Star – Norris….Lundgren….Van Damme…
Genre – Documentary
Run Time – 106 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – USA
Amazon – £12.99 DVD (Blue Ray £7.53)
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In the 1980s watching porno movies moved from smutty cinemas to the privacy of the home with the arrival of the video recorder. The sex trades decision in the late 1970s to choose the cheaper VHS option over Betamax pretty much killed off Betamax over night while sales of pornographic films drove take-up of video recorders. The reciprocation worked for low budget action movies to and Cannon Films were born, the first to really cash in by bringing home B-Rental cinema to the masses. And as more people bought VHS to watch the movies more movies had to be made to meet demand. Fortunately there was no likewise expansion on quality control and with no IMDB.com to access what we were renting a lot of crap was produced. But there were gens to and iconic movie stars created in the process.
Cannon was born out of two movie-obsessed immigrant Israeli cousins, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who, in pursuit of the "American dream", purchased and refinanced the little known indie studio Cannon that would produce over 120 exploitation films from 1979-1989 with them at the helm, launching the careers of numerous action stars like Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. It was all about filling that VHS demand and the films came thick and fast like the explosions, sex and exploitation of the Cannon cannon, so to speak.
• Olivia d'Abo
• John G. Avildsen
• Martine Beswick
• Richard Chamberlain
• Sybil Danning
• Bo Derek
• Lucinda Dickey
• Michael Dudikoff
• Robert Forster
• Diane Franklin
• Elliott Gould
• Tobe Hooper
• Just Jaeckin
• Laurene Landon
• Dolph Lundgren
• Franco Nero
• Cassandra Peterson
• Molly Ringwald
• Robin Sherwood
• Marina Sirtis
• Catherine Mary Stewart
• Alex Winter
• Franco Zeffirelli….
The story begins with the Israelis crazy film making antics in Israel and so bringing the same style of movie making to America. Menahem Golan was very much the more obnoxious of the two and would green light the projects on the most tenuous of reasons with cigar in hand where as Yoram Globus was the calmer and more thoughtful cousin. Aggressive self promotion was their style and it worked up until a point. They had enjoyed success with the film ‘Operation Thunderbolt’ in Israel and nominated for an Oscar in 1978 (Best Foreign Film) and so ready to make their move to the big time in Hollywood.
Metaphorically their approach was make the poster first and sell the film to investors off the back of it, be it Chuck Norris on a motorbike with rocket launchers or an American Ninja dressed in white (Michael Dudikoff) v a regular Ninja dressed in black (Bruce Li). The plan was to get involved as many films as possible and hope some make enough money to fund the others, maybe get lucky with a big hit or two. Runaway Train (1985) with Eric Roberts and Jon Voight written by Akira Kurosawa proved to be that hit and still one of their best to date. Budgets would be kept at a minimum so more money to make more movies to produce that unlikely hit.
Globus:"99 percent of the budget is going on the screen, not on limousines and lunches!’
Before the boys bought Cannon it had enjoyed successes with films like Joe (1970), a drama about an advertising executive who ends up in the face of a crazed factory employee, with murderous results, nominated for an Oscar for its screenplay. Joe wound up making $19.3 million on a tiny $106,000 budget.
The boys were also known for using films to try and break and make stars. If they had someone with little training but lots of presence they thought they could put in a movie and so make them money they would do exactly that. Apparently, Van Damme was obsessed with getting his big break with Cannon and would wait outside Globus office to meet him. Legend has it he introduced himself with a round nose kick that brushed the Israelis nose. A week later he was starring in one of their movies.
Cannon really hit home in the 1980s with the Death Wish movies. If Donald Trump was a movie producer this is the type of film he would make, Charles Bronson spending the whole movie shooting and maiming immigrant criminals. The demand was there for the trash low budget cinema and the Israelis fed the machine. Things got so big in the mid 1980s for Cannon they were even entrusted to make a Superman movie!
