Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I Present to Current Favourite Commercial (and Movie Thoughts)

And for those who want to see it in its full glory here it is.

This Toyota ad has been playing this month at Cineplex theatres. I don't usually notice the ads they play before movies, but this one really stood out to me. It's moving, uses a great song (which was apparently created for the ad...because many people online can't find a title or an artist), and it's Canadian! I went to see The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, and Sherlock Holmes today with a friend of mine, and raved about the commercial once again to her. I explained exactly why I think it's a good ad. And here's what I said:

It's not your typical car ad, meaning there's no flashy driving, speeding, lights flashing, etc. It's simple, and it leaves you wondering. Why are they showing all of these clips? What is this ad even for? Until the statistic and voiceover came on, I couldn't have even given a guess. I like being kept guessing. One day I want to be able to come up with an ad this good. Of course, the writers were helped by a pretty awesome statistic, something you'd obviously want to be advertising (Toyotas are long lasting, so go buy one!).

Kudos to Saatchi & Saatchi.

I'll write a top movies of 2009 list sometime early in the new year, since I'll be out tomorrow night. However, I saw my last two '09 movies today, and wanted to give some brief thoughts on both.

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus: I was supposed to see this last night, but my friend was unable to get a ticket, since I got the last one (curses to cheap movie Tuesday). We decided to go today, were able to get tickets very easily, and thought that maybe we should go see Sherlock Holmes as well. Anyways, this movie certainly left me thinking. Far from a "leave your brain at the door" film; I found myself having to concentrate really hard to follow the plot. Which made me very happy. The late Heath Ledger was excellent, as were Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell, who all took over his role after he died. I enjoyed it very much, though it felt very bittersweet. I love Johnny Depp, and have for years, but I have also loved Heath Ledger for years. As a young teenager, it was my dream to see the two of them act in a film together. That dream came true today, but under the very worst of circumstances. Indeed, they never "acted" together, since Depp was simply taking over the role he was unable to finish.

The visuals were outstanding, and the acting was pretty good all around. I really like Tom Waits, who played Mr. Nick, and Lily Cole was just beautiful. She has the face of a doll:

It's an interesting fantasy movie...go and check it out.

Sherlock Holmes: This was more of a "fun" movie. I certainly didn't really need to think much through it. Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law worked very well off of each other. This is my first real experience with anything Sherlock Holmes related (save for having one of the stories read to me as a kid, which I don't remember a thing of), so I can hardly judge how accurate it is to the books. I took it as a film alone as a result, and it kept me entertained. By the way, Eddie Marsan plays Inspector Lestrade in the film, I recognized him, but could not place where I'd seen him. Turns out, he played Scott, in the excellent Happy-Go-Lucky! He did a good job with a fairly small supporting role.


  1. That commercial was spell-binding - a breath-taking piece of work.
    I've wanted to see Sherlock for a while. It's unfortunate Heath Ledger wasn't able to finish The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. We'll never know just how great he was able to be. He should have won the Oscar for Brokeback Mt. His Oscar for Dark Knight was well-deserved, although bittersweet because he wasn't there to receive it.

  2. I'm not sure about that, because while his performance in Brokeback Mountain was amazing...Philip Seymour Hoffman was amazing in Capote. I didn't even like Capote all that much, but his performance really impressed me. I know I also said that at the time because I thought Ledger would have a long and amazing career...and sadly that assumption proved wrong. I'm just happy he got an Oscar, even if he was unable to collect it himself.

  3. For an ad to get noticed and especially enjoyed in a movie theatre, it's gotta be good, which is why it's worked for so long in European theatres and why we still hate ads before films here.

    The main problem is that the ads don't play to the larger medium, they're just TV ads enlarged for the big screen. Boo!

    I finally saw Up (great!), Paper Heart (good!), and - ugh - GI Joe (awful!), but I'm looking forward to catching some new ones this weekend: Avatar especially.

