The pReview Re-viewing of..
CLICK THE TITLE TO VIEW THE TRAILER IN A SEPARATE WINDOW
(it is highly recommended to view the trailer and THEN read!)
(warning: (apple) Contains (mcdonalds) cursing (walmart) and (americanairlines) subliminal (starbucks) messages.)
by Jeff Finck
Release Date: September 7, 2012
The premise: Imagine a world where we are at the height of consumerism. Now imagine that the planet's citizens are victims of their own spending impulses and a majority of the planet has become overweight and content in their world of convenience. Was it difficult to imagine a place like that? Because if it was, you need to get your shit together and take a look around.. We're up to our fucking brain cancer in it. Now imagine a world where there are gigantic demon brain-fuck monsters owned by every corporation on the planet that have been branding us, over time, into keeping us dependent on the system laid out before us. As Misha (Ed Stoppard), a young exec on the fast track in the headquarters of this vast conspiracy, begins to realize the truth behind it all, he channels Teddy Roosevelt and tries to topple the corporation and all their brain-fuck monsters.. With a severely phallic stick.
If you thought that getting fat was a bad thing, guess again, sucker! It turns out that in the very near future, fat is sexy! The commercials in the future throw stuck-up, skinny assholes to the wayside for the bigger, more beautiful, roundish people. Nobody cares about your diet.. Nobody cares how many miles a day you run.. I just need to know how long of a drive it is from my front door to the nearest Wendy’s. (1.2 miles.. That’s only a four minute drive, son!) The trailer kicks off with a “What if..?” commercial for a place called The Burger. If you love McDonald's or Burger King, you are going to fall in love with The Burger. It is a Soda-Soda exclusive fast food chain, designed with future-you in mind. And the future-you needs to gain 150 more pounds, or you’ll never be pretty! Just look at these people having a diabetic blast!
And, then.. Dammit. Don't they realize that I don't want my world shattered?! I love the Matrix, and I shall keep my delusions! This is just unacceptable.
Cut to behind the scenes and we realize that The Devil (Max Von Sydow) is actually behind all of this! (Max Von Sydow's character's name hasn't officially been released, but seeing as he played the Devil in Needful Things, and he doesn't seem to have aged even a day since, I'm going to just call him the Devil.) Ranting about "the code", The Devil entreats upon two Asian executives to join his cause. Luckily for him, the two unwitting execs have a massive, tentacle, semen monster injecting the back of their heads with full on, rock hard, affirmativity. Dealing with Asian tentacle monsters injecting semen into things is actually a prerequisite for graduating anime high school.
A baby telepathically speaking through the voice of an adult woman creepily posits the theory that there is a code inside of our minds that controls our desires; one of them being to car-bang Leelee Sobieski, apparently. She goes on further: What if it was branded there by the products that we use every day? She sounds so self-important and self-amused at forcing us into the realization that we, as a united people, are already subjugated by our own gluttony and lust for "things".. It almost makes you want to just haul off and deck that stupid demon baby in its stupid demon baby mouth to get it to stop trying to get us to free our stupid baby minds..
This review (and the movie at hand) are brought to you by the wonderful products of the future by the following fine companies: The Burger, Soda-Soda, Yepple, Burger Kveen, Giantsoft, Buymart, Obbidas, Mad Cow, H&D, Shellfish, Korean Cell, Extreme Kosmetik, Vipsache, La Alligator, Health Health, and Weightgainers.
It should be noted: I actually didn't make up even one of these.
At about the halfway point, we are introduced to Misha, the exec with a heart of gold. He starts out obsessed with getting rich.. But that all changes when Misha's eyes are opened and he begins having a conscience. And, like any good executive who grows a conscience and learns of the horrible atrocities performed by the company he works for in a conspiracy movie, Misha attempts to expose the dark plot to the world. Unlike any good executive who learns of nefarious deeds by the company he works for and then grows a conscience in a conspiracy movie, Misha starts to actually see the global greed for what it actually is: Massive, gargantuan, gigantic, huge (and other synonyms for "really fucking big") mascot monsters. He realizes that he's just been a pawn in this worldwide game of Enslave the Human Race Using Poor Impulse Control and Vendible Objects of Luxury. And if anyone has ever played that game, then you know that it absolutely blows donkey balls to be the pawn.
The Devil comes back into the trailer and seems pretty pleased with himself. The corporation is one step closer to controlling consumer's minds. The future world in which this all plays out, I assume, suggests that we all have a little devil inside of all of us.. Which, I mean, who can argue, right? It’s pretty similar to the now: Impulse control, the need to cram sugar and fat into our heads at almost a compulsive level.. And, all the while, massive corporations force feed us images of things we want and things we should want, until we end up wanting them and, in a lot of cases, buying those things. The only difference between our dystopian reality and this dystopian fiction is that the devils inside everyone in the future are actually manifested.
Misha finally mans up and decides to take action. Urged on by his lady friend, Abby (Leelee Sobieski), Misha needs to crack the code, get inside his own head and spread the truth to the people! Unfortunately, the truth tends to send people into roiling hate-storms of anger, revenge, and spikes of mob violence. And, if there's one thing that corporate mascot monsters hate more than people not buying things, it's when people realize that they're being fattened up by means of secrecy and manipulation. Especially when they're the ones that are attempting to fatten up the masses by means of secrecy and manipulation. And so, there is an all-out revolution led by Misha against the tyrants and puppeteers. As the trailer crashes to a close, people turn on each other, the police roll out in force, the creatures begin to show themselves.. And at one point, I'm fairly certain; it all turns into an episode of Kaiju Big Battel.
First of all, I cannot say enough how impressed I am with all of the viral marketing that has gone into this, complete with a countdown to Comic-Con 2012. I spent about two hours with my iPad, scanning every code I could find. (If you're bored, they bury about a half a dozen QR Codes in the trailer itself.. Also, see the poster at the top.) In my scavenging hunt, I ended up finding a site that already did all of the legwork and like a good, lazy American, I stopped doing my own research and started clicking all of their links. The site is fittingly called MovieViral.com. (Click that link to check out links to every code Branded has released.) There are pictures, links to fake sites, links to real sites.. As well as their own Official Site, their Facebook page, and the 10 videos of bonus content on their Youtube page. Marketing aside, this movie looks extremely clever, beautifully imagined, and, based off of the stills, marketing, and trailer: Flawlessly done. I can't wait to superglue my Burger King crown monster to my cerebral cortex and check out this flick! And you should, too! One of us.. One of us..
In a semi-related matter, this is in the background of one of the shots in the trailer.. And, it would be glorious: