The Blog Post That Will Have All Australia Talking!

I've written about television show promotions using over inflated taglines that are total exaggerations of what will actually happen on the program before in This Blog Post Will Change Everything.

Lately the Nine Television Network Australia has been favoring the tagline "The episode that will have all Australia talking!" (I may be paraphrasing but I'm fairly certain that's the tagline). It's been used to promote new episodes of at least two shows currently airing on the network; Fat Tony & Co and Love Child.

The former is based on one of Australia's most notorious underworld figures whilst the latter tells the stories of young women and men fighting an unjust system in 1969 at the Kings Cross Hospital.

I've been watching both shows and whist each is fairly dramatic, with their fair share of twists and turns, it's nothing that we haven't really seen before. Certainly nothing that'll get all Australia talking.

Neither is exactly The Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones or the season finale of Breaking Bad. Two shows that I've never watched (well not quite never. I recently watched the pilot episode of Breaking Bad) but seemed to have a good proportion of the Internet talking when those particular episodes were aired. Heck even I had a fair idea of what happened in the aforementioned episodes.

Clearly a tagline like "The episode that will get all Australia talking" is designed to make a show sound more epic and important than it actually is. Using it in my blog post title certainly makes this article sound more important - but ultimately it disappoints (probably like this blog post).

Personally I would rather TV show promos were more episode specific and steer clear of generic taglines that could be applied to anything to achieve the same level of disappointment.

The only time I can think of when this tagline is appropriate is for a weather report...

"The weather that will have all Australia talking!"

Because really, really dramatic weather is about the only thing that does get Australia talking.





Movie Review: The Monuments Men (Spoiler free)

The Monuments men written by (with Grant Heslov), directed and stars George Clooney and features Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Cate Blanchett is, I feel, an important film, based on a true story, but was not quite what I was expecting.

Set during the final years of World War II, Frank Stokes (Clooney) puts together a team of misfit soldiers, with more knowledge between them about art history than war or fighting. The team is charged with the task of locating and returning important works of art stolen by the Nazis during the course of the war, spirited away, destined to either be destroyed or appear in Hilter's great art museum.

It's certainly an interesting story from the great war. That anyone had the foresight to rescue as much art as they did, in light of the death, destruction and general harsh conditions faced by everyone involved.

Although I was aware the Nazis did destroy and steal quite a considerable amount of significant artworks it's one of those aspects of World War II that isn't widely known in the mainstream. Which is why I feel this film is important.

Not only does the movie attempt to show the massive scale of the Nazis theft it also goes some way to explaining why art actually matters to culture and people. Something that is often missed by those who tend to pass art off as frivolous to society.

What I wasn't expecting was the very measured and low key pacing of the film. Whilst I was never bored the slow pace could have been filled with more character moments. Especially with great comedic actors like John Goodman and Bill Murray, who pretty much get as much screen time as everyone else but feel a little under used. John Goodman has a great, humorous line in the trailer that isn't actually used in the same scene in the film.

As a quick aside it's good to see Cate Blanchett doing an authentic French accent (to my ear at least) rather than that overplayed German accent she used in the last Indiana Jones movie.

Overall The Monuments Men is a solid film with good performances from all the cast. It does have really great high moments and a few low points that may get your eyes watering. It's not quite the character driven film I was hoping for but the story is interesting and thought provoking enough to keep you entertained. You may even learn something too.

Worth seeing in a cinema but it's probably a film that's going to become essential viewing for students of art history in years to come.


Let the Robot Win...

C-3PO
If there's one thing that could set off the Robot uprising it's beating them at sports. C-3PO in Star Wars: A New Hope observed that "nobody worries about upsetting a droid" and I think that could be the downfall of the human race.

Robot manufacturer, Kuka Robotics, have developed a robot arm that can match it with one of the world's best table tennis players, former world number one, Timo Boll. Well at least that's what they want us to believe. See their promotion video below.



If you watch the making of this video (below) you'll get the sense that the match probably wasn't real with some fairly extreme plays being staged for dramatic effect.



Personally I think the arm is probably fast enough to play table tennis but is actually no real match for Timo. However... there in lies the problem. If we keep beating robots at sports they're going to develop low self esteem until one day a robot just snaps and the robot uprising begins!

In order to prevent that day we should perhaps adopt a safer strategy of letting the robot win. It could save our lives.


Hoverboards are Finally Here... Hmmmm?

A new video going around by HUVr Tech is trying to convince us that they've finally invented the hoverboard exactly like those that appear in the Back to the Future movies.

A bunch of stars are featured including original Doc Emmertt Brown, Christopher Lloyd, professional skateboarder, Tony Hawk (of course) and international musician, Moby.

The video claims that the demonstration is 100 percent real but I gotta say the hokey physics displayed by people actually riding these HUVr boards is just as dodgy as the original movies. Not to mention the whole demonstration feels completely staged with not a genuine emotion about how awesome the invention of real hoverboards would actually be.



There's speculation that the video and companion website may be a promotion for a fourth movie in the BTTF series but my money is on a Virtual Reality computer game of some sort.

Why do I think that? First because the website talks about an upcoming phone app that tracks your location whilst riding your HUVr board (supposedly connected to your board via bluetooth).

Second 'HUVr' is an acronym for something with the deliberate lowercase 'r'. It's not just a cool text-speak way to write 'hover'. At a guess I'm going with 'Heads Up Virtual Reality'.

Whatever the site is really a promotion for, I guess we'll find out in December of 2014, the destination time shown on a counter at the top of HUVr Tech's website.

Of course they may have actually developed an anti-gravity skateboard but you can bet your life, if they had, you wouldn't need a bunch of stars to try and give it credibility. That sh*t sells its self!

For another article talking about who may be behind this read Heavy's post; HUVr Tech ‘Real Hoverboard’ Is a Hoax: 10 Fast Facts You Need to Know by Tucker Cummings.


[Updated: 6th March 2014]

Unsurprisingly it turns out the HUVr tech video was entirely a prank by website Funny or Die who were busted by Mashable when a costume designer added their work on the shoot to their online resume (I'm thinking that person probably won't be working on anything that requires secrecy anytime soon).

Both Christopher Lloyd and Tony Hawk have made apology videos. Tony's is embeded below. Whilst I knew it wasn't real I am disappointed it's not a promotional video for any upcoming Back to the Future tie in of any sort.

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