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Old June 22 2013, 02:13 AM   #1
Shaka Zulu
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Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

Basically put, the author of this article is angry and saddened at the Man of Steel movie having what he thinks is a lot of product placement in the movie....

This weekend I was, for about four whole minutes, gripped by an acute sadness that made me sadder than I’ve been in...I don’t know, let’s say, months.
Alone in the dark at the Scotiabank Cinema 4 – well, as a party of one, there were other people in the theatre, even at 11:30 am on a Saturday – watching the mostly lousy Man Of Steel, my wincing disinterest in the film teetered into full-on despair. I was seized by that feeling that feels like when you’re falling off a cliff in a dream and your heart’s all the way down in your gut and you kind of lose control of yourself and start weeping – like your body is trying to escape through itself, ooze out into the world, and die.
Watching Man Of Steel, and seeing Superman smash General Zod through an IHOP, and seeing that Ma Kent works at a Sears made me feel, severely, intensely – and sorry if this sounds like I’m wringing buzzwords out of a soggy B.A. – like I was being interpellated by the whole grinding process of capitalism, like some gross insidious force was reaching into my body and trying to produce my subjectivity for me. Or: it made me feel like I was just some dumb idiot, not only trying to be sold something – not just Sears or Superman but the whole idea of capitalism – but being relegated to the embarrassing status as nothing more than a commodity arranged in a whole complex process of commodification. Like a cog in a machine, man.
Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart*

*The 'Kensington' in the title refers to the famous market in Toronto that's under threat of a Wal-Mart opening near it a few blocks away.
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Old June 22 2013, 02:29 AM   #2
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Re: Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

I think having real stores, restaurants and products lends to the reality of the world they're portraying.
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Old June 22 2013, 02:33 AM   #3
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Re: Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

Some of the behind the scenes videos mentioned how they wanted to put Superman in a real-world environment.

Fake, poorly-thought-out, poorly-designed products on screen tend to take me out of the moment.
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Old June 22 2013, 02:54 AM   #4
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Re: Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

Movie was better with real brands. I dont think anyone would care if a Zears was destroyed, but a Sears brings up memories.
Same with an IHOP vs an International house of flapjacks. IHOF.
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Old June 22 2013, 03:11 AM   #5
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Re: Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

I hate product placement too. But product placement pays the bills, so it will always be around.
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Old June 22 2013, 03:13 AM   #6
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Re: Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

BillJ wrote: View Post
I think having real stores, restaurants and products lends to the reality of the world they're portraying.
There should be no realism argument since this movie is about an alien that looks like a human that is flying around. It's not trying to be realistic in the first place.
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Old June 22 2013, 03:16 AM   #7
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Re: Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

Dream wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
I think having real stores, restaurants and products lends to the reality of the world they're portraying.
There should be no realism argument since this movie is about an alien that looks like a human that is flying around. It's not trying to be realistic in the first place.
But you want to ground it in as much reality as possible. Using known stores, restaurants and products helps to do that.

You want the world to be recognizable.
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Old June 22 2013, 03:27 AM   #8
Nerys Myk
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Re: Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

Dream wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
I think having real stores, restaurants and products lends to the reality of the world they're portraying.
There should be no realism argument since this movie is about an alien that looks like a human that is flying around. It's not trying to be realistic in the first place.
So nothing from 21st Century society at all?
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Old June 22 2013, 03:28 AM   #9
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Re: Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

BillJ wrote: View Post
Dream wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
I think having real stores, restaurants and products lends to the reality of the world they're portraying.
There should be no realism argument since this movie is about an alien that looks like a human that is flying around. It's not trying to be realistic in the first place.
But you want to ground it in as much reality as possible. Using known stores, restaurants and products helps to do that.

You want the world to be recognizable.
I have zero problem with big brand names in the background, just not in my face for something like 5 minutes straight. Luckily, the big brand names remained mostly in the background in MOS.

Smallville was the worst with product placement, that show actually had the plot of one episode revolve (Season Seven's Hero) around Stride gum with one chararcter getting powers because of eating the gum, and also characters showing up a Stride gum factory. That would be in your face advertising.
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Last edited by Dream; June 22 2013 at 03:40 AM.
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Old June 22 2013, 03:30 AM   #10
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Re: Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Dream wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
I think having real stores, restaurants and products lends to the reality of the world they're portraying.
There should be no realism argument since this movie is about an alien that looks like a human that is flying around. It's not trying to be realistic in the first place.
So nothing from 21st Century society at all?
When did I say that? I only said people shouldn't use the realism argument.

