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The Perils of Product Placement

The Perils of Product Placement (photo)

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Oliver Noble from FilmDrunk has assembled what he calls “A Brief History of Product Placement in Movies.” Here is the video:

Obviously it’s called a brief history. And Noble’s discovery that the already shameless Taco Bell advertisements in “Demolition Man” got even more shameless when they dubbed in different restaurants for overseas audiences is oustanding. But I must admit, I was a little disappointed to see some of my personal favorite blatant product placement moments did not make the cut. Take for example this heated dialogue exchange from the film “Supercross: The Movie,” where the two heroes, devastated by personal loss, can only think of one solution to their problems. I can’t find a copy of it online, but I swear to you, this scene is in the movie (it’s also listed on the film’s “Memorable Quotes” page on IMDb). I reviewed this movie when it came out, and I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed harder in a theater than I did at these lines which, again, come during a moment of personal crisis:

Trip: What are you gonna do?
K.C.: I’m goin to Papa John’s!

Of course when you’re talking about excessive product placement, you have to at least mention “Leonard: Part 6,” the notorious Bill Cosby flop that’s as infamous for its poor quality as for the bolddness of its corporate tie-ins. You can see one such example above (note how the Coke bottle, not the actors, is the visual focal point of that shot) and a ton more below in this sequence from the film. Just try to keep track of the number of Adidas products and logos in just this one scene (and keep a close eye for a completely absurd placement from another company in Leonard’s shower):

The product placement is so foul, that Siskel & Ebert even called it out during the review of “Leonard: Part 6” on their show. I don’t necessarily have a problem with seeing products in movies — I’d rather, for instance, someone drink a real can of soda than a made-up brand — but when you’re having a character shower in Perrier water, you’ve taken things to such an absurd degree that you’ve breached the barrier into unintentional comedy.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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