Archive for the ‘Equipment Misuse’ Category

I usually like to lolly gag around for the first couple of minutes here, but we’ve got some legitimate news, so I’ll jump right into it.

Time Warner has dropped CBS and its various programming from its’ lineup. I’ve heard of service providers and content providers getting in disputes before, we probably all have, but this is the first time I’ve of heard of a major network getting the boot. From what I’ve learned, content providers always…ALWAYS win out in these kind of disputes, because they’re the ones ultimately supplying the entertainment, and because the worst industry for brand loyalty, it would seem, is television providers.
I’m not 100% sure on what the hubbub is about, but I think it has something to do with TWC being unwilling to pay CBS affiliates retransmission fees in the larger markets. The affected markets that I know of right are NYC, LA, and DFW. I also heard that parts of Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, and Pittsburg coverage areas might be affected, but I can’t confirm that with any hard source.
Time Warner has some serious brass balls, and if they’re not feeling the backlash now (which I’m sure they are), they are really going to be feeling it once football starts back up in September.
I’m gonna make a prediction. I’ll give it a month and a half, though I’m sure it won’t really last that long, but within that time, Time Warner will crack. Whether they give in and give CBS what they are asking for, or they end up not being able to stay afloat without being bought out. I heard a little while back that they might be entertaining an offer from Charter to be bought out, but I didn’t think that really went anywhere. Regardless, I don’t think TWC is above being put in a position where they’ll do a little struggling. They don’t have the cards to stay in this battle for long…they’ll fold.
Neither party is really the bad guy in all this…or rather I should say that neither party is really the good guy here. The ultimate reason why any of this is going down is greed. Both sides want to point fingers here, and PR on both sides of the fence are throwing knives.

On that note, I want to change gears and move on to something else. I’ve got another movie review for you…and with a transition like that, what else could it be.

The Wolverine
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I’ve been a little iffy about going to see this one, with the way the last Wolverine-centric movie went over. I’m happy to say though that this installment of the X-Men franchise definitely hits the mark. So, The Wolverine picks up at the end of where all the X-Men flicks left off, X-Men: The Last Stand, before they started going back and screwing with the timeline and origin stories.
I was hoping that they would begin addressing some of the discrepancies in the timeline cause by those…prequels of sorts, but they were only glossed over at best. I guess they’re leaving all those timeline repairs for X-Men: Days of Future Past…we’ll come back to that.
In this installment, Logan finds himself dragged out to Japan to grant the dying wish of a friend he once made back in World War II. I was worried that this movie would get drowned by ninjas and samurai…and ridiculous classic Japanese imagery. It kind of does, but somehow, it ended up feeling strangely appropriate. Seriously, there were samurai, ninjas, yakuza, and references to ‘gaijin’…and somehow I never ended up feeling that they were going over the top. All of the Japanese imagery felt very balanced with a strong story.
Within the story woven through this movie, we find Logan battling with his trust issues more than ever before, and that coupled with him coming to terms with his mortality (or lack thereof), made for a strangely strong narrative.
The casting didn’t have any weak points either. Hugh Jackman just seems to be beyond reproach these days. He can’t really do any wrong. And once again, the filmmakers are pulling these extremely talented actresses seemingly out of nowhere. At least if you go to their IMDb pages, there’s a black hole beyond a year or so ago. Rila Fukushima plays the role of Yukio, Logan’s unofficial sidekick of sorts, and friend/sister to Mariko (Tao Okamoto), the potential heiress to a great fortune and Japanese business empire. Both of these ladies played characters whose personalities were fairly reserved, but became dynamic when pushed to action. They didn’t steal the show by any means, but they did play their rolls extremely well.
The visuals were also very strong, and well suited for the flick. As an X-Men flick, I was anticipating a myriad of over the top sci-fi effects, but what they actually delivered was a much more visually mute flick. Not that they didn’t have some outstanding effects, it just wasn’t the constant visual onslaught that we’ve come to expect from the X-Men franchise, and summer blockbusters in general. It was pleasant.
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The only thing that I felt was kind of weird in this movie was an odd romance that Logan develops in the film. Jean Grey keeps popping up as visual delusions for Logan throughout the film, to which he professes his love for, while at the same time he becomes strangely involved with another one of the female characters. It may have suited the film, but it just kind of felt out of character for Logan.
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I really didn’t know how Logan’s trek out to Japan was going to turn out, but I ended up being really happy with the results.
The Wolverine8 out of 10

Everyone might be wondering if there were any little surprises at the end of the credits. Nothing at the very end, but after the first set of visual credits (kind of like how they did The Avengers credits), there is a small scene where they setup Days of Future Past. Mind blowing. If you nerd out over X-Men stuff, your jaw will drop. That’s all I’ll say.

