Originally published at The Bee Hive. Please leave any comments there.
No, I’m not talking about me and my predilection for collecting famous quotations. (They make great songwriting fodder!) Not this time, anyway. This time, there are bigger quote whores than myself out there.
I’m talking about Paul Fischer, who is called out in this LAist blog entry for giving positive reviews to what is obviously a piece of Hollywood garbage intended for an adolescent audience.
One of the facets they take issue with at LAist is that, well,
The problem that we saw was that typically in a big time movie trailer, the quotes come from different sources. And when they quote those sources there really is a column or a review attached to those raves. The problem with Mr. Fischer’s quotes (”Total Triumph”, “Raucously Funny”, “Deliciously Subversive”, “One of the Best films of the Summer”) is that they’re advertised as being from a review from DarkHorizons.com — but Dark Horizons, while showcasing some of Fischer’s work, doesn’t have this review, nor does Rotten Tomatoes, which also hosts many of his reviews, most of which, you guessed it, were swooningly positive.
Now, when I worked at that online DVD rental place, heads were known to roll if a studio used a review blurb written by one of our affiliated writers (like a certain Movie Crazy fella) in a film’s promo pieces and we didn’t have the review up on the site. This happened one morning when the aforementioned movie critic was blurbed in a movie ad in the LA Times and attributed to our then-reasonably-obscure start-up web site. Our site traffic spiked but no one knew why for an hour or two. Once we figured it out, an onlooker might have thought Cuba was about to invade and we were responsible for putting up the protective forcefields — such was the rush to get the review pushed out to the live site. (What, you didn’t know we have protective forcefields? The truth, she is out there.)
Anyway, my point is: Dark Horizons would surely have felt the same urgency to get the review all linked up and working once they knew the blurbs were being used in a TV trailer. Something definitely smells rotten about this arrangement.
Like they say at LAist, it’s not like I take issue with someone wanting to make a quick buck. Movie criticism ain’t exactly foreign affairs journalism, know what I mean? (If it were, you’d have known about the protective forcefields.) But there’s still a certain amount of faith placed in movie critics by the moviegoing public. It seems, I don’t know, sleazy to mislead people that way. I mean, I compared it to prostitution, but that’s not even the same. People pay prostitutes for sexual favors; getting the prostitute to declare publicly that your sexual performance is “a total triumph” is not part of the usual deal.
But is it really wrong? I guess not. I don’t think prostitution is wrong, either. Most of the time, I just find it distasteful. So maybe it’s not such a bad comparison.