Criticwatch - Shawn Edwards: The 2013 Quote Whore of the Year, Decade And Ever
by Erik Childress
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you read it in the title. Kansas City's Shawn Edwards has won his FOURTH Whore of the Year Award from Criticwatch. And we are determined to make it his list. Not because we have any doubt that Shawn's hyperbole-laced bullshit reviews don't make him an instant candidate to repeat once the calendar turns over to Jan. 1. No, you see, this is the first time our choice for the year's biggest quote whore has generated their own separate feature. For weeks now we have known Edwards was the out-and-out victor and was just going to announce his prize alongside Maria Salas' runner-up award and the rest of the Top Ten reveal. Latest developments have not only strengthened his case on the prize, but they have forced us to put the studios on high alert. This is the last year you are going to use Shawn Edwards on your ads. We mean it. He has now become a symbol of your own failings and every time he pops up in a commercial, a newspaper ad or setting foot in one of your advanced junkets you are exposing yourself in the fraud you are helping to perpetrate.
Let us assure the studios that we are not accusing you outright. You have been in the Shawn Edwards business for a long time now. He has given you great, big quotes to promote your movies and why should you be blamed for taking such in-your-face praise when its available? Unless, of course, you wrote the quote yourselves and he attached his name to it. Forget all that though. For the purpose of this scenario we are going to assume you are the innocent babe in the woods duped into Shawn's mode of self-publicity.
First up in the duplicity are the folks at Warner Bros. The bastion of junketeer whoredom, they had a cornucopia of press from The Hangover Part III shower the awful sequel to the awful sequel to the marginally-less awful original in fantastic praise. You would never know that is was one of the worst-reviewed films of 2013 from the ads. Oh no. In the middle of all those self-aggrandizing reviewers and interviewers with the critical thinking skills of a drunk squirrel on a highway, was Shawn Edwards saying:
The film went on to gross $112 million in the U.S. and just over $351 million worldwide. Try to find as many ticket buyers who actually liked it as the people WB used in the ads. Flash-forward to October as the film hits DVD. As first caught by Mike McGranaghan and documented, we saw Shawn Edwards on his Twitter account post the following about The Hangover Part III
Quite a radical shift, isn't it? "Funniest Trilogy Ever" to "0 Popcorn Bags." We followed-up on what McGranaghan wrote and you can read that at your leisure. But we will give you the Cliff's Notes version.
- We questioned Edwards' original quote of "Funniest Trilogy Ever." Even if it seems like a stretch, how many comedic trilogies have lived up to consistency over the course of three movies?
- If a WB publicist had that quote already pre-written and it is the one Shawn chose, is it possible that after sleeping on it (for five months) he was able to go from "best" to "worst" so easily? He did comment when he was called out.
But if you go back to Shawn's original review of The Hangover Part III he says flat-out that "the biggest problem" with the film is that it is "NOT FUNNY!"
That is not five months of sleeping. That is a couple of weeks at best and a few days at worst for Shawn to tell Warner Bros. that they were releasing the conclusion to the "funniest trilogy ever" and then turning his back on them and going public by telling everyone on his television show that it sucks. That is like the mobster taking his mark out to dinner first before wacking him out in the parking lot. Except in this case, the mark was the studio and they were the ones who bought the dinner. Next time WB should tell Shawn to go home and get his shine box.
"You would think it would all end in spectacular WTF fashion. Nah, it doesn't. It actually concludes rather flatly." - Shawn Edwards on The Hangover Part III
If Warner Bros. was paying attention to us (and they are well aware of our opinion on these practices) they would have seen Shawn do the same thing to Tyler Perry in 2012. Right to his face.
In that case, Shawn went from telling Tyler that he liked Alex Cross to giving it only "2 popcorn bags" on his TV segment to the big ZERO on Twitter. Do we have enough to show just how full-of-shit Edwards is? Well, we may as well make in a trilogy.
Once again, credit is due to Mr. McGranaghan for bringing this to our attention. We are pretty in tune with catching the quote-laden commercials (especially when they are littered by quote whores) but sometimes you have to be watching the right program. The other day we saw on ESPN what Mike was referring to and we hope Paramount is paying attention.
Can you see it up there in the right hand corner?
