in 140 characters (including #morethanmeetsthemovie, 22 characters itself). Mr. Roberts said there were 211 entries (and not entrants): I apparently submitted over 100.
As I retype them, I'm clearing up some grammar and typos and maybe changing a few words for clarity or emphasis. I may have to explain a joke and if I did it's in italics under the joke itself, sorry. If it's in parenthesis, it was part of the tweet/tagline/joke. I am not adding any more. I did not win the contest, which should tell you everything about these jokes. I managed to get specific to MTMTE around the #60 range. Beyond potshots at contemporary movies and other movie marketing trends, I noticed what must be my approach: the movie studio's PR department is, in my head, incredibly desperate or incompetent, and went full speed ahead.
Please try to think of SCTV's Joe Flaherty (Count Floyd) reading these in the trailer. Then you'll get why I think incompetence and desperation are funny.
1. Robots. Destruction. Briefcases. Starring Judd Nelson and Robert Stack.
2. We paid a lot of money for "Hooked On A Feeling" and we're gonna run it on the trailer but it won't be in the film.
3. We recycled the Judgement Night soundtrack. It's called Synergy!
If you are not old enough to remember that a movie studio made a movie just to sell a soundtrack, don't worry about it.
4. We promise only THREE ads for other films before this one starts!
5. Stick around for all 8 post-credit scenes, 3 guest starring Samuel L. Jackson!
6. Starring and badmouthed by Katherine Heigl!
7. Now with 53% new footage!
Simpsons joke regarding Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie.
8. Hoping to snag Oscar nominations beyond Sound Editing!
9. True to the source material! Dreamwave's MTMTE character guide, not the IDW comics.
10. Generations Skids will be on sale in the lobby after the movie!
11. Featuring actors who knew better!
12. Like Twilight! But not boring!
13. Starring all your favorites: Swerve! Whirl! Tailgate! And in his first feature film, PIPES!
14. Every Summer, Hollywood releases dozens of movies. THIS is one of them!
15. Based on a script plagiarized by Shia LaBouf!
16. Featuring MAXIM centerfold NAUTICA!
17. From NOT the director of Battlefield Earth!
18. We don't hit you over the head with our allegory, you're smart enough to figure it out, right?
19. From the producers of SHARKTICONADO!
20. The quest to merge marketing and good storytelling!
21. Don't listen to the haters on the internet. They're probably dateless wonders who have never heard of story structure.
22. Written by talented newcomer James Roberts. Directed by Uwe Boll.
23. You read the spoilers, now see the movie!
24. Bit-torrent versions are really just re-titled digital copies of "Mac N Me."
A terrible ET rip-off full of more product placement than ET that I hope has been forgotten by time.
25. With plenty of physics and astronomy errors to keep Neil deGrasse Tyson podcasting for MONTHS!
26. A QUANTIFIABLE 95 MINUTES!
27. An unqualified movie executive totally changed the ending, so if you read the book, the movie is different!
28. No contemporary, dated pop culture jokes just to keep parents interested! This movie was actually written for adults!
29. STARRING NATHAN FILLION! (Mr. Fillion voices a robot miner in a flashback and has two lines.)
30. Soundtrack full of your favorite bands, material left over from recording sessions but not good enough to appear on their album!
31. The projector is NOT out of focus! This movie is SO AWESOME it will blow your mind, resulting in affected eyesight!
32. Coming soon direct to DVD! See, you used to get movies at video stores. We have to explain video stores to you kids?
33. Based on the most celebrated graphic novels about transforming robots of all time!
34. Somehow has better roles for women than any DC Comics movie adaptation!
35. Way less exposition than Green Lantern!
36. This version IS the director's cut!
37. From the producers of Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer!
Again, if you're not a child of the 80's, it might be lost on you. Look up "Eek! The Cat!," one of the best written Saturday morning cartoons ever.
38. This tagline will fit in your tweet! #PROMOTEOURMOVIEFORUSFORFREE!
39. A movie about transforming robots that WON'T insult your intelligence! Other than that part about transforming robots.
40. A movie that DARES to ask if Artificial Intelligence can experience love- NO, not "Her." THIS movie. The one on the poster.
41. The PREQUEL to the hit movie SWERVE AND THE SORCERER'S STONE.
42. Starring RONG in his first feature film!
43. Beyond Good. Beyond Evil. Actually, that should blow your mind, that we're looking past the philosophical concepts of good & evil.
44. Re-written by Joe Eszterhas!
Mr. Eszterhas wrote Basic Instinct and a bunch of other garbage. The next tweet, I state I was "belting out the worst 'taglines,' so I think here I knew full well I was just typing the dumbest things I can think of.
45. A movie starring bickering transforming robots is WAY better than storefront theater performance art!
46. THE GREATEST TRANSFORMERS SAGA EVER! (Does not star Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee, or Starscream.)
47. A galaxy spanning quest...all set inside a spaceship!
48. Beachcomber Abides.
49. Give it the ol' Checkity Check.
50. We guess it was asking too much for you to read a well-thought-out comic book series. So here's a 95 minute movie.
51. JUST LIKE THE LEGO MOVIE! But with something called "Kreons"!
52. Starring Vin Diesel! Wait, no. STARRING BILLY WEST! Much better.
53. Now with extra scenes specifically for foreign markets!
54. You're gonna want to pay attention to this one, so put away your cell phone.
55. Like those UNDERWORLD movies but actually way better.
56. Don't worry, it's not part of a trilogy! ...Yet.
57. Can the crew of the Lost Light take down Megatron for good? Oh wait, that's Nautilator. Still, you're interested now, right?