    A lot of people are liking Up in the Air, but the previews look really bad to me...I'll have to get over that emotional hurdle.

  4. Has a short its great (the Toyota ad) but has a ad i think it lacked in selling me a product or brand. I dont deny that its a great piece of work though i just feel like i'm no more aware of the toyota brand because of the ad which should be the purpose of any ad minus the less then 5 seconds of voice over.
    My favorite movie ad though is the Grand theft auto parody coke ad

  5. Kenton: I completely agree. Tv ads enlarged are just gonna have me rolling my eyes and not paying attention. Especially the Telus ones they play before the movies. They're especially annoying.

    Up was a great film, haven't seen Paper Heart just yet, and have little intention of ever seeing GI Joe. Do go see Avatar if you get the opportunity, it's great in 3D. I thought the previews for Up in the Air looked rather bad as well, but I've heard nothing but good things about it. I may catch it in theatres, or just give it a rent after it comes out on DVD.

    Kirk: I'd say the ad gave you insight on an aspect rarely focused upon when speaking of cars: longevity. So in that way, you do learn more about the brand. Now the audience is going to associate a long lasting car with Toyota. I
    think by doing the ad in a different way, they've managed to create interest, and have gotten people talking. And if people are talking, especially about the positives of an ad, it's not too far a stretch to assume they'll also start talking about Toyota cars. I had no idea they lasted as long as they claim in that ad, and I probably wouldn't remember that statistic if it wasn't presented in a really special, memorable way.

    And I do remember that ad you posted, and it is quite fantastic.

  6. The Grand Theft Auto Coke ad is genius and features my favorite Paul Williams song from the movie, Bugsy Malone: one of my favorites, but only available on DVD from England. A crime!

    Paper Heart is a good film; it starts off great, but doesn't sustain it all the way through.

    GI Joe: so crappy that it must really be seen to be believed. The last hour is a pure rip-off of Star Wars. Shameless!

  7. Is GI Joe really that bad? I may have to watch it with a group of people just for the amusement factor.

  8. It's really one of the worst movies I've seen in ages! I started to list everything wrong with it here, but there's too much to include: basically, everything.

    It might be mildly fun to watch with people as a joke, but it ultimately depressed me - cliched, calculated, and almost completely devoid of anything fun or interesting.

    The dialogue is especially terrible, and Dennis Quaid phones in his performance as the leader of the G.I. Joes. The movie should end with him saying, "Can I get paid now?" Actually, it should end with whomever just watched it saying, "Can I get paid now?"


  9. I figured it would be like that from the trailers. But of course there'll be a sequel 'cause it made a killing at the box office.

    Now that I think about it more, it really is a bit depressing.

  10. Jennifer,

    I really agree with you on Dr. Parnasus, it was stellar to look at, but incredibly bittersweet. It had a lot of aspects that I didn't expect, and it was very thought-provoking. However, I felt a little lost on Ledger's character and his situation. It marits another viewing.

    As for Sherlock, it certainly is a "fun" movie. I enjoy a good, solid, well made fun flick. Like Iron Man - that was a well made fun movie. As for its relation to the original stories, it had hints and moments and winks to Sir Arthur Conan Doyal's work, enough where I was happy, but my dad, a hardcore Holmes fan, may not be.

  11. Thanks for the comment Janey! I think a bit of the confusion regarding Ledger's character resulted from having so many actors playing his part (which, unfortunately, could not have been fixed). But it did add another element to the story, I think, in the sense that you look at why they had four actors, and what different aspects of their personality each "part" represents. I do need to see it again, most likely when it comes out on DVD.

    Sherlock Holmes did remind me very much of Iron Man. Downey Jr is good at creating humour, and he just strikes me as a fun and charming guy. Though apparently the American copyright holder is unhappy with Robert Downey Jr going on talk shows and playing up the "chemistry" between himself and Jude Law.