Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Comcast: It's Bombastic!

Nobody I know has ever had a good word to say about Comcast. And why should they? Frequently interrupted service. Expensive rates. Problematic, often combative, customer relations. Programming grids that list "To Be Announced" for hours after a power loss or, when working, are sometimes flatly inaccurate. Their sanctimonious ads boast of high-quality, inexpensive, attentive service, but I'd drop Comcast in a minute if Verizon FiOS were available in my area. Hell, I might even drop it in favor of a 1959 rabbit-eared Philco that shows only snow and has no vertical hold.

Another Comcast attribute I resent is its film synopses. The worse-rated the film, the more glowing its review—because, of course, self-righteous Comcast couldn't actually offer bad films, could it? For example, Juwanna Mann gets 1 star (the universal rating for "poor") yet is described as a "slam-dunk comedy." Another 1-star comedy, Miss March, somehow is an "uproarious road romp." I don't know if Comcast writes its own reviews or obtains them from a third party, but virtually every 1-star film is, according to Comcast, a must-see winner:

Bride Wars—"Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway are a scream..."
The Box—a "hypnotic thriller"
All About Steve—an "endearing comedy"
Bigger Than the Sky—a "charming romantic comedy"
Fired Up!—a "peppy and uproarious teen romp"
12 Rounds—an "exciting thriller"
Extract—"big laughs"
Hush—a "gripping thriller"
Bad Company—an "action-packed espionage comedy"
Year One—a "hilarious Stone Age comedy"
Jennifer's Body—"big laughs"
Did You Hear About the Morgans?—a "wacky comedy"
I Love You, Beth Cooper—a "laugh-a-minute teen comedy"
Dragonball: Evolution—an "exhilarating martial-arts fantasy film"
Old Dogs—"Get ready for big laughs"
Post Grad—a "lovable comedy"

Need more examples?

The Women—a "polished and incisive remake"
Joe Dirt—a "raucous comedy"
Step Up—includes "a wonderful wealth of dancing and romancing"
Town & Country—"Warren Beatty and Garry Shandling score as..."
The Whole Ten Yards—a "hilarious sequel"
WarGames: The Dead Code—a "thrilling sequel"
Disaster Movie—a "riotous and outlandish spoof"
When in Rome—a "lovable romance"
Taxi—"high-octane action and rollicking humor"
Max Payne—"Mark Wahlberg gives a dynamic performance..."
Planet 51—"big laughs"
Who's Your Caddy?—a "top-flight Caddyshack homage"
Because I Said So—"a charming romantic comedy"
Deck the Halls—an "uproarious holiday farce"

Such self-serving reviews make one wonder if Hollywood has ever cranked out subpar celluloid. In fact, of the very few remotely critical reviews of a film I've seen on Comcast's programming grid, the sternest is that for Johnny Dangerously (1 star): a "puerile sendup of gangster flicks."

Now, I don't know what kind of confused buffoons compile these reviews, but how does Comcast slap Beverly Hills Ninja—perhaps the greatest "Great White Hope" epic ever made...certainly funnier than its counterparts Dances With Wolves, The Last Samurai, and Avatar—with a single star yet opine that "Chris Farley is in fine comedic form in this quick-chopping comedy..."? Comcast's rating system fully discredits its review, and vice versa. Such deceptive policy is not worthy of Comcast's exorbitant monthly cost. Worse, it denigrates the film that taught us that the morbidly obese can achieve martial-arts mastery, the film that inspires those of us who desperately wish to be ninjas yet don't possess the monastic resolve to devote our lives to its practice or to eliminate Twinkies and bacon from our diet.

In contrast, Comcast gives the bland 2008 comedy, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, 2 stars. Another tired talking-animal flick, a lost chihuahua must make her way back from Tijuana to Beverly Hills, with the always-hilarious Drew Barrymore providing the dog voice. Sounds great, doesn't it? Problem is: there's no self-abusive sword work, no overturning of urns and mixing of cremated ashes, no assaulting airport metal detectors, no culinary acrobatics at a tempura grill, no communicating across the Plane of Enlightenment and resultant crash landings. A 2-star comedy should make one laugh twice as much as a 1-star comedy, yet I defy anyone with an IQ above ten—dogs included—to find Beverly Hills Chihuahua funnier than Beverly Hills Ninja.

Clearly, Comcast has no idea what it's doing.

Or, as Haru of the Takagura dojo would say: "Holy shinto!"

No comments: