Monthly Archives: September 2009

Study: TV ads are still biggest tool to affect movie choices

Lotta options out there.

Lotta options out there.

TV still dominates as the leading tool to generate awareness for films, above in-theater trailers, word of mouth and the internet.

Here’s a very interesting article from Variety about a study of filmgoing habits that breaks down age groups and how they make choices about what movies to see in the theater.

Here’s the quick shot: only old people read newspapers… TV still matters… and movies are definitely recession-proof.

Findings from the study…

  • An estimated 94% of all moviegoers are now online.
  • 73% of young moviegoers surveyed have profiles on social networking sites.
  • Social networking must be used by studios to attract young moviegoers.
  • TV still dominates as the leading tool to generate awareness for films, above in-theater trailers, word of mouth and the internet.
  • Only audiences over 50 rely on newspaper reviews, while 62% of respondents get their reviews online.
  • 75% said they trust a friend’s opinion more than a movie critic, yet only 40% said negative reviews from their peers would dissuade them from seeing a movie. Basically, if a moviegoer, especially a younger one, makes up their mind to see a movie, nothing can stop them. (Which explains why I saw Howard the Duck opening weekend as a kid.  Oh, Lea Thompson, you siren of the 80s!)
  • 79% of those questioned said, “Going to the movies is a good escape from everyday life.”

Check out the article…

Internet influences film audiences

source: Variety

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The Office 6.2: “The Meeting” Michael betrays Jim, Dwight and Toby team up and I get discriminated against for not having a wide-screen TV

This was a solid episode of The Office. Not as many big laughs as the season premiere last week, but some really funny set pieces, great dialogue moments and big plot points formed what looks to be a pivotal chapter in Dunder Mifflin history.

A central conflict built around Michael’s betrayal of Jim leads to a dramatic plot turn that I predict may end in this season’s cliffhanger — will Jim or Michael run the Dunder Mifflin branch?

By the way, do you think Jim’s competing job offer was real? Sound off in the comments.

Jim confronts Michael, which leads to a great moment: Michael gets choked up at the thought of losing Jim, and Pam, and now the baby.

He can’t lose the baby.

Eventually, Michael does the right thing and gets Jim the promotion, while demoting himself to Co-Manager along with his “best friend.”

Dwight left out in the cold, once again.

Dwight left out in the cold, once again.

There’s Dwight, once again playing second fiddle to Jim Halpert. But don’t cry for our mustard-shirted beet farmer, as he got the chance to put his private investigator hat on, teaming up with Toby, of all people, to catch Darryl in the act of worker’s comp fraud.

This didn’t go quite according to plan. Seconds after Toby explodes in expletives (for the first time?)…


Flenderson Unchained!

…the guys crack the case…kind of…not really.



A hilarious, well-choreographed sight gag. This leads to actual strong detective work by Dwight, incriminating Darryl, but Darryl has ammunition with his threat of a complaint of sexual harassment against his “baby sister.” Wait, does he mean baby linebacker?

Dwight gets cut from the Eagles.

Dwight gets cut from the Eagles.

So Toby ends up drowning in paperwork (with a red welt on his head that he’s treating with an ice cream drumstick, if anyone caught that).

Meanwhile, Pam attempts to get RSVPs for her wedding from some of the dumbest, most self-absorbed people in Scranton…

Ryan: I’ll probably stop by.

Pam: It costs $75 a person.

Ryan: I once had a glass of cognac that cost $77.

This makes sense only to Ryan, or perhaps Meredith, who had her own take on her RSVP…

Pam: You are going to text me on the morning of my wedding and you’ll eat whatever’s fanciest?

Meredith: Unless there’s ribs.

For anyone who’s ever planned a wedding, Pam’s plight hits home in a BIG way. I don’t think it’s out of line to wish that Ryan and Meredith die in fiery car crashes en route to Niagara Falls.

There was also the Nard-dog’s confusion over how to respond to his cousin’s email: “Hey Andy, let’s go visit grandma and then get drunk together, ha ha.” And the cold open found Michael asking Oscar if he should have a safe word when he gets a colonoscopy. Solid bits.

But by far, my favorite gag was Michael’s “makeshift cheese cart” plot. The very plan itself is classic Michael, and Andy’s turn as a top-shelf sommelier is an inspired heightening of the bit…

"Also from the great state of Wisconsin, an aged parmesan."

"Also from the great state of Wisconsin, an aged parmesan."

