The Twit Review
Each and every film poster you see nowadays will invariably quote the words "brilliant", "wonderful" and "amazing", above or under a row of five neat, golden stars.
When confronted with them (as you are, generally when on the tube) I would always make sure to check where the quote was pulled from - being under the belief that words from The Times would be somewhat more meaningful than those of The Daily Star. Yet it doesn't take long to realise how easy it would be to pull quotes out of context - more likely, the reviewer said it was "brilliant" as a script but the acting and production were poor. I haven't tested this theory out on each and every film poster out there, but you get the idea.
What this also demonstrates, is just how widespread the careless use of language has become. Every reviewer - no matter who you write for - seems just as generous with their use of superlatives as the next, dishing them out like some premature pinata dropping sweets before getting hit. Certainly one could seek out some astute review - but who has time for that in the age of snippets sound bites?
As expected, advertising giants are all too eager to exploit our 140-character attention spans: the PR campaign behind The Book of Mormon is the first I can think, and the ad for The Secret life of Walter Mitty I saw slapped across this morning's Metro's, the latest. The internet has made it all too easy to find thousands of praiseworthy posts and comments - no matter how good or how utterly rubbish the product.
Could we blame them if they stopped quoting 'informed, critical' reviews altogether? I'm not sure it would make much of a difference to us twits: indeed, Walter Mitty's PR team is already up to it - the review section on their website is nothing but a stream of suggarcoated as-good-as-anonymous tweets.
Now, it may well be that The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a great film. I'm not judging it. It's the loss of quality I don't like - off screen but also on it - and that doesn't look like it'll stop. They should just give up 10% of their advertising budget to smaller, cheaply-produced, probably quality films. 10 % of $36 million (the average PR budget per hollywood film) would go a long way to enriching our cinematic experience and make piffling ads in the tube a little more bearable.