Recognizable pop hits have always been used in TV commercials and movie trailers as a shortcut to form an instant connection with the audience. In 1987, The Beatles‘ Apple Records label famously sued Nike for their use of the Lennon-McCartney song “Revolution” in a popular TV spot for the Nike Air sneaker.
When it comes to film and television advertising, the stakes are very high to create a sense of familiarity that leads to a money-making opening weekend at the box office or high ratings. If a hit song is perceived as a successful marketing tool, it’s likely to be used and re-used many times over. Last year Bruno Mars‘ “Uptown Funk” was featured in countless movie trailers, TV spots and commercials such as this one for Propel Electrolyte Water:
So far this year, two recently released trailers for the films, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, starring Tina Fey and How to Be Single, starring Rebel Wilson and Dakota Johnson, feature Elle King’s “Ex’s & Oh’s.”
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Trailer:
How to Be Single Trailer:
Another popular trend in TV and movie advertising is the use of cover versions of famous songs, sometimes slowed down for a more dramatic effect. Posted below is a video montage of some of the most prominent examples. Featured in chronogical order is “Sweet Child of Mine” in The Last House on Left (2009), “Happy Together” in The Great Gatsby (2013), “Addicted to Love” in Endless Love (2014), “Crazy in Love” in Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), “Landslide” in Suffragette (2015), “California Dreamin’” in San Andreas (2015), and “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016).
My brother Alejandro (the other writer of Hollywood Vulture) and I, parodied the use of slowed down songs in a mock trailer for the Paranormal Activity parody, Bearanormal Activity 2. It begins with an ominous sounding version of “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
The Holidays are the greatest gift to theme parks. It gives them a chance to repackage what is essentially the same experience. For example, Universal Studios in October is a lot like Universal Studios in June, except with zombies and a smoke machine. Either way, you still ride “Minion Mayhem” twice. So it goes with Christmas, too — or as they call it, “Grinchmas!” It’s a simple formula that works. All Universal has to do is decorate the park a little bit differently and then, in a big marketing push, capitalize on the imagery from their large canon of movies to get people excited. I’m actually shocked they haven’t used this formula for Valentine’s Day yet. Can’t you just picture a Because I Said So maze or The Story of Us stunt show?
Back in 2009, Lilly Allen declared that she had enough of being a super successful pop star and was finished with the music business. At the time she said:
I have not renegotiated my record contract and have no plans to make another record.
Luckily for fans of sarcastic pop music and hardcore twerking (which should be almost everyone) Allen is back with a new single and video, “Hard Out Here.” Last time out, with her album It’s Not Me, It’s You, most of Allen’s songs were about how annoyed she was with all the guys she dated. Now, after a hiatus during which she got married and had two kids, she’s annoyed with the music industry, singers that shake their ass (aka Miley Cyrus and her foam finger) and people telling her to get in better shape.
At the beginning of the video, Allen is layed out on the operating table, while her agent expresses his disgust at her body.
Agent: Jesus, how does somebody let themselves get like this, huh?
Surgeon: Lack of self-discipline I supppose.
Lilly Allen: Um, I had two babies.
This is followed by a twerk-a-thon, during which Allen sings about being too smart to use her sex appeal.
Don’t need to shake my ass for you cause I’ve got a brain.
Allen gets to have her cake and eat it too. She calls out the sexism in the music industry while looking as hot as possible. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it and then be ready to pose for the cover of Vogue. Good to have Allen back and, as her creepy agent says in the video, “in fighting shape,” to take on that responsibility.
Thanks to Jen. J. Walker for sending author, podcaster and performer Julie Klausner a link to our article about actress Shelley Duvall. The article is titled “Shelley Duvall: The Update You Didn’t Want” and based on Klausner’s reaction to to it, on the latest episode of her podcast “How Was Your Week,” she clearly didn’t want to find out that, as of 2009, the actress was living in Texas and claming that there were, “aliens living in her body.” The link was sent to Klausner after she and Rachel Lichtman revealed “their mutual desire to be pals with Shelley Duvall,” during a recent segment on “How Was Your Week.”
Before Sunset, the sequel to Before Sunrise, was the rare followup that was even better than the original. That movie ended with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in the middle of a flirtatious moment where they seemed to be on the verge of rekindling their lost love.
Turns out they did, and the recently released trailer for the third film in the trilogy, Before Midnight, shows that they not only rediscovered the spark between them, but ended up getting married and having kids. At this point this series is starting to feel like a reunion for the class of 1994 (when the original movie came out). Is it possible to recapture the magic of the first two movies? Hard to say, although after watching the trailer it’s clear that Delpy’s character still loves to wax philosophical about the state of their lives and relationship. That could get irritating after awhile, even for the most patient among us. What’s always made them a good match is that Hawke’s character has always been good at knowing when to shutup and listen, even when she says stuff like, “I still feel close to you, but I don’t know some I feel like you’re breathing helium and I’m breathing oxygen.” As was the case when Before Sunset was released in 2004, the latest addition of the series will be a breath of fresh air at the multiplex, which has been bombarded lately with lackluster 3D blockbusters.
In a recent interview (posted above) Steven Spielberg discussed the upcoming release of Jurassic Park 3D and explained that technology was a natural fit:
Jurassic Park in a sense was shot in my mind in 3D.
As someone who has been skeptical of converted 3D movies, Spielberg’s enthusiasm makes a very good case that the rerelease isn’t just a crass money grab. The director of the summer 1993 blockbuster said that he was inspired by last year’s 3D rerelease of Titanic. …Read More
In his review of Oz the Great and Powerful for the Chicago-Sun Times, Richard Roeper, echoed the sentiments of many (including myself) who were disappointed in the casting, particularly of Mila Kunis, who portrays the Wicked Witch of the West. He wrote:
Margaret Hamilton‘s Wicked Witch in the original “Oz” was the stuff of nightmares for generations. Mila’s Wicked Witch would get her first place for makeup at a Hollywood Halloween party, while her performance is closer to a Razzie than to an Oscar.
What would it look like if Kunis had portrayed the Wicked Witch in the 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz instead of Margaret Hamilton? I put together a video that demonstrates that it might not have worked out very well.