I see an opportunity here where I can make a small gripe at movie theaters and how they do things. So, if I may indulge myself here…

I saw The Wolverine in 2D. Any movie that comes out with the option to see it in 2D or 3D, I will always see it in 2D. I used to complain that 3D would give me headaches 100% of the time, but I saw Iron Man 3 and Star Trek: Into Darkness at the beginning of the summer without getting any bad headaches, so that’s not an excuse anymore. I still will choose 2D pretty much every time, and here’s why. You all pretty much know that I’m a 4-eyed fellow…and I wear my glasses pretty much constantly. I can’t do contacts…I just don’t like that feeling of stuff in my eyes. I feel like it’s stupid at this point that if I want to watch something 3D, I’m still having to to wear these dumb plastic 3D glasses over my regular glasses.

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Shouldn’t there be a better solution at this point? This isn’t hard. They actually make sunglasses that are made to be worn over prescription glasses, and while they aren’t the most stylish shades in the world, they do comfortably get the job done.

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And if we’re just talking 3D glasses for movie theaters, you’re not keeping them, you’re tossing them in a box once the film is over, and no one will ever see you wearing them out in the wild. I think the lenses in these are actually bigger than the lenses in existing 3D glasses, so you’d be getting a bigger viewing area anyways. Please, somebody, DO THIS! It can’t possibly be that hard to cheaply manufacture larger 3D glasses. Ugh. I can’t be alone here.

I’ll end my rant of that, and pick up with X-Men again. I feel like speculating about a few upcoming films, so…Days of Future Past.

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From what I can gather, this film will bring in Days of Future Past plot from “The Uncanny X-Men” Issues #141 and #142 where a version of the future has mutants incarcerated, and the U.S. run by Sentinels. The casting of Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask cements the involvement of the Sentinels, a series of powerful robots tasked with eliminating mutants. Beyond that, I’m having a hard time following how this movie might play out. It sounds so disjointed, evidently Kitty Pride’s future self sends her mind back in time to warn her past self about the future or something to that effect. Toss in past, present, and future versions of Xavier, Magneto, and Wolverine (really no difference there), and I have no idea how this movie isn’t going to be a visual representation of what A.D.D. is like. This movie is going to be weird.
X-Men: Days of Future past is a hard movie to have not heard at this point, but I wanted to talk about a few more that might not be on y’alls radar at this point.

There is currently a treatment circling around for an “Untitled Blade Runner Project”. In other words, ideas are currently being entertained for a “Blade Runner 2“. I really don’t want this to happen. Blade Runner is, in my humble opinion, the best sci-fi film in existence, and the bar is set ridiculously high for any kind of sequel to try to live up to. I honestly don’t think that it could be followed up. I wouldn’t want any half imagined sequel to sour the reputation of such sci-fi gold…neigh, sci-fi platinum. Ridley Scott, please, just say no.

Not that I’m trying to tell Ridley Scott what to do, but I think he should instead spend more time focusing on the rumored Prometheus 2. Supposedly a script has been written, and casting is in progress. I got to the end of Prometheus wishing that they had provided a more clear connection to the original Alien, so I was really happy to hear this announcement a while back. Now, I feel like Alien is another one of those movies that is really high up on my list of amazing sci-fi movies, but it has already had so many sequels and spin-offs that the integrity of the original isn’t really being brought into question anymore.
And by original, I mean Alien, not Prometheus. Did anybody else like Prometheus? I feel like I’m a singularity here, most everybody I know saw Prometheus and thought it was crap for a variety of reasons. I thought it was pretty cool, in fact my only complaint really was the fact that they showed the xenomorph alien at the very end. I felt like that was kind of a cop out, as if they were trying to say, “If the rest of the movie didn’t get the point across, this should show you that this is an ‘Alien’ movie.” Whatever, everyone knew what they were watching.

Alright, that’s probably enough film speculation for the day. It’s probably getting close to time that I start talking about the films coming up for the fall, the same way that I did an in-depth post a while back on what movies I was planning to see over the summer.
I also think that at some point here, once I’ve gotten through my summer list, I should talk about my favorite movies of the summer, and maybe see if my opinion of the movies stack up against what the public thought about them. You know, compare my ratings against Rotten Tomatoes or whatever.

Before I shut this down though, I wanna talk about something that I saw come up on CNN earlier this week. I was in Schlotzsky’s earlier this week eating lunch, when a story popped up on CNN that I honestly had to stop eating and give my full attention to.
Back in January, Italian teenager Carolina Picchio committed suicide after feeling the torment of cyber bullying.

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A video of the 14-year-old appeared on Facebook in which she seemed to be quite drunk and disoriented at a party. This video resulted in a non-stop stream of hate mail and cyber bullying that Picchio eventually felt too much to handle. She wrote a note to her tormentors saying, “Are you happy now? Have you hurt me enough? Have you had your revenge?” before jumping out of her bedroom window and falling to her death.
This is truly a sad story, and cyber is a crime that needs a lot more mainstream attention, but that’s not what I really wanted to talk about here. What I wanted to talk about was what came afterwards, when CNN went on to say that Carolina’s family may be try put the blame on Facebook, for not acting to remove the harassing comments directed at her.
Okay…do you know how many people are on Facebook? Billions…literally billions. Can you imagine how many complaints and content removal requests they must handle on a daily basis? I don’t want to even try, the number must be astronomical. The point is though, Facebook can’t be expected to be able to respond to each of these incidents as they happen everywhere around the world. The fault is on the individuals that hide behind a profile page and an IP address to fling there insults around. People are the problem, not services, not inanimate objects. This is a problem that is pervading everywhere. I’m talking about drunk driving incidents being blamed on car manufacturers, or the beer industry. I’m talking about school shootings being blamed on gun control legislation, or violent video games.
No, people are at fault here, real people. Grand Theft Auto did not shoot that cop with an assault rifle, Budweiser did not run that teen down with a Ford truck. Facebook did not drive Carolina Picchio to her death. People did these things, and these people are who need to be held accountable. I’m not trying to be an unfeeling asshat here, I just want the right people being brought to justice for their crimes.
It just infuriates me when people want to look for some big conspiracy behind an incident to try and bring some kind of meaning and sense of justice to its resolution. People don’t want to blame some messed up kid for the death of their little angel, they want to go after a corporation or an entire industry to make the death meaningful. Stop, just stop.
Again, I’m not trying to belittle the tragic deaths of these individuals, I feel for them. Just, make sure that you’re pointing the finger in the right direction.

Alright, I’ll put Political CVSleen away for a while. I usually tend to avoid these types of subjects, but this one really grinded my gears, and had to get that off my chest. I can’t leave y’all on that note though, so let me ask y’all a quick question.

If you could bring back any discontinued food or drink item, what would it be? The most common answer to the question that I see is Surge.

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I wouldn’t go with Surge, but even though I don’t drink soda anymore, it would be a soda that I would bring back if possible. Pepsi Blue.

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What would y’all bring back?

Also, to answer my question from last week…I think that I would pick the Green Lantern Ring. I went back and forth for a while between this and the Lightsaber, but you could make a Lightsaber with the Ring…and so much more. Disagree with me, tell me why?

Till next week guys.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– CVSleen

Pappadeaux' Sautéed Crawfish

Pappadeaux’ Sautéed Crawfish

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My last post was certainly pretty somber. Please don’t think I’ve been beating myself up though. What was there was a good thing, but many people know this expression to be true: All good things must come to an end. I never thought it would last forever, though I never expected it to end so soon. Hardly though is it the end of me, and while others may choose to sulk, hesitate, or stagnate, I shall dare to move on.

