The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

I'll Give It Five

The guys who do movie posters are clearly trying to do the best they can, even if it means polishing the proverbial turd. But no matter how much lacquer is applied, the scent of desperation has a habit of wafting through.

For example, when you see a movie poster quoting a review which gave it four stars. Four stars. Not five, the traditional number of stars. Four. Which says to me that, out of all the reviews this film, the best it managed to scrape was a measly four out of five. Nobody, anywhere, liked it enough to award it five.

Or you’ll see quotes. Now, of course, there have been occasions where film and theatre promoters have been so naughty as to quote their own press materials on the publicity; they’ll get a journalist to blow out of a puff piece, long before the show or movie is available, only to cherry pick the puff as though it were a review of the finished product.

But the quotes that fascinate me are the ones which aren’t from movie critics in movie magazines or national newspapers. It’s the ones where they’ve had to dig a little deeper; maybe quoting write-ups from Heat or OK, which to be fair do actually review movies – or, more hilariously, quoting magazines that aren’t really known for their film criticism, such as Woman’s Weekly.

It smacks of desperation. All it says, loudly and clearly, is that none of the proper film critics from the proper newspapers gave the film a thumbs up.

Even worse, though, are the films which quote celebrities – usually disc jockeys. As though Johnny Vaughan is some sort of authority on cinema!

And if a film can’t even scrape together any positive reviews at all... just how bad must it be?


  1. In fairness, Johnny Vaughan has carved out something of a career reviewing films, starting with Moviewatch in '93. I'd say he's more of an authority on cinema than, er, The Sneak.

  2. Fairness has no place on this blog.