58. The FIRST rule of Fight Club is that you don't stand next to a quantum generator when it flaunts the laws of physics. The SECOND rule of Fight Club...
59. Some disassembly required.
60. The amnesia plotline should remind you of Harrison Ford's performance in Regarding Henry! But with robots!
The next tweet is "The only way I can win this #mtmte tagline contest is by sheer volume."
61. If you don't like stories about relationships between sentient robots, then you have no soul. HAVE A SOUL, SEE THIS MOVIE!
62. As advertised during the 4th quarter of this year's SuperBowl!
Not that I care, but the game was clearly over before the halftime show, and really after that safety.
63. Even if this movie bombs, we can't possibly lose more money than either Mars Needs Moms or John Carter!
Two Disney movies that bombed, one after the other. I don't know if John Carter made back its money but it was a headache for nearly everyone in the marketing department.
64. The executive who greenlit this movie was fired mid-production, so please enjoy More Than Meets The Eye in 12 select theaters with no further promotion!
65. WAY less lens flare than the recent Star Trek movies! Way more interesting than the old Star Trek movies!
I noticed that I used #morethanmeetsthemovies, plural on movies, instead of #morethanmeetsthemovie, for a half-dozen of these. Whoops.
66. The DVD will have no extras, SEE IT IN THEATERS!
67. Select showings will feature commentary by Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy!
...from MST3K and currently Rifftrax. Another "movies" instead of "movie."
68. Beyond Good! Beyond Evil! Specific to James Roberts' and Alex Milne's imaginations. Still, that's pretty good. See it!
69. The actual finale to the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy! YEAH, WE WENT THERE! SEE IT!
70. The only thing they have to fear is themselves.
71. At least they have each other...but for how long?
72. Unlike Dark Knight Rises, our villain is audible and enunciates. And is actually scary. While we're at it...
73. SUSPENSE! ACTION! MYSTERY! ROMANCE! (Romance segments edited out for Arizona and Kansas markets.)
74. FILMED ON LOCATION, DEEP IN SPACE WITH REAL ROBOTS! (Dedicated to the memories of all our human film crew members.)
75. From the visual medium that brought you other movies!
76. SIX MOVIES AND A SEASON!
This was one of the runner-ups, and a play on Community's #sixseasonsandamovie.
77. From the fellow countryman of people who brought you Downton Abbey and Doctor Who!
78. Featuring the hit songs by Led Zepplin! (Please don't tell Led Zepplin.)
79. IN SPACE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU BICKER!
80. BASED ON A TRUE STORY!
81. Get ready for some SHOCK and ORE!
By this point I realized I have belted out over 80 of these.
82. STRAIGHT OUTTA IACON!
83. ROBOTS WITH ATTITUDE!
84. A love story that will break your spark.
85. Soon to appear on Netflix under "Because you watched The Rockford Files!"
James Garner's daughter favorited this one on Twitter, so that's something.
86. You took a Zimbio quiz and the result was...seeing this movie!
87. The Good. The Bad. And Swerve.
88. It's like Love, Actually, except with robots, and also No, it's not.
89. The Heroic And True Story Of Rodimus Prime. And Some Other Guys.
90. Atomizer tested really well so we had to go back and shoot more scenes with him and now he'll have his own spin-off movie soon!
91. A tale that will melt your spark...which means if you are a robot, you're dying and should seek repairs!
92. This time it's personality-driven!
93. Ebert would have liked this one!
94. Yes, you saw all the best action sequences in the trailer! Now pay to hear the dialogue!
95. If you see just one film this year, this will be it! Then we're clawing your eyes out.
96. (current percentage)% ON ROTTEN TOMATOES!
97. They wanted to get OUT there...they just didn't know what they were IN for!
98. It's NINETEEN EIGHTY (FOUR) all over again in this new Transformers adventure!
99. Meet the guy. With the wand.
100. A quest to find their saviors...will only spell their DOOM!
101. HIS FIRST BLASTER, YOUR LAST MOVIE! or HIS FIRST BLASTER, YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE!
102. Evil is a disease. THEY are the cure...kind of.
A take on the Sylvester Stallone movie Cobra. Don't bother.
103. Saving the universe...but not without causing some damage of their own.
Okay, this one was from 20 years ago. I made a board game for my physics class starring these guys and this was the tagline on the box.
104. Beyond Good. Beyond Evil. And right here in a movie theater!
105. Don't worry about the trolls complaining about how the movie is different than the comic book. They complained about the comic too.
106. (poster of Cyclonus and Tailgate) THE ORIGINAL ODD COUPLE!
which is also a Simpsons joke.
107. Wanna make something of it?
108. You saw them Dance. Now it's time they got Dirty.
a riff on the tagline from Roadhouse.
109. The #1 movie about transforming robots in America!
110. (pic of Fulcrum) You'll find these guys DISARMING!
111. Dangerous. Deadly. A trail of destruction in their wake. That's just the good guys!
112. Now in 3D. Unless you're Whirl.
This one got the honorable mention.
113. Danger and destruction and death. But can they survive their own friendships?
114. The war is over. The real trouble starts here.
115. Surviving the war was no problem. Surviving each other, however...
116. The hit prequel to SPIKE WITWICKY AND THE CARWASH OF DOOM!
It was Buster Witwicky, but I don't care.
117. Featuring hot table-flipping action!
So there you go. Thank you Mr. Roberts for not blocking me or issuing a restraining order. I like your comic book, if you can't tell, and I will do better with more sleep and less paint fumes in my life.
I am @robotswcoffee on Twitter. If you get the Uwe Boll joke but don't know who Count Floyd is, I don't know how I can help you.