Sunday, June 15, 2008

Blog SMASH!



It's another weekend post, so not so much about what I'm doing in my PR work, etc. However, I do have plenty of good stuff from the Web to share with you.

First up, I saw The Incredible Hulk last night, which had some pretty amazing CGI! SUCH an improvement from the first film. There were some drawbacks, though. A big one was the elimination of the Captain America cameo scene (though Tony Stark does make an appearance). However, Marvel plans to release the Cap scene online soon (hopefully VERY SOON) and on the DVD version of TIH.

I've got to say this Hulk film, while it had great special effects and made the first film look even worse, it wasn't too great this time around either. There's almost no storyline there (other than the gamma story, Hulk angry, Hulk smash bad guy, the end), and the film was short on humor. Probably the most humorous line was when Banner mucks up his Spanish and says, "You won't like me when I'm... hungry," of course meaning "angry" as is the usual Hulk saying we've all come to know. The most exciting part of the film was probably (spoiler alert) when Tony Stark comes in at the end and mentions to General Ross something along the lines of, "We're creating a team," in regard to what to do with the Hulk. Again, more Avengers allusion, continued from Iron Man. Speaking of Iron Man, watch Hulk on DVD and go see Downing, Jr., in his hilarious and exciting performance again while you can.

You can click the movies link on the Marvel Web site to catch up on any of their films you haven't seen. There are LOTS more on the way (see yesterday's post for more on that).

Last night's adventure in film was, however, my first time at a drive-in theater. The experience is interesting, and while I can't quite say it's better than a high-quality cinema, it definitely has its perks. Sure, the picture isn't the greatest, and the speakers were a little fuzzy because of wetness from the rain, but there's nothing like kicking back in the comfort of your own vehicle. The cost is WAY cheaper. We paid $8 for two adult tickets, and $3 for M&M's, popcorn and a large soda. Total night's cost: $11. Total night's cost of JUST the tickets at the local cinema: $18. Wow. Last night was one of those times I was glad to own an SUV. I want to save the planet as much as the next guy, but I often need the extra space to transport equipment and such (in the Army National Guard), and it sure comes in handy when fishing/camping. I honestly would get a hybrid, but even if I trade in my Toyota 4Runner, I couldn't afford the Highlander hybrid. Maybe someday....

Anyway, while others were watching through their windshield wipers, I backed the 4Runner up and watched through a popped hatch, all stretched out in the back with pillows and sleeping bags. As the smoke from the scantily clad redneck woman in the truck beside of me drifted over, I realized the drive-in could have its limitations to greatness, though. When the 400-pound man parked on the other side of me slammed his door into my car just so he could fit out and waddle down to the concession stand, I realized it a little more. (Lucky for him, there were no marks... I've got his license plate number just in case I see some in the light today.) When the speaker in my window (left-sound, not surround-sound) started buzzing — I solved the problem by drying it off with an old rag. Just when I was settled in, some latecomers drove up, headlights drowning out the projector's light on the screen. Finally, everyone got in place, and things weren't that bad. Then, about halfway through the film, the focus on the projector went haywire and we were watching a blurry green mass.

Wait, let's back up a second. As you enter this drive-in, there's a 124-year-old man who sells the tickets in a booth at the bottom of the hill. Seriously, he owns the place, and he started working there in the ticket booth when it opened in 1958. Obviously, he was 50 years old THEN. His hands crumble into dust as he hands me the tickets, and my change — $2 — was none other than a two-dollar bill. EVERYONE knows that only supercentenarians carry two-dollar bills. Seriously? He was just giving them away? I know people who collect them... well, I thanked him for the tickets (I don't know why, I paid for them, I didn't really owe him a thanks, but you just feel like you have to thank supercentenarians). Before I drove away, the old man nodded, and I was later informed by my passenger that he winked at me with his one eye — yeah, I was too busy trying not to watch him decay that I missed the point that he only had one eye.

So, back to the out-of-focus projector — I can just imagine what happened up in the top floor of the shack in the middle of the field. See, the old man was up there, supposed to be running the projector, when, all of a sudden — he died. Yep, rest in peace, Mr. Starlite. However, it took about 20 different flashing headlights and honking cars to get anyone up in the shack to find the deceased (God rest his soul) Mr. Starlite. So, 10 minutes later, we have a well-focused screen.

Well, all this discussion about the drive-in sums up to one point — you've just got to go experience it for yourself somewhere. Everything balances out in the end, I suppose — you get ultimate comfort (depending on your auto setup) and save money, but the film experience itself isn't at exactly what I would call a preferable level. Oh, and when it's over — you'd better shuffle your ass out of there quickly (yeah, they didn't even show the credits) because the next group of cars is coming in for the 11 p.m. showing. This is getting to be a long post, but I couldn't leave that story out, and I already had some other stuff planned to share...


...The above photo is of the Puchi Puchi, and you can click on the link to buy the gadget. Thanks to AwareGeek for spotting this one! Basically, if you love popping bubble wrap (as I know I do!), this is a never-ending piece of it. The bubbles are always poppable, and you can even unlock a secret bonus sound once you pop enough bubbles.

On to some marketing/PR news — do you love house parties? Well, now you can have people host parties for your cause, organization, etc. Learn more about how to do it here. With hundreds or thousands of people attending house parties where your product is the focus, you gain loyal viewers, users, etc., and hopefully they will help spread the word.

Did you know you can get paid to blog? Socialspark.com and Payperpost.com are two sites that allow you to register your blog, then search through advertisers (usually $5-12 per post) who want you to write about a 200-word post about their product. Of course, there are ethics involved, and you have to be sure you let your audiences know that the specific post is sponsored by an advertiser. I'm in the process of getting my blog approved right now so I can experiment, so I'll let you know how it goes. If it works out, maybe I can ask my boss about using one of these services from the other end for some of our clients.

I'll leave you with a blog posting I found today that I liked. It talks about how you must develop and MAINTAIN relationships with clients if you expect to hang on to them and keep them happy. Good advice: It's the relationship, stupid. (THINKing)

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