Commercials Worth the Watch

Written by buzz. Posted in Entertainment

TV Commercials

 

 

 

 

 

It’s an unfortunate reality that commercials spend more time on air than our favorite television shows, and while our automatic response to commercials is to turn or use the time as a quick break, there are some advertisements worth the watch. Here are a few commercials you should stick around for.

 


ATT’s “It’s not complicated”

there are a few of these ads where a guy is talking to a group of children. This one is the funniest as the boy suggests tapping a cheetah to his grandmothers back to make her faster. I find it so comical because even the mediator is taken back by the boys answers.

 

Geico “Happier than…”

Geico has a number of commercials that have two guys playing guitars after telling a “happier than…” joke. This witch in a broom factory is my favorite because I can imagine the joy a witch would have with limitless brooms, along with guy who’s annoyed with the witch for constantly taking his broom.

State Farm “Like a Good Neighbor”

When State Farm customers need something all they have to do is sing a jingle and their agent appears, but those with them aren’t so lucky. In this commercial the unlucky friends has to deal with an old man taunting her with a dollar on a fish poll.

 

McDonald’s “Fishy Fishy”

An ad has achieved success when it gets a jingle stuck in your head. McDonalds does this with fish rapping over a catchy beat to advertise their Fish McBites.

Progressive’s Flo

Who doesn’t love Flo, the comical progressive employee who helps online shoppers find their policy. She’s become very noticeable staring in a large amount of Progressive commercials.

What Happened to MTV?

Written by buzz. Posted in Entertainment

Written by: Jason Garoutte

MTV logo

Updated MTV logo

In 2010, when MTV dropped the slogan “Music Television” from underneath their renowned logo, they finally got something right. The original purpose of MTV was to be “Music Television”, playing music videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but the famous cable music channel hasn’t been the same since the dawn of the reality show sensation.

In the year 2000, MTV aired 36.5 percent fewer music videos than they did in 1995. In the year 2000 MTV still managed to air upwards of eight hours of music videos per day. By 2008, that number dropped to just three hours of air time for the music videos that MTV was so famous for a decade ago.

To fill the air time, MTV decided to introduce reality based shows like “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.” For those unfamiliar with the show, it was similar to “The Bachelorette” where male contestants vied for Tila’s “love”. Since she is a bisexual, female contestants also competed for her attention, which was the subject of much criticism.

Another show that has acquired more controversy than it can handle is “Jersey Shore.” This show brings eight young adults into one home on the Jersey shore to watch them experience the drama that comes with living together, including fights, drinking, sex, and enough crazy antics to deem it a reality show.

These reality shows cross a fine line when it comes to defining true life reality, especially when MTV’s targeted audience are adolescent teenagers. The President of MTV, Van Toeffler explained, “Clearly, the novelty of just showing music videos has worn off. It’s required us to reinvent ourselves to a contemporary audience.”

Why are these kinds of shows so popular on the air? What is a contemporary audience and how is it that Snooki & JWoww appeal to that contemporary audience? Why does MTV need to reinvent themselves if its original purpose was to air music videos? And why are parents allowing their children to view this kind of entertainment? These are questions that deserve answers, and nobody seems to know the answers.

Some people believe reality shows such as these are appealing because it allows the audience to feel as if they’re participating vice being spectators. Americans have a fascination, a morbid curiosity if you will, for tales of self-destruction and MTV provides that. Yet others believe the script-less programming allows the audience to feel that the show is happening in real time. Another reason for the appeal may be the fact that viewers witness the lives of screwed up individuals and realize their problems and daily life routine aren’t as bad as what they are witnessing on television.

If MTV continues to air these reality based shows and not bring back music videos like their name suggests, perhaps they should consider changing their name to RTV (Reality Television) and alter their entire logo.

 

Why Hollywood Should Encourage the Return of the NC-17 Rating

Written by buzz. Posted in Entertainment

A chart of the MPAA rating system.

The MPAA Rating System, from G to NC-17.

By Patrick James Quinn.

How often have you seen parents buying movie tickets for teens to a film that is clearly too adult for them? Or a little kid cowering in a theater during a disturbing horror film?

The MPAA’s R rating is generally respected for its mature content. It is also tremendously broad in its scope. “The King’s Speech” is rated R for some language, while “Crank: High Voltage” bears the same rating for frenetic strong bloody violence throughout, crude and graphic sexual content, nudity and pervasive language.

Parents often don’t have the time or concern to properly research what it is their teens are wanting to see. And even if parents refuse, teens tend to find a way to get tickets, perhaps through older siblings or friends’ parents. As a rule, the R-rating requires an accompanying parent or legal guardian for anyone under 17, but many theaters don’t enforce this.

The NC-17 rating expressly states that no one 17 and under will be admitted, which would serve to separate a lighter R rating, such as the previous example of “The King’s Speech” from a far more graphic and arguably adult film such as “Crank: High Voltage” or innumerable other titles that push the envelope in terms of acceptable content for younger viewers.

The reason Hollywood avoids using the NC-17 rating is that it is often misconstrued as pornographic, heavily affecting a film’s box office performance. This misconception is because the rating was originally a simple X, which the porn industry began using because the MPAA could not trademark the single letter. In 1990 they changed the rating’s name, but the correlation had already been made. “In the minds of Hollywood studios, theater owners and parents groups, if a movie was NC-17, then it was pornography,” says Frank Paiva of MSN.

However, in the last few years Hollywood has become bolder in its ratings, releasing films such as “Shame” (2011) or “Killer Joe” (2011), both of which boast A-list stars like Matthew McConaughey or Michael Fassbender. “What we currently have is a system that’s slightly flawed in the reluctance of filmmakers and distributors to use the NC-17. What they’ll do is cut and trim and try to cram a movie into the R rating category so that it escapes the NC-17, and that’s not a legitimate use of the system. We end up with a very broad R category.” says John Filthian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners.

Examples of such trimmed-down films are “South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” and “Boys Don’t Cry.” “Blue Valentine” was originally branded as NC-17, but this rating was overturned after an appeal.

As films continue to push the boundaries of graphic, adult content, the encouraged return of the NC-17 rating would not only aid in protecting young and impressionable minds, but also inform adults, guardians, and general film-goers of a movie’s subject matter via a more specific rating system.

The Blue Fox Drive-In Theater ‘s Fight to Survive Digital Conversion

Written by buzz. Posted in Entertainment

Written by Patrick James Quinn.

Neon Sign for the Blue Fox Drive-In

The Blue Fox Drive-In’s iconic neon sign.

OAK HARBOR, Wash. – The Blue Fox Drive-In is has entertained since it first opened in 1959. But with the mandatory switch from 35mm to digital projectors looming after New Year’s in 2013, that all may be coming to an end.

The Blue Fox Drive-In has been owned and operated by the Bratt family since 1988. The Bratts have been working for the whole of 2012 to raise the $60,000 to $80,000 for the new digital projector. If they are unable to raise the funds, the Blue Fox‘s screen will go forever dark.

In the late 1950’s, when drive-ins were at their peak of popularity, there were 4,000 to 5,000 in operation in America. According to drive-ins.com,  there are now only 366 open in the United States today, and those numbers are dropping. The Blue Fox is one of the last of its kind, and without our help it may join many of its closed predecessors.

Movie studios are switching for many reasons. Sending out digital copies of the films is infinitely less expensive when compared to the cost of making and shipping the heavy celluloid prints and repair of any damage. “The price of silver, heavily used in film processing, soared from $5 an ounce to about $25 this year,” says deadline.com, “The firm says that at one point distributors used 13B feet of film a year, equal to five trips to the moon and back. By 2010, though, film usage was down to about 5B feet.” This is mostly due to theaters progressively making the change to digital.

Other reasons for the digital switch is filmmakers taking advantage of the more flexible format. Christopher Nolan, director of the latest Batman trilogy, often uses the IMAX format for grander shots and action sequences in his films. Peter Jackson, director of the upcoming Hobbit trilogy, shot the films at 48 frames-per-second, which traditional 35mm projectors would not be able to display. The steady rise and popularity of 3D and the new sound system Dolby Atmos also encourage digital conversion.

