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inconsistent embargo ugliness rears its ugly head again with ‘X-Men: First Class’

I have not seen X-Men: First Class yet. I’ll see it tomorrow evening. Right around 24 hours from now, I will have an unbearable urge to send a tweet out to the Net as I emerge from my screening, to let you all know what my inital reaction is. And I will have to strangle that urge, because included with the screening tickets for tomorrow night was an embargo form for me to sign and hand over at the screening, which includes this bit:

With your attendance you recognise that you must not publish any reports or reviews in print, TV, radio, or online (including Blogging, Social Sites, Forums or Online Chats)…

So how the hell was Drew McWeeny of Hitfix able to publish his “first reaction” to First Class this past Saturday? How the hell was Devin Faraci able to tweet his thoughts on the film? “‘X-Men: First Class’ Early Reviews Are Raves,” says Dark Horizons, but what the fuck? Says Dark Horizons’ Garth Franklin:

Though full reviews won’t be coming out until later this week (mine will hopefully be up before the weekend)…

How the heck can Franklin publish before the weekend when British press is forbidden from publishing until next week? This makes absolutely not sense whatsoever. Wherever in the physical world Franklin or Faraci or McWeeny are, their work appears on the Internet.

Aww, and then there’s this, from Brendon Connelly at Bleeding Cool: “I’ve Seen X-Men: First Class And Want To Tell You About It”:

While the big press screenings for X-Men: First Class are yet to take place, I am lucky enough to have seen it already. Embargoes being what they are, I can’t exactly review the film right now, but I’m going to go ahead and tell you about it anyway, and I even promise a nice clear answer to the basic question “Is it any good?”

No no no. Embargoes being what they are, it means you’re not supposed to say anything. Seriously: What. The. Fuck.

What is the point of an embargo if it doesn’t apply to all critics equally? It looks like Fox is picking and choosing which critics get to publish before the rest, favoring certain critics with the boon that comes from being able to publish early a review of something the world is eager to get word of. Is Fox rewarding critics who have nice things to say about the film?

If Fox doesn’t mean to give that impression, they’d better come up with a consistent embargo policy. Either every critic can publish whenever they want, or no one can. Anything else looks hugely suspicious.


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critic buzz | movie buzz