That's what Shawn Edwards is calling Anchorman 2 - "a slam dunk." Ever seen a dunk in basketball? The whole point is that it is definitive. The player grabs the ball and personally puts the ball through the hoop so there is little chance that physics and shot coordinates can offset the chance that it grabs all net. When a player blows that action, we all laugh at their failure. Heh, look at the showboat who thought they were so great. Nice shot, jackass! The point being that Shawn wasn't laughing at failure, he was laughing at the movie and evidently he thought that Adam McKay and Will Ferrell had successfully completed a slam dunk.
It's a bit of a loaded comment. I think it's the third best comedy of the year (after The World's End and This is the End, which Shawn put on his worst list) and it's not quite as good as the first film. So while "slam dunk" would fall into the same section of language as "masterpiece" and "classic", let's just say that I think it's really funny and no matter what piece of hyperbole Shawn uses, he found it really funny too. Can we scroll down a little further down that ad though? To the other side. At the bottom. You may not have noticed it on first glance.
Hard to see with the white-on-white font there, but that is Shawn Edwards calling Anchorman 2 "the most hilarious sequel ever." And we have been down this road many times with Shawn.
"The Funniest Movie Ever!" (Bridesmaids) "The funniest, craziest and zaniest teen movie ever." (Fired Up) "A magical experience unlike anything you have ever seen." (Idlewild) "One of the most creative, original and visionary movies ever made." (Where the Wild Things Are) "One of the most epic love stories ever." (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1) "One of the best vampire movies ever." (Twilight) "One of the coolest vampire movies ever!" (Priest) "One of the coolest movies you'll ever see!" (Stomp the Yard) "One of the most entertaining, exciting and intense movies ever made." (I Am Legend) "One of the best sci-fi films ever!" (The Chronicles of Riddick) "The most dazzling animated feature ever made." (Robots) "The funniest trilogy ever comes to a glorious end." (The Hangover Part III)
We can get to all the movies that Shawn thinks are "hilarious" later. We can also remind you that he called last year's Men In Black III "the best Men in Black yet"; as he is prone to do against the grain of anyone with a brain. But divert your attention over to the right here. Scroll down. Forget that he's going 3-of-5 popcorn bags on Inside Llewyn Davis and American Hustle, two of the ten best-reviewed films of the year at 93% & 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. Forget that he's doing that in the same year that he's quoted on ten films alone that have less than a 50% approval at the same site. Hell, forget that he said the Coen Bros. delivered "uninspired storytelling" on their latest but called Jack the Giant Slayer "spectacular" and "thrilling." Jesus, forget that he said American Hustle was "messy, incoherent, and at times sloppy" when he called After Earth "brilliant" and "intense." Cause there Shawn is with the same 3 popcorn bags saying that while Anchorman 2 may be "funnier than the original" - "not. every. joke. works." Does that sound like a slam dunk to you?
At the Fox4KC screening room website where you can watch Shawn do his review, it is spelled out in more detail in written form:
"Actually funnier than the original and way more over the top. No, not every joke works but if you are looking for idiotic fun Anchorman 2 is a slam dunk. More bags if not for one very awful scene."
One awful scene. He wouldn't be referring to the one where the guy who is dating a Hobbit shows up? Never mind. Whatever the awful scene is that exists for Shawn, it was enough to keep him from even going with 4 popcorn bags, let alone 5. Maybe it was all the jokes that didn't work for him that kept it from 5 and then the awful scene dropped it from 4 to 3. Fair enough. But then how is it a slam dunk? Oh I see, it's a slam dunk if you're looking for "idiotic fun." If that includes fun with an idiot then every junket with Shawn Edwards must be a slam dunk as well.
This might not be the egregious lie that Shawn participated in when talking about The Hangover Part III and Alex Cross, but it is a lie in hyperbolized fashion nevertheless. If you were to corner Shawn and ask him to back up his assertion that Anchorman 2 and its 3-of-5 popcorn bags is the "most hilarious sequel ever" could he do it if you held this list in your back pocket?
