The aha! moment when you know you’re watching an Oscar-quality documentary strikes in the opening frames of Cocaine Cowboys. At the very least, there’s no confusing this rear look at Miami’s drug vice with its 1979 namesake, an atrocious comedy about a coke-running rock band. Which isn’t to say the current work’s main talking head doesn’t have something of Destn (the bad flick’s rock star wannabe) in him: Jon Pernell Roberts went from zilch to zillionaire vibing with Columbian drug lords. Even if it sucked, Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman’s chronicle would have sharp marketing hooks: glamour, gore, music by original Miami Vice composer Jan Hammer, and, of course, Michael Mann’s concurrent theater-near-you Miami Vice (which does suck, but its publicity budget doesn’t). Plus, Cocaine Cowboys has its own rock star behind it—Magnolia Pictures’ Mark Cuban. If any brand marketers are reading this, here’s a tip-off: Corben and Spellman are seeking sponsorship for their new doc on the South Beach nightclub business, Clubland. Imagine the brand synergies.
—Posted by Laura Blum