Out of context

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Prior to 2008's Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, it used to be common practice when marketing a film to take quotes from a film critic's reviews. The very week the directive was announced, Mark Kermode saw a quote from Alan Jones' review of Straightheads - "shocking, disturbing, extraordinary" - and expressed doubt that this had been meant in a positive way.

Other examples of out of context quotations discussed on Wittertainment have included:

  • X - "A must... has to be seen - Chris Tookey, Daily Mail" taken out of context from "A must for lovers of tripe. Has to be seen to be believed."
  • The Color Of Night - "Hypnotic. Compelling. Stunning - Trevor Johnston, Time Out" taken out of context from "Hypnotic. Compelling. Stunning. Bruce Willis' latest crime against celluloid is a special kind of bad."
  • Dancing In The Streets - "Perfect for hen parties, Motown addicts and for a sweaty summer bop - Daily Mail" taken out of context from "Dancing In The Streets will be perfect for hen parties, Motown addicts and for a sweaty summer bop, but it is not drama, may not be proper art, and real music lovers will get a more satisfying hit from attending a proper concert."

In The Good, The Bad And The Multiplex Mark discusses the occasion it happened to him, when he said that in comparison to her leading man Dylan McDermott, Jersey Girl's lead female actor Jami Gertz was "a joy" - by the time the review had passed through the 1992 romcom's marketing department, the whole thing was now "A joy - Time Out."

Mark was quoted on the DVD release of The Waiting Room describing it as "better than Sex And The City", when the full quote was "better than Sex And The City, but then again slamming your finger in the car door is better than Sex And The City." But since the DVD distributors actually phoned him and asked for permission, it was ok.

Meanwhile, in light of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, Simon Mayo proposed to listeners that they take Mark's own slating of Straightheads and turn it into glowing praise. Darren Haroo managed to do this, for which he earned a hello: "I love... Straightheads. I was... very impressed... by it. It is a British rape revenge thriller... It's... "shocking, disturbing, extraordinary"... It's really, I think... making a serious point... about the nature of violence."

In a nice epilogue, 5 Live's marketing took this idea and made a trail for the Premier League season using only quotes from Mark's reviews; the twist being of course that Mark knows nothing at all about sport.