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VIDEO: Trailer for "Branded"

VIDEO: Trailer for

By Robert Isenberg

Drop that magazine! Don't look at the pictures! Wait, don't look at the TV, either! Don't you know you're being brainwashed? That's the idea behind Branded, this year's apocalyptic sci-fi, due out in September and already getting massive play on YouTube. But the trailer is a little... bizarre. As a 20-words-or-less synopsis, Branded looks like a cross between Madmen and The Matrix.

But then we watched the video, and we raised eyebrows. This promo really inspires more questions than it answers:

Here are some questions that immediately came to mind:

  1. Is this supposed to be our world, or some alternate universe? 'Cause that 2.5-lb. burger looks delicious.
  2. What are the giant intestinal tubes stuck into those guys' heads?
  3. A "code in our mind?" And that's why we like to make out with hot people in cars?
  4. What's with all the Macy's Day floats? Oh, wait, those are giant blobby monsters. Okay... getting seriously confused...
  5. So there's a super-company that controls everybody's mind. (Did this movie happen to be edited on an iMac? Just curious).
  6. Does anybody else feel a little skeptical when footage of real-looking street protests are spliced with CGI'd bat-winged demons?
  7. Is that the music from Inception? AGAIN?!
  8. Giant... brown... monster... on skyscraper? Seriously, what is happening?

Now some questions for the filmmakers themselves:

  1. Isn't it a little conspicuous to make a movie that's critical of marketing and advertising... that advertises itself with a viral YouTube video?
  2. Isn't it doubly conspicuous when said YouTube video has a separate advertisement before the trailer even starts?
  3. Since real advertising is often criticized for ruining body images and making kids shoot each other for designer sneakers, isn't it kind of shallow to blame a bunch of flying bubble-creatures?
  4. Of course, you can't judge a film by its trailer. Maybe Branded will become a critically acclaimed sleeper-hit. Maybe it will inspire a generation to avoid fast food and turn off the TV. Or maybe this movie was made by blobby alien creatures and we'll have to set buildings on fire to survive. We'll just have to see in September.

    Will you see Branded?

Tags: movies, sci fi, advertising, branded

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