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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Travers’

Run, Don’t Walk, Away from These Movie Ad Quotes

The Friday LA Times Calendar section is always good for a head scratch or two, beyond whatever the day’s uneven comics may provide. That’s because the extra helping of embedded movie ads inevitably contains a number of critic “pull quotes” that make zero literal sense.

So, as we head into another moviegoing weekend, consider these nuggets of extracted September 16 promotional wisdom (and make up your own punch lines):

Straw Dogs
“If your heart isn’t racing by the end of this movie, then you have no heart.”
Kevin Steincross / FOX-TV

“You can get buzzed just from the fumes coming off this wild thing.”
Peter Travers / Rolling Stone

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The Two Petes Pan Arthur

Just how bad is this weekend’s remake of Arthur starring Russell Brand in the 1981 Dudley Moore role? We haven’t seen it, so we can’t entirely be sure; but it’s not a good sign when both Peter Travers of Rolling Stone and Pete Hammond of Box Office Magazine crank out “rotten” reviews that cannot be poached for a sometimes misleading rave blurb.

You read that right. While the Hollywood studios love to mine this pair’s pronouncements for those infamous movie poster “pull quotes,” they do so sometimes even when the overall review is neutral or even negative. What’s more, Travers and Hammond both tend to side with the consensus in a majority of cases (Hammond 64% of the time, Travers a surprising 79%).

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Nikki Finke Explains What’s Wrong With Across the Universe


Just the other day, David Carr in the NY Times admitted what we already knew: New Yorkers don’t understand show biz all that much. And today, Hollywood’s own Nikki Finke tears into Sharon Waxman’s version of events surrounding art-chick Julie Taymor’s battle with Joe Roth over some musical romance movie called Who Signed Off On This?, Across the Universe.

The musical uses songs by the Beatles, now owned by Michael Jackson and Sony. Sony Pictures is distributing the movie. Waxman didn’t bother to mention this little detail, but does go on about Taymor’s MacArthur grant.

Finke points out that Taymor’s movies haven’t been (a) very good and (b) profitable. Joe Roth, who Finke thinks should have known better with a girl like Julie, cut his own version of the movie, and it’s not all that hot either. And the songs aren’t performed by the Beatles, they’re covered by the actors, including Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess. With puppets. And Eddie Izzard as Mr. Kite. Taymor even cast Selma Hayek. Did we mention the puppets?

Is this Ishtar for the new millenium? Is it Heaven’s Gate for the YouTube set? One of the IMDB commentors says:

an advertisement for LSD

We’re betting Peter Travers uses that line as his blurb.

LA Times Breaks News: Peter Travers is a Blurb ‘Ho


Somehow Rachel Abramowitz, writing in the LA Times, manages to get through a whole piece about Universal’s use of Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers in a radio ad for United 93 without mentioning that Travers is generally regarded as the biggest blurb whore in the known universe.

Surely a canny journalist could have found a way to slip in a little background info on this. Universal didn’t select Travers because of his rich baritone. Travers is quoted as having done the ad because:

“(I) jumped into the mosh pit because of the film in question. We’re not talking ‘Big Momma’s House 2.’

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