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November 15, 2010

What can a damning Roger Ebert quote do for sales of a DVD?

By T.L. Stanley on Mon Nov 15 2010


Roger Ebert is not a PR specialist, but he sure is skilled at the sound bite. The legendary film critic, as prolific as ever despite catastrophic illnesses, had some choice words recently for The Perfect Man, a Hilary Duff rom-com. "The Perfect Man takes its idiotic plot and uses it as the excuse for scenes of awesome stupidity," he wrote. Realizing how lyrical that sentence was, or else completely missing the point in translation, the movie's Asian distributor picked up the biting comment and put it on the DVD's cover. Movieline thought it would be grand to expand the idea, putting some especially insulting Ebert critiques on other DVDs. Think it'll help rentals if people know Ebert called The Lovely Bones "a deplorable film," or Sex and the City 2 "pretty thin gruel"? The Last Airbender was "an agonizing experience" and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo was "aggressively bad." Kick Ass, a blood-drenched action flick that should've been a box-office hit but somehow fell flat, was labeled "morally reprehensible." Hey, this kind of stuff worked for Gossip Girl. Why not movies, too?


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