There is laziness everywhere. You’ve been lazy. I’ve been lazy. We’ve all been lazy.
But there should be no room for laziness when you’re trying to promote a bog-standard horror in a highly competitive climate. Imagine my bafflement, therefore, when I saw the ad quote for new flick Daybreakers in today’s Evening Standard. It read:
“TAKE… ‘THE MATRIX’ AND… ’28 DAYS LATER’ …AND YOU’VE GOT ‘DAYBREAKERS’
Something about the phrasing immediately struck me as odd, so I read it back. And it became clear. There is no call to action. They are not even asking you to “cross The Matrix with 28 Days Later”. You don’t have to do anything with them. You just have to take them. You can stick them up your arse if you want to. Either way, you’ve still got Daybreakers, whatever happens.
This is a dead quote. And it was the best they could do. And I’m sure that people got paid decent money to do it.
Massaging the truth, or even lying, on review quotes is nothing new. in November 2009, producers of the stage production of The Shawshank Redemption found themselves under investigation when it emerged that the effusive words beaming from the Wyndham’s Theatre were referring to the 1994 film. The reviewer was, at best, nonplussed with the stage production. But at least they were cheeky. It’s the sheer rubbishness of the Daybreakers quote really shines through.
I refer you to the following clip from the wonderful This Morning With Richard Not Judy, for a savage indictment of lazy journalism.
I wonder what they would make of the genius behind the Daybreakers quote.
As for the film, well… it features the often brilliant Willem Dafoe who appears, on this occasion, to be phoning it in – understandable, given the treatment meted out to his knackers by Charlotte Gainsbourg in last year’s mentalfest Antichrist. His co-star is listless-looking little-seen Ethan Hawke, who may still be recovering from that time Denzel Washington forced him to smoke his own bodyweight in PCP at gunpoint in Training Day.
Maybe I’ll go see it. Maybe I’ll just “take” The Matrix and 28 Days Later instead…