As their output and reputation grew for getting films made they even employed big stars and big directors to make big movies. They even paid Sly Stallone a reported $10 million to come over and made the rather silly arm wrestling movie Over the Top with them. Sly Franco Zefferelli's made Otello in 1986 with them, Jean-Luc Goddard's did King Lear in 1988 and Barbet Schroeder's drama Barfly followed soon after, acclaimed films at the time. The Israeli boys weren’t looking for credibility so much but simply offering anyone who wanted to work the chance to. But trying to be all things too all men would cost them and led to the studio falling over in 1990. At one point they were making an insane 50 movies a year and $15 million in debt.
Buying up the rights to Superman was extremely ambitious and because Cannon didn’t scale back production on other movies to make sure Superman 4 worked and was funded correctly. The studios originally earmarked $36 million for Superman IV: The Quest For Peace and was slashed in half to a reported $17 million just one month before production began as money was spent on other movies.. Money was also hacked from the critical special effects budget, the only part of the movie that really matters with comic book films. A further big budget action flop, Masters of the Universe, highlighted the fact Cannon had perhaps over extended itself and the fact the studio was mostly bankrolled by junk bonds (a high-yield, high-risk security, typically issued by a company seeking to raise capital quickly) bankruptcy was inevitable. Van Damme briefly rallied profits with his Kickboxer series but taking on Captain America proved too much as the 1990s dawned and the film straight-to-video and never seen as the studio collapsed. Cannon was briefly reborn under a much smaller operation as the two cousins split acrimoniously, blaming each other for the bankruptcy, and so setting up rival production companies, which saw both men release a Lambada movie in the same week. This silliness lasted for another 5 years until the Cannon name disappeared all together as other better funded indie studios could simply do it better than them and they were no longer needed.
Their frugal filmmaking style can work today, in moderation, with guys like Jason Blum who has made a killing (excuse the pun) in the horror market, with movies like Paranormal Activity and its sequels. He also had Sinister, The Purge, and Insidious all making a fortune on tiny budgets, good ideas made cheaply and hitting the target audiences. Cannon were also smart in their embrace of the international market, something Hollywood ignored for years to its cost. This approach is now vital for high-budget filmmaking in Hollywood. The robot smacking film Pacific Rim proved it, a solid performance overseas can make the difference between a profit and a loss, particularly when it comes to a genre picture made for more than $100 million. When Ridley Scott made The Martian he had China in mind to make sure he maximized the films revenue if the critics didn’t like it, actually incorporating China in a positive manner as part of the movie just to insure that. As it turned out The Martian was a really good movie and made $800 million dollars world-wide.
I really enjoyed this and an excellent follow up to director Mark Hartley’s other film ‘Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! It’s similar in style and races along with the stars and directors talking about their role in the chaotic world of Cannon films and segwayed with animation and other contributors slotting in nicely with comment on the gloriously over-the-top world of Cannon movie making. There are laugh out loud anecdotes and visual moments to enjoy and great to see those old movies that we all sloped out of Granada Video Rental with. In those days we had independent video stores and every Asian newsagent having their own range of them and we would eat up Chuck Norris and co with our beans on toast for afternoon viewing on the dole or at college in the 1980s.
Today the Israeli boys would simply not be able to exist in the increasingly stale and conservative world of Hollywood and the Cannon Films team outsiders from day one back in the day. It’s all about political correctness now and with the recent controversy around black performers overlooked by Hollywood its interesting to note there are not many black actors featuring in this movie, or the Cannon movies. Personally I felt Chris Rock slagging of The Academy for 4 hours on live TV was too much but watching this film you can see how white the industry was in the 1980s. things do need to change.
Imdb.com – 7.4 /10.0 (2,671votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 95% critic’s approval
The Box is a great music tv channel that is available on Sky TV, im not 100% sure on what channel number it is but it is available in the music channel category on the TV Guide Menu.