"Non-stop laughs! As funny as the original." (Clerks II) "Absolutely delightful! Reese Witherspoon has done it again." (Legally Blonde 2) "The Wolfpack delivers again!" (The Hangover Part II) "The best comedy of the year!" (Barbershop 2: Back In Business) "A blast of fun. It's hilarious. ****. Phenomenal. Total awesomeness. Will Smith is back! and better than ever. It's the best Men In Black yet." (Men In Black III) "The best slice of pie yet! American Wedding is *!#/% funny!" (American Wedding) "The best Scary Movie yet! The laughs come fast and are furiously funny!" (Scary Movie 4)
That's all Edwards there. They are the quotes that carry his name on the ads for those movies. If we play the transitive game for a moment we can say that Shawn believes Anchorman 2 is funnier than the original. He has three other films there that we can positively say he believes are also better than the original. Did he give them all 3 popcorn bags too? Are "fast and furiously funny" laughs only worth as much? Is that all Shawn needs to use expletives to get his point across? Are 3 popcorn bags honestly equivalent to "Total" freakin' "Awesomeness?" Shawn can't keep two films straight in his head. He has no perspective. In 2004 he called Barbershop 2 the best comedy of the year in February before evidently changing his mind in June when White Chicks came out.
Studios, each and every one of you, please listen to us now. By continuing to put Shawn Edwards on your film ads and allowing him to pimp your product you are perpetrating a fraud on the American public. Just as Sony used David Manning, a critic who did not exist, as a pre-written hyperbole delivery system, you are doing the same with Shawn Edwards. Oh sure, he is a person that you can trot out in his florescent pants, but you are now aware that he is a bullshit artist. Readers of Criticwatch have been aware of it for years. The people of Kansas City for even longer. And now you are aware. If you want to plead ignorance on all the prior years, be our guest. No harm, no foul. But he lied to Tyler Perry's face and said he liked his movie when he didn't. He lied to you, Warner Bros., when he said The Hangover Part III was the best trilogy of comedies ever. He doesn't have enough respect for you, Paramount, when he can't match the words of his Anchorman 2 review to his ad quotes. And he's rubbing his Hangover quote right in your face, WB! The least he could do is lie for you the way he's done for others over the years.
You are all on notice now. Shawn Edwards is Kubrick's Gomer Pyle and we have found his jelly donut for the last time. Anytime his name is mentioned from now on, your marketing department will be called out as well. You are harboring a fugitive in plain sight and it is time he goes into the box forever. He lies on the ads. He lies during interviews. What could you possibly want him for? There is a collection of junket whores just waiting in line to take his place and while not one of them have the genuine critical sense and love of film that every filmmaker and moviegoer alike deserves, the lot of them are only 99.9% full of shit. That definitively makes Shawn Edwards "the worst quote whore of all time." Ever. To date. Yet. And whatever other words he can use that he clearly has no perspective on. Every studio now should have perspective on Shawn Edwards. He is the four-time Peter Travers Quote Whore of the Year. Do not give him the opportunity to make it five.
We close out this year's Criticwatch with a recap of Shawn Edwards. 19 quotes. 12 of them for films labeled as "rotten"
"You will laugh-out-loud." (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) - 38% Hitch - Hitch is the Comedy of the Year. Highly Entertaining and Laugh-Out-Loud Funny!
"Stunning! A groundbreaking, visionary and stylistic masterpiece. Baz Luhrmann has outdone himself." (The Great Gatsby) "Ingenious! Groundbreaking!" (Hulk) "A true masterpiece. One of the most creative, original and visionary movies ever made." (Where the Wild Things Are) "Intriguing and visionary!" (City of Ghosts) "Incredible, intriguing, inspiring! A stylistic and provocative portrait of a true creative genius and fascinating persona." (A Man's Story) "A top-notch stylistic action thriller!" (Killer Elite) "It's Kill Bill meets ER in this brilliantly stylistic, ultra cool action thriller!" (Repo Men) "A flat-out masterpiece! A mesmerizing and haunting film that soars with creativity, stylistic genius and amazing battle scenes. A breathtaking experience that shouldn't be missed." (Snow White and the Huntsman) "Electrifying. Liam Neeson has never been better. An epic adventure that will thrill you. A masterpiece!" (The Grey) "Outstanding! A completely inspiring, moving and motivating crowd pleaser. Gridiron Gang is a stand up and cheer classic! The Rock has never been better." (Gridiron Gang) "A total laugh riot! Rowan Atkinson has never been funnier." (Johnny English Reborn) "Totally hilarious! Martin Lawrence has never been funnier!" (Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins)
