Plague of Bears To Be Unleashed on Select Theater Audiences as Punishment for Arriving Early

25 11 2009

Conservatives with Weakened Immune Systems Already Experiencing Allergic Reaction to Rare 11th Plague; Vaccine-Resistant Viral Clip May Also Convince Stubborn Eskimo to Rethink Unnecessary Air Travel, Free Israelites

You guys know I find politics gross, but I really wanna talk about this clip, and there’s no way to do it without trudging through hot-button sludge. So here goes. A nickel-bag environmentalist group in England somehow rustled up the funds to produce the following clip, which is blue-filtered and moody and Bolero-like and melodramatic and artsy and all of the things that a good theater commercial should be. That’s right, I like commercials—that doesn’t make me a capitalist any more than a conscious effort to reduce my carbon footprint makes me a communist.

Fueled by blind, impotent rage, scores of resentful, self-imagined guardians of truth instantly responded to this new threat with a barrage of climate statistics and strange references to Al Gore.  This counteroffensive, however, will probably prove ineffective against the bears, which are computer-generated and not really falling from the sky. YouTube is not the front, and the comments sections are not the trenches. Get over yourselves. You’re taking all of the good out of it, and ruining it for the rest of us.

There will be blood.

The channel that I embedded from is called “adsoftheworldcom“, and the theme of the channel is not global warming or climate change or making fun of birthers, but rather—you guessed it—ads of the world. It’s seemingly a repository for cool ads. That’s why I thought the comments for this clip might break YouTube precedent and actually be about style and technique and approach. It was naive of me, I now realize, to expect that the invisible chains of relevance would hold. Again, I thought we could all just enjoy the fact that it really looks like there are polar bears falling out of the sky. Yeah, the factoid is specious and the mammal use is over-the-top sentimental. Yeah, the cause is too niche. But the jet engine SFX are synchronized well, and incongruous imagery is always a treat. Usually the comments are an amusing supplement to any popular YouTube video, but today they just made me feel like I was living in a social Dark Age.

This is something that happens.

This is not something that happens. It looks really crazy, though, right?

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Follow-Up Friday

23 10 2009

23 October 09: Carlos Freire’s Head, 2012, “ATTN #9”

At the risk of acting like the aggregate blogger that I pretend not to be, here are a few updates:

Flawless.

1. Made in Brazil added an assertive wrinkle to the ongoing unofficial A|X-Freire ornamental culture study.

Ima trade four houses in for a hotel.

2. Sony Pictures’ blandly-titled promotional YouTube channel “2012theMovie” has been in upload overdrive. There’re a couple of cool CGI featurettes which I really dug and which seem to indicate that the unprecedented CGI work will outshine the inevitably piss-poor plot. Tell that to The Onion.

we had some good times

3.  And finally, there was a slight Auto-Tune the News installment, which I’m not even going to dignify with a screencap. Worst. Episode. Ever.

As always, the suggestive natures of this post’s title, subtitle and internal structure do not in any way represent a commitment on my part to a regular feature.





Thirty-Five Days Until Post-Recession Edition Walmart Trample-a-thon!

22 10 2009

Shop-at-Home Holiday Gift Guide, Item #1: H1N1 Plush

Check out this tasteless gem on offer from the National Academies Press. Like most nerds, the pencil-and-paper gamer in charge of merch at NAP has no sense of humor, but thinks he does. Here’s proof positive, and in plenty of time to benefit from the impulsiveness inherent in your ersatz sense of gift-buying urgency:

Nice backdrop. What is this, eBay?

Does that tag say “1,000,000x actual size”? I think it does. Gimmicky.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for that person on your list who has everything and appreciates nothing, you can find the swine flu plush among the array of finger puppets and ghastly novelty ties at the NAP online store.

NB: Although it would probably be hella fun, this snide gift guide thing will not, in all likelihood, become a regular feature of this blog, because I have no follow-through.





