9 November 2009

Off Target

Thomas Jones

At the Basingstoke Odeon the other night, in an almost empty cinema, I counted six advertisements for different kinds of booze (two brands of vodka, one sweet liqueur, one bourbon and two beers, as the John Lee Hooker song doesn't quite go), three or four car ads, a couple for war-fantasy computer games and one recruiting for the Royal Marines. I resisted the urge to get drunk, get behind the wheel and dream about killing. The army recruitment spot came immediately after one of the computer games; they weren't easy to tell apart. But the sly slogan for the second game was a sobering corrective: 'As close to war as you'll ever want to get.' The movie that followed, Jennifer's Body, has been a massive flop. This is largely because the target audience, as the ads at the Odeon would seem to bear out, has been teenage boys and young men.