How's that for a hyperbolic post title? Anyway, yesterday Boing Boing pointed to this article over at Gelf Magazine, which is a "weekly roundup of misleading review blurbs."

What's interesting are the ways that movie ads will mangle and adjust negative movie reviews to often through omission read positively in blurb format. For example, for the current week, Dennis Lim of the Village Voice is blurbed as having said "Raw, fascinating ... blessed with almost shockingly unselfconscious performances." about The Talent Given Us. Gelf reveals that the actual review reads: ""This raw, fascinating, often unpleasant film is not in the least coy about its queasy mix of exploitation and therapeutic exhibitionism. A stunt premised on the unembarrassed supply of too much information, The Talent Given Us is blessed, if that's the right word, with almost shockingly unselfconscious performances." The blurb also overlooks Lim's comment that the film is "basically a glorified home movie..."

Now, this isn't new news, and it isn't an advertising tactic used exclusively by the film industry (book and television reviews are also covered in Gelf's weekly round-up), but I think it is something that we should all keep in mind whenever those little blurbs of text stream across the screen during the coming attractions. "Brilliantly ... done" could have very easily been "Brilliantly bad movie. I was done with trying to understand it in the first 5 minutes of this failure."
categories Cinematical