Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

The World's Longest iPod Ad (aka Blade: Trinity)

Thursday, December 16, 2004
Went to see Blade: Trinity on a preview pass last night (thanks Jacob). It was okay; not a patch on Guillermo del Toro's effort with Blade II, but better than the very average first Blade film. The most notable thing about the film was the rather in-your-face effort to appeal more directly to a youth market: Kris Kristofferson's annoying as all hell character Abraham Whistler is finally killed off and Blade (Wesley Snipes) finds himself allied with Whistler's long-estranged daughter Abigail (Jessica Biel) and her band of Nightstalkers (what a name; reminds me of when Buffy was out of town at the beginning of season three of that show and the Scooby gang try and become vamp hunters themselves ... "Come in, Nighthawk!"). Add to the mix sarcastic ex-Vampire, ex-Vampire lover, played by Ryan Reynolds and you've got gen.com written all over the film. Indeed, the extra ensemble are rather necessary since Wesley Snipes' dialogue is reduced to "grrr" about ten times and a few colourful expletives plus some emotional advice to leave Dr Phil for dead ("Use it."). The fight scenes are fairly well choreographed, although at times it feels like the sfx are cheating their way into uber-action by blurring so much they you've no idea who's actually getting hit. The most disappointing thing was the way that the first vampire was brought into the film (he goes by many names ... at one time, Dracula). You know you're clutching at straws when Parker Posey's vampire character Danica Talos is the one who is supposed to understand vampire lore the best, although her quips with Reynolds during their fight scene do add some much needed humour to the film. Anyway, the first vampire, who now goes by the name Drake (Seinfeld" "love the Drake ... hate the Drake") played by Dominic Purcell is not a bad character, but his own story is so badly told that you just have no idea why he does what he does and the attempt to make him and Blade into noble warriors is, well, hard to follow at best. The story desparately, desparately, needed more cohesion, a good edit, and more continuity; a sad thing to say when the writer also directed the film!

All that aside, one thing that stood out was the amazing prevalence of iPods, iTunes and Apple computers throughout the film. It seems that Abigail likes to hunt vamps while listening to her iPod, so not only do we see her create two playlists (in iTunes), and use a Powerbook, but we also see the other good guys doing their research on a 17" apple monitor (and a G5, I think) and ... wait for it ... to really emphasise the beginning of a battle we see two long, slow-motion shots of Biel inserting her white iPod earbuds! Now some folk seem to think Apple paid a lot for product placement (I would have thought so, too), while others don't think Apple did. I thought about this for a while, and the question becomes: does Apple need to sell iPodry as the marker of hip/cool/funky youth identity, or has the iPod ad campaign been so successful that in order to signify youth coolness, you need to see an iPod? While I suspect the truth is somewhere between the two, I think Blade: Trinity certainly shows what a good job Steve Jobs has been doing making Mac a must-have for all the kewl kids! (The iSelling was also noted by The MovieBlog and Out of Focus.)

One last thing: the MovieBlog lamented...
WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU CROSS A KLINGON BATLIFF WITH A LIGHTSABER?
I'm sorry, but that little weapon that Jessica Biel was toting around was just plain stupid and looked ridiculous. Suddenly Blade wasn't just fantasy... it's Sci-Fi now. Bad move.
However, I thought the lightbow (or whatever is was called) looked really, really nifty and was actually one of the better weaponry innovations in the film, but the problem was no one seemed to teach Jessica Biel how to wield this most funky of weapons! Of course, she did look the part...

[Click to enlarge.]

Speaking of iPodry, for the truly geeky out there, a limited edition Neon Genesis iPod might tickle your fancy! And if you're looking for something interesting to pop in your pod, why not check out one of over 200 Sherlock Holmes radio plays now downloadable as mp3s! [Via BoingBoing]

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