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Criticwatch 2004 - The Whores Of The Year!

All Of These Films Got Critic Recommedations In 2004
by Erik Childress

There’s a quote of mine in 2004 that I’m absolutely proud of. No it’s not the one you may be thinking of. That was one I am honored to be attributed to. No, the one I’m referring to is in reference to a Los Angeles Times article that I was interviewed for by John Horn. It focused on the ever-increasing acceptance of somewhat meaningless award shows all searching to influence (or predict) the Oscars, specifically the Broadcast Film Critics Association which Horn accurately assessed that 2/5 of the organization was made up of the “movie junket press” that we keep three eyes on here at Criticwatch. Horn also pointed out that six out of last year’s top ten are members, which proceeds my opening line in his piece, “How can you put any stock in those kind of opinions?”

Turnabout may be fair play. I, myself, took a lot of pride in being quoted on a little movie from Sundance called Garden State. Chunks of my review were rearranged from lengthier sentences and the ad read “Beautiful and funny…Intimate and real” with my name attributed to I was honored not because it was nice to see a major studio recognizing a site such as ours, but that it was for a film that all of us championed from the minute we saw it. I probably would have been embarrassed if it was for a guilty pleasure that I gave a positive nudge to. But I was nevertheless called out by a Chicago “critic” for said quote. He didn’t call me a whore, but claimed it put me on the same playing field as, well, him – a junket guy. It was the only quote of mine in 2004 and it was the film that I eventually named the Best Film of the Year.

“Who do the movie junkets serve first and foremost? They serve the studios, not the public.”

That was another quote of mine from the LA Times article and it sums up what Criticwatch is all about. Roger Ebert may have given more 3-star reviews in 2004 than he did total negative and I’m sure he steered a few people to films they wound up hating. That happens to all of us critics. But those like Ebert, Manohla Dargis and the fine writers at our own aren’t being compromised with free trips, celebrity access and goodie bags. You may not agree with us all the time, but at least you know we believe in what we’re saying and doing our best to offer an intelligent perspective on film that can’t easily be dumbed down to a weak-ass pun or the same regurgitation of words that we offered just the previous week.

Criticwatch uses a formula to compile our Top Ten Whore List. It deals with amount of exposure and the general consensus of the films they are promoting by the esteemed Rotten Tomatoes website which is as fantastic a barometer for critical analysis (print AND online) that you can find. It’s this formula which now brings you The Top Ten Whores of 2004 leading up to the annual recipients of the Kevin Thomas Sloppy Seconds Award and the Peter Travers Whore of the Year.

10. FRED SAXON (FOX-TV) - (7 Quotes)
Freddy Boy only contributed 7 quotes in 2004. Quite a small number compared to others who were in consideration. But it’s the serious rankness of the films he recommended combined with an allegiance to both Paramount and Warner Bros. that has earned him a slot here today. He’s even got off on Paramount’s good side in 2005 by declaring Coach Cartera masterpiece.”

The Perfect Score - Smart and very-hip! A terrific cast!
Against the Ropes – Against the Ropes packs a winning punch. Meg Ryan and Omar Epps deliver knockout performances.
Suspect Zero - A compelling and extraordinary film!
Spongebob Squarepants: The Movie - Spongebob like you've never seen him before!

Starsky & Hutch - Hilarious! Filled with laughs! Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are hysterical in a great buddy comedy.
Troy - A cinematic achievement of magnificent proportions!
Alexander - Terrific! An enormous spectacle!

9. JEFFREY LYONS (WNBC-TV) – (44 Quotes)
Jeffrey Lyons was simply on FIRE in 2004. He was actually on pace to challenge Peter Travers as the most oft-quoted critic after Roger Ebert. And with 44 quotes to his tally he even managed to best perennial sloppy seconds auteur, Kevin Thomas, by a whole 4 quotes. You almost didn’t see a week go by without his name plastered all over something, ANYthing! It’s hard to fault him for jumping on the bandwagon of films like The Aviator, Finding Neverland and Shrek 2 to name a few. But his wealth of exposure combined with some of the following prose earn him the #9 slot.

