Monday, July 31, 2006

Pop Culture Hoo-Hah

So, Heath Ledger is the new Joker in the upcoming Batman film, "The Dark Knight".

Okay. I don't find Heath Ledger to be an inspired choice.... but I do think he'll be good. When you have Crispin Glover out there, how can you not cast the man?

Well, congrats to Heath. I hope he makes a big bag of money.

There are rumors afloat about DA Harvey Dent appearing in the movie, and maybe Oswald Cobblepot. Could be a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing if they re-engineer the Batmobile.

So... Mel Gibson. Well done.

There's a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie coming. It's entirely CG. I dunno... how many fights with the Shredder am I willing to pay to see? I guess what's great for Mirage Studios and creepy for me is that TMNT has officially become a generational thing. In theory, The League could have kids now, and I would probably take those kids to see TMNT in the theater, just as Peabo and I once went to see TMNT in the theater. Shut up. You saw it, too. I wonder what my TMNT comics are worth? Probably nothing.

San Diego based Comic-Con International has once again come and gone, and once again, The League was not in attendance. One day I will go. Jamie said even she wants to go, but I am uncertain as to why... and I'll be honest: it would probably good for her to be there so I don't go crazy and buy an entire run of "DC Presents" or "Superman Family" or something.

I think it's kind of neat/sad that people dress up to go to Conventions. I'm always astounded at the photos of folks in fairly expensive recreations of some of their favorite heroes' costumes. Now, I can't imagine myself actually putting in the effort to show up dressed anywhere as, say, Red Tornado. Nor can I imagine getting from the hotel to the convention center without feeling like a total heel, but somehow these folks do it.

I am both curious and horrified by the idea of an open Q&A with comic creators. I know what sort of dweebs populate the shop I hit weekly (me, chief among them), so the endless line of awkward, uncomfortable questioning might be too much for me to bear.

Today, supposedly, marks the 25th anniversary of MTV. That's 25 years of MTV slowly lowering the bar on the music industry while simultaneously increasing every 13-year-olds' sense of entitlement. I do not want, nor watch, any MTV. I am not in their demographic, and really haven't been since I was 20, so I doubt they're losing much sleep over my choice to flip past their programming.

My favorite aspect of MTV is that every two years they promise that either MTV or MTV2 will be getting back to basics and begin showing videos in regular rotation once again. This lasts about two weeks, and then they're back to 12-year old re-runs of Beavis and Butthead when they realize that nobody has the patience to sit and watch a 3 minute video.

I miss the VJ/ video format. The bad hair. The skin-tight pants and the knowledge that THIS video might suck, but they're showing "Thriller" at the half-hour mark. For reasons better left to being dwelt upon by marketing executives, I associate Billy Idol with my early MTV experience. Yes, yes... Michael Jackson, too... but I loved Billy Idol's White Wedding video and the whole slew of videos that came out in that era.

My local theater believes I am 16, and apparently, so does Motorola. My local theater likes to play lots of commercials prior to the previews. Hip, edgy previews with young, sexy people in an urban setting at night just enjoying their ring-tones like all heck. I've not spent any time in NYC, but do young New Yorkers really stand on the street in nice clothes dancing around to their ring tones? Is that really what life in the Big Apple has been reduced to?

Nor do I understand the "ring back tone". Why would I want to listen to 10 seconds of some song while I'm waiting for you? Sometimes just because you can doesn't mean you should.

I am also confused by the commercials for the Scion line of automobiles. The commercials promise an endless bit of customization, but the web-site doesn't actually seem to offer up that anything but the blue and gray Scions you see driving around.

I'm more or less over the advertising at the theaters. It's inevitable and I can't vote with my feet when all of the theaters show ads. But what I do think is that advertisers need to think about two things as they make the transition from TV to theaters:

1) It's one thing when your TV is flickering at you with a cut every 1/3rd second. When the 40 foot light source in front of you is flickering like a strobe, that's a migraine waiting to happen. Some things don't work as well on the big screen.

2) Either make ads your entire range of audience can actually watch or don't bother. I have never seen a more confused audience than the crowd of senior citizens in attendance at "A Prairie Home Companion" when the recent Sprite (or is it 7-Up?) ads ran, with sumos and volkswagens crashing into one another, tiny lemon and lime sprites flitting about and a man with mouths for eyes. All in about 45 seconds.

Yes. Hip. Edgy. And terrifying to the sweet old ladies sitting next to me.

Nor do I feel comfortable seeing ads for "Bod" body spray (which promises no end to the number of the ladies offering you their services, should you use their spray) in the minutes ticking down to the opening of a Harry Potter movie while surrounded by excited little moppets.

At least TV knows who I am and advertises accordingly. Sometimes.

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