Major theater chains such as Regal or AMC have mostly, if not completely, switched to digital already. It is the independent theaters or drive-ins that have only a few screens that will struggle with the ultimatum they’ve been dealt.

The Blue Fox Drive-In has been a staple of the Pacific Northwest. Families come from hours away to enjoy the atmosphere and watch the movies. To help save the Blue Fox Drive-In, visit its website at http://www.bluefoxdrivein.com/apparel.html.

Comic-Book Movies Trend is Likely to Continue

Written by buzz. Posted in Entertainment

Written By: Brendan Nienhaus

The trend of movies based on comic books appears to be gaining momentum recently after several highly successful film adaptations, with more still to come. “Marvel’s The Avengers” (just recently released on May 4th), has generated nearly $1.38 Billion in sales worldwide (as of June 9), apparently signaling that the trend of comic book based movies is thriving. Besides the high expected sales from the Spider-Man reboot, “The Amazing Spider-Man” (arriving in July), the upcoming Batman sequel, “The Dark Knight Rises”(July), is expected to surpass the box office sales of the previous Christopher Nolan directed Batman movie, “The Dark Knight”  (which grossed over a billion dollars worldwide), which gives further support that this is a trend that will continue, at least as long as there is strong box-office sales to support them.

Although these are extreme examples of box-office success for movies based on comic books, there are also many other recent examples of other successful comic-book movies. Just last year, films like “Thor” (over $449 Million worldwide), “X-Men:First Class”(over $352 Million), “Captain America: The First Avenger”(over $368 Million) and even the critically and viewer panned “Green Lantern”(over $219 Million) have met with some level of box-office success. With sequels already announced or expected for all of these pictures, even “Green Lantern,” few could argue that this trend in movies is coming to an end, or even slowing down. Though there are some who do.

Mark Millar, an award-winning writer of both comic books and other media including the comic series “Wanted” (made into a feature film in 2008) and “Kick-Ass” (made into a feature film in 2010) had this to say, in an interview last year, on why he thought that the comic book movie trend would fade:

I’ve always said 2015 is when it’ll start to fizzle out, because the biggest ones are yet to come. Next year you have all the Marvel franchises coming together in one movie, called The Avengers, and it’s directed by a great guy, Joss Whedon. You’re going to have Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, all in one film.”

“Where I think it’s going to be difficult is once you’ve done that thing of putting all those characters in one film…you know, it’s like having Harry Potter, James Bond and Spider-Man all in one movie. I think what’ll be difficult then is to try and top that because people want to see it get bigger.”

“So I anticipate things starting to slow down round about 2014 and 2015. I think that’s when it will really start to flat line a bit and we’re going to see our first failures.”

Even with someone like Millar’s insight, its hard to foresee a future without at least a couple of comic-book movies dotting the cinema landscape every year. Indeed, with the sequels to “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Iron Man,” and “Green Lantern” as well as other announced movies with comic tie-ins like “The Wolverine,” “Superman: Man of Steel” and even Millar’s “Kick-Ass 2” expected to be released in the next two years, there will be no shortage of comic-book based movies for the movie-going audience. At least not for the foreseeable future.

The End of The Batman!

Written by buzz. Posted in Entertainment


Written by: Suleman Sultan

After the ending of what has been one of the most successful movie franchises of all time, Christian Bale probably the most famous Batman after Adam West has finally decided that his days of wearing the cape are over.

“The thing is that this will be, I believe, unless Chris says different, this will be the last time I’m playing Batman” Bale told publishers.

Although this is not a surprise to many since Christopher Nolan stated that the upcoming Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises” would be his last and that he would not direct any after. It was then expected that Christian Bale would leave with him, an expectation that happened.

The question remains then, what will happen to the Caped Crusader now?

It will be extremely difficult to beat the success and praise that Nolan’s trilogy and Bale’s portrayal received. With the Dark Knight’s global success and the inevitable success of the Dark Knight Rises, any director and actor who wish to resurrect the Batman after Bale and Nolan will be taking a career risking move.

Sad as it may be to those die hard Batman fans.

