Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I blew up the Charlotte Observer today

Metaphorically, of course, as I can't afford to retire until well after the mortgage is paid. But I went to, typed in "600 south tryon street charlotte north carolina" and watched machines from outer space devastate my block. Luckily, they left the parking deck across the street alone, so I should be able to drive home. ("Eyewitnesses claim that the aliens seem to be alive and are making intelligent decisions," said a newsflash on the screen. Well, there you go.)

This site can apparently load aerial photos from any common street address. And if you're having a rough day at work, watching your office explode may provide vicarious satisfaction. (Note to any editors reading this: I enjoy every moment of my wonderful job.)

The publicity stunt promotes the movie "Battleship," which opens May 18. The film can use all the help it can get: Early reviews describe it as a mix between a "Transformers" rip-off and a propaganda film for the U.S. Navy, and even lenient voters at the Internet Movie Data Base have been lukewarm.

This reminded me of an old adage: The cleverer the promotion is for a picture with a bad smell hovering over it, the less good the movie is likely to be. Back in the days when studios still sent critics promotional gimmicks, I was happy to get the shipments but always doubtful that the film themselves would live up to the marketing. (A notable exception: the jewelry-box coffin, fangs and Hollywood-style blood makeup kit sent before the original "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," which was good.)

I have no take on "Battleship" yet myself, as I haven't seen it. And hey -- the first "Transformers" movie was pretty entertaining. But the fact that I'm having fun with it now makes me think I won't have fun with it later....


Archiguy said...

This movie sounds like a virtual clone of "Battle Los Angeles" which was essentially a recruiting video for the U.S. military, specifically the Marine Corps.

Of course, a gung-ho pro-military movie means they get access to all the cool military hardware we civies rarely get to see. Nice to see where all those billions of tax dollars go, I guess.

But don't expect it to be "Apocalypse Now" or "The Deer Hunter". You couldn't make those movies today. The right-wing media machine would call you un-American and drum up a boycott that would kill your box office.

John said...

It never ceases to amuse how liberals continue to cite a "right-wing media machine" when every poll taken has consistently shown that the vast majority of rank and file media are registered Democrats. Even Fox News has Democrats on their payroll and many major media outlets like MSNBC are flagrantly and unapologetically far left-wing.

Perhaps people just figure anything to the right of Nancy Pelosi is "right-wing"?

Anonymous said...

You know Lawrence, if you were in 7th grade this might be interesting. Young people tend to be infatuated with not only video games , but themselves aas well.

Anonymous said...

The Observer blew themselves up a long time ago. Everyone there is either laid off or fired. Several floors are dark, and old desks sit around with old ex-employees work still piled on them. Lights are out all over the place on the floor where there are still some people working in order to save money. Sad.

Archiguy said...

John - You assume mainstream media is in the bag for the Democrats out of some internal bias they learn in all those liberal colleges getting those journalism degrees. You are demonstrably wrong.

Conservatives have moved the needle so far to the right that they now classify not just every news operation that tries to play it down the middle, but every one that doesn't explicitly cheerlead for conservative political positions as "unapologetically far left-wing", as you so breathlessly described. In truth, only MSNBC and a few independent blogs & newsletters like The Daily Kos could be classified as such.

People like you used to loudly defend FoxNews from the charges of bias. Now, you don't even try to convince anyone that FNC is "fair and biased". Now the charge is that FNC is PROUDLY biased in order to "counteract" all that perceived left-wing bias that the conservative pundetry see literally EVERYWHERE else.

It's ridiculous to keep saying this when there's no evidence of obvious news division bias to support the accusations against NPR, PBS, the broadcast networks, the country's daily newspapers, and basically any operation employing professional journalists.

And it never ceases to amuse me how miscalibrated to the right our national definition of journalistically neutral has become. The GOP has worked very hard at it over the last 30 years or so.

Anonymous said...

Head injuries are nothing to scoff at, Arch. You should get that looked at, and the sooner the better.

Anonymous said...

I for one appreciate the link, and since seeing it, have sent a couple of customized URLs to friends (customized based on their own home or work address).

The movie might be garbage, but their little marketing plan is pretty cool.

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