Tag Archives: Theater

R2D2: “Beep Boop Beep Click” Translated: “I can’t get no respect.”

 

A recent corporate tie-in commercial for Verizon and the LG Spectrum phone depicts a man trying to choose between the LG Phone, and not just AN R2 unit, but R2D2 himself. I would not be a proper geek if I did not tear this commercial apart, and not just because of my love of Star Wars but also because of my issues with bad corporate and movie tie-ins.

This commercial, while plugging the phone, is tying into not just the Star Wars Movies, but the upcoming Star Wars 3D movie to boost phone sales. Ok, lets say I’m ok with that (I’m not saying I am, but lets SAY I am), lets look at the structure of the commercial. The first thing that the salesman does is dole out the specs of the phone, and then downplay everything R2 can do, saying simply, R2 needs a Star Fighter.

Well, first, lets look at how a real salesperson would handle this situation. I have known salespeople who avoided giving any of the great features of an item to instead sell another item, however in this case it goes a bit far, especially since the main thing the salesman could have said was, R2 is used… VERY used. R2 has seen many battles, is over 100 years old, at least, in his own galaxy, as well as an apparent trip between his galaxy and ours. (He looks to be in great condition for his age. Obviously Rick of American Restorations has had his hand in repair and restoration of R2 before he is seen on the Verizon commercial.)

From this same point, we can also say that the salesman simply doesn’t know his R2 product, anyway, in saying that R2 needs a Star Fighter. (ULTRA GEEK ALERT!) R2 does NOT need a Star Fighter and, in fact, is one of the most versatile droids in the R series of Astromechs created by Industrial Automation. In fact, even though we do see Luke use R2 as a navigator in his X-wing, R4 units were the traditional droids used in this role. And while most Star Fighters, and even larger craft, relied on Astromech droids, the droids themselves were served as automated mechanics, which again goes back to their versatility. And since, as previously established, R2 is a used unit, we could look at his past and mention all the various things he is capable of doing.

Now lets take the fact that R2 is an Astromech droid to the next logical step in this line of thinking and say, who would be considering the choice of a droid or cell phone? These two items are SO far apart that it is possibly the biggest plot hole to appear on any screen, big or small, since anything broadcast on the Fox News Network or [insert most recent Uwe Boll movie title here]. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve walked into phone stores recently and thought, man, I’d really love one of those tablets, but if you’re considering an R2 unit vs a cell phone, you must have decent money (unless R2 is free with a 2 year contract, in which case how much is THAT data plan?) so why not buy both?

Of course, there have always been commercials that get under our, or at least my, skin but this, coupled with a few others recently, just has me all up in a tizzy (yes, a tizzy). If we are going to have better writing in sitcoms again (and thank goodness we are) we need better commercials too.

One such offender is this Nissan commercials (seen above), one of these ‘its really happening because it looks like its recorded by a hand-held video camera’ commercials, in which someone driving a Nissan Frontier down a snow-covered mountain, hitting a hill and doing a barrel roll before coming to a perfect sliding stop. In the first of two tongue-in-cheek ‘Don’t try this at home’ warnings, we are told, “Fantasy. Trucks can’t snowboard. Do not attempt.” Fantasy? Trucks can’t snowboard? Hold on one second while I write onto another forum.

 “Dear Mythbusters, please snowboard a truck down a mountain because I believe it can happen because I saw it on a commercial and think it’d be really cool to see what the real results are. Thank you… “

Ok, I’m back. In the second ‘warning’, as the truck spins through the air, we are told “Or do barrel rolls. Do not attempt.” Hang on, I forgot something in my letter to the Mythbusters…

  “Also, please try the barrel roll, just in case. Bee-tee-dub, if it doesn’t work, you probably weren’t using a new Nissan Frontier. Make sure you get it right.”