The Box is shown in the UK and Ireland and shows Music Videos on request of viewer, you can ring in and request the songs that you want to be played, the song with the most requests is normally the song that is next played, it costs around £1.50-£2 from landlines to phone in which I think is a bit expensive to request a song so I have not rang in before.
The Box typically shows popular music, in dance, pop hip hop and the RnB genres, however they also show some indie and soft rock, they generally play music that is in the charts at the moment though some times they take a trip down memory lane and show different programmes like The Number 1s of the 90's or similar shows.
The Box also sometimes has competitions to win concert tickets, or love games that you can text in and pay for like love calculators and baby name predictions just for fun, though these games will probably cost you around £3 to play or enter which I think is a bit expensive aswell, though some of the results come up on the bottom of the screen and are fun to watch along with the music videos.
I think that this is a great TV Channel if you like Dance, Pop, Hip Hop, RnB mostly and other genres of music as well. This channel is only avaiable on Sky TV and is a great place to find out what music the UK nation like.
In my opinion this channel was great. When I first got Sky in 2000, fair enough there wasn't the amount of music channels there is now, but The Bob was my favourite channel. Tis was because it always featured the up to date pop music videos and just the general chart stuff I like. The format has changed over the years though.
This channel mainly was you got to choose the songs and through all the music videos was a moving banner of the song names, artists and the code for them. To get the songs you dialled a premium rate number - which used to cost 60p per minute, but it was £1.50 the last time I saw it. Although I never phoned up - probably too stingy, but I benefitted from others requesting Britney Spears Oops I did it again, hey the song was in at the time!
Anyway a few years ago the format changed and it still kept the same pop songs, but there was no phone in option. Fair enough it meant you kind of didn't have the choice in the music, but often the same songs seem to be looped through the day.
This channel runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but you will find from 2.30am-6.00am then this channel turns into teleshopping. Shame, as although other channels go into the silly infomercials through the night, I think that Music channels should keep the music going, no matter if it is naff or not.
The main thing on this channel is the Top 40 charts, which lasts about 3 hours and I sometimes record this, as it makes good background music as it's the stuff I like.
If you like Britney, James Morrison, Lady Gaga, Sugababes, Pink and so on, then you will like this channel. If you're more into Coldplay, Kings Of Leon and so on, yes they will make an appearance but not featured that heavily here!
There's something I need to get of my chest before I start. Pop Music today is bloody awful. I do not for the life of me understand why talentless, soul less, tone deaf no-bodies like Westlife, S Club 7 and the like sell records. Worse still, we have now got the current crop of "popstars": glorified kareoke singers murder Elvis songs in the name of music. It is all a shoddy, money-dominated gravy train run by ar*!holes like Pete Waterman, who's sole aim is to milk as much money as possible out of as many people as possible. Nu metal? Nivarna, Green Day and Metallica all did it better 10 years ago. Even The Offspring sold their sole for the pot of gold. And no, I'm not a 50 yr old longing for a return to the "good old days", but a very pissed off 21 yr old. Phew, now that's that off my chest, let's get the review. Many, many moons ago, in the days of Cable TV and the Sega Megadrive, a new and original idea was spaned. The idea was of a channel which would scroll a playlist of songs along the bottom of the screen, and invite viewers to call in (at around 50p a time) and request a music video to be played. "Music Television you Control"-the Box was born. Years later, it's still here, and the basic premise is still the same. On Sky Digital channel 449, music videos can be requested 24 hours a day according to the box numbers which scroll across the screen, which are called in (at the cost of about £1 a turn). The playlist is also available on The Box teletext, particularly important for when your song flashes across the screen at the exact minute you nip off to the toilet. The songs are very up-to-date, most chart hits are available long before they go on sale, allowing a preview of the songs before they are bought in the shops. Someone wise once said that "imitation is the sincerely form of flattery". If this is the case, flick through your channels around the box(4
