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Judging Stallone's Dredd-ful Commercials

Posted by doktakra on August 6, 2010 at 3:01 PM Comments comments (2)

As I've mentioned before, I'm a huge Sylvester Stallone fan.  I own all but one of his movies on DVD, which even Sly himself thinks is awesome.  If you're wondering, the lone exception is Rhinestone, in which he stars as a cab driver-turned-country singer alongside Dolly Parton.  Don't get me wrong, I'd happily buy it -- I mean, have the unwatchable Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Oscar in my collection -- but I refuse to pay $78.99 (!) for a movie that won Stallone a Razzie Award for Worst Actor.

 

With that in mind, I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I had no idea my favorite actor has filmed several amazing international commercials.  He's pulled out all the stops while pushing Japanese ham, sausage, and beer in the early '90's, as well as Italian ham and Russian vodka earlier this decade.  Let's take a look at some of these instant classics.

 

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In case you weren't aware, war hero John Rambo loves Japanese pork products, so naturally, Sly would use Rambo III footage to promote "Ito" ham in 1992.  As he dodges explosions and runs on the beach, all he can think about are those delicious slices of cured meat.  But wait, that's not all Stallone has in store in this double-feature.  He reminisces about his boxing days (I'm guessing the trainer is supposed to resemble an overweight Mickey) before biting into more of that succulent ham at the dinner table. Works for me.

 

 

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This two-minute-long opus looks like a bad parody of several of Stallone's movies, but it's actually a series of five commercials he filmed for "Kirin" and "Knorr."  We begin with a long-haired Stallone sprinting a la Rocky during a training sequence, and discover that he enjoys drinking Japanese beer after his workout.  Of course he does.  "We can make dreams come true...together," he says.  What dreams exactly?  I have no idea. The creepy "Together" song continues as Sly then informs us that his life is about love, courage, and ... "Kirin" beer. Whose isn't?  It gets only slightly weirder when Stallone rides a horse through a desert before once again consuming his favorite alcoholic beverage.  Together.

 

But what's the point of having Stallone at his peak if he isn't showing off his ripped, shirtless body?  Rocky-era Sly, wearing only a pair of short-shorts that leave little to the imagination, jump-ropes and tussles his hair in slow motion as a half-dozen little kids stare at him through the window.  If that doesn't make you want to buy soup, I don't know what will.

 

And finally, Sly shells more of that delicious "Ito" ham during the holiday season -- just what every child wishes Santa will bring on Christmas morning.

 

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I'm not a golfer, so maybe I'm wrong about this,.but most people don't daydream about sausages on the course.  Sly, however, fantasizes about pricking "Bayern" wieners after taking couple of swings.  He also feels the same way following a strenuous biking session, and even when he's bringing a bouquet of flowers to a woman's door.  The man simply craves Japanese sausage at all times.

 

 

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Did you know that Stallone plays the cello?  Well, he does, and you should eat (what else?) "Ito" ham to celebrate this fact.

 

 

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In an equally confusing ad, Sly walks through a flower garden, donning an all-white suit and matching hat, and delivers a package of that wonderful ham to an extremely excited and hungry family.

 

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Lest you think Sly only enjoys Japanese pork products, he's also quite fond of Italian prosciutto.  In a 2002 spot for "Citterio," he plays a James Bond-like action hero who kills a few jewel thieves and saves a damsel in distress -- a real stretch for Stallone.  When she asks for his name, he tells her it's "Bubi" and gets mercilessly ridiculed.  I might be missing something here, but there's nothing funny about Stallone getting humiliated -- I saw more than enough of that during the first 90 minutes of Rocky II. Let's move on.

 

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In 2008, Stallone signed on to pitch "Russian Ice" vodka under the slogan, "There is a bit of Russian in all of us."  You might be saying, "wait -- didn't Rocky once destroy Soviet boxer Ivan Drago and didn't Rambo kill hundreds Russian troops?"  Well, that's all forgiven because Stallone's great-grandmother was born in the Ukrainian town of Odessa, so he's kinda Russian.

 

I love that this dubbed commercial begins with a close-up of Stallone's shirt -- which of course says, "Sly." -- just in case the Russian viewer has no idea who he is. He goes on to tells us that he get his coffee only from Brazil, his suits from Italy, and his computers from Japan (as well as, presumably, his pork).  Stallone then encounters a group of thugs who are "probably from another planet," takes off his fancy watch, and tells them, "this will hurt" in broken Russian.  I was waiting for him to look into the camera and end it with, "best served on the Rocky's!" but thankfully, he just chuckles uncomfortably  Just like I did while watching all of these unintentionally hilarious commercials.

Illadelph Halflife

Posted by doktakra on December 23, 2009 at 1:18 PM Comments comments (0)

I feel I should explain the huge internet controversy surrounding my submission to straightcashhomey.net.  Okay, so it's not really a controversy, and only several dozen 11 people know or care about it, but I've got little else going on right now.  For those that aren't aware, Straight Cash is a website specializing in capturing random people quite simply wearing bad jerseys.  For years, I tried to get something posted, sending in pictures of someone in a Muggsy Bogues Hornets jersey and another person in a Chan Ho Park Dodgers one.  No dice...until, I had a genius idea while shopping at TJ Maxx (I needed undershirts -- don't judge me).  I found an Aaron McKie 76ers jersey on the discount rack, and promptly put it on so that Michelle could take a picture of me in the store.  Yes, I technically cheated since it was staged, and someone went on call me out in the comments.  But I could care less -- that's another goal I can cross of my list (and for the record, one of my other submissions was coincidentally published the day before, so there).


Anyways, let's move on to something a little more interesting.  Like most people, I fast forward through the commercials now that I've realized it's almost 2010 and there's this new techonology called "DVR."  But there are still some advertisements that are just too funny, ridiculous, or otherwise entertaining to pass up.  Let's just call these babies "DVR-proof."

 

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You'd think a name like "Tasty Torpedo" sounds homoerotic enough, but Quizno's doesn't stop there.  In fact, this is quite possibly the most disturbingly awesome commercial I've ever seen (though there's no way I'll ever get a Quizno's sub after seeing what their employees do with the ovens).  I love the way the guy subtly looks down when he says, "that burned."  High comedy. 

 

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A commercial doesn't need to try too hard or be extra long to make me laugh.  Sometimes, all it takes is 15 seconds of Biz Markie repeating "Oh, snap!  Guess what I saw?" over the "Just A Friend" instrumental.  The motto is, you can never go wrong with Biz...well, unless you have a bunch of white hipsters singing his music in a cab, which I prefer to think never happened. 

 

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Maybe it's because I've never owned a dog, but I didn't really get the big deal when I first saw this one.  But the mom kills it with her priceless reaction.  And of course, anything with "steamer" in the title warrants a chuckle because I'm 12 years old.

 

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If could, I would nominate the German guy for an Academy Award. I feel his pain...I'm hungry all the time, too.

 

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Who doesn't love ice cream and cake?  Well, besides me, since I can't eat dairy.  But if I could, I would annoy everyone around me by singing this jingle every time I took a bite out of my Carvel treat.

You Give Me Something

Posted by doktakra on January 16, 2008 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (4)

I was half-heartedly watching the late playoff games on Sunday afternoon -- while sleeping and trying not to think of the day's events (hint:  she and I weren't meant to be) -- when I saw a commercial for FX movies.  The only reason it caught my attention was the music playing the background.  Maybe it was my melancholy mood and the self-reflection that came with it, but I've never had a song affect me that much.  I found out it was by James Morrison, a UK singer who released his debut album, aptly titled Undiscovered, in 2006.  I immidiately downloaded it from iTunes, and have now listened to it three times through.  I almost...um, right, almost...cried the first time I heard it.  I'm telling you -- and this is coming from someone who primarily listens to hip-hop and R&B -- I only wish I'd known about it sooner.  If you don't have this album, it gets my highest recommendation possible.

If you're wondering, non-Morrison tracks on my official "Depressed and failing to convince myself I don't need her" Mix include, but are certainly not limited to:

1. Ne-Yo "Go On Girl"
2. R. Kelly "I Can't Sleep, Baby" (LP Version & Remix)
3. Craig David "Awkward"
4. Usher "Let It Burn"
5. Maxwell "This Woman's Work"
6. Justin Timberlake "Again"
7.Ben Folds Five "Brick"
8. Jon McLaughlin "Human"
9. Boyz II Men "On Bended Knee"
10. Stevie Wonder "Premonition"

To lighten the mood a little bit, I will now go on a tangent and provide another round of my new favorite commercials.

 

1.  Subway - Oochie Mama:  It doesn't take much to make me laugh.  As soon as there's talk of photocopying a butt, I'm already smirking.  The rest of this ad takes an odd and unexpected turn, but it's damn funny...nowhere near classic status, but above average.  But the people who made comments in the Youtube link need to chill and keep their homophobic thoughts to themselves.


2.
  Kia Maniac (aka the weird dancing guy):  A common misconception when it comes to ranking an ad in the commercial pantheon is whether it makes sense.  This is simply not true.  I can't get enough of this guy, er, provocatively dancing and then getting a bucket of water thrown on him at the end.  I don't know really know why, but I start nodding my head every time it starts playing.  No, I am not ashamed to admit this.


