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Critics throwing voices for ‘United’ front

Travers, others record radio spots for Universal film

In the runup to a close Oscar race, even film critics are taking on bigger roles in promoting their favorites.

Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers can be heard touting “United 93” in a radio spot from Universal currently playing in L.A.

Travers, who handed the movie four stars in the mag in April, reads portions of his review, in which he called the Paul Greengrass effort “a monumental achievement that stands above any film this year” and noted, “There’s not an ounce of Hollywood bull in this movie’s 111 minutes.”

Travers wasn’t paid for the spot, U notes, but agreed to do it when U asked him because he “really wanted to support the film.”

A number of other print crix — many of whom also were enthusiastic about the pic — were approached by the studio about reading their reviews. Some turned it down, but a few agreed, and their voices were recorded and could be used in upcoming spots.

The ever-murky world of blurbing has seen its share of unusual endorsements this year. Print ads for another U movie, “The Good Shepherd,” splash a big endorsement from a well-known film scholar, who called it “the best spy movie ever.”

The cineaste in question? Larry King.

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