Thursday, August 5

Breaking News: Duluth Leads Nation in Unidentified Movie Critic Prodigies


An upcoming study, to be published Saturday in the University of Minnesota-Duluth Gazette, identifies Duluth as
the key location in the United States for unidentified movie critic prodigies (UMCPs). The study, penned by longtime Rotten Tomatoes iconoclast Dave Smith, calls Duluth the "mecca of movie critics, the next great location for the development of critical movie critic personalities in the country."

Smith, also associated with the UMD Department of Rare Animal Research, has located four such prodigies in the Duluth area over the past seven years. "I believe they all have potential, but I'll tell you, ten year-old Tommy Trappens will be the next Roger Ebert," he said, continuing, "He writes like a genius. His analysis of the plot points for Cyrus really hit home - the impacts of divorce melded perfectly with puns about Billy Ray and Miley. Putting important, critical thoughts together about movies is like saving your flock from a sad, pitiful death, so he is literally saving people from themselves. I wouldn't call him Jesus, personally... but I also don't know what else would fit."

Identifying UMCPs isn't easy, and that's why Duluth stands out, according to the study. Of the four phenoms located by Smith, three are now signed with major nationwide print and electronic publications. Trappens, the lone holdout, is said to be entertaining a joint offer from CBS and several media outlets in Canada. On a per-capita basis, it is estimated that Duluth sustains roughly one UMCP per 4,500 residents. Using this estimate, there are likely 20-30 UMCPs in Duluth at the present time, each representing critical words going unwritten and analysis of plots incomplete.

The reason for the large number of UMCPs in the area is unknown, though the study posits that the basis may lie in the significant number of toxic chemical spills in the Duluth harbor during the mid-90s. Other cities noted as UMCP hot spots in the report include Gallup, New Mexico, Concord, New Hampshire, and Monroe, Louisiana.