Monday, 5 January 2009

Quote whores

I've had my name on a few movie posters in my time — Seven, Nightmare Before Christmas, The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford to name just three. By that I mean a quote from one of my reviews has adorned a poster to trumpet a film's genius, performances, direction, or sometimes its sheer "masterpieceness" (I made that last one up, by the way).

I've made it on to posters on the London Underground and onto DVD and video sleeves. I was one of a handful of reviewers whose Polaroid photo adorned the adverts for Memento along with a glowing quote. I've even made it onto cinema marquees. I once had a quote for Edward Scissorhands above the entrance of the Odeon Leicester Square and sent the family along to check it out.

Every film I've "appeared" on, I've been happy to be associated with. There are, I believe, no real dogs that bear my endorsement. (I say believe because I can't remember for sure.) But because I don't have a steady reviewing gig, "being quoted" happens less and less to me these days, although a quote from my Arena review of Body Of Lies made the bus stop ads and I loved being seeing my name on the huge posters for Jesse James that were all over the underground. That I think I did call a masterpiece, and I stand by it.

But there are reviewers who are quoted endlessly. They're often the ones who work for the tabloid newspapers and/or radio stations who often give breathlessly enthusiastic and highly praising reviews to just about everything (or so it seems). There are some, it seems, who clearly love having their name on a poster or an ad because they're happy to praise just about any piece of shit.

It happens both in the UK and US, but it's much, much worse in America where there are some folk who have elevated this "quote whoring" to something approaching an "art" and every year devote a list to the worst offenders — 2008's can be found here. It's hilarious.

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