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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

bias update: July 7

obsession: Doctor Who (I’m sad that I’m running out of Christopher Eccleston episodes to write about, except that that means I can start writing about the classic series)

boyfriend: Bradley Cooper (and here’s where I need to make the distinction, again, between the actor and the characters he plays: sometimes my boyfriend is a character, but Cooper’s fictional counterpart in The Hangover is such a jerk, and definitely not boyfriend material; the actor, however… *sigh* — and now I go to watch He’s Just Not That Into You)

psyched: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (finally!)

girl crush: Shohreh Aghdashloo (so awesome and powerful in The Stoning of Soraya M.)

dreading: The Ugly Truth (which looks to be truthy rather than actually, you know, truthful)

enemy: Michael Bay (for the end-of-empire spectacle that is Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen)



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  • Alli

    Maryann, when’s your screening of HBP? I know a lot of critics have already seen it and broken the embargo. I know this conversation always comes up during big movies like this, but do certain major publications have permission to release their reviews early? Or do they just not care? I know there are a couple movie websites that have released their reviews too, and I just don’t see how they can get away with it. Disney didn’t like your “tone” and they shut you out, so how do these guys get to break the embargo without being banned from later screenings?

  • MaryAnn

    I won’t see *Harry Potter* till Monday night. I don’t know if there’s an embargo on reviews, however — quite often there’s no restriction on posting reviews, or only a limited restriction that does permit reviews to be posted before opening day. (For instance, I just posted my review of *Bruno,* two days before it opens, and Universal is fine with that.)

    When an embargo is in effect, however, it’s a combination of things that accounts for embargo-breaking reviews. Some publications break embargoes and don’t get blacklisted because they’re too powerful, and the studio cannot afford not to have coverage in those publications. Sometimes embargoes are for me and not for thee, so to speak.

    Of course, we critics can’t post reviews of movies we haven’t seen, and holding a screening till the last minute is one way to create an effective embargo. Far as I’ve heard, lots of critics won’t see *Harry Potter* till Monday 7/13.

  • MaSch

    If this Cooper guy makes you eager to watch something like “He’s just not that into you”, he really must cause your hormones to rage.

    Best luck to you both :-)

  • Ide Cyan

    Hee. Now what are the odds you’ll watch The Midnight Meat Train, since Cooper plays the lead character in it? :-)

  • Grinebiter

    Then I must see “The Stoning….” for Shohreh Aghdashloo if for no other reason, having made her acquaintance in “House of Sand and Fog”.

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