And on a final note, I caught some of the new American Gladiators show the other night (I don't know why), and I was not impressed in the slightest.  I guess some of the women are semi-attractive...if you're into that masculine, dominatrix look...which I am.  But I gotta say, when I heard that one of the dudes used to be a gay porn star, I was shocked that it wasn't The Wolf.  I mean, come on!

Still Ballin'

Posted by doktakra on July 14, 2007 at 7:01 PM Comments comments (3)

The last couple of weeks have been even more boring and uneventful that usual for me.  Unless you count my absolutely dominant performance in the company off-site event.  And since you desperately need the details, enjoy:

Softball
3 inning pitched, 2 earned runs, 4 strikeouts; 1-2 batting, 1 RBI
Football
0 catches, 1 rush for a first down; 1 defensive interception
Soccer
1 assist; helped injured teammate get ice and medical assistance


Some News, Notes, & Links from Kra's life
  • I watched the Rock Paper Scissors (RPS) Championship on ESPN last weekend -- like you wouldn't watch if it came on.  I don't think I've seen more unintentional comedy packed into one hour.  I can't even describe how much the contestants were into it, like one dude who called himself "Shears" and wore mittens over his hands.  There were token hot women who both competed and were clearly paid money to pose as 'girlfriends.'  The highlight, however, was an old school expert's tips and tricks of the trade -- like putting down the look-away rock to demoralize your opponent; laying the upside-down paper to signify serving a subpoena; and busting out scissors at a 45-degree angle...to tell your opponent, peace-out.  You can't make this stuff up.

  • I'm going against one of my biggest principles here by kind of promoting something that I loathe.  I haven't eaten at McDonald's in at least five or six years -- note that I can't say I haven't stepped foot in one though, since I've used the restrooms on quite a few occasions.  Yes, I felt you needed to know this.  Anyways, back to the point:  the new McNuggets ad is absolute brillance.  It's threatening to crack my top ten best commercial of all time, it's that good.  If this doesn't make you laugh, something is wrong with you.

  • I gave in and picked up the new T-Pain album.  I didn't want to admit it, but that damn "Shorty Snappin'" song has really grown on me.  I was actually pleasantly surprised by the CD, for the most part.  Sure, there are a bunch of skippable tracks -- like one where he lets us know what he'd like to do on a girl's stomach  (um, he's not the only one) -- but there are some good songs that can get stuck in your head.  And isn't that enough to pass for quality nowadays?  Good times!

Brought To You By:

Posted by doktakra on March 28, 2007 at 9:11 PM Comments comments (5)

I'm not a big fan of the State Farm commericals with Dennis Haysbert (ex-President Palmer of 24) in general, but the one about the dangers multi-tasking while driving is fantastic.  I laugh every time I see him steal Chinese food from a driver who's eating while stopped at a red light.  I know it's not supposed to be funny, but the whole sequence just kills me.  While I'm at it, here are my thoughs on a few current commericals.

  • adidas: Gilbert Arenas:  I love everything about this one, from the exagerrated caricature to Gil's inspirational words about overcoming all obstacles.  That being said, I hate the other similar-themed adidas commericals with different athletes -- I don't even know who they are and their stories are not nearly as well done.

  • Geico: Cavemen:  Does anyone find these funny?  Actually, many of my coworkers do, for what it's worth.  And now there's talk about a television series in the works.  Seriously?  Maybe the first one or two of these ads were mildly amusing, but the newer ones could not be any dumber, and I'm willing to bet the show doesn't last beyond two episodes.

  • Sprint: Fave Five:  I'm a big fan of two from the set.  The one where the guy denies stealing his friend's girlfiend, only to have her call him with "Secret Lovers" playing as the ringer.  And the one where the parents tell their daughter to get uglier friends after the son admits he has her hot girlfriends in his Fave Five, too.  My favorite part is the mom's facial expression as she agrees with her husband.  Not that I'm switching to Sprint -- that summer working at Radio Shack taught me better than that.

To be King

Posted by doktakra on September 17, 2006 at 9:13 AM Comments comments (1)

I think my favorite commercial at the moment is the one for Burger King (link is to extended version), where the father, the King Whopper, walks in on his son, the Whopper Jr., in his bedroom with a girl.  When I first saw it, I didn't get what the girl is supposed to be doing, and then it hit me:  she's eating his meat.  This should go a long way towards establishing my level of intellect.  But seriously, while I doubt that was their intention, doesn't my interpretation just makes it that much better?  You know you love it...


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