Pep(si) Talk

You've all seen this by now; Pepsi have had a new ad campaign where they were trying to push diversity and all that good shit but inste...

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Pep(si) Talk

You've all seen this by now; Pepsi have had a new ad campaign where they were trying to push diversity and all that good shit but instead, they've ended up offending everyone.

The premise of the advert is people are marching for a... reason. Right off the bat, we can draw comparisons from this to the Woman's March that occured during Donald Trump's inauguration or the many Black Lives Matter marches. BLM plays a huge role so I'll touch upon it later.

Yeah! Join the non-specified conversation!
During the march, we cut back and forth between a Western-Asian lady in a hijab clawing her way through photos, an Eastern-Asian man rocking it on the cello and... Kendall Jenner?
A lady that is famous purely for her sister's arse is our hero? Sign me up m8!
It's kind of hard to be on board already. This ad is showing a fight for the "little man"; the ethnic minorities, the poor, the women, the non-straights and the person to help push all of this is a woman that's rich and famous purely by association. If they had someone who worked hard for their fame or came from a hard background, I may have been more tame towards this. They would have represented the idea that we can break through our boundaries and become what we want to be. Kendall is under a fortnight younger than me and she sees more money in 15 minutes than I ever will in my entire life. I cannot see how this was a good choice for our "leader".
There's a few more cuts to photo lady and cello man (gotta get the shots of those Pepsi cans!) who join the march after they had a good sip of a refreshing Pepsi. Then, after some more shots of every creed and colour in this march with Pepsi logos all over the place, cello man spots Kendall and prompts him with those special eyes of his.

I need healing!
There's a weird mutuality to it, like he knows exactly what she's thinking and him just looking at her gives her the courage to join the march (I thought it would've been a Pepsi) which is followed by the second dumbest segment.
Boom! She rips off her blonde wig, a symbolism of breaking away from conformism! Money doesn't matter, only people! Apart from that bag of money Pepsi paid you to be in this advert to pretend to care about the smaller guys.

We have shots of some more people of different varieties, followed by more shots of Pepsi and some police officers standing by the protest.

I am the law!
Notice how the coppers aren't being facetious, aren't being violent and aren't antagonising the protest. Despite this, you know exactly what the ad is trying to do. It's shot them in a way to make them seem like the "bad guy" and we presume this straight away as we draw comparisons to the BLM marches. BLM can spark debates all day but this is the main reason as to why everyone doesn't like this advert. To some, it's antagonising all police officers as the bad guys who hate minorities. Let it be clear that there is definitely a problem, especially in America, with police officers racially profiling and police brutality towards minorites but of course, it's the case of bad apples spoiling the bunch. To others, this trivialises the BLM movement, especially with a part later in the ad. To want us to be unified is fine and dandy but it's kind of taking the piss when you're throwing Pepsi in our face every five seconds. It's very reminiscent of the line "Police taking shots and I ain't talkin' bout Ciroc" in the song 'Don't Shoot' by The Game and many collborative artists, Ciroc being P. Diddy's expensive vodka that he references in his own line. It's piggy backing off an issue in order to sell a product.

But folks, we're not even at the worst part. That comes up next. We get more shots of Pepsi, more shots of the march and Kendall fist bumping and being buddy buddy with folks in the march as she grabs a Pepsi can. With no hesitation, she catwalks over to one of the police officers... and offers the Pepsi as a fucking peace offering.

Wow! All my racial, sexual and gender-specific prejudices are all gone thanks to this canned beverage!
This is the shot that grinded everyone's gears. The shot that cheesed everyone's onions. The shot that got on everyone's tits. I'm pretty sure if someone walked up to a cop with apparently that much prejudice during a protest with a can of Pepsi, they'd get pepper sprayed in seconds. All those decades of social tension, how do we solve it? Mother-fucking Pepsi. What a load of bollocks.
We also have a situation to compare this to. As everyone else has brought up, Isesha Evans was apart of the BLM march for Baton Rouge after the shooting of a black man from the hands of police brutality. Iesha was checked, ID'd and profiled by police all day. As retaltiation, she took a stand and peacefully stood in front of armoured police officers as they rushed towards her. They arrested her for obstructing a highway.

