The New York Times reports that it unintentionally ran a movie review of “The Legend of Hercules” written by a guy who never even saw the flick.
The Lionsgate film which reportedly cost $70 million dollars to make brought in only $8.6 million over the past weekend…much of it being refunded to disgruntled audiences who read the Times review.
“This flick had the cinematic value of a bowel movement,” screamed one viewer angrily coming out of the film.
Many patrons specifically blamed the glowing review in the Times for even going to see the film in the first place. The New York Times issued an apology for the oversight, blaming a disgraced former reporter named Jayson Blair for “just making stuff up again.”
Blair reportedly once worked for the Times in the late 90’s and was fired in 2003 for just…making stuff up. Falling on hard times in the decade since his departure, Blair is reported to be homeless and living in a Greyhound bus station in New York City. According to sources close to the story, an unnamed movie reviewer assigned at the last minute to screen the film quit, remarking that he, “would rather pluck out his eyes and shove them up his own a** than to waste 2 hours watching that schlock”.
The entertainment editor instead gave the two preview tickets to an unknown homeless man he spotted sitting on a steam grate outside the New York Times Building. The homeless man allegedly agreed to write a review in return for a by line and a bottle of Jack Daniels. He refused to settle for Wild Turkey claiming it was “Controlled by foreign powers”.
The homeless man claimed to be one Jayson Blair, who promptly sold the tickets, drank the Jack and typed out a rambling 20 page review at a Wi Fi hotspot outside a south-side Denny’s . Apparently the entertainment editor only edited the review down to the proper word count and ran it without reading. Below is the Times review of “Hercules” written by a guy who never even saw the flick.
“The Legend of Hercules” is a visually spectacular, amazingly accurate depiction of the historical figure set in 1200 B.C. Greece. This highly engaging film takes us on the journey of one man determined to find the father who abandoned him and win the woman he loves. The story begins with Olympian God Zeus and Queen Alcmene the midst of a torrid one night stand. This scene seriously challenges the “PG” rating of the film but excellent directing and deft editing makes the scene work on an artistic level rather than degenerating into a raunchy romp with a god on the “down-low”. A few minutes of plot progressing dialog pass in the afterglow after which time Zeus “steps out for a cigarette” and quietly ascends back to Olympus, leaving the earthbound Queen heart-broken and pregnant.
Fast forward 20 years and we find Hercules (Kellan Lutz unmuted) and his older brother, Iphicles (Liam “Who Dat” Garrison) making a booty call on Hebe (Gaia Weiss), the daughter of one of the king’s vanquished enemies. Shrewdly she sizes up the loin cloths and selects Hercules as the man with the best assets. But her father isn’t having any of that. Having heard rumors of Hercules’ mixed heritage, he ships him off to fight terrorists in Egypt. The rest of the film involves Hercules’ frantic race against time to stop a killer virus before it destroys all of humanity and to get back to Greece before Hebe marries his brother. All the while he is searching for his deadbeat dad who despite the Herculean efforts just isn’t that into him.
Not only is the acting superb, but the 3D special effects are top notch. The fight scene between Hercules and The Nemean Lion was so visually intense it made me have to change my shorts. But I didn’t want to miss a minute of this fantastic film so I didn’t bother. The balanced mixture of action and humor worked seamlessly to create comic relief precisely where it was needed. For example, the frenetic gladiator scene transitioned to a hilarious scene of Hercules cleaning up after the family dog, Cerberus. And the chemistry between Hercules and his wife Hebe as she makes out a list of 12 Labors for the weekend creates a humorously endearing quality rarely found in action films today.
“The Legend of Hercules” is a shoe in for Oscar contention in the areas of directing and best actor (Gaia Weiss has an assured “Golden Globes” nomination coming for obvious reasons).
The most praiseworthy aspect of “Hercules” is its genre bending style, making it both an action flick as well as a chick flick. The depth of the characters provided a rich accent to the lush visuals and cinematography. Be sure and stay for the blooper reel at the end, featuring a cameo by The Rock screaming, “What the hell have you done to my movie?” Even though the 2014 movie season is just beginning, I guarantee by the end of the year, people will still be talking about “The Legend of Hercules”.
Further investigation revealed that the person claiming to be Jayson Blair faking a movie review was only pretending to be Jayson Blair, which is weirdly ironic when you think about it. Surveillence footage revealed not only was the homeless man of short stature not Mr. Blair, but he also appeared to be Korean. “Don’t these reporters fact check anything anymore?” asked he REAL Jayson Blair when reporters caught up with him sitting on a steam grate in front of an abandoned Barnes and Noble in Brooklyn. He expressed no anger or animosity towards the impostor, however. “Hey, whoever it was, at least he got paid!”