"Hilarious. Funnier than American Pie!" (The To-Do List) "More exciting than The Hunger Games" (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) "More compelling than Saving Private Ryan. Intelligent and inspiring! (The Great Raid) "Stylish, sexy and riveting!...More intense and entertaining than The Departed." (We Own the Night) "A delightful, breathtaking experience that's as wonderful as The Wizard of Oz and as enchanting as E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Magical!" (Peter Pan) "An instant classic like Scarface." (Get Rich or Die Tryin') "If you take the best parts of Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects and The Professional, this is what you get. The best thriller of the year." (Lucky Number Slevin) "P2 does to parking garages what Psycho did to taking a shower and what Jaws did to swimming in the ocean." (P2)
"A seriously irresistible romantic comedy! I loved every second of this crazy, sexy and cool flick. You won't see a movie with more style, verve and romance. (Alfie) "It's Superbadder than any comedy this year." (Sex Drive) "A masterpiece destined to become a timeless classic. Uplifting and inspiring. Movies don't get much better than this." (Cinderella Man) "You won't have more fun at any other movie - period." (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle)
"Jaw-dropping. Out of this world action." (Pacific Rim) An adrenaline fueled thrill ride with 5x the action and 5x the excitement. Five times the action, excitement and fun. A non-stop thrill ride! It will make your jaw drop and heart pound. (Fast Five) "Jaw-dropping. Kick-ass 3-D." (Immortals)
"A stunning, high-flying, super-charged blast of fun" (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) "A blast of fun. Total awesomeness." (Men In Black III) "Awesome! A total blast." (Astro Boy) "100% Exciting! Edge-of-your-seat thrill ride that's a total blast." (The Core)
"A scary classic! The most horrifying film of the year. James Wan is the new master of horror." (Insidious: Chapter 2) The best horror movie of the year! (High Tension) One of the scariest movies of the year! (P2) Scary as hell! (Dawn of the Dead) You won't sleep for weeks. Unbelievably scary! (The Strangers) Terrifying and shocking! One of the most suspenseful and truly frightening movies of the year. (Vacancy) Suspenseful and frightening. (The Thing (2011)) A first-rate thriller. Hitchcock would be proud. (Taking Lives)
"Moving and powerful! A new contemporary classic." (Luv) "A powerful film that will truly move you." (Radio) "Powerful and inspiring! Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. soar in the most moving film of the year." (The Soloist) "A masterpiece, absolutely brilliant. One of the most powerful and moving films I've ever seen." (Tsotsi) "Brilliant! A contemporary masterpiece." (Stranger Than Fiction) "An old-fashioned romantic comedy with a cool contemporary vibe!" (The Wedding Date)
"An instant classic! The crowd-pleaser of the year." (The Best Man Holiday) An instant classic." (Charlotte's Web) "It's an instant classic." (Adventureland) "An instant classic! It's visually awesome, totally fun and tremendously entertaining." (Horton Hears a Who) "Profoundly uplifting and utterly provocative. An instant classic like Scarface." (Get Rich or Die Tryin') "Sensational! A total crowd pleaser." (The Karate Kid) "Hotter than July! ATL is an instant classic. A totally off-the-hook crowd pleaser." (ATL) "Outstanding! A completely inspiring, moving and motivating crowd pleaser. Gridiron Gang is a stand up and cheer classic! The Rock has never been better." (Gridiron Gang) "An entertaining crowd-pleaser! The Rock puts the smack down in this adrenaline-pumping, high-octane adventure! Sit back, pass the popcorn and have a good time!" (The Rundown) "It's a soulful and heartwarming crowd-pleaser that will have you laughing, crying and cheering." (This Christmas) "A throw your hands in the air, knee-slapping, gut-busting crowd pleaser!" (Diary of a Mad Black Woman)
"Fun! Fun! Fun! The perfect movie!" (One Direction: This is Us) "The perfect movie for anyone who has ever been in love." (The Vow) "The perfect holiday treat." (Four Christmases) "A perfect 10. The coolest movie of the summer." (Surf's Up) "Pure Bond perfection!" (Skyfall) "Action-packed fun! It's the perfect James Bond experience for kids and teens." (Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker) "Queen Latifah and Common are perfect together." (Just Wright) "Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker are a perfect combo." (Did You Hear About The Morgans?) "Rugrats and the Wild Thornberrys make a winning combination! A perfect team that the entire family will enjoy." (Rugrats Go Wild) "The perfect family movie!" (Nanny McPhee Returns) "Perfect family entertainment!" (Nanny McPhee) "Perfect family entertainment." (Are We Done Yet?) "Perfect for the entire family!" (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days) "A heavenly comedy that's perfect for the entire family!" (Evan Almighty) "A family film that's perfect for everyone. It will have you laughing from beginning to end." (Are We There Yet?) "This comedy is perfect for the entire family! You'll be Kicking and Screaming with laughter from beginning to end." (Kicking and Screaming)
