Friday, December 28, 2007

A Blurb Whore is Born

For all the fun I make of people like Peter Travers who seem to be paid solely to phrase each and every review in such a way as to be highly quotable for posters and advertisements, I can't say that it isn't a tiny bit exciting to see one's name on a movie poster.

Check me out...


That's that minuscule indie Jones I wrote about a while ago, which played in Manhattan last week at The Pioneer. (In the interest of full disclosure I did know that I'd probably be quoted since I'd met the filmmaker at the first showing a few months ago and he asked if I'd be reviewing it). But still: weird seeing my name on a poster. It's the very first time, to my knowledge.

Next stop: plagiarizing press packets in place of actual reviews... [lump in throat] "Mama, I've made it!"

You'll note the sarcasm. I'd be terrible at blurb whoring. Aside from my unfortunate love for the exclamation point, I'm really sort of sedate. I'm stingy with the "A"s and I hate all reviews by anyone --even critics I love -- that claim something new is "the greatest of all time..." or "the greatest [insert type of movie] since [insert ancient classic here]" because they strike me as either insincere, over-caffeinated or ignorant. Has no one seen anything older than ten years? I can't tell you the amount of dry heaving I did when people were comparing the pedestrian film version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to The Wizard of Oz. Or when I saw Stephen Holden's blurb on the poster of La Vie En Rose. Stephen do you really want to claim that Marion Cotillard is giving the best performance of a performer ever in one hundred plus years of cinema? Because that's what it sounds like...

Here are but a few choice examples of blurbs I can offer some movies this year.










[click to enlarge]

...Mama, I'm never gonna make it.
*

17 comments:

tobbe said...

Peter Travers is King!

El Gigante said...

Nate's posts about blurbing is downright Hitchcockian. It'll have you clawing at your laptop.

Anonymous said...

Ha.

Of course it's also true that I've seen critic's comments paraphrased, taken out of context or just twisted altogether (then always with extra exclamation points added where none existed) and slapped on posters; only to read the actual reviews and find that the comments were a bit different. (I've also read reviews that a negative but the PR folks somehow find the one teeny little positive thing in it and slap that on the poster.)

That said, love this post, and good on you for making a poster! (And we know you liked Sweeny Todd more than that.)

RedSatinDoll

Peter said...

hilarious

Deborah said...

Okay, American Gangster made me laugh out loud!

Kurtis11 said...

Haha...ditto on deobrah's American Gangster comment. I really struggled with that movie. It's so not what I'd usually be drawn to, and as you you so eloquently and exclamatorily pointed out, the generic feel of it turned me off big time. That being said, I couldn't shake the fact that it was one of the best movies I saw all year, and an almost-return-to-form for Ridley Scott.

StinkyLulu said...

You so fancy.
First, Max von Sydow and now Jones.


My only blurbage is web only...

adam k. said...

Oh my, given your love of Boogie Nights, that blurb on There Will Be Blood is serious praise. Yay.

Too bad about Next, though... was it really THAT awful? Is Julianne back in the dog house now? Shoot.

Abbie said...

Can these Nathaniel blurbs please become a regular feature? I haven't laughed so hard since before I came home to visit my parents.

Scott said...

Nathaniel, can you PLEASE commence a new series of poster blurbs for your blog. Hilarious!

NATHANIEL R said...

your wish is my command

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

A bus I drove past the other day proclaimed I Am Legend "One of the greatest films ever made." - I didn't catch the critic's name, but the boyfriend said it looked like L.A. Times or some-such.

NATHANIEL R said...

it was actually that brilliant son of a hack BEN LYONS (from E!)

Ben Lyons is cute but nepotism is so ugly

Anonymous said...

I've wrestled with mentioning this because I don't want to dilute the richly deserved achievement, but... shouldn't the word "edition" be "addition" on the poster?

Have they misquoted you?

Laughed long and hard at the Sweeney ad. The studio should go with that.

RC said...

i wish those poster got made the waay you wrote it.

RC said...

i wish those poster got made the waay you wrote it.

Piper said...

Nat,

You're on to something here. 5 second reviews. You should do this for lesser movies. Just post the poster and the one phrase about it. I love "generic" for American Gangster.