A newspaper ad for tsunami film The Impossible has appeared, and alongside the four and five-star scores from various publications are some glowing reviews. "Amazing, definitely recommend it!" reads one. "One of the best films I've seen!" gushes another. Take a closer look, though, and you'll notice that these words don't come from the likes of Roger Ebert; they have been plucked from random users on Twitter (although there is one bona-fide critic, The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw).
You could argue that some cinema-goers might prefer to ignore professional critics, in favour of members of the public anyway. At least, that must be the reason behind the recent spate of TV ads featuring interviews with excitable members of the public in cinema lobbies telling the camera how "amaaaaazing" the film was.
But splashing the verdict of a boyband-obsessed schoolgirl (as one of the tweeters is), clearly intended to look like it's from a professional reviewer, seems a bit cheeky. The film's marketing team must know that most people would not look beyond the quote, even if the Twitter handle runs underneath (in tiny print).
Of course if you want to get a properly balanced view of The Impossible you can just do a quick scan of Twitter yourself; there are plenty of alternative reviews on offer. "Unbelievably self-indulgent" and "What absolute rubbish!" are merely two examples.
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