Sunday, February 5, 2012

That Can't Be Good

Went to see Chronicle yesterday.  Clearly, I was misled by all the snippets on Rotten Tomatoes that said it was a unique origin story.  Really?  "Guys find bizarre alien-type thing underground that gives them special powers" is unique?  I'm pretty sure I've seen that, like, a zillion times before.

This is how not-exciting the movie was.  My one abiding thought as I left the theater was:  "Really?  They have Strepsils in Seattle?"

OK, some background.  Strepsils are these pretty awesome throat lozenges which I have found in England and pretty much every country Britain used to own except us.  (Have purchased Strepsils in:  England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Hong Kong.  Also Iceland, which I don't think Britain had a hand in, but I am American and therefore my knowledge of World History and Geography is a bit dodgy.)  In any event, as I'm sure I've posted several times before, the damn things are awesome, and completely unavailable in the U.S.  (I'm sure there's some global conspiracy to keep us from the good lozenges the rest of the planet has access to.)  I keep stocked up thanks to international travel, my friends' international travel, and (when all else fails) Canadian pharmacies on the internet.

So, imagine my surprise when a character in Chronicle strolls on up to a pharmacy counter, and we clearly see a couple of boxes of Strepsils prominently placed on the shelf behind the pharmacist, in what is either a case of blatant product placement or a prop guy who just really likes Strepsils.  Because I'm pretty sure this movie is taking place in Seattle and its environs -- and, last I checked, Seattle is part of the U.S., and is therefore a Strepsil-free-zone.

I noted in the credits that a lot of this thing was filmed in South Africa.  (The Brits had a hand in there, so I wouldn't at all be surprised if they do, in fact, have Strepsils in their pharmacies.  But I would be surprised if Chronicle went to a local pharmacy to shoot the scene, rather than, y'know, building one.)  I also noticed in the credits (at least, I thought I did -- I don't see it in the listing on imdb) that someone was credited for "U.S. Props."  If that means this person was in charge of making a South African set look American, I'd say there was a fail there.

I've ultimately concluded that it wasn't a mistake.  It was intentional product placement and Strepsils may have even ponied up for it.  My conclusion is based on the premise that the other thing I noticed about Chronicle is it wasn't very talky.  There wasn't a ton of dialogue in it -- and where there was dialogue, you very often didn't see the face of one of the people in the conversation.  In other words:  Big action movie; easy to dub.  This is probably meant for a big ol' international release, and folks in other countries will be totally receptive to the whole Strepsils thing.

Either that, or this is the first step in a covert advertising plan to prepare the United States for an upcoming release of Strepsils here.  A girl can hope.

1 comment:

DianeD said...

You can order strepsils on amazon