A moment of silence, please, for David Manning, the fake film critic invented by Sony to spout pullquotes during a feckless year spanning the summers of 2000 and 2001. Nothing failed to please Dave. Heath Ledger in "A Knight’s Tale"? "This year’s hottest new star!" (And who’s to argue?) Kevin Bacon turns into a gropey invisible guy flick "Hollow Man"? "One hell of a scary ride". (And certainly we were frightened by the odd fantasy-fulfillment voyeur/rape angle that was greenlighted as summer blockbuster-worthy.) Rob Schneider vehicle "The Animal"? "Another winner!" (And there are some things we can’t condone.)
Well, now, according to BBC, fans have (sort-of) won a class-action lawsuit against Sony (i.e. they settled, and Sony accepts no liability). Anyone misled by a Manning quote into seeing a film will be able to receive a $5 refund from Sony, as part of a $1.5 million settlement. No word yet on how you’ll be able to sign up to receive your fiver, which, if you beat up someone else and also took theirs, would almost be enough to buy a movie ticket in New York to see some brand new, quality Sony/Columbia Tristar release, like "Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo."
Oh course, not everyone has it as good as Mr. Manning. Not everyone is lucky enough to just be invented and have one’s gushing praise slapped up on a poster for all to admire. Some people actually have to work their way up the ladder. Which is to say, Slate‘s David Edelstein is interviewed over at RockCritics.com, and you should go read it. We always pictured him as glasses-wearing, for some reason.