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Former voice of Mr. Moviefone launches 'Six-Second Reviews'

Russ Leatherman, formerly Mr. Moviefone, has found his new calling: extremely short movie reviews.
Russ Leatherman and HitFix launch 'Six-Second Reviews.'

Russ Leatherman, best known as the co-founder and voice of Moviefone, has found his new calling: extremely short movie reviews. 

Leatherman's bellowing intonations are getting a new outlet with "Six-Second Reviews" on the entertainment website Hitfix, featuring short videos that give visitors bite-sized takes on films such as "Godzilla" and end with his verdict of whether he's "in" or "out."

As in: " 'Godzilla' comes a little late to the party but makes up for it in pure movie monster badassery! I'm in!" 

This marks Leatherman's first venture since he left the AOL-owned Moviefone in November after a 25-year stint. There he provided the oft-parodied "Hello! And welcome to Moviefone!" greeting on its call-in service, which AOL shut down after his departure. 

Leatherman said the idea for "Six-Second Reviews" is to provide quick hits to HitFix's audience of millennials who turn to social media for movie recommendations.

"These things are supposed to be consumed swiftly," Leatherman said. "It was really a response to the media telling me, 'You're too long-winded.' " 

Jen Sargent, HitFix's chief executive, said that the videos are targeted to young consumers who view videos on sites including Vine and Instagram, and that the reviews can help them make last-minute decisions about what movie to see on a Friday night.

"People can watch three or four of these things in a minute and decide, OK, I'm going to see 'Godzilla,' " she said. 

Although he's left the Mr. Moviefone character behind, Leatherman acknowledges his voice has a certain, shall we say, distinctive quality that he brings to his new effort. "Unless I have some sort of throat surgery, this is what it is," he said.   

 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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