"Tales from Tinseltown' is a must-read for anyone who can read." -
Ron Ronald, The Los Angeles Tribune.
"Lawrence Mitchell Garrison is the wittiest, most interesting columnist
in the known galaxy." - Ed Edwards, The Bug Tussle Beacon.
So, how ya like them apples? Guess I'm not just blowing in the wind
Better yet, not twisting in the wind - like Sony Pictures has been the
past few weeks.
In the same manner as I did above, Sony went and concocted phony
favorable quotes from fictitious film critics. They then used the bogus
blurbs in newspaper ads for movies such as The Animal, A Knight's Tale
and Hollow Man.
Using critics' quotes in ads is commonplace, if not mandatory. You've
seen them: "Best movie ever made," "a must-see film," "go right now, if
not sooner." Usually they're written by someone you've never heard of
from a paper you've never read.
Sony has suspended two advertising employees for a month without pay,
and is being investigated by Connecticut's attorney general. It's
another dose of bad publicity for the studio, which has already been
second-guessed for its "He will rock you" campaign for A Knight's Tale,
a box-office underachiever. That film's star, Heath Ledger, expressed
discomfort that only his image and a tired '70s catch-phrase was being
used in the ads.
"I seem to remember a lot of other actors being in the movie," is the
tone in which Ledger gently admonished.
Sony may have been the one caught with its hand in the cookie jar, but
this is not the first studio to confuse fantasy with reality. 20th
Century Fox was also just caught wrongly attributing a quote to the
Hollywood Reporter. And virtually all the studios have featured blurbs
from Jeff Craig of "60 Second Preview." There is no Jeff Craig - it's a
fictitious moniker. But at least it belongs to a real human being. I
think. I have stronger suspicions about Mr. Moviephone (I mean, that's a
really strange name) but that's another issue.
The studio practice of hounding critics for positive reviews has become
absurd. And does anyone really care? Have you ever been compelled to see
a movie because of a quote in the ad?
Sony was busted by Newsweek's John Horn for linking a phony reviewer to
an actual publication, The Ridgefield Press, in Connecticut. That paper,
circulation 7,500, has actual film critics, thank you. It's the father
and son team of Mark and Jonathan Schumann. ("Spelled like the
composer," the lovely woman on the phone told me.) Pop and Jr. didn't
even bother to see the movies in question.
The Animal looks like "another stupid Rob Schneider comedy," states the
younger Schumann, a high school junior.
If Sony wants to make things right, they should run that critique in the