But I would think that it would be better to end the successes of this franchise rather than to try and recreate it. Those who invoke movies like Spiderman and The Hulk and state how they were greatly improved when rebooted fail to remember how bad some of those movies were in the beginning. Spiderman lost its “wow” factor after the first movie. The Hulk kept on changing so no one actor has could really leave his mark, save Lou Ferrigno but he never went Hollywood. Christian Bale’s Batman and even Heath Ledger’s portrayal of Batman’s arch enemy The Joker have left such a strong impression in the comic book world they have subsequently made it impossible to recreate another version.

This isn’t to say Batman is totally dead, comic books and graphic novels will still spew out of the industry but the age of The Batman on the big screen is over. Unless Bale and Nolan come back for another movie then The Batman will be in a deep sleep. It all depends on how The Dark Knight Rises concludes. We will just have to wait until the Dark Knight Rises comes out on theaters this year to see what Nolan has decided. If he decides to end The Batman then good luck to any other director who wants to tackle Nolan’s masterpiece, but I don’t think that will be in the near or distant future.

The Batman is Dead!

Johnny Depp is Honored at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards and Steals the Show

Written by buzz. Posted in Entertainment

Written By: Rikki Lux

Johnny Depp Performs With the Black Keys at 2012 MTV Movie Awards
Johnny Depp Performs With the Black Keys at 2012 MTV Movie Awards

 

UNIVERSAL CITY, California – The 2012 MTV Movie Awards was gifted with the appearance of the iconic actor Johnny Depp this past Sunday evening, June 3. He was presented with the MTV Generation Award, and rock legends Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, who presented him with the award, described him as a “truly revolutionary artist.”

Those who have followed Depp’s career know that he has a stunning resume, including Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise – to name a select few. Those who have not followed his career may not know that his passion for performance extends to music as well.

With two rock legends and the rock band the Black Keys standing on-stage with him, Depp expressed his deep gratitude.  “I’ve got to thank MTV for this. This is quite an amazing honor, truly… And it’s an honor to be presented by these two legends, Steve and Joe, and these up and coming legends, [the Black Keys], so thank you very much.”

Depp celebrated his award with a guest performance playing guitar alongside the Black Keys for their song “Gold on the Ceiling.”  To the millions who watched the performance, it would be hard to say whether he is more passionate about acting in films or being on stage with a guitar slung over his shoulder.

His performance at the MTV Movie Awards is not his first time performing on-stage.  The start of his acting career manifested from his move to Los Angeles decades ago with the hopes of becoming a famous rock star.  As a teen, Depp fervently practiced on his guitar with dreams of success in mind, and even started a band named the Kids, but he ultimately found a different kind of success.

Although Depp has appeared in over 50 dramatic indie films and blockbuster movies, earning him a permanent place on the celebrity A-list (as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, numerous Oscar wins and nominations, and multiplying tattoos that have gained as much attention as his films), he never lost his desire for performing music.  Depp has made connections and performed with musicians, including Tom Petty, Oasis, The Pogues, Keith Richards, Alice Cooper and most recently, Marilyn Manson and Patti Smith.

His performance on guitar of “The Beautiful People” with Marilyn Manson at the 2012 Revolver Golden Gods Awards was an unexpected move that shocked and pleased both Depp and Manson fans.

What’s next for Mr. Depp?  A collaboration with legendary musician Patti Smith and a lead role in Gore Verbinski’s adaptation of “The Lone Ranger.”

Dr. House Vanishes from Fox TV Lineup after Eight Seasons

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Dr. House

Hugh Laurie - Dr. House

Written by: Chawonza Nash, February 8, 2012

House the night time medical drama will vanish this season after its eight year run on Fox Broadcasting. British actor Hugh Laurie the show’s executive producers David Shore and Katie Jacobs painful choice to bring House to a close was made based on rising costs and declining ratings. In a statement made Wednesday both Laurie and producers wanted Dr. House’s character as an enigmatic creature to quietly vanish in an air of mystique.