40-480ish for sky digital). There are now over a dozen of these channels available, all following the same idea: watch, choose, call, watch. Remember, The Box preceeded all of them... Now, this is all well and good, but there are problems to be had. Firstly, the price has gone up and up over the years. I do not know the figures, but I'll bet this has been a tidy little earner for a minimum of outlay on the channel's behalf. No presenter, no sets, few overheads but nearly £1 everytime someone calls. I have called this channel twice in all, with differing outcomes. The first time was about 4 years back, when a drunken night out resulted in a call to request a song, at about 3 o'clock in the morning. About five minutes later, my song was played, and I happily dissapeared into a drunken slumber soon after. About a year ago, I called again, same circumstances, same time. This time, my song didn't appear for over an hour, during which time dehydration and frustration kicked in at a massive rate. Needless to say, I haven't called again. Futhermore, the songs are the same day in, day out. This becomes deeply repetitive after a very short while. A more cynical suggestion would be that the songs are simply played on a loop, and the calls placed have no bearing whatsoever on what is played. Think about it. It doesn't take a genius to work out the most popular 15 or 20 songs at any given time. Play them in a complex loop, and all those callers think that their song is being played. Shouldn't go wrong, really. Perhaps this is over cynical. The bottom line here is that it all comes down to the music you like. If, for reasons unknown, you like Blue/Will Young/(enter own no-mark), then after a trip to the shrink, you will probably happily come back to The Box. If, like me, you would like to see these "stars" hung from meathooks in a very public place, you really will not be bothered. Personally, I
prefer Magic (Cha 452) and VH1 (Cha 443), but as always, it's a case of one man's meat is another man's poison. Now, what side is "Popstars-the Rivals" on?...
The rise of Digital Television has resulted in a number of things: greater choice, greater value for money, and an impossibility to avoid that man who sells blenders. One area where it has probably had greatest impact is in music television. People with Sky can now see a total of 13 music which are on tap 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. MTV, MTV Hits, VH1, VH1 Classic, MTV-2, MTV Base, MTV Dance, The Box, Kiss, Smash Hits, Q, Kerrang and The Chart Show all pump out the songs with their own unique selling points and playlists. One of the oldest channels is 'The Box' (channel 449 for Sky viewers), which caters mainly for under 18's and plays mostly chart pop music. Think Britney Spears and Blazing Squad rather than Bryan Adams and Black Sabbath? The Box were the first channel to entirely have their playlist chosen by the general public - the audience rings up to request the video that they'd like to see using the three digit number unique to each track. The number will flash up on screen every time a viewer makes a selection, and eventually the song requested will be played. At any one time, there are usually 80 or 90 songs to choose from. Most of the songs are either in the charts or about to be released, and the channel always has exclusives of new videos before or at the same time as other channels. A couple of old tracks are also occassionally put up for selection to (best sellers = more popular = more people ringing = greater call earnings for channel owners). If you want to have a hit record, invariably you need to have rotation on The Box. Although the diversity available in Music TV nowadays means that the channel may not be quite as instrumental in breaking new acts as it used to be, the level of rotation that a video has on The Box can often be a good barometer to its real chart position when it is released. The Box can be credited to helping the likes of Billie Piper and A1 make it big. Thanks
for that. Talking of charts, one of the features that the channel has is a Top 10 of most requested videos that is played every hour or two. Usually a video will reach the chart as soon as it is placed for rotation before falling as people get bored of it. Although we only get to see the Top 10, a full chart featuring every video is placed on www.thebox.co.uk . Currently, it is headed by Nelly & Kelly's lame ballad 'Dilemma' , whilst bringing up the rear is 'Grace' by Supergrass, despite it reaching the Top 15 a few weeks ago. The latter's position demonstrates in the Box chart that Britpop acts deemed past their prime aren't really what The Box is all about? Another feature is the lamentable cash in on the Pop Stars/Idols/Rivals bandwagon - Boxstars. This allows the viewers to ring up and do karaoke - the 'best' and worst are then heard miming on screen to the video of the week's chosen song. Surely no one wants this on the channel?! Of course, calls cost 75p a minute (the same amount as voting for a song), which means that it's very lucrative for the channel? Perhaps the main criticisms of The Box is its repetitive nature - the playlist is a tad limited compared to channels which play an unfixed selection such as MTV Dance or MTV Base. However, it does offer more variety and choice than other pure request channels like Q and Smash Hits. It does also a limited genre - out and out pop makes up about 90% of the playlist, although the odd nu-metal track can also be found on there too. You do get a nice selection of new tracks, and each week between 5 and 8 tracks are added to the list, and a few are taken off. Some last longer than others, and the unpopular will sometimes get ditched within a week or two if no-one is selecting them? I think that I'm probably a little bit too old for The Box now, and I find it hard to watch it a lot of the time, especially when th
e latest non-entity identikit boyband or girlband are on. However, like most people with Sky Digital, whenever I'm watching the music channels, the best thing to do is just sit back and flick over when something better is on the other side rather than sticking with the same station the whole time. Recommended for children and lovers of pop, but if you're looking for something a bit more diverse and challenging, it's probably best to go elsewhere - may I recommend the man who sells blenders...
