Fear the Critic

Sony fears the critic! That’s the story of a movie reviewer who panned The Benchwarmers, a movie Sony didn’t want press to see early. When they found out about this negative review, Sony apparently called papers on the wire service, pumping out lies to try and prevent it from running. I like Techdirt’s take on a better solution: don’t make bad movies.

7 Responses to “Fear the Critic”

  1. Dave Lartigue Says:

    I don’t know why Sony bothered. Most people seem PROUD of the fact that they don’t read reviews of movies before seeing them.

  2. Dave "The Knave" White Says:

    I suppose they could always drag David Manning out of retirement to write a positive blurb…

  3. Ian Brill Says:

    Studios are keeping the press away for more movies than ever now. I think low-brow coemdies like this as well as a lot of horror movies are “critic-proof.” The target audience doesn’t even read reviews (or, for that matter, any other part of a newspaper). The studios are realizing “why bother?”

    To see a studio scared of a review is bizarre, though.

  4. Dan Coyle Says:

    The Benchwarmers features Rob Schneider, an actor who was so incensed at Roger Ebert he took out a full page ad in Variety over a negative review of one of his movies. You know, when an artist gets that wound over a review, you know you’re probably right, and he/she knows it.

  5. James Schee Says:

    I thought the really stupid commercials for the movie, were already its first bad review.

  6. Johanna Says:

    Dave, I haven’t run into that, I guess I’m lucky. I don’t read local reviews because the guy who does them is very bad at it: he’s more interested in trying to be funny (which he isn’t) than informing his readers about the film. He’s also not clear on his criteria for evaluation. But then, I don’t go to the movies much, so I don’t need to hear about most of them.

    Knave, that was the guy Sony flat-out made up, right? Odd that a company that has so little respect for reviewing seems to care so much about what they say.

    Ian, yeah, I’ve heard that, that avoiding press screenings is more common than ever. I think a lot of companies are realizing that word of mouth is more important than ever, but they have no idea how to handle it or influence it.

  7. Dan Coyle Says:

    Yes, David Manning was completely made up by Sony. People started wondering about him when a quote for A Knight’s Tale read something like “Heath Ledger is this year’s hottest new star!” When Ledger had been around for several years.




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