HOLLYWOOD, MI—With the summer movie season over, Hollywood’s major studios have begun to reflect on the hits and misses from the busy blockbuster season, a task that would never be complete without the final say from Ann Arbor’s own The Michigan Daily.
Said Warner Brothers’ CEO and Chairman Kevin Tsujihara, “Oh, sure we can get some feedback from various national paper critics or websites like Rotten Tomatoes, but honestly Peter Travers and the Rolling Stone have no idea what the kids are thinking these days,” continued Tsujihara, while flipping to the Arts and Entertainment section of the Daily, “But you’re never really sure until you get your hands on one of these papers- ah, here we go: ‘Godzilla had both a large computer generated Godzilla in it, but also a lot of character stuff with the humans, which was good.’ Voila! Warner Brothers does it again!”
The pen behind these definitive reviews, sophomore Derek Foote, is a Journalism and Plant Sciences double major who saw, “like at least fifteen movies this summer” and Guardians of the Galaxy twice.
Since he joined the staff of the Daily in an effort to appease his mom and make friends, Foote’s reviews have soared in popularity. He recently crashed the Daily website when his review of The Expendables 3 got a whopping 17 hits (“for the entertainment you get, this movie is absolutely Spendable”). The reviews serve the dual-purpose of both informing the U of M campus as to which blockbuster films are worth seeing at the local Rave Cinema, and also informing the rest of the world about which blockbuster films the University of Michigan students should see at the local Rave Cinema.
Moreover, says J.T. Berenger, editor-in-chief, “Foote’s reviews always keep the Hollywood elite on their toes as he has quickly become a power player and tastemaker within the movie industry. The producers of Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon 2 were seen breathing a visible sigh of relief after reading that their film was ‘good for kids who like Dragons, and the adults who go will also enjoy the Dragons and the jokes, but also completely inferior to the original in every way.’”
Foote’s influence can even challenge other more veteran critics work. Boston Globe critic Ty Burr, who had previously called X Men: Days of Future Past “a triumph of old school comic book style storytelling, with a healthy measure of political awareness and an excellent sense of time and place for a post 9-11 world” was forced to rethink his position when confronted by Foote’s sound promise that it was “very confusing with all of the time travel. And there are a lot of different characters so it is hard to remember who has what superpower and just exactly who Michael Fassbender is.”
“I felt like such a fool when I read that,” said Burr.
Publications such as the New York Times, the Chicago Sun Times, and Entertainment Weekly have gone as far as to wait to publish their end-of-the-year Top 10 lists, because “how embarrassing would that be if the Daily totally disagreed.”
These reviews mark the Daily as a paper that has not diminished in importance since its progressive editorial policies of the 1960s. Only now, it has Derek Foote to remind you that “Transformers 4 takes a big risk in bringing in Mark Wahlberg to replace the universally beloved Shia Labeouf as the series’ lead actor, but it totally pays off with this edition sporting darker humor and a more irreverent style.”
Originally Published September, 2014