4.7/10
8,494
86 user 41 critic

Branded (2012)

Trailer
2:30 | Trailer

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In future Moscow, where corporate brands have created a disillusioned population, one man's effort to unlock the truth behind the conspiracy will lead to an epic battle with hidden forces that control the world.

Directors:

Jamie Bradshaw, Aleksandr Dulerayn (as Alexander Doulerain)

Writers:

Jamie Bradshaw, Aleksandr Dulerayn (as Alexander Doulerain)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ed Stoppard ... Misha
Leelee Sobieski ... Abby
Jeffrey Tambor ... Bob
Max von Sydow ... Marketing Guru
Mariya Ignatova Mariya Ignatova ... Master of Ceremony (as Maria Ignatova)
Roman Petrenko Roman Petrenko ... Fast Food Executive #1
Anastasiya Nefedova Anastasiya Nefedova ... Fast Food Executive #2 (as Anastasia Nefedova)
Nick Harvey Nick Harvey ... Fast Food Executive #3
John Laskowski ... Fast Food Executive #4
Douglas A. Reno Douglas A. Reno ... Fast Food Executive #5 (as Douglas Reno)
Gary Brierley Gary Brierley ... Fast Food Executive #6
Andrey Kaykov ... Pavel (as Andrei Kaikov)
Viktoriya Popova Viktoriya Popova ... Screaming Woman (as Viktoria Popova)
Jamie Bradshaw Jamie Bradshaw ... Mr. Johnson
Viktor Verzhbitskiy ... Yuri Nikolaevich (scenes deleted) (as Viktor Verzhbitsky)
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Storyline

The film starts with documentary-style flashbacks showing Misha's rise to a powerful marketing executive. Now in Moscow 2017, Misha is a powerful marketing executive working to spread Western brands, and like the businesses he works for nothing will stop him in his greed, until the imprisonment and death of an overweight girl undergoing extensive plastic surgery to become skinny. Following a vision in which Misha sacrifices a heifer to God, he begins to receive strange visions depicting the brands control over people. He returns to work and guided by these visions, Misha attempts to stop the growth of the brands in post-Communist Russia by encouraging the brand to attack each other in their advertising campaigns. There is some debate whether Misha believes that the worship of global brands is Idolatry and his visions depicting the brands are controlling people causing them to sin, or whether his belief is that monopoly is evil and his intention is to create a Western style free-market...

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Crack the code. Take back your mind.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA | Russia

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

7 September 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mad Cow See more »

Filming Locations:

Bulgaria See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$240,565, 9 September 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$353,468, 30 September 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The advertising campaign for the movie included 100 QR codes, four of which can be found on the movie poster. See more »

Goofs

In two shots we see the list of brands that Misha is crossing out, he crosses out "Burger" with two lines. Later, when he is crossing out other brands, "Burger" has only one line through it. See more »

Quotes

Bob: [getting drunk] It's not a real burger, Misha, if I can't have extra ketchup. It's just a fucking... it's a fucking façade. This whole country is just like one Hollywood back lot, fucking, façade. And it's a really shitty made one, at that.
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Connections

Spoofs Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Utro I Vecher
Written by M. Blanther, V. Mass
Performed by Retro- Band "Tatiana"
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User Reviews

 
Interesting but fragmented, entertaining but flawed
17 July 2013 | by ryandannarSee all my reviews

I wanted to like this film more than I did. I admire its ambition, and I like the way it sets out to satirize the advertising industry and its effect on us. Unfortunately, it seems that the filmmakers had problems shaping their material into an elegant, effective film.

"Branded" is entertaining throughout -- and sporadically brilliant! -- but most viewers will probably feel, as I did, that this movie is wildly uneven. The tone of the film shifts in bizarre and disorienting ways; important plot-points are barely touched-upon; great chunks of time are skipped, often revealing that our main characters have changed in ways that are so profound that it seems some kind of further explanation is required; some very clunky narration attempts to tie everything together.

The problems lie mostly with the script, which can't seem to decide how seriously to take itself. In the film's earlier scenes, as the forces of evil begin shaping their bozo nightmare, the film often projects a winking, campy sort of vibe. Later, the film is solemn and reflective. Then, it's an angry political screed. Each of these pieces, individually, has its merits -- but they sit at odd angles to each other. Combine this with the film's fractured and episodic method of storytelling, and you end up with a film that plays like patchwork. It's entertaining, but I think there's a lot of unintended dissonance created by the film's cavalier approach.

The acting is actually pretty good; these actors were given some tough material to work with, given the script's shifty nature. All the actors do their best to provide their characters with strong through-lines, and they mostly succeed. That is to say that, even though the script and the tone are all over the place, the actors do a good job of providing solid and centered performances. I was frankly surprised that the acting worked as well as it did in this film.

The cinematography and effects are also worth a mention. The camera-work is top-notch, and the CGI "monsters" which appear in the film's final third are rather clever creations.

Overall, I got the impression that this was a wildly ambitious project undertaken by a crew that wasn't quite up to the task. And yet, they succeeded in creating a great-looking film of ramshackle construction. It entertains and provokes some thought, and there is a great sense of enthusiasm in the production.


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