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Movies and Television

E-Cigarettes Are Making Their Way To a Theater Near You

ecigTobacco companies haven’t been able to purchase product placement in movies for two decades. (Though there have been plenty of characters who have puffed on a cigarette, but no deals allowed.) However, those rules don’t apply to e-cigarettes, which have seen a spike in popularity. Estimates say that, since 2005, e-cigarettes have become a $3 billion business with 450 brands in the industry.

So it stands to reason that these brands would be looking for ways to market themselves. And product placement has become, increasingly, a marketing path that many companies, even unexpected ones, want to take. The question is how long before e-cigarettes are facing the same restrictions that traditional cigarettes are.

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Talk About Product Tie-In! Indie Film Using Medical Marijuana for Promotional Purposes

 

The upcoming indie film Tusk has partnered with a dispensary called Buds & Roses and a company called Kushman Veganics on two strains of medical marijuana — White Walrus and Mr. Tusk — that will also be a promotional vehicle for the film.

The movie is about a man who’s slowly turning into a walrus, stars Justin Long and is written and directed by Kevin Smith, who’s known for taking a liking to the wacky tabacky from his previous work, such as Clerks.

“This is right at the intersection of art and stoner culture,” Graham Retzik, a marketing strategist with the film company A24 told The New York TimesIndeed.

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Groundskeeper Willie of The Simpsons Takes a Stand for Scottish Independence

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It’s common for celebrities to publicly back political candidates or openly support causes they care about, but no one ever asks fictional cartoon characters what they think, and as it turns out, they might just have a lot to say — The latest pop culture icon to release a statement urging his countrymen to vote a certain way is none other than the (highly) animated Groundskeeper Willie of The Simpsons.

The proud Scotsman has officially weighed in on the upcoming vote that will decide whether Scotland will separate from the United Kingdom.

“Now, both sides of this argument have valid points,” Willie amicably admits at the beginning of the video (below, after the jump), but his true opinions become clear when he goes on to describe those opposing sides as “the freedom-loving heirs of the highland tradition, and those who enjoy crawling like worms under British boots.”

Well then. Read more

CeeLo Leaves Twitter, Loses TV Show After Insensitive Rape Comments

CeeLo Green did not have a good weekend.

After pleading “no contest” to slipping ecstasy into a date’s drink, the singer took to Twitter to share his own completely despicable definition of sexual consent, saying, “People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!”

Unless, you know, they were drugged. But don’t worry, he went on to address that technicality as well, exclaiming,”If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent.”

Oh, that’s how it works!

On Monday, Green attempted to back-peddle by allegedly tweeting the following semi-apologies, which read less like a mea-culpa and more like a celebration of avoiding jail time with a “sorry” to those who supported him sprinkled on top.

The whole I-don’t-condone-rape-thing seems like sort of an afterthought…

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The New Thing For TV Shows: Debut the Pilot Episode Online In Advance

a to zThese days, consumers get endless teasers before the actual debut of the thing that’s teasing them. A song comes out before the album drops. (Two songs, two albums if you’re Prince.) Movie trailers keep coming and they get longer and longer as opening day approaches.

TV has to tease its programs too. And apparently the new thing is to make the pilot available online before it’s actual premiere date. Just in the past couple of weeks, we’ve had the pilot of Selfie, the ABC show starring John Cho and Karen Gillan, and the NBC show A to Z starring Ben Feldman (better known as Mad Men‘s Ginsberg, the guy who gave Peggy his nipple in a box) and Cristin Milioti. Both are comedies geared toward a younger crowd. Which might explain the online premiere.

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Chris Pratt Reprises ‘Star Lord’ Roll to Entertain Kids at LA Hospital

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Often, it’s simple, everyday things like being able to watch a much-anticipated movie that can make all the difference for a sick child relegated to a hospital wing. Knowing this, actor Chris Pratt teamed up with Marvel and Children’s Miracle Network to bring a special showing of the summer blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy” to the children, families and staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on Wednesday. And while the kids may have been excited about watching the film, … for what happened next.

During the screening, Pratt briefly disappeared, and then returned dressed as his character, Star Lord. Pratt spent the next few hours in full costume, handing out movie-themed toys, taking hundreds of pictures, letting the kids try on some of his gear, signing autographs for everyone who wanted one, and just generally being awesome. He also visited patients in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases and the Pediatric ICU, as they were not well enough to attend the screening. Read more

Edge of Tomorrow: Live. Die. Rebrand.

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For many, Edge of Tomorrow became the blockbuster that wasn’t.

Critics loved it, and so did its audience:

“Gripping, well-acted, funny, and clever, Edge of Tomorrow offers entertaining proof that Tom Cruise is still more than capable of shouldering the weight of a blockbuster action thriller.” [Rotten Tomatoes]

—only there were never enough of those fans to bring the Tom Cruise-led action flick into the black: It opened to a disappointing $29.1 million and today stands just under the $100 million mark, which is $78 million short against its $178 million budget (foreign grosses and marketing expenses aside.

So what went wrong? Warner Brothers Studio has apparently concluded that  Tis but thy name that is my enemy.

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Downton Abbey’s Classy, Charitable Response to ‘Water Bottle-Gate’

By now, you’ve probably seen the promotional image for Downton Abbey that’s had fans, history purists, and the internet in general in a multi-day frenzy, but in case you haven’t, here it is — out-of-place plastic water bottle and all:

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In response to the media madness, the cast of the hit show has released another image, and this one is chock-full of water bottles. Only this time, their presence is intentional, and intended to refocus the public’s attention on a worthy issue.

A spokesperson for British TV network ITV explained, “After seeing the reaction the picture caused earlier this week, the cast and crew came up with the idea of turning some of this attention towards an issue around water that really matters. They hope that by posing for this picture they will be able to raise awareness and amplify the work of international charity – WaterAid.”

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WaterAid is a charitable organization that has spent decades bringing water, sanitation and hygiene education to where it’s needed most.

Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid, said: Read more

James Franco Is Hosting A Special To Promote The Interview As Dave Skylark

Here’s something you hear every day: James Franco has got a new movie coming out! To promote that movie, The Interview, he’s going to host a half-hour special on MTV completely in character.

Dave Skylark asks hard-hitting questions to celebs like Nicki Minaj: “You wrote the song ‘Superb Ass.’”

“It’s ‘Super Bass,’” Minaj corrects.

Haha! James Franco.

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Conservationists Use Twitter to Inject ‘Real Science’ Back into Shark Week

If you were to search #SharkWeek on Twitter right now, it would yield plenty of brand tweets reminding customers that the product or service in question is a perfect tie-in to the annual celebration of our toothy, aquatic heroes. In fact, with shark-themed doughnuts, cars, cosmetics, and whiskey, one might even be able to live this whole week without touching a single non-shark-related thing, however tenuous the actual connection might be.

But brands aren’t the only Twitter-users utilizing the #SharkWeek hashtag to further their own purposes; while it’s undeniably fun to buy into the hype, there are many organizations and individuals that would like to remind us that the heart of Shark Week is (or should be) science, education, and conservation, and they are taking to Twitter to hammer this message home.

While some are simply taking it upon themselves to spread awareness and education (like the examples above), others are taking direct issue with the programming on Discovery, lamenting the replacement of good old-fashioned documentaries with the increasingly-popular “docudrama.” Read more

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