And now we get to this week’s social issue, a call to action, if you will, for justice to be served.

There was one bit of action that I missed, due to a problem that seems to have gone unnoticed by the media, and by extension, the entire planet: those of us without wide-screen TVs are being discriminated against with the networks’ increasing use of activity in the corners of the frame!

Suddenly, every TV director is Paul Thomas Anderson.

So I had to watch the internet stream to actually see Michael climb out from under the cheese cart…

Evidence A in my epochal lawsuit against the major networks.

Evidence A in my epochal lawsuit against the major networks.

…and I was pissed. Because my people, those of us who still own analog television sets without wide-screen aspect ratios (1:1.33? Who am I, James Cameron?), are discriminated against every time a show airs that is not letterboxed. Do you have any idea how we feel when we hear a line from a character and that actor is actually offscreen when it’s clear that the filmmakers intended for them to be onscreen?!

Would it kill the networks to broadcast in letterbox format once again, like E.R. in 2001? Was it really that long ago? Does technology really move so fast? Don’t look at me for that answer, because, once again, <airquotes>not George Lucas over here</airquotes>, but I do know one thing…

This economic telematic racism must stop.

It’s hard to put into words for those of you who have never walked in my shoes. It’s like I’m a Native American…being driven from my own living room…by digital pirates.

That’s what that is. So screw you, NBC. (Even though your current Thursday night comedy lineup is pretty freakin’ solid, if I may complement you whilst planning my revenge upon ye and yours.)

And although I wasn’t fond of the Dwight Schrute scream to end the episode — I know how he feels…

The Scream.

The Scream.

No, Dwight, you can’t have a plasma for Christmas. Maybe next year, when broadcast media becomes fair.



Filed under The Office, TV

Will Ferrell & Jon Hamm kick the truth about Insurance Companies

Here’s a very funny PSA from…

Click to go to video.

Click to go to video.

Once again, big no thanks to WordPress for not allowing embeds from funny or die!!  (or any site other than youtube or google video, for that matter)

Great cast here — Thomas Lennon is a particular standout — we’ve been watching old episodes of The State on dvd and he’s hilarious. And I just realized he’s a very successful screenwriter; check out his imdb listing (previous link)!

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Mad Men 3.6: “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency” but he ain’t walking out, is he?

Quick question.

If there was ONE thing you had to pick that was most memorable about this episode, what would it be?

Sally’s barbie doll in the bushes?  Probably not.

Conrad Hilton summoning  Don to the presidential suite at the Waldorf-Astoria? Nope.

Don getting an old-fashioned shave with a flat razor? Definitely warmer…

Let’s see, umm, Oh, I know!  Going out on a limb here (hee hee), but I’m going to predict it’s this…

Cake, anyone?

Yeah, definitely Guy McKendrick getting his foot sliced off with the John Deere lawn mower during Joan’s going-away party.  Nailed it. (update: animated gif now up at Gif Party.)

So let me just take a second here to say…HO-LEEE MEGA-CRAP! That’s a Hard Right Turn right there, folks, and most definitely a candidate for the Mad Men’s most shocking moments board on the AMC Mad Men page.

And secondly, I think it’s safe to say that Lois and machinery do not mix well, hmm?  Last week she got her scarf caught in the xerox machine.  This week, well, here’s another take on the moment…

Guy McKendrick gets a lil' surprise

Okay, maybe I went a bit far with the dialogue from the guy in the background, but…he’s smiling, people. C’mon.

And there’s a lesson here.

The next time your Brit bosses make you work on July 3rd because they “were unaware of the holiday” then you remind them of a little thing called the Revolutionary War and you make it hurt. Because that’s the American way.

So what happened to Lois?  Well, her getaway ended up like everything else she attempts: a sadness parade.

How to get fired from your job (part 2).

Lois invents open office architecture (unknowingly, of course).

Peggy faints into Pete’s arms (interesting) and Ken yells for someone to call an ambulance.

Joan runs in and saves Guy’s life, proving once again she’s the greatest office manager in the world. Speaking of…

Joan can’t be leaving Sterling-Cooper, right?  Say it isn’t so, Weiner and sons!  She’s got skills, spunk and she’s got a heart, considering she’s the only S-C employee who bothered to go to the hospital, until Don shows up, right?  Yes, a big heart, until the writers remind us that there’s no tragedy too big not to be openly mocked by these people (as long as it’s a well-crafted joke, of course; there’s no points for poor wordplay), so Joan pouts about her dress being ruined from Guy’s blood and then makes a joke about how that’s life: you may have a great day or you may have a secretary run you over with a lawn mower.

