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…Cloverfield was unique?

Cloverfield

One of my favorite aspects of Cloverfield was that they didn’t give a lot away in the previews, so I’m going to try and review it without giving a lot away as well, because I think that you should go see it with as little information about it as possible.

Thus, a brief synopsis:

(Warning: Though I’m trying not to, this may contain some small spoilers, so if you want to go in with a pure mind, I suggest you read this after you see the film.)

The Good:

  • Like I said, I knew little to nothing about this film going in, because they decided to go with vague trailers as opposed to the current trend of using the trailer as a mini-version of the movie.
  • The ‘Blaire Witch’ style camera work added to the sense of realism, and kept you on edge the whole time.
  • The pace and tone of the film was so good that for an entire hour and a half, no one in my theater spoke a word. No one. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

The Bad:

  • The monster had a bit of a scale issue. One minute it’s tearing down building; the next it’s going after individual people. Perhaps it just changed tastes half way through, but it seems like it couldn’t pick a size.
  • They don’t explain much. Where did the monster come from? Why is it unaffected by our counter-monster measures? Why is the film named Cloverfield?

All in all, I’d say it was about as good as a monster movie can get. They kept you on the edge of your seat the whole time, they kept things somewhat believable, and they didn’t oversell any of it. While I don’t think that this was the ‘Movie of the Year’ by any means (and I’ve already basically give that nomination to Juno), it was a very entertaining film, and I definitely suggest going to see it.

Grade: B+
Theater Worthy: Yes

Note: For a great article on how Cloverfield advertised without advertising, check out MTV’s coverage of the Cloverfield viral-marketing campaign.

[Cloverfield]

[MTV – Cloverfield Viral-Marketing]

[Rotten Tomatoes – Cloverfield]

…It’s Things Thursday: Facebook Gifts?

Facebook Gifts Blue Spheres

Today, the ‘book and the ‘soft joined forces, and Microsoft gave Facebook $240 million at a valuation of $15 billion for an expansion of their advertising partnership.

$15 billion?

A site that lets people poke each other and share pictures is worth $15 billion?

Yes; and here’s why: Facebook prints money.

Facebook has created a product that turns a 99.99% profit, has incredibly (almost infinitely) high demand, and costs nothing to make.

What is this mystery product?

Facebook Gifts.

What are Facebook Gifts?

“Facebook Gifts allows you to send personalized messages with icons to your friends on Facebook.”

Basically a .gif with a message, these “Gifts” are a perfect example of why Facebook is worth $15 billion (and probably even more).

Facebook Gift Unicorn

Take, for example, today’s Gift: A Unicorn.

I’m going to go ahead and assume that with a few MS Paint skills and a spare hour, I could crank out the unicorn image that they’re using.

And if I were Facebook, and I did go ahead and create this unicorn Gift; how much would I expect to get paid for my hour of work?

$10 million.

That’s right, Facebook will eventually make $10 million from this crappy unicorn .gif.

Not bad for an hour’s work.

Why?

I have no idea.

To clarify: I do know why they’ll make $10 million: Because people will eventually buy 10,000,000 of these crappy unicorns. What I don’t know is why people will eventually buy 10,000,000 of these crappy unicorns. I mean, it is a crappy unicorn after all.

I think part of the reason why Facebook can sell so many of these things is that they have hit upon the perfect price point. Users don’t see $1 as being a lot of money, so they’ll gladly skip their next iTunes download to let their friend know that they care.

If Gifts were free, no one would want one. You’d give them to your friends, and they’d simply add them to the pile of other free gifts. Put a $1 price tag on the Gift however, and suddenly, giving a gift is a momentous occasion. You’re spending your hard earned cash, and sending your friend something of value.

And hey, it’s not like everyone else is going to get the same one, right? Aren’t they at least part of a limited edition?

Yes; if you consider 10,000,000 to be a limited edition.

That’s right, 9.999,999 other people are going to get that very same ‘limited edition’ unicorn, and Facebook is going to get 10,000,000 one dollar bills added to their bank account.

Amazing.

Like I said, they print money.

And despite my despising of the Facebook Gift idea, I will say this: I’ll gladly plop down a hard earned Washington for one of these the day Facebook comes out with a Gift in the shape of a T-Shirt that says: “My friend just spent $1, and all I got was this lousy Gift”.

Hey, a guy can dream…

[Facebook]

…It’s Movie Monday: The Illusive?

The Illusive

Though I doubt the world of the automotive spy photographer is anything near as glamorous as how it’s portrayed in “The Illusive”, it sure is a neat way to debut a new ride.

The film, which features the new SLR Roadster (among other Mercedes offerings), the Apple iPhone, and a Canon camera (“ideal brand partners are brought together and acquired for each film individually”), follows a freelance photog as he attempts to get the exclusive shot, and the illusive girl.

    A closed-off racecourse in northern France. A high-class German carmaker is holding a hush-hush photo shoot for its hypercharged baby. No one outside of the company has ever seen the secret new roadster.

It’s a very entertaining film, if a bit short, and does a great job of advertising for the product without coming off as a blatant product advertisement.

If only all ads were as subtle.

[The Illusive]

[Via: Motor Authority]

…It’s Movie Monday: Four Eyed Monsters?

Four Eyed Monsters is a full length feature film that has been released to YouTube for one week only.

    It’s about our lives. Being alone in a city, wanting to be in a relationship but feeling there are no good ways to start a connection and then breaking out of a rut, jumping feet first into something deeper and crazier than either of us expected.

What’s interesting is the steps they’re taking to monetize the film.

First, they’re asking everyone to join Spout, a movie review site that has agreed to give them $1 for every user that signs up (to a max of $100,000).

Second, they’re selling their film on a variety of DRM free media, from downloads to a full featured DVD.

Four Eyed Monster Ad

Third, they’re running co-branded advertising on YouTube, similar to Rolling Rock, which is something I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of as YouTube tries to figure out how to get back it’s Dollar Eyed Monster of an investment (though I’m thinking this is a good thing, seeing as advertising linked to the video you are watching is much better than a flashing Crazy Frog).

The movie is over 70 minutes long, so be prepared to sit for a while, but if you want a peak at the way media is going to be distributed in the future, look no further, because this is it.

[Four Eyed Monsters]

[Spout – Four Eyed Monsters]