Sunday, August 15, 2004


I, All Stars

Do you ever feel violated by product placement in Hollywood movies? I suppose we should all be used to it by now, but I've just seen something that really takes the biscuit.

To kill a few hours on a cold & windy winter's night in Sydney - what better than to catch a no-nonsense special effects blockbuster, the new Will Smith movie 'I, Robot' - what I don't really welcome though is paying $15.00 to be an advertising subject. In the first fifteen minutes of the film Will's character Det. Spooner opens a new box of 'vintage 2004 Converse All-Stars,' two other characters comment on how 'nice' they are... none of this has got a damn thing to do with the story, except later he moans when he sees them covered in his blood.

A robot delivering mail, is painted with the Federal Express logo, the space-age car that Will drives, leaves us in no doubt that it is an Audi being covered in huge logos, including a 'glow-in-the-dark' red one on the trunk...

Now I'm pretty partial to All-Stars myself, but to have your lead character in a movie, mention them by name - and then be subjected to loads of close-ups, that's just pushing all the wrong buttons for me. I found it a bit hard to enjoy the rest of the movie after being subjected to that assault, I kept wondering what was going to come next.

True that movies have been guilty of this crime for a very long time - calling James Bond - but I don't think I have ever seen it done so blatantly before, to write the product into the actual script, I felt like standing up & booing!

BTW, the film itself is kind of OK just don't expect it to have even the slightest similarity or connection to Issac Asimov's book. they do mention the 'three laws of robotics' at the beginning of the movie, about robots not being able to harm human beings - and then go on to break them at every single opportunity. Hollywood, gotta love it.
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