As a company Apple doesn’t pay for product placement. When you see an iMac, iPhone or MacBook on screen it’s there because the producers/directors believe it to either be an impressive thing to have on screen or it forms part of a larger technology-related part of the storyline.
Let’s face it: the iPhone has redefined what a smartphone should be capable of; and with that public perception there are strong connotations to be had from holding an iPhone on screen.
We’ve had a look around to find ten prime examples of Apple tech being used on screen. Where possible the trailer is included for the movie in question, as well as an explanation as to the importance of the Apple device. Of course if you wish to download the movies in question we’ve supplied (where available) links.
1. Mission Impossible
Mission Impossible features Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in the first of the movie adaptations of the classic 60s TV series. The mission is to prevent a CIA NOC list giving details of covert agent identities across Eastern Europe from being stolen. Of course things go wrong, Ethan becomes the enemy until ultimately the true villain is unmasked.
In the course of all of this Ethan Hunt needs to carry out research; and what better computer to use for that than a PowerBook?
Apple had a $15 million promotional consideration linked to this film including a game, ads and a television spot; and this also included the use of the PowerBook within the movie. Since then, Apple has not had to pay for such promotional consideration as the products are chosen themselves – as was the case with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.
Mission Impossible films are on the iTunes store:
Mission Impossible 1 - here
Mission Impossible 2 - here
Mission Impossible 3 - here
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - here
Perhaps best known as the movie that reinvigorated the vampire movie genre (or that film that Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson met in) Twilight tells the story of Bella Swan; who moves in with her father only to discover that the local area is home to vampires and werewolves. SPOILER ALERT: She falls in love with Edward, the vampire, and ultimately is turned.
Bella’s laptop of choice is a black MacBook. Sleek; stylish and very fitting.
The Twilight films are on the iTunes store:
Twilight - here
Twilight: New Moon - here
Twilight: Eclipse - here
Twilight: Breaking Dawn part 1 - here
Twilight: Breaking Dawn part 2 - here
Ashton Kutcher plays a professional assassin who, after bumping into Katherine Heigl, falls in love and decides that it’s time to take a job with a less painful severance package. Marriage soon follows as do other professional assassins trying to take him out for the chance of a big payday.
Around the start of the movie, he uses a phone – that looks rather like an iPhone 3GS – to set off a bomb; then as you get a little further in he uses a MacBook Pro as his work computer.
Killers is available on the iTunes store here
Ashton Kutcher plays the late Steve Jobs in this biopic following him from his early years through the infamous ousting from the company through to his storybook return (with Apple’s purchase of next) and the launch of the iMac which would be the beginning of Apple’s return to success.
The inclusion of Apple gear is pretty much a gimme with this one: we can expect everything from Lisa through the iMac; MacBook; Mac Pro and everything inbetween.
The release date for Jobs is currently to be confirmed for the UK. It hits theaters across the USA on August 13th.
The website for JOBS is here.
5. Sex and the City (1, 2 and TV series)
Carrie Bradshaw writes a weekly column for The New York Star called “Sex and the City”. It focuses on the sexual escapades of her and her three best friends providing her with a certain degree of recognition throughout New York City. Across a six-season run on television then two movies; we are introduced to her loves, her life and her PowerBook G3 / MacBook Pro.
Things don’t run smoothly for Carrie or her PowerBook G3 and at one point in the television series she loses everything she has on her laptop then takes it to get it repaired and the data recovered. Not that any of it is useful…
Sex and the City 2 is available on the iTunes store here
6. DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story
DodgeBall focuses on the rivalry between two gyms: a small, average, gym (Average Joes) and the big-budget alternative (Globo-Gym). Ben Stiller stars as White Goodman, the slimy owner of this gym who has purchased the mortgage of Average Joes with a view to closing and demolishing it so as to build a car park for users of his gym.
Peter LeFleur, played by Vaughn, enters the gym in a dodgeball contest the prize for which is $50,000 which will more than cover the mortgage.
White Goodman, while in his office, has a PowerBook on his desk.
DodgeBall is available on the iTunes store here
7. Independence Day
If the aliens are attacking, who you gonna call? Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum clearly. Will Smith plays Captain Steven Hiller who has successfully subdued one of the aliens and, with the help of Randy Quaid, delivers the alien to Area 51. There Brent Spiner (yes Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation) attempts to remove the bio-mechanical suit from the alien when the alien wakes up and takes over his mind.
Ultimately a plan is developed whereby a virus will be injected into the computer of the alien lead spaceship. This virus will be planted from a PowerBook – a job it does very well and very quickly.
There you have it, an Apple laptop can save humanity.
Independence Day is available on the iTunes store here
8. 17 Again
Matthew Perry plays the part of Mike O’Donnell who, filled with regrets from abandoning college, has separated from his wife Scarlet and whose children want nothing to do with him. While visiting his old high-school he encounters a janitor who transforms him into his seventeen year old self.
Joining his children in school Mike (now played by Zac Efron) attempts to become friends with his kids and get to better know them, believing that to be his mission. He makes a number of life choices along the way – including using an iPhone as his phone of choice – before discovering what he ultimately needed to understand.
9. Alvin and the Chipmunks – The Squeakquel
We are the chipmunks… CHIPMUNK… we are the chipmunks… guaranteed to lighten your day.
Alvin, Simon and Theodore are three musically-able chipmunks who belt out a veritable mixture of pop tunes. In this film they meet the chipettes: three female chipmunks who offer a similar mixture. The chipettes are put up against the chipmunks in a battle of the bands, and ultimately end up singing together and winning what they were individually working for.
Alvin, being the all-round cool guy, has an iPhone 3GS. Well it was 2009. We can expect the fourth film (due out 2015) to include Alvin with an iPhone 7.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel is available on the iTunes Store here.
10. Toy Story 3
The Toy Story series reaches its natural conclusion with Andy, the child to whom Woody belongs, going off to college. Woody, Buzz and other others thing Andy is abandoning them to the local nursery, when in reality he has no idea they’ve all been donated – they find their way back home and ultimately end up with Andy’s little sister.
Andy has a MacBook. Possibly a total coincidence that Steve Jobs, one-time CEO of Apple was also the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios who produced the film.
Toy Story 3 is available on the iTunes store here.