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‘Minority Report’ Advertising Campaign Backfires
(Zap2it.com) – Advertising watchdogs are criticizing 20th Century Fox for making unsolicited phone calls to British cinema-goers to promote the video/DVD release of the Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report.”
Eighteen people complained to the advertising standards authority after receiving a message on their mobile phones to promote the release for the Steven Spielberg-directed blockbuster.
According to media reports, a short clip from the film is used featuring a man drawing breath as people answer the phone. The voice, belonging to Cruise, says: “Where’s my Minority Report?” before screaming: “Do I even have one?” Moments later a woman’s voice replies: “No.” Only at the end of the message does it state: “Don’t miss out on your ‘Minority Report.’ Buy it now on DVD and video.”
Those who complained say that the advertisement is “offensive,” and could cause distress because it’s not clear it’s a promotion. Some owners also object to having to pay to call their answer phone to retrieve the bogus message. It is believed this is the first time anyone has attempted a voicemail campaign and it has backfired badly.
Fox Home Entertainment explains the message is sent only to people who registered their contact details on the company’s website and asked for information about film and DVD releases.
The ASA is upholding the complaints, saying consumers “would not necessarily immediately recognize the voice as being Tom Cruise’s,” believing the message could be seen as “menacing” and might “cause serious or widespread offence.”
LONDON, England (Reuters) — A British watchdog rapped film maker Twentieth Century Fox on Wednesday for a sending out a “menacing” mobile phone advertisement featuring the voice of actor Tom Cruise.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) criticized the company’s home entertainment arm after receiving 18 complaints from people who received the advert for the video and DVD release of the film “Minority Report” on their mobile phones.
The message used a short clip from the film beginning with a man’s voice drawing breath before Cruise asks: “Where’s my Minority Report?” He then breathes heavily before screaming: “Do I even have one?” Moments later a woman’s voice replies: “No.” Only at the end of the clip does the message reveal itself by stating: “Don’t miss out on your Minority Report. Buy it now on DVD and video.”
Complainants said they found the advertisement “offensive” and felt it could have caused distress by not making it clear it was a promotion. Others objected to having to pay to retrieve the advertisement from their voicemail.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment said the message had been sent only to people who registered their contact details on the company’s Web site and asked for information about film and DVD releases. The message was sent on a Monday morning which, the company said, would “minimize the risk of people having to retrieve the message because most people had their mobile phones switched on at that time.”
But the ASA said consumers “would not necessarily immediately recognize the voice as being Tom Cruise’s,” thought the message could be seen as “menacing” and might “cause serious or widespread offense.”
HOLLYWOOD (Zap2it.com) – Hot couple Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz are in talks to star in an unusual project by Franco-U.S. production company Novem, titled “Paris Je T’Aime.” The film features 20 five-minute shorts about “falling in love in Paris” by several different directors.
If their schedules permit, Cruise and Cruz will star in a segment by Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Amores Perros”) where they play a famous couple hounded by Mexican tourists as they walk around the French city.
“We have been overwhelmed by the ballooning interest in our picture and the international talent which has put itself forward to become involved,” Novem head Emmanuel Benbihy tells Screen International. Benbihy explains that all directors are paid exactly the same, and that their crew choices are limited to first assistant and cast.
“Paris Je T’Aime” already features shorts by Brazil’s Walter Salles, China’s Jiang Wen, Japan’s Nobohiro Suwa, UK’s Tim Roth, Spain’s Fernando Trueba, Germany’s Tom Tykwer, Belgium’s Agnes Varda and Britain’s Sally Potter.
New Zealand Herald reports that Actor Tom Cruise revealed his Christmases past and Kiwi present on an Auckland radio show so a tiny Taranaki school can build a sunshelter.
The Edge had put up a $5000 bounty for anyone who could convince the Oscar-winning actor to call the station and go live to air. Cruise heard the offer and short-circuited the plan yesterday morning by calling in himself. But he told the shocked radio jocks the conversation would continue only if they upped the ante to $7000.
The actor added he would match the amount, neatly arriving at the cost of a project under way in the remote four-classroom Urenui Primary School.
During the conversation he confirmed that his partner, Penelope Cruz, was still in Taranaki with him, but he denied having shifted to Auckland, as he was shooting night scenes on the set of The Last Samurai.He said the film crew had been working 12 to 14 hours a day since arriving and any free time was spent hiking or taking helicopter rides around Taranaki.
He reckoned one of his best Christmases was as a child, when family members had no money for gifts.
“So we pulled names out of a hat and we had to do nice things for them … So we wrote them a poem.”
Asked about his best and worst times in New Zealand, Cruise praised the scenery, adding he had not had a worst time.
Urenui Primary School principal Joel Webby said the 101 pupils would be working hard on thank you cards to win a visit from their benefactor so they could thank him personally.
The nominees for the 75th Annual Academy Awards © were announced this morning in L.A. Minority Report only recieved one nomination fo “Best Sound Editing”. The Oscars will be held on March. 23
Cruz flies in to visit Cruise
From correspondents in New Zealand
SPANISH film star Penelope Cruz flew to New Zealand yesterday for time out with Tom Cruise, local media reported.
The 28-year-old Cruz, who began dating Cruise after he divorced Australian actress Nicole Kidman in 2001, arrived on Cruise’s private jet at the airport in the city of New Plymouth, 320km northeast of the capital, Wellington.
After customs checks inside the plane, the star of Vanilla Sky, wearing tight dark blue jeans, black boots, a black singlet and sunglasses, strolled to Cruise’s waiting helicopter shielded by personal security staff.
Cruz flew to Cruise’s rented Oakura mansion a few kilometres away to join his children, Isabella and Conor, and his mother, who is also currently visiting the 40-year-old as he works on the set of the movie The Last Samurai.
Cruise is spending four months filming what he describes as his biggest movie role, that of a retired US army captain hired by the mid-18th Century Meiji Emperor of Japan to modernise the Japanese army.
Some 80 per cent of the outdoor shooting for the $US100 million ($A169.43 million) movie is to be done at 10 locations round the Taranaki region of New Zealand’s North Island.
Up to 500 Japanese extras are being flown in for major battle scenes in The Last Samurai.
Tom Cruise and Samantha Morton won acting awards
Futuristic thriller Minority Report has won three prizes at the Empire Film Awards while Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers took the best film prize.
Minority Report’s stars Tom Cruise and Samantha Morton both picked up acting awards, while Steven Spielberg was named best director.
EMPIRE AWARDS MAIN WINNERS
Best film – The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (above)
Best British film: 28 Days Later
Best actor: Tom Cruise
Best actress: Kirsten Dunst
Best British actor: Hugh Grant
Best British actress: Samantha Morton
It is the second year running that a Lord of the Rings movie has won best film, although it only won one award from its seven nominations.
The awards were voted for by readers of Empire magazine and handed out at a ceremony in London on Wednesday.
There are separate categories for British stars, with Hugh Grant winning the best British actor prize for his role in comedy About A Boy.
Samantha Morton, seen as a rising star, was voted best British actress while her Minority Report co-star Cruise was named best actor.
Spider-Man star Kirsten Dunst won the best actress prize – but her award was accepted by comic Johnny Vegas, who also stood in for Nicole Kidman in 2002.
This is partly because many Oscar contender films have not yet been seen in the UK, and also because the awards are voted for by fans and not film professionals.
Thanks Chantal for the news!