September 7, 2009

How did Larry King become a film critic?

Did I miss something? Look at this…
While it is surely no Pulp Fiction (and I've yet to see it, so I cannot offer a valid personal opinion), Inglourious Basterds is not exactly bombing in the critical community—as of this writing, Rotten Tomatoes has it at 88% fresh, which seems pretty good to my untrained eye. So why, then, does the studio feel the need to trumpet a laudatory quote from Larry King?

Brief rant: I despise Larry King. The epitome of old-school NYC Jewish community entitlement, he makes Barbra Streisand look like a Tibetan lama. He does his talk show from a TV studio tricked out to look like the annex of a hard-hitting TV news room, the rolled-up sleeves and suspenders connoting hours of diligent reporting and worn-through shoe leather. Yet every time I flip past him on CNN, he's talking to one of the least interesting human beings on the planet; no one covered the Lacy Peterson case, or Hulk Hogan's new autobiography, quite like Mr. Lawrence Harvey Zeiger. (Never mind that he regards each subject like he'd never heard of them till 45 seconds before cameras began rolling.) This is me at Madame Tussauds, telling his paraffin doppelganger just how much he blows…
The first time I noticed a King quote in a movie ad for the 2004 adaptation of the stage version of The Phantom of the Opera. I chalked that up to the movie being a piece of tripe, and Larry King's haggard carcass being the only available source of positive regard. So again, I ask, why is the far-better-received Inglourious Basterds highlighting his praise over that of, oh, I don't know, actual movie critics? Is Larry King's target audience even the same crowd that IB is gunning for? Has the film criticism community fallen into that much disrepute? Or perhaps, is there some deep, dark truth about Larry King that I am simply failing to grasp?

Mysteries of our culture, people…