"Brands are the new stars of Hollywood. We have a story behind ‘Tetris’ which makes it a much more imaginative thing. We certainly have the canvas for location-based entertainment based on the epicness. What you [will] see in ‘Tetris’ is the teeny tip of an iceberg that has intergalactic significance."
-Larry Kasanoff, CEO of Threshold Entertainment
My first instinct after seeing this article was to just let it slide. We live in a post-Lego Movie world, after all. Something smelled off about this though. Like, they were trying really, really hard to ward off the stench of bullshit.
So I looked into this guy, Larry Kasanoff. The article mentions he was a producer on the Mortal Kombat movie and its sequels, and mentions nothing else he has been a part of. Mortal Kombat came out almost 20 years ago though, what has he been doing with himself in the meantime?
As it turns out, he’s been making Lego Movies and location-based entertainment. Not The Lego Movie that came out in theaters, the straight-to-DVD ones that I haven’t seen so cannot comment of the quality of. And location-based entertainment apparently means those little movies that play at theme-parks, like this Marvel cartoon that plays at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum for some reason, and Hershey’s Really Big 3D Show, which looks utterly god-damned horrifying. So far he seems to specialize in things that should not exist.
Then I see he was a producer, writer, and director on a film called Foodfight, which tripped a memory wire in my brain. I recall seeing this movie back when I first discovered IMDb, initially scheduled for release in 2003. I had assumed that it simply never came out, but I was so, so wrong. From what I can tell, $45 million was sunk into this unpolished turd about a private dog detective named Dex Dogtective who dresses like Indiana Jones and runs a nightclub in the evenings, helping famous food mascots defend themselves from the evils of the no-name brand. That’s right, all your favorites are here: The Vlasic Stork, Chef Boyardee, Mrs. Butterworth, and other zero-dimensional icons. This is where it hits me.
"Brands are the new stars of Hollywood."
This has been this guy’s mantra for the last decade. He made what looks to be the worst movie ever made off of this. Making films for Hershey’s and Lego and Marvel was just building up this reputation. His dream is to have entertainment controlled EVEN MORE TIGHTLY by monolithic international corporations, to better sell to you with Twinkie cowboys and rock and roll raisins. This is who this guy is.
So really, Tetris is the best thing for him. Yeah, there’ll be a movie tie-in to link up with whatever the fuck they’re thinking of doing with it, maybe a theme park ride with Jon Cryer as the L-piece, but you can’t really hurt Tetris. Tetris is eternal. I can find 100 knock-offs of it right now. Any first-year programming student could probably build their own version overnight. No matter what form of monstrosity this movie is, I can and will still respect Tetris for the brilliant puzzle game of my youth. Kasanoff can’t hurt me now.
I’ll end with this; the final line from a blurb about Threshold Entertainment ON THEIR OWN WEBSITE:
“Threshold does not publish information on its films in development so as to prevent slimy little weasels from stealing – we mean, for reasons of creative integrity.”