Ever seen movie that focuses on certain products or services that conveniently carries the plot along? How about a character that holds an item a bit closer to the camera? These are Hollywood’s hilarious attempts of product placement however certain movies take this to a ridiculous extreme. In this feature, I will be reviewing two movies that resemble big production commercials than coherent stories.
“Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”
Product: The Talkboy.
The Home Alone series is based on the crazy idea that a child can live on his own without supervision from his parents and fight crime at the same time. The first film created a generation that believed being abandoned and forgotten by your parents is a fun filled opportunity to live the good life. That is if you lived in a nice suburban community and had rich parents that can’t figure out what home security does for a home. For many of us who didn’t experienced reckless childhood, we had to demand our parents to either love us unconditionally or buy us shit that will make up for it.
Home Alone 2 takes what should be a textbook example of child neglect and takes it to a whole new level of stupid. The first movie’s gimmick was how cool it would be to be left alone in your own house; this time the gimmick is to show you how super cool it is to be abandoned in a different city. Kevin’s tool to surviving in New York isn’t a pocket knife or some sort of communication device. It’s a tape recorder, but not just any plain tape record you see professionals use. It’s a TalkBoy! The most kid friendly recording device that recorded your own audio and prove you weren’t a tool (but it totally did!). See, before Kevin’s parents have time to explain why they have such shitty parenting skills, Kevin is recording with the coolest looking tape record any six year old has ever seen. Remember how suave Kevin was when he records himself? Talking to the only thing in his house that will listen to him. His only friend. The Talkboy is Kevin’s only companion that isn’t a homeless person or a pedophile. So by the movie’s defaults, the TalkBoy ruled.
As the story progress, Kevin uses his TalkBoy to solve some of his problems, usually by slowing down an audio track to mimic a robot fat person. He used it once to comment credit card fraud! By the 90’s movie standards it wasn’t hard to trick hotel works, the police, your family, and the U.S government if you needed to. This is the reason why half the movies made back then could never, never ever be remade again. (Or can they?)
Here’s a little history: the TalkBoy did not technically exist before Home Alone 2. It was the insane amount of demands from consumers to have this thing for their children. Tiger Electrics just happen to have a few models lying around in a warehouse, and about a few months after the release of the film the TalkBoy was magically in stores for the Holidays.
Bonus: The TalkBoy commercials; it teaches you how to blackmail!
Product: Michael Jordan.
This is one of these special movies that only a few individuals could pull of with such grace that after filming they can still sleep at night. Michael Jordan knew how to milk his career. He was the unstoppable figure on the basketball courts, told athletes what to eat and wear, and starred in a ridicules theme basketball game. To add to the Jordan force, he was made the star of Space Jam. This movie was based on someone’s experience of flipping through a basket ball game and an episode of Looney Tunes. The indecision of one man surprisingly turns out to be three men; Leo Benvenuti, Steve Rudnick, Timothy Harris; all who probably had help from children to write the story. The plot of the Space Jam is exactly what you would picture if a small child had to explain why Michel Jordan returned to basket ball in 1996, Politics, money issues and adult personal reasons are never brought up; instead the reason why Jordan came back to his love of basket ball was the needs cartoon characters from the 40’s. (An era that didn’t take too kindle to folks like Michel Jordan).
To keep this a family movie, Bugs Bunny and the gang somehow all knew about Michael’s abilities; from playing basket ball and giving motivational speeches, and referencing his career as a way to fill plot holes. Space Jam is a very conditional movie because you had to know about Michael Jordan before you starting watching it. For example, take the worst basket ball educated friend or female you know. My bet would be they would know about Space Jam and Michel Jordan, but can’t figure out their own home team or what a jump ball means. Logically, Space Jam should have been a more violent movie if Bugs Bunny knew to team up with MMA fighters. Here’s hoping for Space Jam 2: The Octagon.
To quickly refresh some people’s memories, here’s the trailer.
Check back later for an all new edition of… THE CHRIS CONTINGENCY.