Archive for July 11th, 2008


I HATE this commercial!

You know, I don’t really mind commercials. The years I spent working at a newspaper showed me firsthand that paid advertising is a necessary evil — if it weren’t for ad sales, things would be much more expensive than they are even now. If sitting through a few Pringles ads keeps me from having to pay to watch My Boys, I can live with that.

But there are some commercials that I just hate. I hate them every time I see them. They make me want to hurl things and the screen and condemn all those involved to the inky black depths of Hell. I despise them SO much, that I’m going to try to find them on YouTube so I can make you watch them too.

Oooh! Here’s the first one!

The new Samsung LG Shine commercial drives me absolutely bats. Here we have a young couple at a charming outdoor cafe. As the young lady applies her makeup in the reflection of her oh-so-shiny phone, the young man sees two OTHER young ladies approach. He watches them walk away, looking at their reflection in the phone, only to be interrupted by a text message: “OMG! UR A PIG!”

Now here’s why I hate this commercial. And it’s not even the horrendous text message grammar that makes me want to strangle my ninth graders when they put it on a test paper. (Yes, they do write like that on their tests.) When the guy gets the text from the girl across the table, totally busted, he doesn’t even try to cover it up. He just grins a moronic grin, looks at her, and says, “What?” in such a tone of voice to indicate that he just plain doesn’t give a crap that he’s being totally rude and inconsiderate. I told Erin once that I hated this commercial, and she informed me that apparently these two are stars of the “reality” show The Hills, which I’ve never seen. Someone tell me if there’s an episode where this guy ticks off the wrong person in a bar and winds up with a punch smashing that obnoxiously smug grin off his face. I’d buy the DVD for that.

To tell the truth, any commercial with “The Burger King” gives me the flaming heebie-jeebies. Just looking into those cold, dead eyes with a black, empty abyss where his soul should be is enough to make me a McDonald’s man for life. But of all the commercials, this is the worst. Can you imagine waking up only to see that freak lying in bed next to you? If that ever happened to me, I’d wind up on the news. “MAN IN BURGER KING COSTUME BRUTALLY MURDERED! REMAINS FOUND IN PATTY-SHAPED SEGMENTS ACROSS GULF COAST! SUSPECTED MURDERER DRAGGED OFF SCREAMING, ‘I HAD IT MY WAY, BASTARD!'”

Yeah. It would happen.

This one ticks me off on moral principles. The Free Credit guy, who looks like he’s spent the past 15 years trying to start his own grunge band, sings about how he married the girl of his dreams — but because she has bad credit, they’re living in her parents’ basement. Here’s the part that irritates me, the end of the song:

“If I’d gone to Free Credit
I’d be a happy bachelor with a dog and a yard!”

Let me translate that for you: “If I knew the girl of my dreams was broke, I would never have married that skank.” What a wonderful message! I loved her until she was broke! I am a man of class and substance! That’s why I wore a pirate costume in my next commercial!

I’m sure I’ll come up with more commercials I hate later, but for now, it’s all I can stand. Let’s get on to some potentially GOOD news:

DC Studios?

As I mentioned before the Incredible Hulk movie came out, Marvel Comics has developed its own movie studio to turn its classic library of comic book characters into motion pictures. Their main competitor, DC Comics, doesn’t have that luxury, as they are owned by Warner Brothers, which historically hasn’t given a flying crap that they actually own a comic book company. This is why, while Marvel was putting out flicks like Iron Man, we got DC movies like Catwoman.

But now, the phenomenal success of Iron Man seems to have finally snapped Warner Brothers out of their stupor. Supposedly, they are meeting with DC Comics execs this week to discuss a strategy for their motion picture franchises. If they’re smart, they’ll do exactly what Marvel has done: get the best of the comic book writers (Geoff Johns, Kurt Busiek, Peter Tomasi, Gail Simone, and others I’ll feel really bad for not mentioning later) to act as consultants for the movies. Heck, in some cases, let them write the scripts themselves! Geoff Johns comes from a film background, having once worked for Richard Donner. (You may have heard of Donner — he made the best superhero movie of all time, the first Christopher Reeve Superman.) Marc Guggenheim is a comic writer with his feet in both waters — he’s done a lot of TV work, such as creating the show Eli Stone, and he’s working on the script for a Green Lantern movie. There’s no reason Warner Brothers can’t work with DC to create fantastic movies with Wonder Woman, the Flash, Hawkman, Jonah Hex, the Legion of Super-Heroes, and (dare to dream) the long-awaited Superman/Batman movie.

The biggest DC movie in years, Batman Begins, was so damn good precisely because it had a scriptwriter who has worked in comics (David Goyer) and a director and crew that had a true love for the character and the material. When the sequel, The Dark Knight, is released next week, I suspect it’ll be even better.

Take that and apply it across the board. Get writers who know the characters inside and out. Get directors who love the characters as much as the fans who want to see the movies. That’s how an excellent superhero movie is made.

Iron Man proved that.

July 2008

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