It’s no secret that the people that cover Hollywood are in bed with Hollywood.

It’s certainly not like it was in the days of the studio system, where the press printed only what the studios fed them.  But still, when “journalists” are flown on deluxe junkets to London to cover the opening of the latest Harry Potter movie, you can’t expect them to write anything but glowing reviews…not if they want to continue to travel in style on a scribe’s salary.  There are other reasons for going easy, too – if you want the stars to talk to you, to give you access to their fabulous lives, you better play nice.

Of course, you bite back once in a while to show you’re “independent.”  But we all know better.  And frankly, that’s fine.  We’re not talking about covering the Pentagon here.

But I want Entertainment Weekly to give me my $12.50 and two hours back for “Super 8.”  They just went too far.

In their June 17th issue, EW not only put the movie on the cover, they did a loooong feature, listed it in the front of the book as a “must see” AND gave it a review with an “A” grade (“loving, playful and spectacularly well made!”).

By bowing down on the altar of Spielberg (and Abrams) they slimed me – and their readers.  To which I say: Ewwwwwwww EW!

Look, I go to popcorn movies with low expectations, even when there’s big talent attached.  But “Super 8″ just sucked.  From the “we’ve got a $40 million left in the budget” train wreck at the beginning to the “What the F?” ending and all the derivitive nonsense in between, I was bored to tears at the best moments and just plain angry at the worst.  And the more I thought about it the madder I got – big movies often suffer at the hands of the studios who “note” and focus group them to death.  But this one, with such powerful personae above the title, did not have that excuse.

But this wasn’t intended as a rip on the movie.  I promised never to pan a movie (see my post “If You Can’t Say Something Nice…”) – there’s enough snark out there already.  And I love J.J. Abrams – I think his “Star Trek” is what all studio films should strive to be – fabulously entertaining and smart and moving at the same time.

This is a “shame on you” to EW.  I understand that you have to smile and bow when Spielberg’s in the room – I get it and I don’t begrudge you that.  But at some point, you have to draw the line.  And for not doing that, I, for one, am cancelling my subscription.

No I’m not!  Who am I kidding?  I love that magazine!  Everything you need to know about popular culture in one bathroom visit.  I’m sorry EW, I just really hated “Super 8.”  Just try to be more careful next time.

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  • beans on toast

    yeah, since when have we trusted EW's opinion anyway?

  • beans on toast

    i agree… but 98% of the time, i trust my own instincts when choosing what movies to see and why to see them. no one that reviews a movie is completely objective…. doesn't even have to be because a studio is flying them to the europe premiere… they could be having the shits…. and not be able to fully concentrate on the movie, and end up giving it a bad review. but do you think they would include in the review that they had to leave the theater twice during the film to have explosive diarrhea?

    matt, this being said. i think you're awesome.

    • @BetsyKCRW

      I think so too.

      • mholzman

        Right back atcha! It’s a love fest here at the Matts Movies blog!!

        • beans on toast

          i'm loving @BetsyKCRW!!

          • kcrw


  • mholzman

    Nice mental picture. Thanks for the kudos. M

  • Ira Cord Rubnitz

    Your opinion, Matt! That's all… I think Super 8 was FAR more entertaining than JJ's Star Trek-which paled compared to the overlooked ST5!-, had way more heart, and absolutely did not suck!! This is why I'm not a photojournalist anymore!
    Enough of Gone With the Wind vs Wuthering Heights, Tree of Life vs Midnight in Paris, Springsteen vs Joel, etc! All subjective! I enjoyed Super 8 for what it was! I had a Bauer C2B Super 8 in NYC as a kid and it brought back "swell" memories of me filming NYC! So, Matt, I'm happy you thought it sucked…but it REALLY didn't! What sucks are people who can't enjoy a film -that is not great-but absolutely enjoyable! Many people thought "Barney's Version" sucked-I loved it!

  • mholzman

    You are correct sir. That is my humble opinion. But do you think it deserved as much ink as it got in EW?