First, I totally have to give credit to my good friend Joe Dunn of Joe Loves Crappy Movies for making the observation that the robot avatars in Surrogates look like the creepy family from the Duracell commercials. Joe noted the similarity during Monday’s episode of The Triple Feature – which I highly encourage you to download!

If you have no idea what this reference means, here’s a handy video to help educate you:

If you grew up in the ’90’s, you’re probably very familiar with the Putterman family (as they were called). If you grew up in any other era, I’m sorry that I’ve now scarred you for life.

The Little Dutch Boy? Let’s hope that everyone has some cursory knowledge of his fable. If you don’t know who he is, then your parents must not love you.

In either case, I’ve created this visual aid to help put it all together for you.

Putterman, Little Dutch Boy, Bruce Willis, Surrogates

I think it’s the hair that really trips me up. Like I said, if you could walk around in a robotic avatar that looked 20 years younger, why would you give it a haircut that exposes a high forehead and make it look like it was wearing a bad wig?

Maybe I should talk about the movie a little bit…

I like the idea for Surrogates and I certainly like seeing Bruce Willis in action hero mode, but I think this film is suffering from some bad advertising – especially the first trailer, which is heavy with exposition explaining exactly what surrogates are.

I don’t want to hold the marketing against the movie too much, though. I realize that it’s necessary for the film to establish “the rules” of the society depicted in the not-too-distant future if they’re going to bring people on board. I just wish it weren’t so cheesy – what with the robotic female voice literally selling us the concept of surrogacy. It’s not very clever.

If the advertising is anything to go by, I fully expect the exposition in the opening act to be boring and things won’t get interesting until we get to see the “real” Bruce Willis stomping in robot heads.

Once again, however, I have to give credit to Joe for pointing out a unique trend in avatars at the movies this year. First it was Gamer. Later in the year is Jim Cameron’s aptly named Avatar. But right now, it’s Surrogates. All movies about a separate consciousness controlling the body of another.

Is Hollywood trying to send us a warning about technology. Should I stop posting to my Twitter account? Should I drop off the grid entirely?! Time will tell.

What’s your thought about Surrogates? Are you planning on seeing it this weekend? Are you excited to see Bruce Willis back in an action movie two scant years after Live Free or Die Hard? What do you think about that plasticine look? Leave your comments below!

↓ Transcript
Here's what I don't understand about the character Bruce Willis plays in Surrogates:

If you could walk around with your consciousness downloaded into a robotic avatar that looked twenty years younger...

...why would you have it designed to look like a cross between the creepy Duracell battery people and The Little Dutch Boy?

DAMMIT, TOM! Now I can't unsee it.