A Blast From The Past: John Wayne For The American Cancer Society


Screen icon John Wayne was born 115 years ago, on this date, in Winterest, Iowa.  

Best-known for his appearances in western films, Wayne spent the last decade of his life battling cancer and serving as a spokesman for The American Cancer Society.  He made his final film appearance in 1976, starring in The Shootist as a veteran gunslinger who was, just like Wayne, facing his own mortality.  The film not only provided a capstone to Wayne’s film career but the footage of Jimmy Stewart (as a doctor) informing Wayne that he didn’t have long to live was used in one of the commercials that Wayne did for The American Cancer Society.

Of course, in the commercial, the footage was followed by Wayne encouraging viewers to get tested and also threatening to “take you apart” if they didn’t.  Three years after the release of The Shootist and this commercial, Wayne would succumb to cancer but his efforts would lead to more people getting tested and more cancers being detected early.

Here, from 1976….

Is The Amazon Climate Pledge Advertisement The Worst Commercial Of All Time?


Usually, the only time we talk about commercials here on the Shattered Lens is after the Super Bowl or if we’re sharing a trailer. However, there has recently been one commercial that is so loathsome, so tone deaf, and so goddamn annoying that it has managed to unite just about everyone I know, on both the Left and the Right, in mutual disdain.

Here, for all to see, is the Amazon Climate Pledge commercial:

The commercial is 90 seconds of an international group of children and teenagers telling CEOs that they need to do more to protect the environment. Some of them appear to be wandering through a Mad Max-style desert. Some are trapped in a Werner Herzog movie. The “I can grow my own food” person appears to be in a Ridley Scott film. For some reason, the Italian kid who is worried about his imaginary grandchildren is hanging out in the middle of a landfill. I’m sure that’s doing wonders for his state of mind. Italy’s a beautiful country when you don’t spend all of your time hanging out at a landfill.

Why is this commercial the worst?

First off, it’s apparently targeted at CEOs, ordering them to sign a pledge. The pledge doesn’t really mean anything but if you sign it, you’ll be spared from having to talk to the “Try sustainable farming” girl so it’s probably worth the trouble. Here’s the problem — I’M NOT A CEO! If the commercial is meant for CEOs, why is it airing during Big Brother? Are a bunch of polluting CEOs watching Big Brother in their spare time? Why am I seeing it on Hulu? Do CEOs put their polluting agenda on hold so they can get together to binge King of the Hill? The answer, of course, is that it’s not really targeted at CEOs. It’s targeted at people who are dumb enough to think that it’s targeted to CEOs, people who will presumably say, “Amazon is leading the way to get businesses to clean up their act!”

This bring me to my second point, which is that the commercial was made by AMAZON! This is the company that’s run by the man who wants to fly in a rocket for fun. I’m usually not one to complain about eccentric billionaires having their fun but if you’re going to start your own space program, that means you don’t get to yell at me about the environment.

But that’s not all. Could they have found more annoying spokespeople than the kids in this commercial? I’m torn on which one of them I hate the most. The landfill boy fills me with rage whenever he starts taking about his non-existent grandchildren but the sustainable farming girl reminds me of every annoying student council candidate who I knew in high school. But really, I think the worst of the bunch are the two sisters who apparently live in a flooded town. When the younger of the two yells, “Yeah!” at me after her sister tells me to do something …. I’M NOT A CEO! YOU’RE YELLING AT THE WRONG PERSON! And why the Hell are you wandering around in the middle of a flood anyways? We should all do what we can to help and protect the environment but these entitled little brats make me want to turn up the air conditioning. It doesn’t help that the commercial ends with all of them staring straight at the camera (i.e. me) with a look on their face like I just gave away their favorite pet.

Finally, wind farms are a terrible eyesore. They may be good for the environment but they look like something from a dystopian sci-fi movie. By all means, build them but don’t stick them in every commercial and expect everyone to go, “Oh wow, windmills!”

Commercials like this annoy me because they’re so extremely self-congratulatory and counter-productive. They inspire many thoughts but little of them have to do with saving the planet.

Here’s The Super Bowl Spot for Nobody!


Somehow, last night, I missed the Super Bowl spot for Nobody.  Then again, I also somehow also missed the streaker running across the field.  I was probably busy jotting down notes about the commercials that I had just seen.  Who knows?  It was a strange night.

Anyway, here’s the Super Bowl spot for Nobody!

Bob Odenkirk, action star!  That’s kind of a strange idea but I guess it could happen.  Bryan Cranston went from doing comedy to doing heavy drama.  John Krasinski is another example.  Watching The Office, you would never expect to see Jim Halpert blowing away the bad guys but that’s exactly what happened.  Of course, it looks like there’s going to be a lot of humor to go along with all of the action in this film so I guess that’s good.  Eventually, someone will cast Bob Odenkirk in one of those grim and depressing cop films where he’s like an alcoholic who spends all of his time looking at old case files and searching for that one clue that will put the murderer away.  I fully support the right of Bob Odenkirk to do new and different things!

 

Here’s The Super Bowl Promo For Raya And The Last Dragon!


There haven’t been that many movie spots during this Super Bowl.  It’s a shame but I guess it’s to be expected, given the current state of theaters and studios and everything else.  During the first half, we saw trailers and commercials for Old, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and this very brief one for Raya and the Last Dragon:

It’s a short commercial but …. hey, it looks cute!  I’ll watch it when it comes out.

Here’s The Super Bowl Commercial For Old!


It’s Super Bowl Sunday and that means that we’ll be getting at least a few commercials for some upcoming films.

Like this one!

This is for M. Night Shyamalan’s new film, Old.  Apparently, it’s about a beach where you age really quickly.  The trailer somewhat optimistically promises that it will be in theaters this summer.

A Blast From The Past: Bette Davis Sells General Electric


Today is not only Roger Corman’s birthday!

And it’s not just Albert Broccoli’s birthday!

It’s also Bette Davis’s birthday and there’s absolutely no way that we here at the Shattered Lens, as lovers of both classic and modern films, could let the day pass without acknowledging it.

Here’s Bette Davis in a General Election commercial from 1933.  This commercial would have been shown in theaters, in between a double feature.

Here’s The Super Bowl Teaser for Toy Story 4!


Right after the game ended, PIXAR snuck in this little teaser for Toy Story 4.  I have to admit that I nearly changed the channel and missed it.  I’m glad I didn’t!

Anyway, it looks like Buzz is still getting into trouble and Woody is still trying to hold it all together.  To be honest, I thought Toy Story 3 ended the series on a perfect note so I’ll be curious to see what they do with Toy Story 4.  But you know what?  It’s PIXAR and it’s Toy Story so I have faith!

Here’s The Super Bowl Spot For Alita: Battle Angel!


This Super Bowl spot from Alita: Battle Angel aired earlier in the game and I somehow missed it.  (I was probably talking about that Game Of Thrones/Bud Light ad.)  So, here it is now!

This film was produced and written by James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez.  According to this spot, if you don’t see this film in a theater, the world will end and it’ll be all your fault.  So, I guess you better make the time.

Here’s the spot:

Here’s The Super Bowl Teaser For Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark!


AGCK!

This film, from Guillermo Del Toro, will be coming out this summer and I can’t wait!  There’s nothing like terrifying, mind-bending horror to liven up the summer months.

Seriously, I totally screamed when I saw this.