The Ain’t It Cool News Quote Con

Mike Judge has a new movie coming out this weekend, and Miramax (yes, they still exist and make movies) has done a pretty large ad buy on tv shows and websites that I frequent. Based on the advertising, the movie looks suspect, but so did Office Space, and we all know how that turned out. What is annoying me today is the quote they’re using in the ads:


Haven’t we as a society become way too sophisticated for this kind of blatant fakery? Maybe you could get away with this in the early 2000s, but this is 2009 Miramax! Ain’t it Cool News posts reviews from nearly any idiot who goes to an early screening of a movie and writes them an email. In this case, it’s someone named McVicker, who as far as I can tell has never previously written in to AICN. Now, we can argue all day about the value and relative merits of professional film critics, but those people develop a body of work that you can use to compare to your own opinions, and you can start to figure out whether you’ll agree with a particular critic based on their past writing. This McVicker fellow gets his name from the principal in Beavis & Butthead. That’s all we know about this guy. And I’m supposed to get excited because a single pseudonym says this movie is his favorite comedy of 2009? And notice that in the ad the quote is attributed to “—Aint (sic) It Cool News,” with no author name. Is it because “—McVickers, Ain’t It Cool News” looks… ridiculous?

In general when you see a quote from AICN, you can assume that the movie is rubbish, because it has about as much meaning as a quote from Earl Dittman, or one of those “CBS-TV” local news people. And if a quote from a more reputable source could be found, they would use that instead. But since it’s a pre-release quote, and because I enjoy Mike Judge’s movies, I’m willing to give the movie the benefit of the doubt.

2 replies
  1. Carsten
    Carsten says:

    Yeah, I was complaining about this to my wife the other day when I saw a tv ad for the movie. I disagree with you, however, that any movie that has an AICN quote attached to it is rubbish. There are movies that get a “geek blessing” by using a quote from Harry Knowles himself. But anonymous quotes from some reader that saw a test screening is just ridiculous and shameful.


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