New blogs – just what I needed

If you find yourself just not having enough blogs or RSS feeds to read, both Mack Collier at BMA and David Armano at Logic+Emotion have round-ups of highlights from existing blogs or pointers to new blogs that have launched. Get your RSS readers ready and carve out a few more minutes in your day to keep up with these great outside-the-mainstream voices.

Movie Marketing Madness: Beerfest

It’s meow time for me to review the campaign for Broken Lizard’s latest comedic entry Beerfest. Back in 2001 they were a relatively unknown comedy troupe (at least I had never heard of them) but meow they’ve hit more or less the big time thanks to the absolutely brilliant Super Troopers, which they followed with Club Dread. Then the team got a deal with Warner Bros that resulted in their involvement with the mildly awful Dukes of Hazzard.

Meow their next flick is Beerfest. The basic concept is that a group of friends discovers an underground beer drinking tournament and bring that competition to America. So the movie is all about drinking beer and acting like a jackass. Works for me.

The Poster

I love this poster for how purposefully outrageous it is. The guys stand triumphantly, beer steins in hand on what’s designed to look like a beer bottle label with the backdrop, of course, being beer. Golden, shimmering, wonderful beer. I love how the actors are decked out in team uniforms, selling the idea of this being a competitive sports movie. Said label and guys are flanked by the obligatory leggy beer maids. No doubt about it, this is a comedy for guys.

The Trailer

The trailer conveys the point of the movie very well. It shows how the guys discovered the grand tradition of competitive beer drinking and how they train to be the best of the best. Like any good comedy involving beer, there are plenty of Germans around since all they really do is drink beer and invade neighboring countries. There are also plenty of buxom babes around since they’re a necessity when it comes to comedies for guys. All in all the movie looks really funny, with lots of comedic behavior and lots of jokes that revolve around drunkenness and peeing. I especially love the gag revolving around, well let’s just say that beer goggles alter internal perception as well as external.

Online

For what looks like such an outrageous comedy, the website unfortunately plays it right down the middle of the road and takes no risks whatsoever.

“About” covers Synopsis and Production Notes, both of which are pretty good if nothing out of the ordinary. “Cast & Crew” is just what you think it is, the home of filmos and bios for the main cast members. It gets a little repetitive reading about how each member of Broken Lizard is “one-fifth of the Broken Lizard comedy team” or some variation thereof. Yes, we know that. That’s kind of why we’re seeing the movie.

There’s a pretty sparse Photo Gallery, the Trailer and (theoretically) TV Spots in the “Video and Photos” section. I say theoretically because, as of the Monday before opening, those TV spots still aren’t there. You’ll find Wallpaper, Buddy Icons and a downloadable version of the poster in “Downloads.” Click on “Mobile” and you’ll have a chance to enter a contest via text message. More contest fun can be found in, well, “Contests.”

There’s a link there that says “World Tour” but what that tour is it never says. I’m assuming it was some sort of promotional tour by the guys in Broken Lizard but that’s just kind of a guess on my part.

Finally, you can get taken to the official Broken Lizard or the movie’s MySpace page. That MySpace page is one of the best looking ones I’ve seen, even if it is a bit sparse on content.

Overall

The movie is probably not going to draw an audience outside of the existing Broken Lizard fan base. The campaign seems to want to have it both ways, by appealing to that fan base as well as trying to look like a mainstream comedy. And, like most things that try to accomplish two goals, it fails – or at least falls short – at achieving either. While the individual components work on their own, the whole doesn’t add up to very much. The trailer and poster are great, but mostly if you have some sort of pre-existing knowledge of Broken Lizard. As with a lot of movies, especially those without a lot of studio support, it falls apart on the web. It’s gotten to be so regular an occurrence I barely even notice it any more. Other than the web component, though, it’s a funny campaign that unfortunately will be tuned out by a large segment of the audience.

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Round-up: 8/25/06

  • The separation between church and state isn’t a lie, at least I don’t think so. I always take its foundation to be when Christ chastised his followers to “render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s and unto God what is God’s.”
  • Gary Hart talks about the neo-con ideological creep into all facets of life, including religion.
  • Good question: Why are conservative groups so up in arms over the FDA approval of Plan B when its reach likely won’t come near that of the common birth control pill? They do basically the same thing. And notice how the arguments the “religious” groups use include the atrocity of older men seducing and pressuring underage girls. That’s deliberately to create a sense of outrage.
  • Finally. People are beginning to stop drawing a straight line between Republicans and religious integrity. Took long enough. This despite the best efforts of “Patriot Pastors” who have been using their pulpits as Republican speaking platforms.