We've all seen the TV spots that come out after movies premiere. They feature scenes from the trailer plastered over with cut-and-paste quotes from the movie reviews. The one above is from Green Lantern and it leads me to believe that Trey Alexander has a different definition of "action-packed" than I do.
I was watching television today and saw the critic quote spot for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The spot features three very short quotes that make this movie sound amazing (pun intended). To be fair, I haven't seen ASM2 yet and I don't want to pick on it, but I have mostly seen and read reviews saying that it was mediocre at best. When a movie gets compared to Batman and Robin that says something to me. So I was curious where Sony got these great quotes from. Here's the video:
So there are the quotes. Let's look at them one by one.
The first quote says "a knock-out hit" and appears to be attributed to Will Friedman from Showbiz 411. Roger Friedman, who was famously fired by Fox News for reviewing X-Men Origins: Wolverine based off a bootleg work print, did write that ASM2 was "a knock out hit" on Showbiz 411 when he covered the premiere event. This quote makes sense coming from Friedman who is an entertainment journalist covering an event, not a professional movie critic.
The second quote is "unbelievably powerful" and comes from Film School Rejects. The review is actually written by Scott Beggs of Film School Rejects. He gave The Amazing Spider-Man 2 a B- and wrote a very favorable review of the film. Here's the thing though; the only incident of the phrase "unbelievably powerful" in the review is in this sentence:
While there's some CGI fog of war, it's at a minimum, and the choreography pushes limits with unbelievably powerful beings.
The trailer really uses that phrase out of context. Just so you know, the Film School Rejects review is the only one of the three that can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.
The last quote is "It's the best Spider-Man ever" from Dave Morales at BackstageOL.com. I don't know what to tell you about this quote since I couldn't find anything that Dave Morales said about ASM2 anywhere online. For all we know, he could have been talking about Spider-Man from The Electric Company.
Now it would be ridiculous to think that Sony would put out a trailer with quotes like "shockingly low on juice", "overlong, underwhelming, unnecessary" or "I think I'll pass on The Amazing Spider-Man 3" but is it too much to ask for studios to not use reviews from non-critics or misrepresent actual critics? Movie patrons are being bombarded on the internet with chatter about your movie. They know what the majority of critics and people are saying. If the buzz is good, they will go see the movie or they might just go see it even if the buzz is bad. Lying to them in a trailer is not going to change their minds.
Maybe we can just go back to movie trailers featuring reviews from Twitter users.