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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

another mysterious U.K. embargo: ‘Hanna’

I’ve already mentioned how I’ve seen Your Highness but am forbidden from saying anything about my reaction to it until Sunday April 10, even though the film opens in the U.S. on April 8 and even though there will be lots of reviews and fan reactions all over the Web by Friday night, if not sooner. The film opens here in the U.K. on Wednesday, April 13, and it’s not like anyone in the U.K. who is interested in reading reviews prior to Sunday — like, perhaps, they might want to make plans to see the film on Wednesday — won’t be able to find numerous reviews. Will it make any difference at all to the film’s prospects in the U.K. if reviews by U.K.-based critics are out of the mix till Sunday? It’s hard to see how.
The situation is worse with Mars Needs Moms. I saw the film on March 13, two days after it opened in the U.S., and I was asked not to post a review until the week of release… which is this week. Which is why I’ve only just posted that review. Everyone here who is interested in movies already knows how badly the film flopped in the U.S. My only guess about the Moms embargo is that plenty of people who don’t particularly care enough about movies to have learned about the U.S. box office disaster might have been suckered into seeing Moms yesterday — which was Mothers’ Day here — during special sneak previews before the regular opening on Friday.

And now we have a new case: Hanna. I’ll see the film tomorrow night, a month before it opens here in the U.K. (on May 6), and a few days before the North American opening on April 8. But before I see the film tomorrow, I will have to sign an embargo agreement that prohibits me from sharing my reaction to the film until May 2.

It makes no damn sense at all. There are already reviews of Hanna up at Rotten Tomatoes!

It’s all so mysterious. It’s like the studios don’t realize we get the Interwebs here in England. Which, you know, we do.



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