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I've Officially Made It As A Film Critic - I've Been Plagiarised!


I’ve officially made it as a film critic – I’ve been plagiarised!

A few days ago, I heard about a US critic known as Lianne Spiderbaby who had been busted for plagiarising film reviews on the FEARnet website.  You can read more here.  Adding an extra layer of layer of surprise is the fact she’s the girlfriend of acclaimed writer-director Quentin Tarantino.

The scandal was first reported by Mike White (see here) and in its aftermath, Lianne MacDougall (her real name) offered a quick apology and then deleted her Twitter account.  The reviews have now been removed from the FEARnet site.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I realised that one of my own reviews had been plagiarised!  A fellow blogger provided me with the details.

It’s not something I’m going to lose any sleep over.  She’s been busted and that’s the end of it.  I guess I should wear it as a badge of honour – that one of my reviews was actually good enough to be plagiarised. :) 

The film itself was Life Of Pi (one of my favourite of the year) and here’s a look at how similar the reviews were…


My review – “Pi transports us back to 1970s India where his younger self is living with his family in Pondicherry, India.  His father is a zookeeper and the inquisitive Pi has spent a large chunk of his life surrounded by an assortment of animals from around the globe.  Due to the increasing political unrest within India, the family has decided to sell the animals and move to a more stable life in North America.”

Her review – “Pi transports us back to 1970s India where his younger self is living with his family in Pondicherry, India.  His father is a zookeeper and the inquisitive Pi has spent a large chunk of his life surrounded by an assortment of animals from around the globe.  Due to the increasing political unrest within India, the family has decided to sell the animals and move to a more stable life in North America.”


My review – “Sadly, the freighter ship on which they are travelling encounters a freak storm and sinks in the middle of the night.  It all happens in a flash.  After slipping off the deck and being knocked unconscious, Pi wakes up on a lifeboat drifting aimlessly across the ocean.”

Her review
– “Sadly, the freighter ship on which they are travelling encounters a freak storm and sinks in the middle of the night.  It all happens in a flash and Pi wakes up on a lifeboat drifting aimlessly across the ocean.


My review – “He’s the only person on board… but Pi quickly realises that he’s not alone.  Hidden beneath the lifeboat’s tarpaulin are a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. ”

Her review – “He’s the only person on board… but Pi is not alone.  Hidden beneath the lifeboat’s tarpaulin are a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. ”


My review – “Suffice to say that this isn’t a situation that can remain stable for very long.”

Her review – “Suffice to say that this isn’t a situation that can remain stable for very long.”


My review – “We know that Pi survives, evidenced by the fact that he is still alive to tell the story, but how did he pull it off?  What does one do when stuck on a tiny boat in the middle of the Indian Ocean with next-to-no food while in the company of a Bengal tiger?”

Her review – “We know that Pi survives, evidenced by the fact that he is still alive to tell the story, but how did he pull it off?  What does one do when stuck on a tiny boat in the middle of the Indian Ocean with next-to-no food while in the company of a tiger?”


My review – “Things become less and less plausible with each passing scene and it will certainly put audiences to the test.”

Her review – “Things become less and less plausible with each passing scene and you will be put to the test”


Her full review is no longer accessible (since it has been pulled from the website) but you can check out a screen grab below and compare with my full review here.

So what’s the lesson out of this?  Don't plagiarise my reviews.  For starters, there are writers much better than me out there!  Also, someone will eventually bust you and when this does happen, I’ll get an inflated sense of self-esteem.  Best not to do it in the future.

Life Of Pi Review Lianne Spiderbaby