What to do when shills like Peter Hammond get canned, and when lawsuits make creating your own pre-fab quote machines seem like a bad idea? Turn to the IMDB.

To bolster print ads for The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Disney’s UK arm pulled quotes from user reviews on the IMDB. Not that the Holocaust picture has been getting bad reviews — just the opposite, for the most part — but praise like “Simply stunning” (from Theedge-4) and “Please please see this film” (Mjavfc1) was deemed more compelling than anything the pros had to say. And while Mjavfc1 has only one comment to his credit, Theedge-4 has a discernable track record: likes Satanic Rites of Dracula, doesn’t like The Omen remake, likes Casualties of War. Maybe it’s actually Beaks in disguise.

There’s a lot of ire directed at Disney for this move (and some mis-used jargon, too, as the quoted entities are being called ‘bloggers’, not ‘commentors’) but I’m far more amused than irritated. How can you not laugh at this strategy, which has now garnered more press for the film than anything else the studio is likely to have come up with? And while this is one more open invitation for people to mourn the death of film criticism, doesn’t it really do more to put Hammond and Earl Dittman into perspective than any serious critic?

I haven’t been able to come up with any images of the actual ads, so if any UK readers spot them and can scan or photograph, please send ‘em in. I’ll credit either your real name, or your 1337-speak username, however you like.