TheBox is said to be a great channel with lots of fantastic features....Which it is in its own right, but are we actually seeing what we are selecting? Before I try to answer that, Thebox IS actually a good channel. I mean it has well over 90 vids to choose from, and usually playlists new bands/new videos well before any of the other channels. But I'm almost certain the video's selected by the viewers are not entirley fairly shown. The videos are more than likely put onto a rotational system. Songs that hardly get voted for, are played constantly, and vice versa. If your good enough, you can at some point, predict what video is going to be played next. So what exactly is the point and meaning behind their main slogan "Smash Hits YOU Control" When you blatently dont. The same can be said behind their new and recent features: Smart Zone, Power Hour and Big Box Breakfast.....Im sorry, but changing 1 video in your rotational system isnt going to fool anyone. So much for the Smart Zone, is this actually suppose to be education for kids? The only decent anagram that makes sense on there is 'Westlife' that turns into 'Wet Flies' everything else is just pure nonsense. Well after all that critisism, I think I should move onto some more good points. TheBox has recently greatly reduced the amount of commercials shown, which before was beyond pathetic. At least now you actually get to see some music videos rather than advert after advert. TheBox is also a great promotional opportunity for Bands/Artists aswell as its sister channel Smash Hits, where the target audience gets frequent viewings of the latest videos. Well theres my opinion on the so called 'fixed' BOX. But dont get me started on the call charges.
The Box was the first interactive jukebox channel aimed at the UK, playing the freshest new music, and some old firm favourits, its the only EMAP channel avaliable on all platforms (Except ITVDigital) Whether you like rap, hip-hop, pop music or even rock you will find it all on this channel. Last year the channel upgraded to a new viewing system which improved the channel no end, whereas previously adverts used to be in nearly every song, now you only get advert breaks every quater of an hour. as well as vastly improved picture quality and new logos. The channel is run by viewers calling an 09901 number at 60p a minute, when you call in a telephone appears on screen and you can see the number you are typing be generated onscreen. Alot of people think that what you request isn't played, but if you watch when the system crashes, note down the numbers called in, and they get played in that order. Its become alot easier to get a song played on The Box since EMAP launched the sister channels Kiss, Kerrang and Q. Another good feature of The Box is the teletext service, its simple, but regularly updated (unlike the website, but as far as I know its under redevelopment at the moment!) and fast too! If you want a TV channel along the lines of Radio 1 without the anoying presenters, then this is it, it really is Smash Hits you control!
