Thursday, July 30, 2009

Clio Watch - Summer '09

Yeah, the more I think about it, the older I get, the more I agree with that old, slimy bald bastard Norman Dello Joio that... oh, wait, not him. I think his name was Dello Joio. Anyway, he said two things. One, he let down the slick slimy Hollywood veneer long enough to remind us that the Germans "brought us World War II," and that commercials on TV are like little short films! We get this cool, little quirky kinduva short film festival every time we try to watch our favourite programs on TV. Thank God for TiVo. Because I mean, let's face it, short films can be good, but short films are like potato chips. You eat enough of 'em, and you feel like you're gonna throw up.
I may have said that already, but I'm trying to keep typing to keep the cat asleep. It seems to work. ¶ But let's get back to the task at hand here. As any good film director will tell you, the third time that old lady says "Where's the beef" is clearly the best one, the second one not so good. And even though we can whiz past virtually all the commercials in this day and age, sometimes something will catch your eye. Something that rises about two or three standard deviations above the mean, for all you statistics sickos out there who might be reading this. Also, if you frequent a gym like I've been lately... shocking, yes, I know. A film critic going to a gym? But unlike the comfort of your own home, at the gym no one can hear you scream ... the fiftieth time you see that same ad for the Slam Wow or the Shap Chop or Christie Brinkley's latest crazy-eyed adventure. So I just thought I'd take a little time here at the end of the month to reflect on some recent commercials that I'd like to recommend for the Clios... whenever they are.
But first of all, let's all bow our heads briefly for that fallen spokesyeller of late, Billy Mays... okay, that's long enough. Besides! He's like Anthony Quinn; he was brimming to the brim full of life. And he wouldn't have wanted us to be sad. He would want us to LIVE, LIVE, LIVE! EMBRACE LIFE TO THE FULLEST! LIVE EVERY DAY AS THOUGH IT WERE YOUR LAST! WHY WHISPER WHEN YOU CAN SHOUT? Also, in his honor I've broken all my drinking glasses and pasted them all back together with Mighty Putty. Why, I'm enjoying some nice delicious water right now! It tastes a little funny.... pgthtggaagaliswejhew9ur84 (head hits keyboard, falls asleep)

...where was I? Oh, right. Seriously, though, fast food and beer will often have the best commercials. Beer's been letting me down lately, though. That most interesting man crap? I did manage to catch that one line: "He speaks French... in Russian." Hel-lo? That's a joke the Simpsons might come up with. The most interesting man in the world... hasn't he sold himself out? Keeping his extravagant lifestyle going by living off the misery and the alcoholism of the masses? Stay thirsty and drunk, my friends. ¶ Meanwhile, Jack of Jack in the Box fame goes to a Costco-esque supermarket in his latest commercial. I love it. I can't help but smile at that last line. He sees someone buying a 200-pack of toilet paper and goes "Whoa! Someone's getting their fiber." Call it a guilty pleasure.
Oh, there's one commercial I'm definitely tired of. These Acura ads on the IMDb that I keep having to click to deactivate. At least I finally figured out that they need to be deactivated like that. But seriously, guys! I'm not buying an Acura! Leave me alone!
D'oh! This is what I get for not writing my thoughts down. I guess that's about it for the commercials. I did see recently that Naomi Watts got on the Directv bandwagon, doing a special pitch for them from her hit movie King Kong (2005). See, it's all part of this series: the hallmark of any successful commercial series. You gotta get sequels out of good commercials! That's (normally) the rule. But I would like to end with the following observation. Now, I hate to seem like I'm using this bully pulpit to further my stand-up comedy career, but there's this product called ExtenZe. It's one of those stupid male enhancement pills, and they've got this terrific commercial currently in rotation. It features a great example of what I think directors refer to as "framing." The spokesperson's at a gym. In the close-up, he's in the left half of the frame, and in the right half of the frame, a hawt young woman on a treadmill with her back to us, just stair-stepping away. She didn't appear to have a tramp stamp, but you get the idea. Genius, right? Why, you probably feel like going out and buying some ExtenZe right now, don't you? Just from my semi-lurid description of the proceedings? The more I think about it, the older and greyer I get, I'm beginning to realize: if you need some kind of pill or warming lubricant... okay, just a pill. I'll just focus on these male enhancement tablets. If you need something like that to have sex, or to just put you 'in the mood,' maybe it's time to hang it up, fella. Maybe it's Mother Nature's way of saying, time to move on to other, more constructive, hobbies, 'cuz sexual intercourse ain't one of 'em anymore. It's a young man's game!
Of course, I could be wrong. And it's probably just the jealousy talking, right, boys and girls? I gotta go. Damn, it's hot outside. And it's midnight!!! I'm not adjusted to this yet!

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