Disney has come under attack for promoting a film using favourable reviews from online bloggers instead of recognised film critics.The horror, the horror!
Jason Solomons, chairman of the film section of The Critics' Circle, said: "These online postings are unreliable. We don't know who the writers are. Anybody can make up an internet name - it could be the producer himself or one of the actors.Well, you wouldn't - if this catches on, you'll be out of a job, won't you? And guess what, Mr Solomons? I don't know who you are. Or care....
"It's a very dangerous area because the anonymity gives them complete freedom to express themselves without being accountable for what they have written. It's actually cowardly and I don't think it's helpful to use them."
And in what way are film critics 'accountable'? If they give a bad review, can they get sued? Does De Niro arrange for them to wake up to a horse's head in their bed the next morning?
The situation contrasts with Mama Mia, which was released to critical derision earlier this year but flourished after reviews by the public.And there's the rub. You see, critics are paid for their opinions, and those opinions aren't worth much, these days, when everyone can have an opinion, and, crucially, publish it to be seen by others.
I've never seen a film purely because a critic gave it a good review (though I've seen a few because they gave it a bad review, but that's just me!).
Mr Solomons stressed the importance of the relationship between the critic and the public and said: "When a film-goer reads a critic whose views chime with theirs, they know that if the critic likes a film then they go along and enjoy it. That wouldn't happen with a blogger they don't know."Not necessarily - I go see a film if I like the subject, or the starring roles, or I've read the book/comic/news story and want to see how well it translates, or if it's been recommended by a friend.
The opinions of a guy writing for the newspaper (who is just as much a stranger to me as 'bloggerX') don't amount to a hill of beans, I have to say.
And they may be getting their knickers in a twist for nothing:
Lee Jury, its executive marketing director, said that its newspaper marketing used quotes from professional film critics in the early stages before switching to bloggers to avoid repetition.There you go, Mr Solomons, I expect you'll be eating caviar and foie gras for a while yet...
“Having used many of the critics’ quotes on all pre-release ads and also for a further two weeks in-season, we felt that it would provide a welcome change for readers if we were to freshen up the campaign and, crucially, demonstrate that the film now has the support of the public and the critics,” he said.