Product placement is only bad if it is really in your face.
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Old June 22 2013, 03:33 AM   #11
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Re: Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

It did seem to be a *bit* much, and one wonders how Martha maintained the Kent Farm on a Sears salary but, at the same time, it does put some "realism" in the movie, I guess. I mean Sears, Walmarts, IHOPs and such are all over the place in the real world, why would they not be in Smallville? But maybe the prominence of them is too much? I mean a large battle took place IN an IHOP and a secondary character worked there. (Same for the Sears.)

But, then again, Superman II featured Superman getting thrown into a Budweiser truck made out of mylar.
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Old June 22 2013, 03:38 AM   #12
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Re: Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
But, then again, Superman II featured Superman getting thrown into a Budweiser truck made out of mylar.
I don't have a problem with "flash" product placement with the product logo onscreen only for 5 second or something. But if Zod and his crew had been hiding in the Budweiser truck for 15 minutes planning on how they were going to take over Earth, that would have been too much. Product placement would be taking over the movie at that point.
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Old June 22 2013, 03:43 AM   #13
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Re: Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

Dream wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Dream wrote: View Post

There should be no realism argument since this movie is about an alien that looks like a human that is flying around. It's not trying to be realistic in the first place.
So nothing from 21st Century society at all?
When did I say that? I only said people shouldn't use the realism argument.

Product placement is only bad if it is really in your face.
Why not? Realism has different levels. Obviously the human looking aliens who fly would be out of the question in a film with total realism. Sears and IHOP showing up in a film about human looking aliens who fly lend just the right amount of realism to keep the film grounded.
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Old June 22 2013, 03:58 AM   #14
Shaka Zulu
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Re: Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
Dream wrote: View Post
Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
So nothing from 21st Century society at all?
When did I say that? I only said people shouldn't use the realism argument.

Product placement is only bad if it is really in your face.
Why not? Realism has different levels. Obviously the human looking aliens who fly would be out of the question in a film with total realism. Sears and IHOP showing up in a film about human looking aliens who fly lend just the right amount of realism to keep the film grounded.
The guy who wrote this article is a real tool, BTW (he also wrote an article about Chris Haddonfield that was complete wack, too.)
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Old June 22 2013, 04:01 AM   #15
Trekker4747
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Re: Smallville’s Sears, Kensington’s Wal-Mart

Dream wrote: View Post
Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
But, then again, Superman II featured Superman getting thrown into a Budweiser truck made out of mylar.
I don't have a problem with "flash" product placement with the product logo onscreen only for 5 second or something. But if Zod and his crew had been hiding in the Budweiser truck for 15 minutes planning on how they were going to take over Earth, that would have been too much. Product placement would be taking over the movie at that point.
Eh, I dunno, product placement is a fact of life and it's always going to be there and it's always BEEN there. That Budweiser truck being focused on for a moment is just as much of product placement as part of a battle taking place in an IHOP for a couple of minutes.

One one hand I sort of see where people come from on the product placement in this movie, on the other hand product placement has always been there in one form or another. There's a scene in "Superman The Movie" where we see a behind-shot of Martha Kent looking out the window and there's a prominently placed Cheerios box on the table. We then switch to a shot in from of Martha looking out the window and the box has re-oriented itself to, again, have "Cheerios" readable. (Rather than now seeing the back of the box.) Continuity error or product placement?

People complained how in "Book of Eli" we get a look-out over a burned-out highway with product logos on trucks. Product placements? Sure. But it also makes sense for them to be there.

Again, maybe to some degree 7-11, IHOP and Sears were a *bit* front and center as far as where the action took place but it's no big deal, really. It's not like the movie stopped for a moment and had Superman turn to the screen and express his love for the Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity breakfast at IHOP. Mention my name and get $2 off! Like he was the host of a 1950s talk show.

And it occurs to me that it wasn't a Budweiser truck in S-II but a Marlboro cigarette truck.

Not going back to fix it, deal.
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