Published on: January 25, 2008
Two news stories collided last week on “Law & Order,” and the big loser ended up being Wal-Mart.
“Law & Order” specializes in “ripped from the headlines” stories, and this particular episode stole from two beauts – the court case last year in Washington, DC, when a guy sued a small dry cleaner for millions of dollars after he claimed they lost his pants, and the ongoing story about tainted products being imported from China. I hadn’t seen it, though I had recorded it…and an MNB
user encouraged me to watch it, saying she started off amused and ended up horrified.
In short, a retailer called “Saving$Mart” made the mistake of accidentally importing poisoned toothpaste from China, and then one of its executives – concerned that he would be blamed by the penny-conscious retailer for the mistake and end up losing his job – ended up committing murder, which was covered up by a PR-conscious retailer.
Sometimes companies worry about what is being said about them on the Internet, but here was an example of a major broadcast network taking a swipe at a barely-disguised Wal-Mart.
I wonder how much money Wal-Mart spent on commercials aired on NBC during the past year. I wonder how much it will spend in the coming year.
And I wonder how many other viewers found themselves “horrified.”
I know convenience is important, but sometimes I have to shake my head.
For example, the Sydney Morning Herald
reported he other day that “convenience is so big in Britain that chains including Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Whole Foods Market, Harrods and Selfridges now stock pre-separated egg whites for those who cannot be bothered - or don't have the time - to separate eggs.”
What’s next? Pre-boiled water?
Great political commentary on “The Tony Kornheiser Show” the other day, as Mr. Tony asked the following question about the presidential candidates:Is it possible to have tinted hair and still have a message of authenticity?
“Quantum of Solace”?
That’s the announced name for the new James Bond movie, scheduled to premiere next November.
I used to think that the ungrammatical “A View To A Kill” was a lousy title, but this new one has me perplexed…because I have no idea what it means.
It is, however, the name of a sort story written by Ian Fleming…and I’ll give the producers the benefit of the doubt since the movie is again starring Daniel Craig and is being directed by the highly versatile Marc Forster.
It’s just hard to imagine what the theme song will sound like. After all, how many words rhyme with “solace”?
For years, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association have sponsored an advertising campaign using the slogan, “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.”
If memory serves, the original actor who voiced those commercials was James Garner. (Has there ever been a better TV actor than Garner, by the way?) Then, in more recent days, Sam Elliot, who has done so many terrific westerns, has been the voice behind the commercials.
But in recent days, there’s been a new voice saying, “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.” It’s a little more Garner than Elliot, but also a lot younger…and it takes about three seconds to realize that it is Matthew McConaughey. And he’s pretty good at it.
“Cloverfield” essentially is a “Godzilla” remake that is a very good monster movie. At a little over 80 minutes, it is actually the perfect length for what it is – “Cloverfield” looks like a video shot by an amateur who is witness to the destruction of New York City by a mostly unseen monster. It is never said where the monster came from or what caused its existence; the audience ends up being as confused as the amateur photographer and his friends, who attempt to rescue a friend who is injured and alone, all the while chronicling their trip across town and endeavoring to avoid the monster. “Cloverfield” is very clever…and it is making a lot of money because of young people flocking to it.
By the way, one of the best things about “Cloverfield” is the trailer that comes right before it – for the new ‘Star Trek” movie scheduled to open on Christmas Day. It is just a teaser trailer…we see the Enterprise being built, and hear Leonard Nimoy (“Spock”) intoning, “Space, the final frontier…”
I got goosebumps. I got a tear in my eye. And I can't wait.
Couple of wines for you this week:
The 2003 Araco Crianza, a delicious rioja wine that I served with this tilapia and tomato dish that I make…and that costs about $13.
The 2005 Mosaic Malbec, which I opened the other night when I made cioppino for the first time. Both were delicious...and while the Malbec was a little pricey at about $25, it was worth every penny. (And I think it made the cioppino taste even better!)
That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.