Archive for the ‘viral videos’ Category

Trailer for Every Oscar-Winning Movie

March 8th, 2010 | Jonathan Gray

In honor of last night’s Oscar winners, here’s a very funny trailer I found for every Oscar winning movie, and I thought I needed to share:

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Time For Answers on Lost?

January 30th, 2010 | Jonathan Gray

I had previously posted the following clip, but now have a few words in response. See, the thing is, I don’t really want a whole lot of answers on Lost. I like the idea that it’s just set in a world in which different things happen. Granted, I want some answers, but, for instance, if I never find out where Smokey came from, I’m fine; if I never find out why only four toes on the statue, I’m fine; and if I never find out what the numbers mean, I’m fine.

To all you who want a whole lot of answers, be careful what you wish for. Or, to reword: think of the midichlorians. Who cared why some people have The Force and others don’t? It’s not just suspension of disbelief we need, but suspension of needing to know everything. After all, our own world is hardly logical, and none of us can pretend to know why so many things happen here, so why do we need all the answers on Lost?

In short, if you’re out there Damon, it’s me Jonathan. And I’m saying, don’t tell me all the answers.

For those who want them:

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Preparing for Lost, Part 1

January 28th, 2010 | Jonathan Gray

As Lost‘s final season edges closer and closer to airing, I thought I’d share this:


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Twilight “Haters”: A Response to My Last Post

January 16th, 2010 | Jonathan Gray

My last post was about Avatar haters and the pleasures of their hate, but here’s a wonderful clip playing another type of anti-fandom, namely fraudulent anti-fandom:

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Who’ll Watch the Watchmen DVD?

July 25th, 2009 | Jonathan Gray

Apologies for the lengthy absence — I’ve been moving, so the blog had to take the back seat for a while. And, for now, just a quick stub, as a way of embedding an amusing clip about franchising, adaptation, and extratextuals related to The Watchmen. Tip of the hat to Chuck Tryon for pointing to it.

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“The Year the Media Died”

June 5th, 2009 | Jonathan Gray

A neat video that anyone interested in advertising and television should enjoy:

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The Best of 2008, 2: Web Video and Music

December 31st, 2008 | Jonathan Gray

Continuing with my Best Of 2008:

Web Video

10. “Too Drunk to Fuck.” I had my vid watching orgy in late 2007, but one of Luminosity’s 2008 offerings helps explain visually why Family Guy will never rival The Simpsons: Lisa and Marge are just so much better than FG‘s women.

9. “Talk to Your Parents About Voting Republican.” I’ve already posted about this, in the context of its political message, but I’m also a fan of its parodic attack on the earnestness of Talk to Your Kids videos that assume older people know better.

8. “Piece of Me.” Obsessive24’s vid about Britney Spears is excellent, and a 3m21 essay on celebrity exploitation and obsession.

7. Fox News Calls Ohio. I saw this after the fact, but it’s a sweet moment, as Brit Hume and Karl Rove see the writing on the wall, and Lurch delivers the news to the bald master of evil.

6. “Yes We Can.”’s video defined viral, and though I still laugh at its inclusion of some pretty C rate celebs (“hey look, there’s Ashley from Fresh Prince of Bel Air!”), it laid down a gauntlet to Obama’s contenders that they’d have to deliver online. They didn’t, and they lost.

More after the fold …

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Opie for Obama

October 23rd, 2008 | Jonathan Gray

Yet another celeb endorsement video using the actors’ characters as the centerpiece. In the midst of the McCain campaign’s insistence that Obama isn’t like you, isn’t a “real American,” isn’t from a “pro-American” part of the country, etc., there’s particular extratextual power at work here. First, surely if Palin and McCain think that anywhere’s the “real America,” it’s Mayberry, and so Andy Griffith and Ron Howard hail their simple, decent, smalltown folk characters’ images to endorse Obama. Then Howard channels Richie Cunningham from the ultra-schmaltzy Happy Days, a show straight from the nostalgia zone, full of teens who come home before curfews and rebels as unrebellious as The Fonz.

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

I find it interesting that it’s the pro-Obama side that’s calling up images of the all-white sitcom (supposed) wonderland. As amusing as the clip is (and as surprised as I was to see Griffith endorse Obama), I find it a little worrisome that the strategy aims to make Obama seem safe by surrounding him with these images of white small town nostalgia. It’s a little too close to the insistence that Obama is not a Muslim — ideally, just as I’d love to hear more of a defence of Muslims as real Americans who aren’t all hell-bent on destruction and spousal abuse, rather than a quick “no m’am, no m’am, he’s a decent family man,” I’d rather that we fight for the image of a diverse, open America that I think Obama represents, rather than surrender to the Mayberry model (cf. Pleasantville). I’m not blind to the rationale behind the strategy, or to its tactical importance when it’s the independents and undecideds who are left, but I’d rather see and herald a Lt. Cedric Daniels, Sergeant Carver, and Detective Freeman for Obama PSA.

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Save the Cheerleader, Vote Obama?

October 15th, 2008 | Jonathan Gray

I’ve been amused by two recent political ads, one including Gossip Girl stars/adverbs Blake Lively (Serena) and Penn Badgely (Dan), and the other with Heroes’ Hayden Pannetiere. Celebrities making political appeals is hardly anything new, but both ads play quite cleverly off the shows and the characters to aid their cause.

Lively and Badgely’s ad mocks the “talk to your kids about drugs” PSAs by imploring young viewers to talk to their parents about voting McCain. Lively and Badgely are Gossip Girl’s resident good kids (well, as good as one could be in that show, I guess), and their make-believe school suffers from substance abuse aplenty. Thus, one can imagine them to be called upon to deliver the “don’t do drugs” message; instead, a more sinister behavior concerns them – voting McCain. One could imagine a more conflicted ad if the stars were replaced with Gossip Girl’s resident bad kids, Leighton Meester (Blair) and Ed Westwick (Chuck).

See more Hayden Panettiere videos at Funny or Die

Hayden Pannetiere’s piece also plays with her character. In Heroes, she’s invincible, and fighting to save the world. Moreover, as anyone aware of this thing called “popular culture” knows, Heroes’ catch-phrase in Season One was “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World,” and Pannetiere was the cheerleader in question. So, when she warns of how “we’ll all probably die,” there’s a (playful) added level of horror, as if the only thing worse than Sylar, Adam, or another Ali Larter character is McCain.

I realize now that my last post was also about stars using their characters to add weight to a political message. And, of course, the obvious other example is Martin Sheen, who got many years worth of political rallies and stump speeches out of being the beloved Jed Bartlet. All are interesting examples of how to use one’s stardom as para/inter/extratext.

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Devious Camp: Raining McCain

March 24th, 2008 | Jonathan Gray

Many a blog on my feed reader has something on this inspired, campy would-be pro-McCain viral video (see here particularly). Chuck Tryon, at his (fantastic) blog, The Chutry Experiment, has long been discussing YouTube candidate videos, and noting the lack of pro-McCain videos he has continually asked readers to point him towards one, and now here it is, in all its awful yet spectacular glory.

More below the fold . . .

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