It's not just the gnomes who are laughing

No 179: BLOCKBUSTER VIDEOS
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The Independent Culture
The most interesting news about David Bowie is that he's been securitised - he's turned his intellectual property into a US stockmarket instrument, so investors can buy in. He's collaborated with Wall Street rocket scientists like he did with Brian Eno.

You can't help thinking this initiative is somehow central to the new Blockbuster epic, which is completely built around "Sound and Vision", the world's most obvious Music Over for a video store. The basic idea is that Blockbuster takes you out of your drab world and into a magical one of Movies! Music! and Games!, blows your mind and knocks your socks off.

We start in black-and-white with a grey wet street and what looks like a T-reg Cortina disgorging a starry-eyed, anorexic-looking woman who presses her face to the glass of Blockbusters' little shop of wonders. Inside, looking at the shelves, is Mr Docklands New Bloke - Fever Pitch, thirtysomething, open-neck, middle-class. When he bears the video home to his slightly fogey-looking riverside loft and slots it in we're in for an initial sequence familiar from Intel Inside, the innards of a domestic bit of electronic kit turned into Cybercity.

And so we get, in rapid succession, a ball of flame that knocks the innocent video renter across the room and blows out the glass, some virtual helicopters and planes, an exploding light bulb, chairs that fly out of the window and a high-wind effect reminiscent of the Maxell tape campaign of the late Eighties. Then we get Music!, and an ectoplasmic girl drifting in space past a wall of speakers. It's rounded up with Games! Kids, more planes flying round the front room, a Dulux dog and some more tricks and mixes.

"Entertainment in every sense" is the Blockbuster motto. They're clearly trying to package music and games more aggressively. It's nice enough to watch - though we've seen a lot of it before - and good to listen to but it does rather hint at Strand syndrome, modern people who need to eat properly and Get a Life.

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