Someone at Sony Pictures Has Snapped

5 10 2009

Fall Blockbuster Clip of Only Part Anyone Is Interested in Seeing Allowed to Circulate Unchecked; Need to Sit Through 110 Minutes of Cumbersome Exposition and Character Development Eliminated

Somebody thought it was a good idea to compress the entire California megaquake sequence down to one 5-minute edit and let it get around like your sister. I’m certainly not complaining; I’ve already watched it, like, fifty times. I just can’t fathom how this makes sense from a box office perspective. Everyone’s gonna see this clip, which means no one’s gonna bother going to a theater to pay for a smelly seat in a smelly room full of smelly strangers, since we all know that these are surely the film’s best bits:

And they just did some sort of Northern Hemisphere media blitz!

I’m not going to cry too much about all the goofy nonsense that distracts from the CGI—I don’t know what I was expecting—but I will cite a few examples. There is an audible “oh sh– [sic]” in the limo as it’s doused by raw sewage from a ruptured pipe. Get it? Lame. And a shotgun-shout of “doughnut”, which compounds the folly of an already-unfortunate sight gag, is reminiscent of Helen Hunt calling cow in Twister. Oh, and 2012’s protagonist also drives a car through a building:

We're going in!

It’s been done.

And no surprises on what sounds like a relatively set-in-stone score. I’m all for the jungle beats during the low fly over an uplift- and subsidence-ravaged main drag (which, I’m pleased to report, looks very much like those sepia photographs you always see of San Francisco streets after the 1906 earthquake), but all opposed to the chirpy woodwind flourishes—there’s never an excuse for the piccolo, as far as I’m concerned, and it strikes me as wildly inappropriate here, given that it occurs as the plane flies past a freeway span laden with people plummeting to their collective grisly demise. Speaking of which, this bitch totally needs more screams of abject terror from the people scurrying around on foot. I think we’re good on the horns and car alarms, but we need more screams. There’re a few good ones, but some of them sound more like people on a roller coaster, and the overall effect suffers where they do. Hopefully the post-production people are on that. Although they’re probably not.

mixer 1

These minor shortcomings

mixer 2

are excusable

mixer 3because

mixer 4

the cement mixer that

mixer 5

careens off the freeway

mixer 6

and crashes into the gas station

mixer 7

triggers a Milton hose

mixer 8

before exploding.

So, yeah. A+++ on the ear for detail. Also, I love how it happens on an otherwise beautiful morning. Blue sky, I mean, and all. Slick.





YouTube Compilation on YouTube

1 10 2009

3 Minutes, 24 Seconds of Footage Which You Will Thoroughly Enjoy and Which Represent the 1642 Hours, 54 Minutes, 18 Seconds Your Employer Will Never Get Back

I almost didn’t post on this, but then yesterday the band Hadouken, who recently uploaded a video of 100 viral clip excerpts meticulously arranged to their single “M.A.D”, added a source list to the YouTube page and suddenly I kinda wanted to again.

I wasn’t being a smart-ass when I described the arrangement of these clips as “meticulous”. The groupings are thoughtful but unpredictable, the editing is unsloppy and the synchronization is disciplined without being regimented or robotic. I liked how sometimes the juxtapositions were about escalation, while other times they were about contrast. And the whole thing’s executed without any of the pretense of Weezer’s “Pork and Beans” video (or Weezer’s subsequent let’s-milk-this remix video). So no, it hasn’t been done.

Metatube.

L: direct reference (Jack cues “Sneezing Panda” for Liz). R: indirect reference (George-Michael’s purloined video parallels “star wars kid” clip).

Any time you see the word “greatest” next to the word “hits”, the words “not an exact science” are understood; still, because people are idiots, the comments section for this video is chock-full of complaints about clip originals with unacceptably low view counts, supposed glaring omissions, and similar criticisms. So, in the prevailing spirit of reader-response, here are my uninvited opinions:

  1. I would have left out “leave britney spears alone”, but if you were one of the zero people thinking about Chris Crocker then perhaps you appreciated its inclusion.
  2. I’m not sure I would have included the Ok Go treadmill thing—should official music videos “count”?
  3. If you posted a video like “charlie bit my finger” or “Bizkit the Sleepwalking Running Dog” on somebody’s wall more recently than your mom did, it means she’s cooler than you.