Too cruel, you say? Tell that to the nuns in St. Patrick’s Cathedral (which is, btw, the church spire that is visible from Roger Sterling’s window, although that’s probably artistic license because his office is not high up enough to have that view).

This is New York.  People lose their feet every day. Whatayyawant me to do about it?

It should be noted that Roger delivered the first, and awesomely best joke about the gimp…

Paul: He may lose his foot.

Roger: Just when he got it in the door.

Didn’t even skip a beat.  Then he calls Harry Crane a “Sissy Mary,” which is like winning the Masters two years in a row. The Masters being a golf tournament, which is something Guy McKendrick will never participate in, according to his boss Powell…

Powell: The doctors said he’ll never play golf again.

And that is the measure of a man, isn’t it?  His golf game.  Actually, it’s more the golf course; that’s where the deals are made, and no one wants to play golf with the club-footed guy.

Yet another reminder about the importance of style and presentation in this world. It is the surface of a man that must be flawless and inspiring, even if it covers over the darkest of secrets. Just like a glossy ad in a magazine or a television commercial populated with actors who flash rows of teeth bleached to the grit.

(Note: Powell’s full character name on imdb is listed as Saint John Powell.  I thought he was being called Sinjun Powell, didn’t you?  Or is Sinjun short for…Saint John?  Who the f names their kid Saint John?!)

While we’re on the topic of the Brits, let’s discuss that miserable Michael York-looking bastard, Harold Ford.

Ford = York


Ford’s got a cuckoo clock for a heart and getting his jaw wired shut was elective surgery.  He practices sneering in the mirror for ten minutes a day. Eleven on Sunday. When he told Lane Pryce “One of your greatest qualities is doing what you’re told,” I wanted to smack the pomp out of his circumstance.  Or worse, deny him his afternoon tea, which would probably make him melt into the floor like The Wicked Witch of the East.  Add to that Powell telling Pryce “Don’t pout” after ordering him to move to BOMBAY and once again on Mad Men, we suddenly feel sympathy for a character that we previously thought was a class-A dick.

I now want Lane Pryce to remain at Sterling Cooper, just long enough to see Powell, Ford, Putnam, Lowe, Shakespeare, Wernham and Hogg burn, baby, burn.

And talk about two guys who know how to give a present: that shriveled up Cobra in a cheap wooden basket?  That’s one you want to have under your arm when you cross a bouncy threshold. And did Powell actually say to Peggy “As you were” as if he were her superior officer in the service?

Does the party ever stop with these Brits?

And notice how Guy McKendrick called Don’s department “Creative Art and Copy” thus reducing it to doodles and captions. I mean, if that’s what you’re looking for, Jude Law Jr., then I’ve got it all cued up for you …

Guy, pre-getting his foot sliced off by a lawnmower driven by Lois the secretary with styrofoam for brains.

Guy, pre-getting his foot sliced off by a lawnmower driven by Lois the secretary who has styrofoam for brains.

Guy…I’ve known Don Draper.  I’ve worked with Don Draper.  You’re no Don Draper.

And what else this week?

The wife-raper proved he was a failure…

Paging Doctor Lowered Expectations.

Paging Doctor Lowered Expectations.

…Betty’s still a bitch and an awful mother…


"Only boring people get bored, and only new babies get love. Or, so my mother used to say. Before I strangled her for touching my hairbrush."

…and what the f*$k kind of Atomic-age doohickeys are happening here?

"I make-uh Mr. Draper feel-uh good with electric pizza dough rollers I invent back in Napoli."

"I make-uh Mr. Draper feel-uh good with electric pizza dough rollers I invent back in Napoli."

One last thing.

The Joan-Don goodbye: was that a “what could have been” moment or a “what WAS” moment? Drop your opinion in the Comments below.

Next week on Mad Men…incoherence.  Seriously, those previews are getting more Sopranos-rage-inducing each week.

It’s gonna be a long six days, Madison Avenue, so smoke ’em if you got ’em.  LOTS of ’em.



Filed under Mad Men, Pics, TV

“The Office 601: Gossip” Dan’s review on


I’m now covering The Office on the tv review site

Click on the image above for my article, and comment there or here!


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