The powerful image taken by Jonathan Bachman of Reuters
She was strip-searched and treated poorly in jail for such a minor crime. Iesha stood for something and her stand was not in vain. She also didn't trivialise the situation by giving the officers rushing towards her a fucking Pepsi.

The bobby smugly sips the can and everyone cheers as the camera girl takes a photo, like they solved prejudice by giving one cop a can of Pepsi. It then cuts to the group with the slogan "Live Bolder, Live Louder, Live for Now!" which is ironic, considering any carbonated drink is bad for you.

We are under huge social tension currently in regards to many things such as race, gender, sexuality and many other aspects. People are scared to just be themselves because of the chance they'd get brutally beaten just because of who they are. People fear the bad police out there who will racially profile them and fear that they could get shot just because of who they are. To use something as sensitive as this to sell a fizzy drink is disgusting.

Fuck this ad. Bring back Pepsiman.

The advert has now been taken down. All screencaps taken from a mirror uploaded by The Independent.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Go, Go Away Power Rangers (Review)

I am a person who rarely watches films. I spend most of my free time playing video games or binging YouTube videos. If I ever want to watch a film, especially at the cinema, there really has to be a driving force, whether a positive one (Deadpool and Lego Batman) or negative (this movie).

I loved Power Rangers as a kid. I grew up from the original Mighty Morphin' up to around Time Force. The pure reason I wanted to see this movie was more curiosity than excitement because I did not have good impressions with the first trailer. When putting it like that, I guess it didn't disappoint in that aspect. That's one good point.

I am going to say right off the bat that this movie is 90% terrible. Even putting my fan biases aside, it is just not a good movie.

The Positives
I liked two shots; the shot of Jason with his friend in the car near the beginning where you see it from his friend's perspective and the shot after the comeuppance of the villain (which was also the only thing I laughed at). I also liked the last 15 minutes when it remembered it was a Power Ranger film. It had some good music choices sometimes?
I guess the actors were nice to look at and Bryan Cranston was decent as Zordon, albeit underused. There was also a nice cameo from Jason David Frank.
There was one at first kind of funny joke where Alpha 5 said "They use English, a primitive language" which stopped being funny when I thought about the fact Alpha and Zordon have been around for 65mil years and English has been around for 1000-1500 years. Kind of a big difference there.

The Negatives
I will start with non-spoiler stuff, then I'll create a break for all the spoiler talk because I cannot fully say why I dislike this movie without going into spoilers.
My biggest problem with the movie is that it cannot decide on a tone. This was a huge initial issue when I watched the first trailer. Some things were toned down, like the removal of the "kill yourself" note in the locker (at least in the 12a UK version I watched if it's still in any other version) but it could not decide on a tone. I actually commend the Mighty Morphin' movie over this purely because it had that cheesy tone throughout rather than trying to appease two sides of the coin and pleasing neither. This felt like a contributing factor to the story being very underdeveloped. Things are brought up by characters and dropped almost immediately, sometimes to the point of tokenism. Billy mentions once that he has autism, in a context where it came out of nowhere, and is never touched on at all nor is used to develop Billy's character in any way. Same goes for Trini's conservative parents that disapprove of her being gay. Brought up once, never developed, never seen again. It seemed like a way to try and get brownie points from the progressives but comes off as pandering and is not utilised at all to create something meaningful or something the audience can get attached to. We know barely anything about the characters and the chemistry is very forced. Kimberly is easily the worst character because there is just nothing interesting about her, somehow being worse than Trini who appears out of nowhere. They touch on her ruining her friend's life and that's it. All the group's time together is on screen and even when they all go on this journey together, they still barely know each other but act like they've been friends for years when it's convenient for the plot. The closest we get to chemistry is the relationship between Jason and Billy but that just stops after 10 minutes.
Plot points are also done within minutes, going back to the disjointed story point. There is absolutely no subtlety nor time for things to sink in because everything is happening so quickly and there is absolutely no excuse for it because this movie runs for two hours. It's comparative to the Fant4stic movie that came out a couple of years ago where it just feels like there's a lot missing or time was a big issue or something stopping this movie from being coherent.
Another comparison to be made to Fant4stic is there's little action. I counted that it took about 1 hour and 40 minutes of the movie for something grand to happen. There was a fight scene around 1 hour 30... which lasted 10 seconds. Proper action did not happen until they got into the Power Ranger suits. It took 1 hour and 40 minutes in this 2 hour movie for them to get into the suits which was pointless anyway to build it up for that long when the suits are in all the promotional material but still build it up when they actually morph by distorting the image and showing them in the dark when they walk up. They do show off something else fans would appreciate which was not shown in any promotional material to my knowledge (or at least not physically shown) with no build up. They just showed it with no build up, like a fart in the breeze.
The CGI ranges from alright to awful. A specific example I can think of for bad CGI is a yellow car that gets stamped on in the last main scene which looks so fake and so out of place. It would actually be an insult to compare it to cars in the early 3D GTAs. The movie is also dark 90% of the time. Not tonally dark but physically. A chunk of scenes are either underwater, in a dark spaceship or at night and you just can't see a thing. I get that it's supposed to set the mood but it goes way overboard to the point where you're watching a black screen with a hint of limbs somewhere.


