Movie Advertising Blurbs Reaching a Critical Mass Some Rave Reviews Aren"t All They're Cracked Up to Be

Article excerpt

"An explosive warp speed 10 . . .

"Sheer fun and excitement . . .

"The wildest galaxy ride of 'em all." After Susan Granger of cable channel American Movie Classics gushed thus for "Star Trek: Generations," it's no wonder Paramount Pictures spl ashed that praise across ads for the film. Never mind that Granger had a cameo in the 1994 movie. Or that her son is a senior Paramount executive. Or that American Movie Classics doesn't air film reviews and that Granger's praise was never printed or aired anywhere until it appeared on the ads. In the world of Hollywood movie blurbs, full disclosure is the exception rather than the rule and truth in advertising is an oxymoron. Any studio loves to tout a thumbs up from Gene Siskel or Roger Ebert, or praise from other major broadcast critics and those from publications including Time, Newsweek, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. The independent films dominating the Oscar ceremonies, such as "The English Patient," "Shine" and "Fargo" and all owe a debt to major critics. But when studios can't get praise from those quarters, there's an alternative. Offering up a buffet of bite-sized hyperbole is a cottage industry for what are known in Hollywood as "blurbmeisters," a few of whom can be counted on to come through with a description of a box-office turkey as "Riveting! …