Laurie’s sarcastic yet spirited character has for eight years pushed moral and ethical envelopes challenging mentee doctors to analytically diagnose patients that had questionable and complex medical conditions.
He and co-stars gave audiences a front seat view into the medical diagnostic process investigating and dissecting environmental or genetic factors that contributed to their patients’ conditions. He’s the doctor audiences tune in to watch having both contempt and admiration for his brilliance.

House will have aired 177 episodes by April, about 175 more than originally predicted in 2004.

Departure of the drama will impact cast members Lisa Edelstein, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard, Jesse Spencer, Jennifer Morrison, Peter Jacobson, Olivia Wilde, Kal Penn, Amber Tambylyn, Odette Annable and latest newcomer Charlyne Yi, along with a host of supporting crew members.

Cast member Omar Epps said on his Facebook page Wednesday, “This experience has been simply incredible!” Thanking committed die-hard fans for watching the show.

Of course viewers and fans worldwide will be impacted by the departure of House from Fox Broadcasting and Universal Television; however there is always show syndication for passionate die-hard viewers.

Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly said,

“While it’s with much regret, and a lump in our throats, we respect the decision Hugh, David and Katie have made. A true original, on the page and amazingly brought to life by Hugh Laurie, there is only one Dr. House. For eight seasons, the entire HOUSE team has given us – and fans around the world – some of the most compelling characters and affecting stories ever seen on television. They have been creatively tenacious and collaborative throughout this incredible run, and they are amongst the most superior talents in the business. For all the above, we wholeheartedly thank them, and the fans who have supported the show.”

While the drama may end leaving an air of mystique behind the departure of Laurie’s main character, audiences are left with the ever familiar Dr. House adage, “Everybody lies.” Dare audiences hope that this is also true of House?

How ‘Glee’ Is Effectively Kicking Musical Theaters’ Already Lifeless Body

Written by buzz. Posted in Entertainment

Written by: Kaitlyn Burkhart

Sorry music, this one's gonna hurt.

It seems as if the death of the arts has been the latest trend, from Katy Perry and Kanye West slaughtering any integrity that the music industry had left, the Twilight series bringing a marked end to literature as we know it, and ‘innovated, recolored, enhanced, revamped, IN 3D NOW’ Frankensteins of Disney classics both hitting us in the childhood and any aspiring screenwriters’ right in their creative little hearts. No exception to the rule, Theater has been quietly slipping away into something-that-Seniors-do-on-Sundays, or the novelty off-Broadway rendition of Wicked that is rolling through your closest venue that you desperately have to see because it’s SUCH AN AMAZING SHOW.

It doesn’t surprise me that the general public believes that the good musical theater that’s around now is Spiderman: The Musical or American Idiot, it’s what they’ve been conditioned to believe. With the absence of any groundbreaking shows, the classics are lost to all but those who truly love the art itself, and the ones that can appeal to a teen-novel sort of audience are thrown up on front pages around the US in a last ditch attempt to reiterate that ‘Yes, you can relate to Musical Theater, see!? She’s flying, this is WAY better than your flat screen HDMI whatchamacallit!’

Perhaps the worst clamor for attention by the Theater community was to attempt the adaptation from stage to TV, in the form of a show supposed to trail-blaze the way for tolerance, the arts, and musical theater itself. The beginning was a fairly harmless, humourless, brainless sort of stretched out music video, including the computer processed voices, that wasn’t going to bother you with making you think, known as Glee. People ate it up, they absolutely loved it.

And then it happened.

The critics hailed them as having been the thing that held the heart of Musical Theater everywhere, and was making it applicable to the masses. And then Glee tried to take itself seriously.

Dear God, why?

The end result was the Industry presenting the public with a washed out, plot-less television show that began slowly ruining great classics by ‘modernizing’ (running them through Lea Michele’s voice which is actually a computer), glamorized stereotypes and calling it ‘The New Musical Theatre’. And even with the Arts community essentially crying ‘Uncle!’, Glee keeps on rolling, having, in it’s three season run, desecrated the sanctity that was Michael Jackson, completely removed any artistic integrity from Rocky Horror Picture Show, and made Barbara Streisand look less like one of Theatres’ most talented women and more like a Disney Princess to be adored for her shoes or Prince.