The Terminal - It's funny, its wise, it's of the year's most enjoyable films.
Danny Deckchair - One of the most delightful films of the year! I loved...absolutely loved Danny Deckchair.
I'm Not Scared - One of the best pictures so far this year!
Finding Neverland - One of the best pictures of the year.
Maria Full of Grace - Astonishing! Destined to be one of the most important films of the year.
Without a Paddle - It's the funniest film of the summer! Outrageous and zany.
Two Brothers - The best family film of the year.
Shrek 2 – Shrek 2 is one of the year’s best. One of the few sequels in movie history to exceed the original.
Teacher’s Pet – One of the wittiest, fast-paced animated films in years!
The Motorcycle Diaries - One of the great films of this, or any year!
Open Water - One of the scariest movies I have ever seen.
Van Helsing - One of the most visually thrilling movies ever made!
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - Sure to be the most thrilling thriller of the fall. This is the most visually exciting adventure saga, it is stunning beyond belief.

After The Sunset - A slick, highly entertaining movie!
Collateral - The most riveting, stunning crime thriller since Heat. It grabs you and never lets you go.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - Sure to be the most thrilling thriller of the fall.
Suspect Zero - Suspect Zero is a powerful thriller...An intense who-done-it!
Kinsey - Intense, intelligent and deeply absorbing...Laura Linney may just be the best American actress of her generation.
Spanglish - A warm and absorbing story, part comedy, part drama from a master filmmaker.
Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself - Absorbing! Tender and touching!
Jersey Girl - A remarkable comeback for Ben Affleck! Tender and touching!

Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius - A dreamlike look at a storybook hero. It will transport you to a more innocent time in a way few movies can.
The Prince and Me - It's an enchanting modern-day Cinderella story that everyone will love
Ella Enchanted - Delightful! Anne Hathaway is enchanting! Ella Enchanted is often hilarious!
Shark Tale - Lots of fun; inventive and enormously entertaining. You and your family will be hooked!
Nola - An enormously entertaining film. Intelligently written, directed and acted.

Two Brothers - I adored it! Fun for the whole family! Superb.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - A must-see movie this weekend!...superb, brilliantly conceived
Spartan - A superb film noir-type thriller
I'm Not Scared - A stunning and superb thriller!
Ned Kelly - Absolutely superb!
De-Lovely - Kevin Kline gives a superb performance as usual. No other actor could have played Cole Porter as convincingly.
Beyond the Sea - A wonderful film! Kevin Spacey gives a superb performance...nothing short of inspired.
Conspiracy of Silence - Extremely powerful & superbly acted.

The Notebook - The performances are so powerful that they will touch you deeply.
The Sea Inside - A wonderful, heartfelt, intelligent, deeply touching movie. Javier Bardem gives one of the best performances of the year.
Being Julia - You'll love this movie! Annette Bening gives one of the finest, most nuanced, intelligent performances of her career.
A Love Song For Bobby Long - John Travolta gives a poignant, intelligent performance

The Aviator - Astonishing!
Touching The Void - An astonishing journey, told in an amazing, almost matter-of-fact style which will leave you wide-eyed. Absolutely incredible!
The Motorcycle Diaries - It is a film I know will stay with me forever.
Easy - This is a smart, sophisticated, and realistic movie about love I won't soon forget.
Eurotrip – Screamingly funny…The Continent may never be the same. Nothing – and I mean NOTHING – is sacred. Its American Pie goes to Europe

8. BONNIE LAUFER (Tribute TV) – (9 Quotes)
Bonnie, Bonnie, Bonnie! I hope Universal and Warner Bros. are treating you very well…oh what am I saying? You pay them back in spades by shilling some of the worst reviewed movies of the year. We saw you get quoted nine times this year and we’ll certainly let you slide calling Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanAn absolutely stunning achievement”. But do you understand what you are doing if someone actually pays attention to you? At an average of $9 per ticket, one person would be down $72 just in single tickets alone. That doesn’t count popcorn, soda, candy and chicken wings nor does it account for recommending such dreck to families like Scooby-Doo 2 and saying that “Kids will have a blast” at Thunderbirds. You should be ashamed of yourself. We know whose gift basket payroll you are on and it’s time you stopped misleading the American public with quotes like these:

The Whole Ten Yards - Non-stop laughs
Alexander - Oliver Stone's most ambitious and passionate project to date. Spectacular and moving performances from an all-star cast!

