I usually highlight a story of the week under the theory that good writing needs all the attention it can get in our increasingly less literate culture. However, bad writing also thrives these days and sometimes it also needs to be recognized. Today's example comes from a film review by Chad Dull in the Dec. 13, 2007 edition of The Other Paper. Chad's review of Will Smith's new film I Am Legend opens with these lines:
"I Am Legend's pompous and confusing title tells us a lot about what's wrong with the film itself. It's another crack at the novel The Omega Man, last brought to screen, rather laughably, in a 1971 Charlton Heston vehicle."
When a film review starts off with so many errors, it's hard to do anything but laugh at the reviewer's subsequent opinion. First, the I Am Legend film is based on a 1954 science fiction novel of the same title by Richard Matheson. Second, The Omega Man was based on Matheson's novel, one of numerous adaptations over the decades, so it's wrong to say the current film is based on the 1971 film. Third, The Omega Man was a film, not a novel. The briefest of searches on Google or Wikipedia would have enabled Chad to discover these facts for himself.
Unfortunately, Chad's review is not online so I can't share the wonderful irony as Chad dissects this "pompous" film in an equally pompous manner. Instead, I'll share this bit of advice for any writers like Chad who feel the need to be literate on a subject they nothing about: first do a bit of research.