Our good friends at Manhattan
Mini Storage are at it again. The guffaws and back patting continue on the
subways of NYC. Imagine the outrage if this same ad, without even changing the
words, appeared with a black man’s body. Oh the humanity! Rev. Al and Jesse
would be marching to shut the business down.
Maybe I’m late to the party, but I just found out there is a fourth
Terminator movie due out in May, 2009 called Terminator
In the highly anticipated
new installment of "The Terminator" film franchise, set
in post-apocalyptic 2018, Christian Bale stars as John Connor, the
man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army
of Terminators. But the future Connor was raised to believe in is
altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright (Sam
Worthington), a stranger whose last memory is of being on death
row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the
future, or rescued from the past. As Skynet prepares its final
onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes
them into the heart of Skynet’s operations, where they uncover the
terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind.
Bale has successfully resurrected the Batman franchise so I’m
going to be cautiously optimistic about this one. I think he is a great
actor and hopefully he chose wisely in making this film.
With the blankest of blank
expressions on their faces, these mysterious figures have been
popping up in the most unlikely of places.
Close inspection of the
pictures rules out an alien invasion – small perforations around
the eye areas of the masks allow the people beneath to see the
But nobody knows who the faceless figures, who often appear as
motionless couples are, or why they are turning up at high profile
Theories include the
possibilities that they are limelight-seeking pranksters,
performance artists or that they are at the centre of a viral
marketing campaign for an as-yet unknown product of forthcoming
I try telling myself that my age has a lot to do with my disdain for anything
created by George Lucas. I imagine that if Star Wars was released now instead of
in 1979 I would hold it in the same regard I do Independence Day; Hollywood
bubble gum. But I know I am lying to myself. I know the never-ending joy I have
watching Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back is not just some nostalgic trip
to my youth but the result of being immersed in a fantastic movie.
As Ewoks danced merrily on
the screen before me and the whole space world seemed to celebrate
in unison, I cringed at what I was seeing. Ewoks? Cute, furry
little animals? I watched in horror as it dawned on me that George
Lucas had completed his saga with the intent of making a killing
in merchandising. To think that this movie was nothing more than a
marketing ploy to sell the Star Wars name to kids was to admit to
myself that Lucas was no more than another Hollywood shill out to
make a buck, and not the storytelling, brilliant hero I had made
him out to be in my mind. I had been so enamored with Lucas and
his vision and now I just felt betrayed and hurt.
It is true, and evident in my ability to watch the first two
whenever they’re on, no matter what station, no matter how many
commercials, sometimes for a few minutes, in Spanish. But Jedi? By the end
I’m looking for something else to watch. And as far as the more recent
trilogy goes, their titles on my digital cable menu carry as much weight as
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
I remember talking to a friend when Revenge of the Sith
advertising was in full…um..force, and I mentioned the real crime now in how
they handle the marketing is that no character is safe from shilling for some
product. I seemed to remember that some characters held on their context
even if they appeared in a commercial. But when you see Darth Vader
dueling Yoda over a Pepsi you know it is all over.
I have a love-hate relationship with commercials. I try to ignore most
of them because I find they usually cater to the lowest denominator when it
comes to humor or sexual innuendo. Some latch on to a trendy or social
theme, being green for example, and play up their product as a way of being
closer to that fad. Others are just annoying because they’re poorly conceived.
But then once in a while I catch a commercial that sends a message I find offensive,
whether that be morally
or intellectually. These are the ones I love, because they are the ones
that give me insight to the perceptions corporation and advertisers have of us
as mainly consumers bust also as people.
This brings me to the Cheetos Laundromat commercial:
Very curious that a company associates its product with vandalism and
destruction of personal property. Hey Felicia, that’s her car out there
too, how about you slash her tires?
Another embodiment of the self-centered, me first society. And as the
commercial ends with the young woman standing trance-like, staring at the
viewer, the phrase "join us" beckons. The cult of me first.
Horror fans might recall a scene in Evil
Dead 2 where the haunted cabin calls hero Ash to join us. Did
Cheetos get their influence from Evil Dead? Probably not, but the message
is the same isn’t it? Join us in our wicked ways, it’ll be fun!
My office has CNBC on all day. That alone is enough to make me wish for a
good old-fashioned punch to the jaw. There is however another form of torture,
and that is the rotation of commercials, or lack thereof.
There is the New York Times home delivery commercial with an annoying woman
encourages us to get the paper by squawking "call". This ad is on all
Then there are the seasonal commercials that get heavy play and it would seem
every time you stop and listen it is there in the background.
This past Christmas it was the screaming Fortunoff’s lady. No wonder they’re
bankrupt. And over the summer, we had a Mercedes-Benz
Summer Love Event. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love
you, I love you, I love you… for pity’s sake end it now.
I have a very simple solution to this. The companies that pay for these
commercials to be produced should be required to sit in a room and listen to it
over and over again. If you can get through the day without clawing at the
locked door, then let it run. I would guess that five or six repeats of any of
the above commercials above would have resulted in them all being shelved.
All of these companies have lost my business forever (well I would never
touch the NY Times anyway) because of their ads. I wonder if they know this.
Because I know everyone is worried, I just want to let you all know that New
York is still here. There is no monster and I have not been stepped
on. It is just a movie prank.
I have this philosophy on movie trailers. Whenever I see one that looks
really cool I think to myself, "someone got paid a lot of money to make
this look good."
So I as very skeptical of trailers that really grab you, since my main
afterthought is, "this movie will probably suck."
Ever since I saw the Cloverfield trailer, I had this feeling. It looked
interesting, had some cool special effects, and who doesn’t like to see New York
all blown up? But the whole secrecy of the monster and plot had me
thinking it could be a big let down. I think it might be the case.
I like spolers, so I’m giving you fair warning, the following link pretty
much summarizes the whole movie as seems to be verified by other readers on the
Computers and photographs
for director Steven Spielberg’s upcoming fourth "Indiana
Jones" film were stolen, and DreamWorks Pictures SKG has
asked local law enforcement to investigate, a studio spokeswoman
"An investigation is
being conducted by law enforcement," said Kristin Stark, a
spokeswoman for DreamWorks.
Stark declined to say where
and when the theft took place. Officials from the Los Angeles
Police Department, the FBI and the Sheriff’s Department could not
immediately confirm that they were investigating.
Marvin Levy, Spielberg’s
spokesman, said the director was concerned that the thieves might
be trying to sell the materials.
"We want to warn the
media that anything that is offered is stolen property," Levy
said. "We know it is out there."
Perhaps they could find them, if only they spoke Hovitos…
Increasingly, I’ve been seeing commercials showing me how I can give my water
a jolt of flavor. Crystal Light, which I like to make at home, has a product for
a single serving that you can add to your boring old bottled water or just a
glass of regular tap water.
But that’s not good enough, that plain tasteless water is just too ordinary.
So the folks at PUR have made a water filter system that adds
flavor right at the tap! Amazing, you’ll never have to taste water again.
Has it really come to this? That even our water is "boring" and
needs to be altered? I’ve met people who say, "I hate drinking water,
there’s no taste, so plain". Hate water? I’m expecting them to follow up
with "You know, air is pretty boring too, there’s no flavor". Soon
we’ll have masks that give our air a nice cherry flavor.