13 creative ways to legally break a movie review superembargo


6th August 2012

Review embargoes are a necessary evil in the world of film journalism: in all honesty, a paltry price to pay if it means you get to watch a top film first and for free. However, as I've discussed before, some embargoes can be staggeringly draconian, like the one I received today. Naturally, all it made me want to do was figure out a way to break it.

While I can't mention which film the embargo was covering, I can reveal that it's the most watertight, security-conscious, no-nonsense document I've ever had to sign. I swear, I've signed mortgage documents that were on shakier legal ground. MORTGAGE DOCUMENTS. It's all fair enough, obviously, but it put the fear of God into me.

Among the various conditions were the usual caveats (thou shalt not break the review date, thou shalt not tweet etc) but the embargo also contained some real hum-dingers.

"Discussion of such matters must be avoided in public places, such as elevators, restaurants, and restrooms, as these conversations may be overheard."
And that's not all. Thought you could phone your Mum and tell her what you thought? Not in David Cameron's Britain you can't.

"These confidentiality obligations apply until [date removed] and extend even to disclosures to family members and/or close friends."
Just close friends? What about people I'm only on a nodding basis with? Can I nod to them what I thought? The best bit is where it mentions how I can't divulge any information "to any person or entity", which put paid to my plans to share the plot of ParaNorman with my spirit guide, Sam.

Because I'm a lone wolf and I don't play by the rules, this sort of hard-nosed legalese just makes me want to rebel; and even though I signed the embargo, because, y'know, I like watching films, I still drew up some plans on how to break these superembargoes in the future. The key is to get creative - outthink the thought police and you can spill plot details and review summations to your heart's content.

Here are a few ways you can break embargoes with 100% impunity.

Expensive but totally worth it.

They can't sue your subconscious! (Probably).
Talk while wearing a Bane mask

Only half of your audience will be able to understand you anyway.
Drop some truth bombs in alphabetti spaghetti

Don't forget to eat the evidence when you're done.
Wee in some snow

Having a wee is a basic human right: it just came out like that.
Burn your opinions into a lawn

It doesn't even have to be your lawn; in fact, it's better if it isn't.
Write on a mirror and tell someone to run a hot bath

It's the cornerstone of a successful relationship/career in film journalism.
Reveal your opinions via puppet

You want to file a lawsuit against Mr Woofers? If you want to look stupid...
Create your own language

Just make sure you don't give the movie studio your dictionary.
Get a tattoo

Even more permanent than a Rotten Tomatoes hotlink.
Culture your own acne into a coded message

If you've got a forehead full of pus, you might as well put it to good use.

It's a dying art, you'll probably get government funding.
Pillow talk

You can get away with anything in the throes of passion.
Note: please do not actually try any of these in real life, unless you fancy paying to watch films like some sort of IDIOT.

More:  Embargoes  Top10
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