Daily posts from Bee writers on movies, theater, media, fashion, music and pop culture.


My, my. We should be so proud here in Sacramento. A recent Washington Post story on "blurb whore" movie reviewers devoted two whole paragraphs to "Good Day Sacramento's" own Mark S. Allen. Allen, as you may know, has apparently never met a studio movie (or a free junket to L.A., New York or London) he didn't like.

Paul Farhi of The Post writes:

There are, in fact, nearly 200 stations across the country affiliated with CBS, and many have their own on-air movie reviewers. Among them is Mark S. Allen, who co-hosts the local morning show on KOVR-TV in Sacramento, which is owned by CBS. But you wouldn't know that from movie ads that carry Allen's frequent raves. ...

Since he also works for Sacramento's KMAX-TV, which carries programming from the CW network, Allen might be credited as a "CW" reviewer. Sometimes he's a two-fer. Newspaper ads for the recent Disney bomb "Underdog" carried Allen's comment - "See this movie. Do not fail" - and listed him as a critic for "CW/CBS Stations." Which is true, but only sort of.

Now, we've known about this for years. But it's nice to see MSA get, uh, recognition for his "blurb whoring" on a national scale.

Actually, it's not the first time. Allen, it seems, is renown for his blurbability. Both eFilmCritic.com and Flak magazine have touted MSA's ability to kiss up to the studios.

Not only that, but the industry trade publication Variety reported in 2001 that when the watchdog group Citizens for Truth in Movie Advertising filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against movie studios, charging false advertising, Allen was one of the reviewers cited as being a blurb offender. The Variety of July 15, 2001 says:

The complaints, filed in L.A. Superior Court by four individuals and a group called Citizens for Truth in Movie Advertising, allege the ads failed to disclose that some reviewers quoted had some or all of their expenses, including airfare, meals and hotels, paid for by the studios.

The complaint names Maria Salas (Telemundo/Gems Television), Jim Ferguson (The Dish Network), Jeff Craig (Sixty Second Preview), Mark S. Allen (KMAX-TV, Sacramento), Ron Brewington (American Urban Radio Network) and Earl Dittman (Wireless magazine) as examples of reviewers frequently quoted in newspaper and TV ads. The six are not defendants in the suit.

So, something to keep in mind when MSA tells us to "run, not walk" to the latest "feel-good hit!"

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