If there’s one thing I can say with absolute certainty, it’s that I’ve never seen a movie like Branded. It truly is a one-of-a-kind experience. That’s not necessarily a good thing. You’ll get your chance to bear witness to the most WTF movie of 2012 next year when it arrives on DVD and Blu-ray.
How ironic that a movie all about the misleading power of advertising is being released on DVD and Blu-ray with box art that is very misleading in its own right. “The Invasion Has Already Begun”?
Here is Lionsgate’s appropriately vague plot synopsis for this US-Russian co-production:
Ed Stoppard, Leelee Sobieski, Jeffrey Tambor and Max Von Sydow star in this mind-bending, sci-fi thriller set in a surreal, not-so-distant future. In a dystopian society where mega-corporations rule, a terrifying conspiracy has been unleashed – one that controls the minds of the citizens. One man (Stoppard) is determined to unlock the truth behind the conspiracy. His quest to find it will plunge him into a tangled web of power and intrigue, leading to a shocking revelation and an epic battle with the hidden forces and creatures that threaten the fate of mankind.
Now at the risk of getting a little spoilery (CONSIDER THIS A WARNING – IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE), let me tell you what Branded is really about. It’s a wannabe Cronenberg-ian anti-advertising polemic about a British Russian who, as a kid, gets zapped by a celestial constellation of stars in the shape of the Borden milk cow. All grown up, he’s now one of the top advertising execs in Russia, so good at his job that the voiceover narrating the film describes his marketing prowess as if it were some sort of X-Men superpower. A tragic incident spurred on by an evil advertising rival scheming to save the fast food industry by using the power of advertising to convince people that fat is the new standard of beauty forces our marketing wizard to forsake his profession and leave civilization behind for the countryside, where he’ll spend the next few years herding cows. That is, until he has a fever dream that spurs him to commit a ritual sort of like a bovine version of The Wicker Man which grants him the power to return to Moscow, where he can now see advertising in its true form: parasitic Mylar balloon monsters that feed off of people’s wants and desires. He then sets about to save the world from consumer branding by unleashing what can best be described as a Pokemon-style clash of advertising titans.
For those of you that read my description of the film and are now saying to yourself, “Oh, you better believe I have to see this for myself”, I just have two things to say to you:
1) Lionsgate will release Branded on DVD and Blu-ray January 15th.
The only disc extra will be a commentary track with co-directors Jamie Bradshaw and Alexander Doulerain. Trust me when I tell you they have a lot of explaining to do.
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Get branded in the comments section below!