The box is a one of many Music television channels on SKY Digital television, and you have to say it’s far from the best. I have had experience of ‘The Box’ TV channel since I had SKY 2 years ago; it was the music area of the channels that I first turned to. To tell you the truth the box was not the fist on my list, proving my point; it’s no the best available. MTV is the widely popular and almost fashionable alternative, you can tell far more has been invested in the channel. WHAT DO THEY MEAN BY ‘IT’S INTERACTIVE? The Box advertises that it’s the interactive music channel (everyone thinks ‘wow’ ‘ I can listen any song I wish’). But this is far from the point. The Box is said to be interactive because they offer a ‘phone in’, ‘song selection service’. Every song that they can currently play is given a special code, displayed on the Box teletext service. You can then ring up the box hotline and select the song you wished to be played. This, mind you will cost about 60p a minute and you will probably be on there for 2 minutes after all of the adverts, just for one song selection. So even if it’s interactive, then your paying. The interactive aspects of the channel are far from interactive. Many others writing opinions on the channel and my own experiences deduce, that the service doesn’t actually work. People who ring in to select their song will never see the video or hear the song, which is false advertising and totally discussing the way in which they make money from the phone call. **WHAT’S THE MUSIC LIKE ON THE CHANNEL?** The music is the main aspect of the channel and you would expect it to be good. To be fair the music isn’t bad, and will mostly suite all types of people who like different music. It caters for all tastes, isn’t brilliant for each genre, they would have time to cater for a
ll that. The music, in my opinion isn’t interactive they just select some of the top songs currently around or are being released and play them looping 24 hours a day. People who have phoned in to select a song will feel like it’s actually works when the song is played, but infact it’s a big con.. **SUMMARY** In summary the box television channel is a ‘Fairly Good’ music television station (Hope this opinion isn’t rated the same). It provides a wide range of music 24 hours a day, but don’t get conned into the interactive aspects of the channel. If your looking for a much higher quality channel or something to better meet you tasted try MTV, MTV BASS, MTV DANCE, KISS, SMASHHITS, KERRANG etc. Hope this opinion helps.
As many digital TV subscribers will know, there is a vast array of music channels available, however the new trend is moving towards viewer-controlled music channels, one of the earliest being The Box (channel 449, Sky Digital). These channels simply involve viewers phoning up a specific number (usually a premium rate phone number), then entering the specific number for the music video they wish to see, using the phone keypad. These most popular music video numbers are displayed on-screen, whilst all numbers can be seen through their 'teletext' service. Following this, the most-requested songs are then played on the channel. Adverts, unlike most digital channels, are few and far between, which makes this station a very refreshing change from the rest, as it allows viewers to appreciate music without any disruptions. However, the main reason for the few adverts is due to the fact that you must dial a premium rate phone number to request a song, which provides the vast majority of revenue for the channel. With regards to the range of music available, The Box plays mainly top 40 and pre-release music, however still provides a few 90s and 80s songs for viewing. This allows the cannel to play a very diverse range of music, however whenever a very popular song enters the charts (such as Shaggy's 'It Wasn't Me', or the song 'Duel of the Fates' from Star Wars in 1999), the channel will end up virtually playing the same songs back-to-back, due to satisfy the huge consumer demand. Apart from this small criticism, The Box has sparked the growth of viewer-controlled music channels, and allows viewers to both appreciate the work that goes into the music, and the videos that are played. As a result, The Box has helped spark the revival of the music video, which, during the early 1990s began to die out, due to the few channels that actually played them. To conclude, this channel provides a great
way for viewers to listen to the music they want, through simply dialing a premium number and keying in a specific three-digit number, and in my opinion, we'll be seeing many more channels like this in the near future, as programs such as MTV's 'Videoclash' (channel 440, Sky Digital) have shown, which allow viewers to watch and listen to music when they want. Get dialing! Any questions? Don't hesitate to contact me.
