Because I'm kind of like the Cinematical House Mom, when the boys and girls who blog for us want to see a film, they usually let me know and I do what I can to make it happen. When I first started this gig in March, it wasn't so easy for us to get press screenings; my emails to PR folks often went unreturned, and about half of the studio reps who I could actually get on the phone needed me to follow the word "blog" with a definition. But nowadays, most of the PR people we talk to are extremely accomodating – they want us to see the films that we want to write about, and that's great. So I was a little surprised when, early last week, a rep at Columbia called me back to tell me that she couldn't get my writer into a screening of Rupert Wainwright's remake of The Fog. When I pressed her on it, she admitted, "There, um, there aren't going to be any press screenings." Ohhhhhh. "Really?" I asked. "None? At all?" "No," she replied, somewhat sheepishly. "We're, um, we're not pre-screening it."

We know that this is not a good sign. A studio is only going to withold a film from critics if they're fairly sure that a) the reviews are going to be mostly bad, and b) the marketing department is fairly certain that they can guarantee a big Friday crowd before word spreads in print or online. We are officially expecting the worst – and we're sending Robert to see it on Friday to confirm our suspicions. Check back on Saturday for his review.