Fake Movie Critics

Is there a site out there which lists the ones the studios have created and slapped on movie posters, commercials, etc.? Given that Follywood’s solution to making bad movies is to have their movies praised by fake critics, rather than figuring out why a film sucks, I’d figure that there was a listing of such “critics” out there.

Well, I learned a long time ago: if a commercial for a movie features a blurb from “60 Second Previews,” from “Cosmopolitan” (it used to be Guy Flatley, but I don’t know who does it now) or Larry King, it’s going to suck.

Nobody would quote any of those sources if there were any reputable critics who had anything positive to say about the movie.

The only imaginary critic I can think of is David Manning of the Ridgefield Press, who Sony used in a couple of ads a number of years ago.

Earl Dittman isn’t a fake critic … he’s just absurdly easy to please. He likes EVERYTHING he sees. A LOT.

Except for David Manning, none of these critics are fake. Their reviews may be worthless, but they aren’t fake. They are sometimes called “quote whores.” This webpage gives the names of a bunch of these people:


My favorite is when a shit movie quotes three different sparkling reviews in the TV advert, and if you look closely you see the three quotes were from the same reviewer.

Or when the cut off a bad quote to use as a good- “You’ll love this movie” says Roger Ebert, when he actually said “You’ll love this movie, if you have the mentality of a two year old”

I wish I could recall which critic who joked that if he said “I’d rather sit in a gas chamber for two hours than watch this movie,” the studio would cut it down to “A gas!”

The wretched torture porn film Chaos was given a zero-star review by Ebert but an actual quote from his review was put on the cover of the DVD.

Years ago, Jeff Craig’s radio “Sixty-Second Preview” was the go-to review format for creampuff movie reviews. I listened to it for years and he never had a bad thing to say about any movie until he had a rare crisis of conscience and shit all over the film Mobsters.

How does quoting a critic work if you substantially edit his comment to make it more favorable? Does the reviewer have any recourse? I would think his credibility would suffer if people thought he gave a turkey a rave review when he really didn’t.

My understanding is that there’s only a $200 fine that can be levied in such situations.

There’s some “reviewer” who has lots of blurbs who supposedly works for Wireless Magazine or similar and no one’s ever been able to find a copy of the magazine.

The critic can complain and make the misrepresentation public, but he can’t do anything directly to stop it. Most studios, however, will back off – they want to stay on the critic’s good side for the next film he reviews.

But no law is broken – the quote is clearly fair use.

It’s seriously fair use to misquote someone and completely change what they’re saying?

Some futurecop game from ten years ago that has LAPD in the title needs a disclaimer saying that the game isn’t endorsed by the LAPD but Blah-blah Pictures can cut up a quote from my review of X-treme Sports Werewolves (“You’ll…love…this movie!” vs. “You’ll be begging the person you love to kill you as a courtesy if you attempt to see this movie!”) and that’s perfectly ok?

That’s Earl Dittman.

It is “OK” but it is suicide for the marketing department that does it. They have a relationship with the press that must be maintained. However if some producer or star demands that a blurb from ‘so and so’ be in the ad, and ‘so and so’ hated the movie, what are you going to do then. Telling the producer to screwoff is not an option. Finding the best sentence in a pan is your only option. Most critics won’t pan a different movie becasue of this, but, your next few movies may not get reviewed or be put down in the ‘other releases’ area. A front page bad review is better than a page three good paragraph.

or “A gas…watch this movie.”

Any studio ever use Walter Monheit to sell a movie?

Well, as long as something is regulating it. I mean, I wasn’t necessarily saying there should be a law against it but there definitely should be repercussions, otherwise it’d go a good way to cheapening the entire movie review industry.

So what’s to stop an indie film maker from slapping a praiseful quote from the likes of Earl Dittman, that they made up, on their movie posters or other advertisements?

It really isn’t that hard to get a good review quote from some published movie reviewer.

Besides, was a good quote from a critic ever the tipping point that got you to see a movie?

You’re not sure you want to see it but Henry Rollings said, “I had a blast!” so you go see it.
I think Sony did pay a fine to the MPAA for their fake quotes. Not to mention that they were embarrassed and I’m sure a few people lost their jobs or at least their upward mobility within the company.

An indie still has to find a distribution company to market and release their film. Believe it or not, even the marketing department personel for hollywood studios, large and small, have a sense of right and wrong and they all know that making up reviews is wrong.

Best fake critic is The Critic.

“It stinks!” :smiley: