August 23, 2008

The Power of Albert Finney

I watched Looker, the 1981 Albert Finney non-blockbuster last night for the first time in 25 years. This film is notable for several reasons that I will now explain to you in a bulleted, yet unenumerated list after this semi-colon:
  • It's rated PG but there are lots of shots of boobs, butts, and people getting shot and bleeding (though not nearly as much as The Bounty)
  • This was made in the 80s, so it's required to feature an acronym. L.O.O.K.E.R. stands for Light Ocular-Oriented Kinetic Emotive Responses.
  • Also necessary to complete an 80's film is a goon with a mustache. Tim Rossovich was also the mustached goon in Cloak & Dagger and is actually credited as "Mustache Man" in Looker. (Fun fact: Rossovich was Tom Selleck's roommate in college.)
  • There are cool light guns in it that freeze people when you shoot them, and then you can kick them in the nuts (like what's about to happen to Mustache Man).
  • Albert Finney has a bizarre accent. It's British, but sort of drunken sounding. Not sloppy drunk like Dudley Moore sounded. Finney's voice has a drunken confident swagger, which is why he gets to bang Susan Dey, a young model in Looker.
  • 1981 was the same year he starred in Wolfen, my other favorite Albert Finney movie
  • My favorite Albert Finney movies are based solely on Albert Finney saying the movie's title with his drunken British accent. "Looker!?" "Wolfen!?"
  • The film is sprinkled with technophobia and raises lots of concerns about the future of advertising industries (who will kill to sell you their products).
  • There's a killer 80's theme song:

The film is fun to watch for the futuristic advancements in advertising technology that are all probably manipulating us today. The subplots are not that strong, especially because the scene that tied the stories together was ultimately deleted from the final cut (don't worry, it's on YouTube). Still, not a bad film. Easy to watch from start to finish.

So, after watching the movie, I woke up this morning ready to avoid television's brainwashing. It didn't last long. I flipped past the Golf Channel and was hypnotized by an obnoxious, hollow golf stroke sound. It was an infomercial for The Momentus Power Hitter Driver. I loathe golf, but this sound was so gross that it paralyzed me. I couldn't flip away.

This infomercial had me by the balls. Pun intended. The final screen came up, the one with the prices and contact information. That's when the subliminal messages started. In the background, precisely calculated golf buzzwords were rotating in and out of focus. Velocity... Kinetic Energy... Ass...Ass? Oh, it was Mass, but the M was obscured by the golf club. The words went on... Force... Acceleration... Peed...

Ok, no, it says Speed, but again, obscured by the golf club.

How effective was this ad? All the talk of wrist cocks and shaft control can't possibly make people want to get up and go play golf. I mean, it's just making me want to get up and go to the bathroom, then wake up the RoBeastress and Power DriveHer.

Well, right after I go to and send them my 4 easy payments. Ah, the power of advertising.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi. I find it interesting that of all the brilliant performances by Albert Finney that Looker is one of your favorite of his movies. I've seen this movie panned critically, and even I who am a major Finney fan admit that it appeared to be a walk in the park for him (no challenge whatsoever). I do agree with you that Wolfen was quite good, and I think underrated. I was wondering if you realize he is actually English. That wasn't a fake accent. He is originally from from Salford, a suburb of Manchester, but he hasn't had a northern accent in decades. His accent is more London these days. He was actually known in the theater for having an exceptionally strong and amazing voice. Do you realize he has done as much or more theater in his career as movies. He is a major star to the London theater and in the 1960s on Broadway. You may know all this already, but it's just a bit of trivia.