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Picks and Pans Main: Screen

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In this era of obtrusive product-plugging in films, you never know which movie people are going to hang THIS SPACE AVAILABLE signs around their necks. So you have to wonder about Madonna, Ron Howard and producer Aaron Spelling. In Truth or Dare, Madonna drinks one brand of bottled water. In Howard’s Backdraft, the firemen all drink one beer. In Spelling’s forthcoming Soapdish, a soft drink logo keeps blatantly popping up.

Movies aren’t TV. Theater audiences buy tickets, so plugs are another, implicit fee. Maybe producers should reduce ticket prices by, say, a quarter each time a product is shown.