The way Glee is representing Musical Theater to the masses is an insult to every person who has ever set foot on a stage, had to make it in an auditorium on their own vocal cords, ever spent days delving into the mind of a character with the hope of maybe beginning to understand, or slaved over any technical end of a production. Theater is an art that can adapt with the times, and has, and should not be left dead in the hands of Hollywood.

Documentary on Girls Adopted from China Asks Hard Questions

Written by buzz. Posted in Entertainment

Written by: Josephine Bridges

Somewhere Between, a documentary film that focuses on teenage girls adopted from China as babies or young children, asks questions about identity but finds no clear answers.

Director Linda Goldstein Knowlton made Somewhere Between for her daughter Ruby, adopted from China at 10 months old. “She will have so many questions that I won’t be able to answer. And I wonder, how will I be able to help her build a strong sense of identity when there are so many missing pieces from the early parts of her life? To find those answers, I have to meet the girls who have already walked in her shoes.” Over the course of three years, four girls, age 13 to 15 and living with adoptive families in cities across the United States, allow Knowlton and viewers of this film an intimate look not only at their lives, but at their feelings, which are often tinged with a sense of loss.

Ann, 14, seems the least conflicted of the four girls, but the most self-effacing. She participates in color guard at school, which she calls, “a reject sport” for “the people who don’t necessarily always fit in.” Born in China in 1993, she was adopted two years later. While they waited for the adoption to go through, her adoptive family in Lansdale, Pennsylvania set a place for her at the dinner table every night to remind them that a little girl would eventually sit there. Ann’s friendship with another of the four girls, who is determined to find her birth parents, makes her think hard about her own feelings about her birth family. “I’m happy with my parents now,” she says, though she also admits that she has always told herself that finding her birth family was impossible. She has yet to visit China.

Haley, Ann’s friend in Nashville, Tennessee, is the youngest of the four at 13. Adopted at six months old, Haley was the “starter” for her mother’s charitable work on behalf of children in Chinese orphanages. She has traveled to China many times, but she is prompted to search for her birth family by a visit to the Netherlands and a conversation with Hibrand Westra, founder of United Adoptees International and a Korean adoptee who encourages her to begin her search as soon as possible, because many adoptees get started too late, only to discover that records are not available. It isn’t an easy decision for Haley, who confides that she thinks about finding her birth mother but, “I wouldn’t want to make either of my moms feel unwanted.” Haley’s adoptive family supports her quest, and on her next trip to China, she affixes a poster to a wall in her Chinese village. Within hours a man has come forward claiming to be her father.

Jenna, 15, studies long hours at prep school, figure skates, and holds the demanding position of coxswain on her school’s crew team. She lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Her adoptive mother, Peggy, understands her daughter’s motivation to push herself: “Early on she became very aware that she was the only Chinese child living in a white town. If you’re always being seen, never just blending in, of course you want to appear like you’ve got everything under control and you’re doing everything perfectly.” A trip to Barcelona to speak to adoptive families of Chinese children is a turning point for Jenna. When she responds to a question about being abandoned, she admits, “I am always searching for a way to compensate for the fact that I am a girl and that I was probably poor, and for some reason maybe I wasn’t good enough.” Upon her return home, she trades crew for yoga.

Fang, 15, from Berkeley, California, was adopted at five years old and remembers a great deal about her early years in China, including the occasions of her abandonment and her adoption. Though she travels to China frequently, visiting villages where she finds “people that might look like me,” she is not optimistic about discovering any more about her origins than resemblances. “It’s a blessing to be able to know your roots and be able to know the people that you came from, but in a country of billions, the chances are slim.” Fang spends a lot of her time in China at orphanages, and assists a Missouri family in their adoption of a girl with cerebral palsy who captured Fang’s heart the first time she saw her. “When you come into the world and you know that your parents, at least your dad, thinks less of you because of your gender, something that you can’t control, it’s wrong. I want to prove him wrong. We deserve fair treatment, especially in China. I know I can’t change a whole country, but I’d like to.”

At the end of the film, the director plays with her daughter and concludes, “I’ve learned that there are no clear answers to give her. Ruby’s journey will be her own, and the questions will be hers to ask.”

 

 

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