Interestingly, there's not much news about "War of the Worlds". A search of Google news shows only a mere 8 mentions of the embargo against pre-screening reviews.

Also interestingly, Rottontomatoes.com shows the movie at 100% fresh (with only 9 reviews counted). Who are these 9 reviewers and how were they allowed to review the film? I can't say for sure, but my spider-sense tells me that these are "purchased" reviews, for the sake of advertising -- also to make it look like a real human has reviewed the film prior to release. It does look, however, that RT hasn't yet updated their count, since one rotten review showed up as I was snapping the picture:

war_of_the_worlds.jpg

At least I'm not the only one who's noticed, and who understands the problems with this kind of release methodology. This quote is from The Guardian:

    'The marketing strategy for this film, though, has been unusual. There have been few advance screening for reviewers, with some publications (including the New York Times) refused admission and other critics required to sign an embargo agreement holding back their notices until close to the film's official opening. While Cruise has appeared on numerous talk shows, he has said little about the film, preferring to discuss Katie Holmes or, as on NBC's Today show, the over-prescription of the anti-hyperactivity drug Ritalin.

    'Such departures from the traditional film business strategy, in which a phased release of media pieces and trailers attempt to create "advance word" or "buzz", have usually been used by studios which know they have a stinker on their hands.

    'This may be the case with The War Of The Worlds but - as the word leaking out from the controlled previews is that the film is at least mid-ranking Spielberg - it's more likely that Hollywood's box office crisis is encouraging a new approach to the promotion of movies.'

I'm not saying this film's gonna suck (or ... wait, yes I am), but I am a little suspicious about how it's being marketed. I think we have to think about that before throwing another $12 at the big cinema chains ($20 if you want popcorn with that).



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