Empire of the senseless

On Friday, BBC Radio Scotland’s Fred Macaulay show had the deputy editor of Empire magazine on to talk about the new Colin Farrell movie, Alexander. Asked whether it was a turkey or not he replied that he didn’t know; the film hadn’t been screened for UK critics yet. His words were echoed by the issue of Empire that went on sale the very same day: in its films of the year section, the magazine explained that Alexander couldn’t be considered because at the time of going to press, Empire hadn’t seen it.

So, er… why is there a full page review of Alexander in the same issue?

There are, of course, two ways to interpret this: the cynical way, and the benefit of the doubt way.

The cynical way: Alexander is the cover image of the magazine, and Empire isn’t going to let the small matter of not having seen a film prevent them from reviewing it. A quick visit to Rotten Tomatoes and you can get enough US reviews to make it sound as if you actually have seen the film.

The benefit of the doubt way: Empire got someone in the US to review the movie, which explains the comment in their “films of the year” section. Although it’s a bit worrying that the deputy ed can’t comment on whether the film they’ve devoted the current issue’s cover to is any cop or not.

Me, I reckon it’s the latter story. But it would have been sensible to mention it, or at least to have someone who *has* seen the film on the radio show…