In case you care, or are bored and crave links, I should add that this montage did include a few of my personal favorites. And just enough time had passed for me not to be enraged by the inclusion of Kelly footage (I still can’t watch the “Shoes” video one more time, lest I be reminded of those unfortunate 18 months during which every other word out of the mouth of every fag hag on the planet was “betch”, but I am always up for watching the cameo-laden “Let Me Borrow That Top”).

a case of beer

Sean

a quesadilla

Paul

[audible laughter] Yeah, this is real life.

David

Don’t front: for the last four years, your IRL memories—like mine—have had to share brain space with the very real, very memorable, and very documented stuff of strangers. This is the mystery of profitable (if inappropriately-applied) technology. We wear our cell phones on our ears, not our wrists, and we don’t have affordable Moon vacations or a cure for cancer. Instead we have a taggable, flaggable benevolent clip monarchy, which is something no one could have predicted. Brilliant. I’ll take YouTube over a hoverboard any goddamned day of the week.






Mother Nature Goes A Little Bit Crazy with the Bronzer

23 09 2009

Blotchy, Irregular Application Leaves Parts of Earth As Orange, If Not As Ridiculous-Looking, As That Tanorexic Dude You Always See at the Gay Bar

The flooding in Georgia and a dust storm in Australia made for some pretty insane visuals:

Orange.

L: This is something that happens. R: This is also something that happens.

In each case, mineralogy and meteorology collided for some OT-plague, vengeful-God grade activity. Holy crap, that Six Flags is gonna reek during Fright Fest®.

Six Flags

Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Northern Hemisphere, water and earth

Luna Park

Sydney, Australia; Southern Hemisphere, air and earth

There’re some pretty insane “before and after” comparison shots, or whatever you want to call them, mixed in among the rest of the 1000+ photographs on the Flickr pool that I lifted the Sydney images from. Of the two phenomena, the dust storm made for more interesting images—plus the death toll for the Southern-state flooding is at, like, 10, and I felt kinda ghoulish nosing around Google Images for something as frivolous as juxtaposition pics (you’ll notice, though, that it didn’t stop me).

Atlanta Wheel

Six Flags Over Georgia

Sydney Wheel

Luna Park Sydney

Two weeks.

Mars canteen from Total Recall





In the Summer, In the Spring; In Public Places

23 09 2009

On An Island Far Away, Lemonade with My Co Co Co

Coco Before Chanel is Coco before Chanel. This movie is enjoyable. It was a little too long, even by biopic standards, but it’s nice to look at so I didn’t really mind. As a period piece, Coco Before Chanel called for some pretty odd set dressing (e.g., fin de siècle rural French orphanage). I guess my point in mentioning this is that somebody did a really nice job with the details, because I believed every frame. And here’s the skinny on the plot: Coco Chanel is depicted as extremely hardened, pragmatic and self-reliant—which is what the viewer expects, given the implied pattern of abandonment to which she is subjected. Of course, then, the introduction and inevitable removal of a tragic “one true love”  makes for great cinema. Millinery improvisation and melodramatic scissor-snipping are kept to a tolerable minimum.

Even though this film’s not about Chanel the brand, it does end with an amazing coda, or whatever, which involves a parade of models and which is probably flawless in composition. In fact, I hope this part ends up on YouTube, because I want to watch it, like, a hundred times in a row.

Okay, good enough. Now comes the fun part:

Fruits Basket-esque

Chanel overload (photograph by Sebastian Kim, Interview, 2009; obviously, this shitty scan detail doesn’t do it justice—click here for full image)

Eyeing C Chart

Iconic sans-serif C as “piercings”  in eye chart (Symbol Soup, 1999)

Untrust me.

Chanel logo as band logo (allows for endless official and fan-art variations).

I didn't need to change the font--it was eerily identical.

A little something I freaked last year.