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film news

Fox columnist reviews bootlegged Wolverine movie

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Friday, April 3, 2009

In the last 48 hours there has been many news stories about the illegally released, high-quality workprint of X-Men Origins: Wolverine dumped on the internet. 20th Century Fox, the FBI and the MPAA all have launched their own internal investigations into how the file got dumped online, and Fox has even gone so far as to commend the online fansite community for not condoning the release of the Wolverine print.

Which makes what Fox columnist Roger Friedman did all the more unbelievable. In his column published yesterday the Fox News film journalist actually comes right out and reviews X-Men Origins: Wolverine based on the leaked workprint copy available on the net. "Yes, I’ve seen X Men Origins: Wolverine, Friedman starts off his column saying. "It wasn’t at a screening, either. I found a work in progress print of it, 95 percent completed, on the internet last night." And as if to show how much his understanding of how the internet works, Friedman adds at the end of his first paragraph, "Let’s hope by now it’s gone."

Friedman continues, "Right now, my 'cousins' at 20th Century Fox are probably having apoplexy. I doubt anyone else has seen this film. But everyone can relax. I am, in fact, amazed about how great Wolverine turned out. It exceeds expectations at every turn. I was completely riveted to my desk chair in front of my computer."

He then spends the next couple of paragraphs praising the performances of the film's stars as well as the direction of Gavin Hood. "This may be the big blockbuster film of 2009, and one we really need right now," Friedman states. "It’s miles easier to understand than The Dark Knight, and tremendously more emotional. Hood simply did an excellent job bringing Wolverine’s early life to the screen."

Fair warning kids -- this story now veers off into editorial content. What's astounding to me is that this is a paid employee of News Corporation, the company that owns 20th Century Fox, and he's reviewing a stolen workprint of a film owned by one of News Corp's companies -- after that same company had just praised "fansites" for not supporting this action. I understand that my site, Coming Attractions adds to the grey, undefined area of what constitutes fair game for review or news purposes when it comes to reporting movies, but still, having an employee of Fox create the impression that there are two standards of reporting only exacerbates the problems that online journalists and so-called fansites face. What would Fox be doing right now if this website had published a review of X-Men Origins: Wolverine based on the workprint? Would Friedman's superiors be having the same reaction to his appraisal of X-Men Origins: Wolverine if it had been a negative one? Finally, I'll add to those questions with this statement: the actions -- or inactions -- of Fox from this point forward are being watched very closely by myself and other webmasters.

The Swollen Goi...
Location:
Posts: 14343
Posted: 9 years 29 weeks ago

Forget it, Pat. It's Fox News.

And it would have to be, considering the glowing praise--which is not to say that the final version hasn't been tweaked into being the Triumph to End All Triumphs.

I'm sure his praise would have been just as high if, say, Rise of the Silver Surfer had been leaked more than a month early. Damage Control makes us say all sorts of funny things. (Because, you know, Damage Control is a Marvel property. I went and explained the damned joke again, didn't I?)

In all seriousness, I can see where there are a number of opportunities for a better movie to be crafted from what is--and is not--there. Or I could, if I had . . . uh . . . seen the work print. I've just been pretending, truth be told. I've been playing a sort of "What If... ?" game with myself. (Because What if... ? is a . . . ah, never mind.) I've been trying to make it sound convincing, too.

Don't end me, Twentieth Century Fox! Everybody else was doing it! Roger Friedman did it!

The Swollen Goi...
Location:
Posts: 14343
Posted: 9 years 28 weeks ago

So, anyway, if Fox starts suing folks, I'll be leading the crusade to make them sue Friedman, too.

Has he made a big apology, yet? Imus was made to apologize. Mel was made to apologize.

mckracken
Location:
Posts: 965
Posted: 9 years 28 weeks ago

"made to apologize"? "FORCED to apologize"? "Coaxed into Apologizing?"

gimme a break... if a person doesnt feel the need to apologize without being MADE to apologize, how is MAKING them aplogize for their actions make it any more believable? It doesnt.

IE: I dont want to hear an apology from Friedman if he was forced into making one for the media to gobble up.