A good example of scenes not lasting long enough is the absolutely desperate attempt to pull at heartstrings by killing Billy off for less than 5 minutes. There is absolutely no tension at all because Zordon explained to Jason 20 minutes earlier that he needs the rangers to come back so he can come back to life. You knew exactly what was going to happen with Billy when he died. How Billy died also looked off. I think he was supposed to be hanged when Rita ties the group up to a boat and lets Billy drop but it's shot in a way that makes it look as if he died by being in water for 10 seconds.
Krispy Kreme is a huge plot point. Rita needs to find some kind of power crystal to help her destroy the world and Billy somehow figures out where it is; It's under a Krispy Kreme diner. The reason the group were tied up was because Rita somehow knew Billy knew where it was and he doesn't just say "It's in a diner", he explicitly says it's at a Krispy Kreme and Rita asks where it is by name and eats there in the climax. The Krispy Kreme sponsor is not subtle at all.
A lot of plot points were too convenient. They found the power coins because Billy blew up a random wall that happened to have them. Those five people specifically got those coins because they just stumbled upon each other rather than all willingly went together (Jason and Billy were the only ones who were together. Zack was perving on Kimberly from a distance, Kimberly was swimming in the lake which Jason happened to find and Trini doesn't even get 2 minutes screentime before the power coin scene). Rita came back because a fishing boat caught her dead body. Rita knew exactly where Trini lived and knew she was a Power Ranger somehow. Rita just happened to know Billy knew where the crystal was. It happened so often, it came off as annoying.
The thing I mentioned earlier that they showed off with no build up was the Zords. The Zords look fine individually but the Megazord looks bad. In the show, you could see what piece each individual zord made up and it looked cool when it was all together, much like a Transformer, but somehow, the 5 multicoloured Zords created a navy blue generic looking robot. The Zords also made up most of the last 10 minute scene so them being in the suits was pointless anyway, especially because earlier, Zack was riding the Mastodon Zord without a suit on right after they were casually shown off to the group.
Goldarr is in the movie. They shoehorn the line "Make my monster grow!" from Rita despite him materialising, not growing. Goldarr isn't bad but he isn't good either. He's just there and he's giant for some reason. I know Rita is able to make monsters bigger in the show with her staff but he starts out giant and he's a liquid monster as opposed to solid gold.
There was also a post credits scene, which I called right at the beginning of the movie, that teased Tommy. Teasing for a sequel is a negative to me.

__________________________END OF SPOILERS______________________________________

In conclusion, I have learnt a valuable lesson; Even out of sickening curiosity, don't watch movies based on things I like.