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In today's newspaper, I saw an advertisement for the new movie Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters. The ad included this endorsement: "Perversely entertaining,...whups the ass of TMNT!" -- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.
If you ever make a movie, give Peter Travers a few bucks, and he'll say something good about it for you to put in your promotional advertising. I don't know what Mr. Travers' personal taste in films is, but he seems to have something banal to say about everything, no matter how bad a movie it is. And I'm not alone in noticing this. Travers is oft called a "blurbwhore," and hollwoodbitchslap.com names their annual award to the critic most often quoted in promotional advertising the "Peter Travers Whore of the Year Award."
To get a handle on how many movies Travers shills for, take a look at the five other ads published today that used Travers' comments:
300: "Prepare your eyes for popping -- they just might fly out of their sockets!"
Disturbia: "A nail-biter. Cool stuff. Cool movie."
Grindhouse: "This tour-de-force gets you high on movies again!"
Hoax: "A devilish satire with mischievous wit."
Hot Fuzz: "A blast!"
Well, guys, perhaps you shouldn't all chose to quote Travers in the same week. It sort of weakens his endorsement if he endorses everything, doesn't it?
His blurbs tend to be very, um, visceral, clearly tailored for an audience desperate for thrills. His blurbs might not tell you anything about the movies themselves, but at least they're entertaining. Recent favorites of mine include the following:
King Kong: "What you will see will spin your head six ways from Sunday." (Ouch. Look away!)
Mission Impossible III: "The movie to beat in the race to push your pulse rate past the danger zone." (Past the danger zone? Watching this movie will kill me?)
Poseidon: "Hits the action button and never stops!" (Never stops pushing the action button?)
Rocky Balboa: "Stallone steps in the ring and every day is Christmas." (Sweet.)
(P.S. Note that Peter Travers has never reviewed the movie TMNT, at least so far as I can tell at Rollingstone.com. Therefore, how would he know if ATHF whups its ass? Sounds good, though, doesn't it, Peter.)