At the end of the roll, the truck lands and slides to a nice quick stop. The REAL warning in this commercial should be at this point, reading “Fantasy. The brakes on the truck mixed with the tread of the wheels would never be able to stop the truck in this amount of space. Do not attempt or the people filming you will be pancakes in the Rockies and you, if you survived the jump, will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” Sure its longer, but hey, whatever happened to the small print at the bottom of commercials anyway?

Side note: If you’d like to see what would really happen to a truck after trying even a quarter of that jump, see the video at the bottom of this post.

Of course ultimately, in our Verizon commercial, the customer (looking a little like Seth MacFarlane) ends up choosing the phone leaving a sad sounding R2 unit and making all of our wives or girlfriends saying “Awwwww, poor thing… whats that one’s name again?” Which goes back to my original point, R2 just can’t get no respect.

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Star Wars – Now in 3D

  Just as Disney has scrambled to turn each of their classic hits into 3D box-office re-smash hits (presumably in the wake of not having any NEW good Disney classics?) George “I need to make more money from my signature franchise” Lucas is releasing a 3D version of Star Wars… wait, don’t get too excited, its Episode I.

  That’s right, the movie that disappointed so many classic Wars Geeks (as well as frustrating us Dads since our kids LIKED the movie) is the chosen 3D jaunt that Lucas hopes will flock people back to the theaters.

  And, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it will. Heck, I’ve been going on a 3D movie rampage in the past year (some of them not by choice 😦 ) and I am a Geek, and I am a Star Wars fan and even though it was by far my least favorite of ANY of the Star Wars movies, I will surely end up watching it in all the futuristic glory of 3 dimensions. If for no other reason, than to take my son who enjoyed the movie (and yes, he liked JarJar too… ugh) that helped vault him into the Star Wars Junkie that I set out to make him the moment I met him.

  But really, Episode I? This means one of three things…

    1. Lucas is seeing just how much he can piss us off, yet still make tons of money off of us cause we just won’t quit.

    2. The original trilogy will be left out of the 3D glory, and we will never see Greedo shoot first, right past our heads. (Even though Han shot first, in the original original… but that’s a different argument.)

    3. This is the only 3D Star Wars movie to be made.

   If you watch the trailer for the movie closely (in case you forget how the story goes or want to see the hype, you can see the trailer HERE), at the very beginning we see scenes of both trilogies, and indeed the announcer says “The greatest saga of all time… is coming… to the big screen (at this point I was waiting for the words, YET AGAIN, in a really dramatic yet slightly sarcastic voice)… in specTACular 3D”…

  So from this we can note 2 things, first, its not just 3D, but specTACular 3D. Which as you know is 42% better than normal 3D. (Also known as LucasD) And second, lets hope, all the movies will be made into 3D. This is great, except for the having to buy yet another Star Wars box set once they all came out.

 

  And really, folks, its not that Lucas is re-releasing all of these movies in 3D, to the theaters again, that has me and quite a few people up in a tizzy, but rather the NUMEROUS movies that are being re-released. This coming year alone, so far scheduled besides Star Wars, Beauty and The Beast (Get ready to shell out more dough fellas cause your women and daughters want to see it), Titanic (See previous side note), and Finding Nemo.

  This would all be wonderful, ok well maybe not Titanic, if we didn’t have to pay the same price for the movies that we do for every other movie. Oh Wait, we DON’T. We have to pay MORE, so we can use the 3D glasses. Really? We already paid for these movies and made them top Box-Office Blockbusters. Its not like they had all the same production costs go into these that they did before. They didn’t have to re-cast all the actors, re-shoot all the scenes, or hire a bunch of gaffers to lay down 3 miles of tape over electrical cords, they just did some post-production, again. Yet they charge us the same.

  I welcome seeing my kids faces light up when they watch these movies in 3D (Though I don’t welcome the stoned teenagers in the front row loudly exclaiming “DID YOU SEE THAT” every time something flies off the screen) but please, Lucas, Disney, EVERYONE. Give us a break on the costs at the theaters.