As Hollywood's year winds to a close, it's a weekend of "colons." Three sequels are hitting theaters with the industry hoping audiences are more interested in seeing an old idea again over anything new.
The Hollywood fare opening this weekend — Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Alvin and The Chipmunks: Chip Wrecked — use colon-tastic titles in lieu of roman numerals. Sequels they are nonetheless. Even the product placement and marketing seems reheated.
The second installment of the Robert Downey Jr./Jude Law update on Sherlock Holmes is meant to be a "smart" action film. Likely to emerge #1 by Sunday, we will revisit it on Monday. In the meantime, here's hoping the film's plot is knit together better than its product tie-ins, such as:
"Starting November 7th all French Connection U.S. retail store locations will be paying homage to 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' by displaying 'Inspired By' looks from the film in store windows, fashioned by the label’s creative team. French Connection’s AW11 Men’s collection lends itself perfectly to the film association with many Sherlock Holmes- and Watson-friendly pieces included in the line. Three-piece suits, tailored pea coats and trousers, and popular British accessories such as snoods are key items."
That's a blurb from the film's online "Partners" section describing its tie-in with fashion retailer French Connection. Even that is a better fit than the Holmes deal with Taiwan-based Shuttle computers.
Slightly more appropriate to the holiday season is "The Game is Afoot" gift basket inspired by Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows from official film partner English Tea Store: "You too can join Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they pursue their nemesis, Professor Moriarty, across Europe. You'll be able to dress the part, as well as indulge yourself in what we believe to be one of the duo's favorite pastimes, tea and scones." Smashing, old chap!
With Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol debuting in a limited IMAX cinema run before hitting mainstream movie theaters, the other big Hollywood sequel of the weekend is probably not going to be mistaken in any way as "smart." Combining pop culture references with other, more dated pop culture references (Lady Gaga, "Winning!"), Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chip Wrecked is, well, it is technically a movie, as adults desperate to entertain young 'uns this weekend will have to grit their teeth and remind themselves.
Beyond the cheesiness of the plot, it's also a chance for the Carvival cruise line brand to get into the 2011 seafaring movie tie-in business.
Carnival's major role in the Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel marks the brand's jump into a movie business its competitor Royal Caribbean has been all over this year. That cruise line provided much of the setting for the Adam Sandler comedy Jack and Jill:
Then, the Puss in Boots movie premiere was held on a Royal Caribbean ship.
Both follow the branded entertainment web project The Allure of Love, a 2011 film shot entirely aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise liner by former Playboy model and actress Jenny McCarthy. (Yes, that's McCarthy with Po from Kung Fu Panda).
The short film was commissioned by Royal Caribbean and was part of a two-part series that included Royal Reunion, a "family" focused compliment to McCarthy's romantic comedy.
For those adults looking for something fresh, new and likely free of product placement this weekend there is always Carnage. The trailer (below) suggests it is NSFW (language) and darkly hilarious — and colon-free.