"Spectacular. Thrilling." (Jack the Giant Slayer) "Brilliant. Intense." (After Earth) "Riveting and super intense. Halle Berry is phenomenal." (The Call) Intense and thrilling! (Faster) An intelligent and intense thriller. (1408) A creepy and intense thriller. (The Uninvited) Totally creepy and intense (The Skeleton Key) Intense! It grips you and never lets go. (Lakeview Terrace) An intense...heart-pounding thriller. (Straw Dogs) An intense, adrenaline-pumping, edge-of-your-seat thriller. (Contraband)
"The most exciting thriller of the year. A terrific heist movie." (Now You See Me) "Most refreshing comedy of the year." (Don Jon) "Not only the must-see movie of the summer, it's the film of the year!" (Batman Begins) "The best movie of the year" (The Dark Knight Rises)
"The best film of the year!" (Kill Bill Vol. 1) "The best movie of the year!" (I Am Legend) "One of the best movies of the year." (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I) "One of the best movies of the year!" (Hairspray) "One of the best movies of the year." (The Express) "One of the funniest comedies of the year." (Fred Claus) "The best horror movie of the year!" (High Tension) "Unlock the secret of the best thriller of the year." (The Skeleton Key) "The most thrilling movie of the year!" (Source Code) "The best thriller of the year." (Lucky Number Slevin) "The best action movie of the year." (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) "The most exciting film of the year!" (2012) "The most exciting movie of the year!" (Resident Evil: Extinction) "The first great movie of the year!" (Unknown) "The Surprise of the Year" (Saved!) "The most original film of the year." (Transformers) "The funniest comedy of the year!" (Horrible Bosses) "The funniest movie of the year!" (Dinner for Schmucks) "The funniest movie of the year." (Four Christmases) "You won't see a funnier movie all year!" (Nacho Libre) "The comedy of the year." (Hitch) "The best comedy of the year!" (Barbershop 2: Back In Business) "The craziest comedy of the year!" (Waiting) "The funniest, craziest, wildest comedy of the year." (Are We Done Yet?)
"The wildest, funniest, most hilarious movie of the year." (Little Man) "The funniest comedy of the year. The Wayans brothers have delivered another comedy classic." (White Chicks) "The best romantic comedy of the year!" (Little Black Book) "The best romantic comedy of the year." (A Good Year) "The most romantic movie of the year!" (The Twilight Saga: New Moon) "Sexy, stylish and altogether the coolest movie of the year. "(Twilight) "The coolest movie of the year!" (Be Cool) "The coolest 3D experience of the year!" (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) "The best animated feature of the year!" (Monster House) "The best family film of the year." (Peter Pan) "The most magical movie of the year!" (Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium) "The most magical film of the year." (Charlotte's Web) "The most inspiring movie of the year." (The Help) "The most delightful movie of the year!" (No Reservations) "The feel-good movie of the year." (Kinky Boots) "The feel-good movie of the year!" (Shall We Dance?) "The most moving and memorable film of the year." (United 93) "Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. soar in the most moving film of the year." (The Soloist) "The most powerful movie of the year!" (Get Rich or Die Tryin') "The year's best film. A stunning masterpiece that is destined to become a timeless classic." (Ray)
"The most hilarious sequel ever." (Anchorman 2) "The funniest trilogy ever comes to a glorious end." (The Hangover Part III) "The Funniest Movie Ever!" (Bridesmaids) "Totally hilarious! The funniest, craziest and zaniest teen movie ever." (Fired Up) "A magical experience unlike anything you have ever seen." (Idlewild) "A masterpiece, absolutely brilliant. One of the most powerful and moving films I've ever seen." (Tsotsi) "A true masterpiece. One of the most creative, original and visionary movies ever made." (Where the Wild Things Are) "One of the best sci-fi films ever!" (The Chronicles of Riddick) "One of the coolest movies you'll ever see!" (Stomp the Yard) "One of the coolest vampire movies ever!" (Priest) "Epic! One of the best vampire movies ever." (Twilight) "One of the most epic love stories ever." (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1) "One of the most entertaining, exciting and intense movies ever made." (I Am Legend) "The most dazzling animated feature ever made." (Robots)