Crix voice their opinions ... whatever they are

EEHHH, THEY DON’T MAKE ‘EM like they used to. In the old days — three or four years ago — you could scan newspaper ads for movies and find wildly enthusiastic blurbs from critics whose names you knew: Bonnie Churchill of National News Syndicate, Don Stotter of Entertainment Time-Out and, of course, Susan Granger of CRN/AMC. You know, names that really mean something.

Reel Life has been writing about these blurbmeisters for years and, while the current quotes remain surprisingly similar (“The roller-coaster ride of the summer!” “A surefire Oscar contender!”), the critics have changed.

When asked about this phenomenon, a studio PR maven said, “Sometimes, if they’ve been quoted a lot, a reviewer asks to not have their quote used. They don’t want to feel overexposed.” Then came the gentle chide to Reel Life: “You know, you may laugh at these people, but they take themselves seriously.”

But we do take them seriously. That’s why we celebrate them in the pages of Daily Variety. So let’s hear it for the new kids on the block. In the blurb biz: it’s a brave new world.

MOVIES ARE BETTER THAN EVER!

Carrie Bell, CMJ New Music Monthly, “Drop Dead Gorgeous” — “One of the funniest films ever!”

Cynthia Amsden, Canadian Weeklies, “Lake Placid” — “The wittiest horror flick ever.”

Mark S. Allen, KMAZ-TV Good Day Sacramento, “Austin Powers” — “Quite possibly the best sequel ever!”

IS THAT A COMPLIMENT?

Jim Ferguson, KMSB Fox Tucson, “Lost & Found” — “A romantic comedy David Spade style.”

Janet Maslin, New York Times, “Election” — “It’s smart no matter what.”

David Poland, TNT Roughcut.com, “Lake Placid” — “It’s this year’s ‘Anaconda’ “

MINORITY REPORTS

Jay Carr, Boston Globe, “The General’s Daughter” — “One of the satisfying filmgoing experiences of the ’90s.”

Jules Peimer, WKDM Radio, “Lost & Found” — “Amazingly funny. Brilliantly written. A laughter-rich, cleverly original comedy!”

Omar Lugones, Fox-TV, “Wild Wild West” — “The hippest, funniest action movie of the summer!”

STEAL IT FROM WHOM?

Bill McCuddy, Fox News Channel, “The Thomas Crown Affair” — “Brosnan and Russo steal the show.”

BILL’S HAVING A LITTLE TOO MUCH FUN THIS SUMMER

Bill Bregoli, Westwood One, “Lake Placid” — “The summer’s biggest surprise.”

Bill Bregoli, Westwood One, “Deep Blue Sea” — “The summer thrill ride you’ve been waiting for!”

Bill Bregoli, Westwood One, “Mystery Men” — “Move over ‘Austin Powers,’ these are the summer’s funniest action heroes!”

PRAISE FROM A POST-CRITIC

Janet Maslin, New York Times, “Run Lola Run” — “Hot, fast and post-human!”

HE’S NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO’S OUT THERE

Dennis Dermody, Paper, “eXistenZ” — “Cronenberg is the greatest filmmaker out there!”

CRITIC OF THE DECADE

Maria Salas, Gems Television, “Deep Blue Sea” — “The most terrifying movie of the decade.”

Maria Salas, CBS-Telenoticias, “Notting Hill” — “The most romantic comedy of the decade!”

(In 1997, Maria Salas hailed “Paradise Road” as “One of the best films of the decade” and the Samuel L. Jackson pic “187″ as “The most powerful film of the decade.”

BUT NOT OF THE DECADE?

Maria Salas, CBS Telenoticias, “The General’s Daughter” — “One of the most powerful films of the year.”

WHOA, BOY!

Steve Oldfield, Fox, “Notting Hill” — “Among the great romantic comedies of all time!”

UP WHERE EXACTLY?

Roger Ebert, Siskel & Ebert, “Star Wars: Episode I — the Phantom Menace” — “My thumb is up, with a lot of admiration.”

WHILE YOU’RE DOWN THERE, LOOK OUT FOR THOSE ADMIRING THUMBS!

John Anderson, Los Angeles Times — ” ‘South Park’ is so gleefully vulgar, it’s tough not to get down on all fours and beg for more.”

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