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Twisting My Words

Friday 22 July 2011, 20:00

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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There was a story in The Irish Times recently about a DVD cover that misused a review by me to sell a film as hilarious when I had actually found it pretty unfunny.
It's happened to lots of critics and here I give you a few other examples of cheeky selective quotation.

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    Comment number 1.

    the best one i ever saw was 'Notorious'. The ad for it had Trevor Nelson quoted as saying 'the most important film of the year' (or something similar)...The catch? He was doing the voice over! They were quoting him reading the script they'd given him to read! Stunning.

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    Comment number 2.

    The thing is, the examples that you mention seem to illustrate critics being too clever by half. If, for example, one stuck to the fairly straightforward "don't waste your time", it would not only allow the reader to quickly ascertain that the film is bobbins, but also preclude the use of any of it out of context!

    I don't have any examples of my own to add, but I have wondered how many films have run with "This is really [not] a good film, so-and-so, the such-and-such times"...

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    Comment number 3.

    Somewhat surprised that you are not more annoyed about this practice given your welcome pedantic fondness for language. I was expecting a tsunami level rant on this one. Is there no come back for instances where critics comments are so blatantly compromised in this way? Looking forward to latest and welcomed full length podcast (with dvd extras) and glad to see the emerging beard has been annihilated. Ta. Pete (Edinburgh)

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    Comment number 4.

    Now a critic wasn't responsible for this but your blog made me think of a terrible use of a quote to sell a film. On the front cover of the film Love, Honour and Obey, you have the quote, "UNMISSABLE! COCKNEY GANGSTER COMEDY AT IT'S BEST!" by Loaded magazine. What a lot of people didn't know and were probably conned into buying this terrible film with this audacious and completely incorrect statement, was that this quote was from the review in said magazine by the directors of the film themselves, Dominic Anciano and Ray Burdis who were guest reviewers for their own film and this was what ended up on the final cover! To this day, I have to correct people who tell me that they love that film with this story just to make them think a little about what they are saying!

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    Comment number 5.

    I know it is not for a film which is on DVD, but the comedian Stewart Lee deliberately uses negative quotes on his DVD's, books and posters to tell people they might not neccessarily like his show, my particular favourite being "The worst comedian in Britain, as funny as bubonic plague".


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Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

This twice-weekly video blog is the place where he airs his personal views on the things that most fire him up about cinema - and invites you to give your own opinions.

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