Martin Scorsese vs. Robert Rodriguez: Who Made a Worse Commercial?

At this point, I'm fine with film directors taking on advertisements every now and then for money or, in a few cases, for the creative freedom it allows them. That David Lynch Dior commercial was fun, and I thought that Wong Kar Wai's spot for BMW films was some of his best work in the last decade. But recently, I saw a cheesy, totally baffling Chanel commercial at the French cinema only to find out that it was directed by Martin Scorsese. And now there's this Robert Rodriguez-directed Nike advertisement short film starring Kobe Bryant, Bruce Willis, Danny Trejo and Kanye West. Let's investigate which ad makes a better case for film directors staying away from commercials.

The Black Mamba: Robert Rodriguez for Nike

I'll grant that this is only one minute of promotional material for what is supposedly a six-minute film. But is it really necessary to watch six-minutes of this? Robert Rodriguez takes his "aw-shucks" version of 70's homage, adds way more CGI and an ego-stroking part for Kanye West, all in order to glorify Kobe Bryant's shoes.

Bleu de Chanel: Martin Scorsese for Chanel

I don't have a huge problem with this commercial in terms of Scorsese's directing: the editing is solid, models definitely look awesome on grainy 16mm film and hey, I like the Rolling Stones too! If Scorsese had just left it at some actor hanging out with models and listening to The Rolling Stones, at least we'd all know where we stand. But instead we get a totally hokey, pseudo-self-empowering spot about some famous actor finally choosing to live his own life by (gasp!) walking out out of a press conference. Seriously, this ad makes Somewhere look like The Bicycle Thief

Verdict: Scorsese still made the more watchable commercial, if only for the grainy model footage and Rolling Stones song.


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