I read Film Titles: The Game Is in the Name by suzidoll, and then happened into The Renaissance of Bad Movie Titles by Devin Faraci.
I think titles can be wonderful, but I've got to say, my pet peeve is titles that say nothing. Now, suzidoll claims that romantic comedies are "the genre that suffers the most from poor titling", but I think it's action movies.
Anybody remember offhand if they've seen Striking Distance or Maximum Risk, which one was better or what either was about?
I always look to the Italians. If You Meet Sartana, Pray For Your Death and Rome Armed to the Teeth? Come on!
I know there are people out there who don't appreciate those titles. They certainly are the opposite of the kind of watered down, test marketed titles you see for everything.
I guess I'm the opposite of the standard, because I've had this conversation on more than one occasion.
Friend, "Are you excited to see Bland One-Word Title?"
Me, feeling quite confident, "Not at all."
Friend, "Really, I thought you liked the movie star whose name is being used to sell Bland One-Word Title."
Me, "Oh, it's that movie! I was interested in seeing that, but the watered down, test marketed title was so offensive, I had trouble looking past it."
Those titles are so offensive to me, I've had occasions where I've had that same conversation multiple times about the same movie.
So, you all can complain about Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, but I knew what movie that was, and that I didn't want to see it because it was the movie it was, and not because I was confused that it could be any of a dozen movies I wasn't interested in. The fact that people remember the title all these years later means it did better at its job than most titles these days.
In fact, I'll take this the whole distance. Wanna know a title I love? The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un‐inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely delivered by Pirates. That's an amazing title. I think we should go back to that style.
I also love the old school, spoiler filled chapter titles of that era.