In the wake of my resignation, I have a lot of unutilized ideas that fell on deaf ears at the last venture that need a new home…and one way or another I think this venue here can be made a home. I’ve done a Vlog before when I didn’t feel much like writing…and if there’s one thing I know how to do well, it’s audio recording. I’ve got lots of different ways that I can shove my thoughts into your brain matter, and possibly altogether improve this Blog.

Before we get too crazy though, I’ve been to a few more movies that I’d like to weigh in on. So without further adue, let’s do some movie review.

The Bling Ring
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This movie had my love before I ever entered the theater. Heck, I could have just seen this next picture and I would have been sold…

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…but then the movie started. And alas, my hopes were shattered. This movie lost me from the very beginning. The high school kids, their behavior was so clichéd of the past…unless these kids in Posh City California really are the snotty brat heathens that we make them out to be. They missed their chance to connect the characters with the audience almost immediately. The characters themselves were the biggest bunch of scum bags imaginable. Leave it to these kids to make Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan look like victims.

The only redeeming quality of this film is that it was based on true events, and maybe Sophia Coppola‘s intent was to make this kids look like the scum of the earth. Maybe that was the intent of the film, and a risky goal if I do say so. Empathy, if it can be created, is one of the best tools a director can utilize. Using it in reverse…interesting.

I’m kinda coming up with this new theory on the fly, so my judgement is being actively malleable.

The sound design was very solid, everything felt organic.
The cinematography felt a little bit strange though, I felt pretty distant for a lot of the movie…maybe that was also a choice to try and distance the audience from the characters.
I usually see movies that I can talk about the graphics, so I’m a little out of my element.

I was prepared to render a pretty bad rating on this movie, but I’m realizing that Coppola might have intended the dislike for the characters…and if that was the intent, then it was well executed. None the less, I still disliked the film, so…
The Bling Ring – 5 out of 10

World War Z
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This movie made quite a lot of people fussy. Before it was announced that Brad Pitt would be the top billing for this movie, there was already a substantial amount of buzz around the name alone. World War Z was first an acclaimed novel by author Max Brooks, son of the legendary Mel Brooks. There is an expectation that with such a prestigious title, there would be a tall order to stay pretty faithful to the source material. If the filmmakers of Harry Potter took liberties with the source material, you’d have been a little up in arms about it, would you not? This is where they lost a lot of people. I’m told that if you read the book, there is no way you could possibly think that the zombies were fast zombies…no way. In blatant disregard, the filmmakers decided that they wanted the zombies to be more animalistic, more rabid. Pitt himself said something to the point that they wanted it to look like you’d just stirred up a colony of ants.
The point in all of this being…if you’ve read the book, you’ll have a hard time shrugging off the changes that they’ve made, and you probably won’t like it.

However, if you’re like me; haven’t read the book, and you’re just aware on the surface of these issues…then this flick might be a better movie for you. You can take it at face value: it’s an action-packed zombie movie, starring Brad Pitt. The zombies are vicious, and plenty scary. The action is intense. The story is great, but it feels incomplete(as it should, I’m told that there was so much good material in this book, of which they could only take so much). There aren’t any plot holes, but even without reading the book, you can almost palpably feel the content that has been skipped around.

With all of that being taken into account, I really enjoyed the movie. As a Texan, I definitely buy into the hype, I’m a zombie movie fan, and this is a great movie.
World War Z7 out of 10

Pacific Rim
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This was the movie on my list for this summer that I was most excited for. The thing I’ve been complaining most about to my friends about movies lately, is the lack of original stories. The majority of the movies out there this summer have source material that is not the script written for it. We’ve got a ton of remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, and adaptations. The big thing for a couple of years now has been reworking classic superhero stories and fairy tales so that they are more relevant for today’s audiences. A completely new and original story is such a breath of fresh air for me, and the fact that it happened to be a Sci-Fi movie is just that much more icing on the cake.

So, what about that story? This movie is heavily influenced by big monster movies from our parents era. The best example I can think of is Godzilla.

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The creatures in the film certainly live up to their predecessors; they’re gigantic, they’re foreign, they’re fearsome, and they’re certainly powerful. Another thing harkens back to is pitting these creatures against other creatures equally as powerful and fearsome, also in the tradition of Godzilla.

