CRITICAL PRAISE.

CRITICAL PRAISE.

Ever see a commercial or movie poster for a really bad movie that has pull-quotes of praise from a movie review slapped all over it? Like lets say you see a trailer for a new Rob Schneider film and on the poster some random critic is quoted as saying “”Uproarious! Rob Schneider has never been funnier!” Now, any discerning movie fan would sense something isn’t right and I always figure the “”entire” quote would read something like”¦ “”the fact that anyone would find this film remotely entertaining is UPRORIOUS!” Or “”Rob Schneider has never been funnier but that’s not saying much because he sucks.” You see what I’m saying and I’m sure you’ve done or thought the same thing. Just who in their right mind would promote a bad film? I got an answer to that earlier and that answer is: me. Apparently.

So tonight I was over at my local video store and I see a movie called “”Live Free or Die” had made it’s way to DVD. I remember seeing the movie at the SXSW film festival in 2006 and really kind of hating it. The film starred Paul Schneider (no relation to Rob) who I think is always great but other than his presence in the film, I didn’t really dig the thing at all. Add to that the fact two former “”Seinfeld” writers wrote it, a show I consider one of the greatest of all time, and I wasn’t having any of it as they should have known better. So, I wrote a fairly snitty review and gave the film 2 and ½ stars with one of those stars belonging to Paul Schneider.

So, fast-forward to tonight when I see the movie on the rack. I say, “”ohhh yeah, I remember that. I wondered what became of it?” I picked it up and on the front cover was some quote from the hacks at Ain’t it Cool News proclaiming it comedic gold. “”Pfft,” I scoffed, “”I wonder what other critical quote whores chimed in on this movie?” I flipped the DVD over and there I was. “”Paul Schneider is downright hilarious!- Don R. Lewis” I proclaimed in print on the back of a movie I didn’t really like all that much. Son of a”¦.

I kind of laughed to myself as I set the film back on the shelf and walked away. Hey, it’s nice to be noticed and I bet if I showed the DVD quote to the cute girl at the counter, she would be really impressed. If nothing else she would say, “”I’ve never met anyone who was quoted on a DVD cover before!” Then I realized my quote-taken totally out of context, Karl Rove style-was being used to promote a movie I wasn’t all that crazy about. I rented my flicks and came home to make sure I really didn’t like the film as much as I remembered not liking it and, sure enough as you can see here (http://www.filmthreat.com/index.php?section=reviews&Id=8726), the review was rife with backhanded “”compliments” and a buffed up 2 and ½ star rating.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been quoted on a press release, DVD or movie trailer and every time that it’s happened, I’m glad someone read my review and didn’t want to punch me in the throat afterwards. I also love to help out smaller films and if someone feels my or Film Threat’s name adds some kind of street cred or whatever, that’s awesome. But this time, damn, they totally got me. It’s as if the PR people said, “”so, Mr. Don R. Lewis didn’t like our comedic gem? Let’s see how he likes THIS!” Cut cut”¦snip snip. It reminded me of the episode of “”Family Guy” where Meg loves Brian and when he tries to set her down easy, she contorts what he said and tells herself Brian really loves her.

So, since I’m already considered a quote whore by the fine folks here at Film Threat Central, I would like to take this blog entry to not endorse “”Live Free or Die.” Unless you really like Paul Schneider. Then I say rent at your own risk or, wait until it comes onto cable.




Posted on April 3, 2008 in Blogs by
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7 Comments on "CRITICAL PRAISE."

  1. Mark Bell on Fri, 4th Apr 2008 2:00 am 

    But “The Darwin Awards” rocked? Just trying to keep the Don Lewis quote-whoredom in perspective ;-)

    And, yes, I hate it when critical words are re-configured to make a bad movie look good.


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  2. Don Lewis on Fri, 4th Apr 2008 11:48 am 

    Oh no…the DARWIN AWARDS quote just attributed it to “Film Threat” so I dragged you alllll down with me on that one.


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  3. Mark Bell on Fri, 4th Apr 2008 2:33 pm 

    Well played, clerk…


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  4. kidkosmic on Fri, 4th Apr 2008 3:22 pm 

    Donny, your own legacy of hackdom is now secured.


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  5. Don Lewis on Sat, 5th Apr 2008 12:05 pm 

    Thanks, Weinberg ;-)


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  6. Jette Kernion on Mon, 7th Apr 2008 9:46 am 

    I find this especially amusing because on the “Live Free or Die” website, they’ve truncated part of my Cinematical review of that film to make it sound like I thought it was pretty funny, too. Which I didn’t, except for one or two scenes. I suppose I should be glad I didn’t make the DVD cover.


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  7. Stuart Ian Burns on Tue, 15th Apr 2008 8:37 am 

    This kind of thing is actually illegal now in the UK:

    http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/newsstory.php/16635/misquoting-reviews-to-be-made-illegal

    Although the linked article refers to theatre, it’s across the board, film included. And you can see the difference — those slightly middling films that would have a quote plastered across the poster in the past now have none.


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