April 15, 2013 |
Maybe Aubrey Plaza is on to something with her crazy stunts - the MTV Movie Awards she spectacularly crashed Sunday posted big ratings gains. The "Parks & Recreation" costar was supposedly tossed from the premises after coming onstage unannounced and trying to grab an award from actor Will Ferrell. But the audience apparently didn't mind: An average of 3.8-million total viewers tuned in, according to Nielsen. That was up 11% compared with last year's show. In MTV's core demographic of adults aged 18 to 34, the show did even better, zooming 45%. Critics often focus on the ribald banter at the show, but PR stunts are maybe just as notable a feature.
April 14, 2013 |
Comedian Kurt Braunohler has promised, within a matter of minutes, to rearrange the downtown Los Angeles sky. It's 2:23 p.m. and half a dozen people on a recent Saturday crane their necks and squint into the sun as they wait outside a Hill Street high-rise to be let up to the roof. "Don't bother, man, it's at capacity in there," says a petite woman, her face obscured by enormous Jackie O sunglasses and a painter's cap. herapist, has a weekly average of about 1.2 million viewers.
April 4, 2013 |
Beware the horror-thriller about personality disorder that suffers from its own fractious splits in title, mood and logic. "6 Souls," originally completed (and released overseas) years ago under the title "Shelter," begins as a run-of-the-mill gothic/psychological suspense film. Julianne Moore stars as a forensic psychiatrist who is skeptical of dissociative identity disorder but is confronted with a creepy patient (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) practically bursting with various entities and barely concealed menace.
March 22, 2013 |
Hours before Pink's recent show at Staples Center, creative director Baz Halpin is crouched beneath the stage in the dimly lighted corridor he calls "the underworld. " That night, Pink's fans would witness the star scale a giant gyroscope, somersault from bungee cords, dangle precariously from silk ribbons and fly over the audience at dizzying heights. Halpin points to crash-landing pads that swell from a trap door to protect the singer, an ornate silver rig for one of five aerial numbers and a small tank filled with water for a finale that blurs the line between circus and pop performance.
February 21, 2013 |
In one episode of "Seinfeld," hapless George Costanza was hired as a stunt hand for a movie. Predictably, things went awry and poor George's hand never made a cinematic debut. In the days leading up to the 2013 Academy Awards ceremony, my own hand fared far better performing a tiny but stellar role in a documentary about the great Washington Post editorial cartoonist, Herblock. Last week, I got a call out of the blue asking if I had time to be a technical advisor for a film about the man whose pen name was derived from the simple mashing together of his first and last names, Herb Block.
February 19, 2013 |
There are a variety of ways that companies can stir up attention. Some employ a daredevil to jump from 24 miles above the Earth . Some hire a supermodel to swap saliva with an archetypal nerd during the Super Bowl. Still others, like Mini, have a driver back-flip a car amid snow-covered mountain ranges. In a stunt that the company calls the first automotively propelled back flip "to execute a perfect landing," race car driver Guerlain Chicherit took to the winter sports resort of Tignes in his native France on a specially prepared track.
February 19, 2013 |
In an apparent move to gain Twitter followers, sister networks MTV and BET pretended hackers took over their accounts. Tuesday's publicity stunt came after Burger King and Jeep had their Twitter accounts hijacked by hackers who switched their profiles to show information for their respective rivals McDonald's and Cadillac. MTV and BET, which are owned by Viacom, pretended the same kind of hacking was happening to their accounts by switching profile photos and logos. MTV became BET, and vice versa.
February 13, 2013 |
Given how successful its four predecessors have been, it's not surprising that "A Good Day to Die Hard" plays like an extended victory lap for star Bruce Willis and the entire "Die Hard" franchise. Not surprising, but not overwhelmingly entertaining either. Starting with the original "Die Hard" in 1988, over the next quarter-century the series has grossed an estimated $1.2 billion worldwide, a hefty sum which apparently convinced 20th Century Fox to commission this fifth time in the trenches for Willis' regular-guy action hero, New York City police Det. John McClane.
January 29, 2013 |
Video footage of mischievous motorists cutting across traffic and ripping a set of tire-smoking doughnuts has again hit YouTube, causing an uproar among concerned citizens and authorities. The most recent videos, one shot in Oakland and the other in West Covina, show the latest in a string of incidents witnessed across the country as organized groups perform audacious choreographed tricks -- typically reserved for the most daring Hollywood stunt drivers -- on public streets. Such events have also been reported and prosecuted in Washington, D.C. , and Atlanta.
December 31, 2012 |
Race car driver Ken Block speeds down a narrow band of asphalt in his souped-up Ford Fiesta, careening through the "Back to the Future" set on Universal Studios' back lot. The speedometer flies toward 80. Block's eyes are fixed on the road as he accelerates toward an invitation-only crowd of gear heads in town for the Los Angeles Auto Show. When he whips around the corner toward Courthouse Square in Marty McFly's hometown, Block sees a sea of undistinguishable faces. He plants his foot on the accelerator, then pulls back on a massive hand brake on his right side.