I used to think that Hollywood was this shining beacon, but I’ve come to realize that it’s more like that creepy kid you knew in college who told you he’d let you put a cigarette out on his arm for a dollar. Except that Hollywood would consider the cigarette thing too artsy.
Mayhap you think I’m being overly harsh. I ask that you take a look at the Starsky and Hutch movie, the upcoming Duke of Hazzard movie, the Revenge of the Nerds movie, and network television. If that’s not enough for you, how about this nugget of memory eraser that comes to us in the form of a Volkswagon Golf commercial?
Yes, they’ve digitally manipulated one of the most memorable scenes in cinema history all for a compact car commercial. Where to begin with this commercial’s crimes? Is it the utter bastardization of one of dance’s most physical and graceful masters in a pathetic attempt to be edgy and urban? Is it the horrendous remix of a classic song? Or is it that instead of just finding some modern dancer to wear the clothes and do the dance, they had to desecrate the memory of our dearly departed Gene Kelly by animated his body and imposing his face over another dancer’s. The guy’s dead, folks. Couldn’t you at least use someone who could voice an opinion on the matter? Or perhaps it was because they did all of those things just to sell a car.
If they’d just used some other dancer on the same set with the same song and dance, I don’t think it would bother me much at all. That certainly wouldn’t push me into the ‘isn’t that cool’ camp, but I doubt I’d hold the same loathing for it. I know I’m probably being unreasonable, but what bothers me the most is the abuse of Kelly’s dancing. He was an incredible guy to watch, and easily the most physical and athletic dancer of his time. His work in Singing in the Rain is just jawdropingly great. So to cut and paste his body’s movements just so he could do The Robot? The Robot? C’mon! Wasn’t Justin Timberlake available?
So why post this at all, you ask? Because our resident butter addict (Davion) incessantly pestered me to do so. There ya go, D. It’s all yours, now. (Thanks to Tom at Sony for the find)
Somewhere Fred Astaire is thinking “At least they kept my dancing in my commercial”.