WTF Commercials, Part 3

I am highly intrigued by the Sprint Framily, also known as the Frobinsons.

The original Framily commercials made a lot more sense–a family, or a group of people who were always together, like a band, could save money by adding more people to their family phone plan, regardless of whether or not they were actually family. Even if they thought someone was creepy or annoying, the point was that they could save a lot of money by adding them.

Then, presumably, the admen behind the Framily wanted to give us a really unusual group of family members who could, despite their differences, express their love of one another through texting and data plans. Instead, we have a disjointed cast of characters that create a unit that Seth MacFarlane would find unrealistic.

So apparently, the mom is a mom, the dad is a hamster, the sons are a hipster and a hillbilly, and the daughter is a French child who is, for reasons I cannot fathom, surrounded by animated birds at all times. Is she Snow White? Is she from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Why do I find her a stranger member of the Framily than the hamster-dad?

I get the general intent of this ad, but it was a lot more direct in its original incarnation. The Framily is charming, but I don’t really get why they switched to this model. If they had been turned down from other phone companies but then accepted by Sprint, or maybe they were all so different and needed lots of features in their phone plan that Sprint could provide, that would actually make sense. Instead, they just kind of…dance and hate Goths.

 

Your Wife Has a Lovely Neck? Back up, Buddy.

Nosferatu is on Netflix. The original one, not the most recent update (though I liked that one a lot). This one has been spit-shined and fixed up as best as they can for a movie that’s almost 100 years old, complete with a re-recording of the symphonic soundtrack. It’s pretty legit.

The movie is based on Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, and Nosferatu is a simplified version of the book (with names changed, to make it more German). A man named Hutter is sent to the wilds of eastern Europe to negotiate the sale of a house back in his hometown of Wisborg to the spooky Count Orlok. When he arrives, he realizes that Orlok is a vampire, and he must escape before he is destroyed by Orlok’s evil. Though Hutter gets away, Orlok begins his journey to Wisborg, bringing death and disease with him. Finally, Hutter’s young wife Ellen sacrifices herself, distracting the vampire with her own blood until the sun rises and Orlok dies.

Though I actually preferred the ending of the updated Nosferatu, there’s some real creepiness to this one. It’s German expressionism at its finest, maybe only second to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (though infinitely easier to understand). Even the intensely obvious stop-motion is spooky as hell. It doesn’t quite have the subtlety of the novel, mostly because of the necessary overacting in silent movies, but it’s still chilling and fun.

(No appearance of the hash-slinging slasher…but it’s fun that Spongebob references Nosferatu anyway, as in the gif above).

 

Odds and Ends

A few things I’ve been thinking about:

  • Snowpiercer. It’s playing at the Charles theater, which would involve me venturing out to Baltimore, but it just might be worth it because all my film major friends are going ape for it. Anyone seen it? Thoughts?
  • Cracked.com’s Luis Prada had a great little article on his own WTF commercials, including the DirectTV puppet ones, which actually gave me the idea for WTF commercials in the first place. I really, really need to know how a human man and a puppet woman can have a child. I can only assume the puppet boy is the product of a previous relationship, because otherwise he should be like a weird Pinocchio creature.
  • Going back to my list of shame–anyone know where I can find The Life Aquatic online (without getting my computer a weird Russian virus)? I mean, I understand I might just have to rent it on Amazon or whatever, but it’s worth a shot.