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In Pacific Rim, are fearsome creatures are dubbed Kaijus, a Japanese term that literally translates to “strange beasts” but has taken on the meaning of “giant monsters” in English. They’re as tall as office buildings in some cases and capable of far more destruction that Godzilla could ever accomplish. These creatures come from a dimensional rift at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, a rift that through all attempts to date seems to be unidirectional. Without a way to attack the Kaijus where they come from, a great defense had to be created. The theory in this movie is that the best defense is a good offense, in the form or our own monsters…the Jaegers. Jaeger is a German word, meaning “hunter”, and these hunters, these gargantuan piloted mechs are every bit as deadly. As effective as the Jaegers are, they aren’t without issues. They cost an immense amount to build and maintain, and the time it takes to actually build them is tremendous.
(Most of this is revealed in the first 10-15 minutes of the film, so I hope I’m not giving away any spoilers here.)

I quit rambling though. Obviously, the story caught me and held me. It’s a classic monster movie mixed with a sci-fi tech brawler. The graphics and visual effects in the movie are incredible. It was flashy, but still gritty as well…it was futuristic, but still modern enough for it to be a believable future. The casting and the acting was spot on. Everyone felt perfect in their roles; nothing over-the-top and nothing underplayed. I feel like two of the big gems are Rinko Kikuchi and Charlie Day. I don’t know where the Guillermo del Toro found Rinko, but I fell in love with her the second I saw her. Her character, Mako, was so sweet, yet so fierce, and incredibly complex. And Charlie Day, as Dr. Newton Geiszler; he’s done a lot recently, but I only really know him from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as the lovable buffoon. He still has his eccentricities, but they’re redirected as more of a mad scientist. He and his mathematician counterpart account for the majority comic relief in this movie. Charlie day’s character was also charming and endearing.

This movie had all the strengths of the flashy effects driven Transformers with none of the drawbacks. It is a fantastic summer movie, but I feel it has the potential to be a classic, standing shoulder to shoulder with the movies from which it draws a lot of inspiration. I fully intend on seeing this movie again before it leaves theaters.
Pacific Rim – 10 out of 10

This really was the big movie that I wanted to see this summer, but I’m also really excited about Ender’s Game. I didn’t really know much of anything about Ender’s Game until the guys at Rooster Teeth got excited about it in there podcast. I’ve since recently finished reading the book and I’m even more excited. Rooster Teeth’s enthusiasm would have been enough, but this story is awesome. There’s still time to get it read before the movie comes out in November.

Switching gears on y’all here, Comic Con starts here in a few days, and I’m honestly worrying about how extensive the coverage is going to be. G4 used to be the place to go to get exclusive coverage of Comic Con, as well as E3, and with them gone Spike has taken over that responsibility…sort of. I’ve said my piece on Spike’s cover of E3 about a month ago, and I’m worried that it’s gonna be the same story with Comic Con. I really don’t want to see Spike give us about 3 hours of coverage and then shove everything else off to the web so they can play some rerun marathons. Make a commitment, and stick to it. They’ve got an opportunity here to win back a few hearts here, I hope they don’t blow it.

Speaking of how they’re blowing it right now, they’re running some ads that are really old. They’ve got an ad for R.I.P.D. right now that references the Mantlers from their Spike Man Awards…which happened on June 12th. They’ve also got a Sonic ad they’re running that’s at least a month and a half old. Someone’s dropping the bar over there.

That’s all the media related news I’ve got for you guys. That’s unless I wanted to include that new job of mine in the media news. I’ve been working at Freeman A/V now for a little over a week, and I can tell this is something I’m going to enjoy doing. At my last job at Lone Star Park cross-training was something I was told was a possibility, but I never really saw any of it. At Freeman, not only was I told that I could do some cross-training, but I experienced it from day 1. This isn’t a complaint, I want to learn, and I love seeing that not only do they let you branch out a little bit, but they encourage it. Some departments have heavier days than others, and if we’re all able to pick up each others’ slack, we function better as a team and a company. I’ve learned most of what is required of my job in Q.C. and I’ve also learned a little of what goes on back in video services and a little bit about how the truck squares get populated with equipment. I enjoying everything about this place…with one little exception: the start time. You guys know me; I’m a night owl, not a morning person…not at all. Our start time…is 8AM. I…am struggling with this…so much. Probably my biggest issue here is getting my butt in bed before midnight so that I’ll be in any kind of condition to get up at 5:45. Yea…I have to drive from Denton to Dallas, so I’ve got to get up extra early. Ugh.
I’m not saying I can’t do it…I’m saying that I’m struggling with it.

I’ll figure it out, or it’ll end up naturally working itself out in some way or another. Things are good, and I’m not going to let one  little aspect of this job ruin it for me. Things really are good too, I’m even talking to this Gabrielle Union looking chick who I met at a party last weekend. Though things sucked early last week, things have turned around pretty well.

I’ve got some ideas for some new stuff to do here, so hopefully starting next post I’ll have a few new idea to bring to the table for y’all. Stay tuned sports fans, we’ve got good things just around the corner.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– CVSleen

Garlic Ciabatta Bread and Cheese and Lobster Ravioli in a 4 Cheese Rosa Sauce

Garlic Ciabatta Bread and Cheese and Lobster Ravioli in a 4 Cheese Rosa Sauce

Afternoon ladies and gents! Thanks for coming back. I missed you <3. I’ve hit Dead Week at school finally. This semester has been so long, but it’s just about over. It’ll nice to have a little more time on my hands. More time to watch more TV…with extremely poor commercials. And that brings us to tonights word…Equipment Misuse

Oh wait, that’s Stephen Colbert’s thing. My bad. Dang, now I’ve got to return all those set dressings.
Equipment Misuse…things I see in media that just annoy me to all ends. I see things every day that just make me wonder…why? This is so…wrong. You need to go back and fix this. I have 2 things for you today.

1) Commercials that have virtually nothing to do with their product.

Have you ever seen that commercial, and wondered immediately afterwards, “What the hell just happened right there?” Here is a prime example. If they didn’t toss up the name of the product at the beginning or the end, I would have had no idea what was being advertised in the first place.


I’m thinking all the way through that, maybe this is some futuristic sports movie, like Real Steel or Hunger Games, but no. Just an off the wall vodka commercial. This commercial is bad, but it is by no means the worst.

You’ve all probably seen this commercial before, but try and step back for a moment and try and figure out what is being advertised before the last five seconds.


Car commercials are another prime example of the, “What are they adver…oh, okay”ism. Everyone will recognize this one, and though we know what is being advertised here, KIA is really starting to push their limits here.


That’s not nearly as bad as the perfume commercial, but you see where I’m going here. There are a lot of car commercial Directors/Producers nowadays that would like to think themselves as artists far more than is necessary. This is a commercial. You have a product to advertise, and it should be the primary focus of the commercial. Yea, leaving someone “What the f***?”ing at the end of a commercial will make them remember it, but in 30 minutes they won’t remember the product, just the WTF the commercial showcased. Guys, product first.

In kind of the same way, you can have a product play second fiddle to a bunch of gimmicks and clichés. Is the car the real focus in this next commercial?


Here’s another thing that annoys the hell out of me.

2) TV/Movie trailers that completely spoil the episode/movie they are advertising.

I saw this ad for the Series Finale of In Plain Sight the other day.


Okay, they dropped a huge bomb right there. The ole L word got thrown around there. That’s one of the biggest plot twists in the series, and you wanna throw it out there in the preview? Ugh, now nothing will be left up to the imagination.

Movies can be even worse. This trailer I saw for “The Cabin In The Woods” pretty much gave away the entire movie. I don’t need to see the movie at all anymore. I could give you a complete plot synopsis after a 2 1/2 minute trailer. But don’t trust me, see it for yourself.


It’s important that you grab your potential audience and get them to come back, but you can do that without giving up all the vital information. There’s plenty of ways to do it; show some non-distinct action, hell, you could just show a girl whimpering and the screaming bloody murder. That would put asses in seats.

You don’t need to be a self-indulgent artistic wiener to push some products. You also don’t have to tell an entire story, to get people to come back to watch you retell an entire story…again.

I know I’m not the only one that sees this stuff, and just shakes their head. This ain’t the first, and it definitely won’t be the last, so count on my being back eventually with more media stuff that ticks me off. I don’t know what I have next for y’all, but I’ll try to keep it coming.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– The Outlaw