During this week I have had a few days leave from work and during the day I have often had the television channel The Box on in the background. I have always thought of this as a non-stop music channel, but what I have now realised is just how much of the time there just is no music. Between the videos there are commercials and promotions for the station, but also there are quite a number of other features on the channel. I suppose if you are sitting down and watching the TV then some of these may be interesting, but when you just want to hear music these become very annoying. These features include: BoxTalk: Interviews with stars of the videos. BoxFresh: New videos that have joined the playlist. BoxNew: Interviews with potential stars of the future. Breaking out of the Box: A list of videos heading towards the top ten. BoxTops: The top ten videos. What really annoys me is how often the same feature is repeated in a day. In total I am convinced that there is more time when videos are not being played, than when they are being played. I assume this is a good money saving ploy, as obviously there are no royalties to pay when videos are not being played. To ring The Box to request a video costs 60p per minute and by the frequency that numbers appear at the bottom right hand side of the screen there seems no shortage of people ringing for songs. But, what happens to all these requests? During any video there is often 6 – 10 new numbers appearing on the screen as requests, so when do these all get played? I know that during the night the number of requests must be very low, but there does not seem to be enough time to play every request, so is the request list gradually getting longer and longer? If we assume that the average video is three minutes long, then the maximum number of videos per hour is 20. However, as I said earlier with so much else happening on the channel I suspect that
10 videos per hour is about the practical maximum that are played. When you read information about The Box on their Teletext page FAQ they say that The Box works like a jukebox and requests join a queue. But, I have often seen the same video requested twice in a row, but I have never heard the same video played twice in a row. I suspect that when a video is played it clears all the requests for that video, which means that it is not a true queuing system and more requests does not necessarily mean more plays. I would be interested in hearing from anybody that has requested a video on The Box and how long they had to wait for it to be played. Also has anybody ever requested the same video twice in a row? The Box is advertised as Smash Hits You Control, but I think they are controlling a lot more than is apparent. I don’t think that The Box is quite what it seems, but when it does play music I like to have it turned on, I just wish it was more music, less chat.
...your television set and go and do something less boring instead? Remember those jukeboxes in pubs where you put in a £1 and you eventually got 3 songs from an old 'Now That's What I Call Music' compilation? Well, now you can spend at least twice that amount ringing 'The Box' to register your insignificant vote and wait in vain for 6 hours because no-one else voted for it. Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that? And to make matters worse you have to watch everyone else struggling to register their votes on-screen. Laugh as you punch in '666' when Britney Spears sings 'Oops' for the 20th time that morning. And they still have adverts! The content unavoidably suffers from having no clear theme running through it, whereas you know what you're getting with VH1 and MTV Base, for example. I say don't vote, and then 'The Box' will really be in trouble. Perhaps then they'll PAY US to vote?
The Box can be a great music channel or it can be very ordinary. I think it really depends what is in the charts. As their play list is very limited they are forced to offer the most recent releases with few older records on offer. Indeed the older records are almost exclusive to the current flavour of the month. For example Westlife and Backstreet Boys feature quite heavily; not exactly bands you think of when it comes to older classics! Having said that you know what you are getting. The Box is an excellent channel for occasional viewing but if you spend too much time in the one session you will often see videos 2 and 3 times. A particularly unfortunate side affect of watching the Box is I now know all the words to “Whole Again” by Atomic Kitten and often have to force myself to stop singing along. The channel focuses almost exclusively on pop songs. Where other music channels will have an alternative hour, a rock night or a diva's weekend the Box is the same product 24/7. Having said that if a hard rock band are in the charts then the Box will feature them. I get it free with my cable package. All other music channels require a higher subscription so I suppose that beggars can't be choosers. I should also point out that it is the viewers that request all of the songs on the Box. Therefore, it is not the channels fault that the same video may be requested in quick succession. Having said that no-one knows when there request will be played so perhaps duplicate requests within the same half hour should be deleted as each caller will think that it is "their" song that is being played. To request a song you have to phone a premium rate line which can make it an expensive business especially as the average time for a video to be played is between 2 and 3 hours. This sounds a long time but when you consider each request will be about 3 mins long and there are adverts too then I don’t su
ppose a 2 hr delay is too bad (approx 40 songs in front of yours). However, I imagine most people wouldn’t put money in a pub jukebox if there was a 2 hour delay in hearing their songs. The other thing is that the station owners appear to adopt a sensible policy when it comes to showing videos that other stations have banned. For example the current Madonna Single “What It Feels Like For A Girl” has been banned almost everywhere else but The Box show it after 10. I have not seen this particular video so I cannot comment on its content but I agree with the decision to limit what children can see but still to allow adults access to material unsuitable for children. I also like the “Breaking out of The Box” feature, which shows new material up to a month before it is released in the charts. This gives the opportunity to see new videos in advance by your favourite bands and also to hear new music before it is available elsewhere. There are other features such as “Boxtops” which is the current 10 most requested videos. This will give you a very good guide of what you are likely to be watching in the next hour and the following days. However the majority of the time is understandably spent showing the videos and these features are just small fillers. All in I like the Box, it’s not the greatest channel out there but if you are between programmes you will always find a song you are familiar with. It may not be one of your favourites but you will certainly be familiar with it!
The Box is the new music channel which allows you to choose what Music Videos you want to see. It is basically 24 hours of Music videos which can be chosen by ringing a premium rate phone number and choosing the video of your choice. While a video is playing there are choices displayed at the bottom of the screen so that users can see what they want to play. The Box is quite a handy channel to have as it can always be relied upon to keep you entertained when there is nothing on the other channels. It is on 24 hours a day so quite a lot while I was at University I used to come home from a heavy nights drinking and watch the Box. How things have changed! My main problems with this channel are the fact that between 4 and 6pm each night you can guarantee that the channels is swamped with pop songs which are chosen by school children. There is only so many times that I can watch Steps without be annoyed! Also the music quality doesnt seem as clear as say channels like MTV. This maybe down to the bandwidth that the Box has compared to the bigger music Channels. You can guarantee that if you watch it for more then an hour you will start to get repeated songs. My gym has the Box on in the background and it is starting to get annoying, the amount of repeated songs. If you want a channel to keep you entertained when nothing else is on then the Box is the channel for you. They have up to date songs playing so you will be able to keep up with the latest and greatest things in the pop world.
I really do not like the box. Really. The picture quality is awful, as is the sound. Some of the videos are worthy of appraisal, but most are the pop rubbish that gets regularly voted for by teenage girls. No offence to teenage girls, as being an 18 yr old blokey person I have a vested interest. The box really should have more variety and stuff the being controlled by viewers idea. Songs jump off the playlist far too fast, whilst others just refuse to leave (limp bizkit anyone). I know I may have caused offence to some people here, but as the only music channel I can get on cable, I resent it having to be the box. It really is worse than the video equivalent of local radio. Failing that, radio 1.
The Box - Music television you control! Now don’t get me wrong one thing you must understand is that I love the Box! I have watched the box non-stop for hours on end because I love music. I have my stereo linked up through my TV and I normally just leave the box running. This can get quite annoying at times because there are a lot of gaps in between songs which really naffs me off, but still I listen! Now because I have no life and I listen to the box non-stop I have noticed something has been happening regularly especially at night. The box tend to play the same set of songs in a row so for example at the moment it would go 1.) Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag 2.) Outkast – Miss Jackson 3.) Shaggy – It wasn’t me 4.) Etc Now it will play a load of these types of songs, which I absolutely love, but it will then play them again ¾ of an hour later in exactly the same order. Another problem that I have with the box is the way in which you can phone in and ask for a song to be played. Now I have tried this a few times and it has never been on, but one night I was around my girlfriends house and my girlfriends sister’s boyfriend – jono, and we wanted to hear Offspring – Pretty fly for a white guy! Now we phoned up at about 11:30pm. We waited and we waited and we waited and then finally at 04:00am the song came on!! I don’t know about you but if you have to wait 4 hours for a song is there any point? The strangest thing about this was that there was hardly anyone phoning in to get a song played so what took so long? Ps: This service also costs quite a lot of money – in fact 60pence a minute, this may not sound expensive but conveniently the automated voice that talks you through the song selection process seems to have a very slow talking manner!! Stuart