Two Brothers - A must-see film for the whole family.
Van Helsing - A great way to kick off the summer movie season. One awesome rollercoaster ride.
Wimbledon - Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst are a perfect match. (Hey, it’s about Tennis. That’s wacky. Har-Har-Har-Up Yours!)

7. PAUL FISCHER (Dark Horizons) – (17 Quotes)
Our own Chris Parry only scratched the surface on Fischer when we wrote Hack Journalism at its worst: Paul Fischer kneecaps Ben Affleck. Ask Scott Weinberg about his experience at Sundance this year during a roundtable with James Woods, Evan Rachel Wood and Jane Krakowski. The details are staggering. In years past, he was more of a pesky little annoyance here at Criticwatch, with his greater offenses to the world of entertainment journalism wrapped up purely on the junket interview scene. 2004 saw Paul take a giant leap into the ranks with 17 quotes as only Fischer’s rapier wit could manage.

Spanglish - One of the best films of the year.
King Arthur - Spellbinding! One of the year's best. Unforgettable
Dodgeball: A True Underdog StoryHands down the funniest movie of the year! It will make you laugh till you cry!

De-Lovely - De-Lovely is easily one of the best and most original films of the year.
Harold and Kumar Go To White CastleOne of the funniest, original and most outrageous comedies of the year!
The Final Cut - one of the best and most original films of the year!

Little Black BookThe year's most irresistible romantic comedy! Little Black Book is one of the year's biggest surprises
SawThe year's scariest film!
National Treasure - National Treasure is the year's most entertaining film. The Indiana Jones of the new millennium!

Ladder 49 – Spectacular! Magnificent!
Alexander - Magnificent. Powerful. Colin Farrell is majestic. An Oscar-caliber performance.
De-Lovely - Not only delightful, but simply magnificent.
Mr. 3000 - A total delight from start to finish. Mr. 3000 will leave you exiting the theatre with a huge smile on your face.
The Prince and Me - A total charmer of a film
Spanglish - deliciously funny and sexy as it is warmhearted, real and a total charmer.
Little Black Book – a deliciously funny yet honest, poignant and irresistible romantic comedy.

6. MARK S. ALLEN (KMAX-TV/UPN-TV (Sacramento)) – (19 Quotes)
ZOINKS! Mark S. Allen is like the little leech that won’t go away no matter how many times you burn him. Just when you think he’s gone, he sucks a little more out of the junkets and your wallet with the same ol’ shtick. Good movie or bad, Mark knows just what to say for the free trips and handouts.

Spongebob Squarepants: The Movie - Over the top-under the sea action and non-stop laughs.
The Princess Diaries 2 - Royally entertaining! Funny, fun and fabulous!
The Girl Next Door – This season’s best comedy. Funny and charismatic. Risky Business Meets American Pie
Mean Girls - Fall on the floor funny and the most honest slice of high school since Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Anchorman - Side-splitting, gut-busting laughs. The movie you'll be quoting for the rest of the summer. The funniest movie you'll see this summer!
Raise Your Voice - film yet...

National Treasure - Thrilling and jam-packed with edge-of-your-seat action!
Twisted - Suspense and intrigue beyond your wildest dreams!
The Polar Express - Your heart will soar and you will believe.
Barbershop 2: Back In Business – Off-the-hook laughs…A comedic masterpiece that touches the heart.
The Phantom of the Opera - A masterpiece! Visually breathtaking and stunning in every way.
The Village - Brilliant! A Masterpiece!
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - A masterpiece
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - A masterpiece! An awesome example of movie perfection
Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed - Zoinks, this movie is awesome!
Home on the Range - One of Disney's finest. Awesome for everyone!
A Cinderella Story - Awesome. This is the Cinderella to remember.
The Alamo - This is The Alamo to remember! Oscar-worthy!

5. SHAWN EDWARDS (FOX-TV – Kansas City) - (25 Quotes)
Shawny! How ya doing, pal? Bet you were a little disappointed with your tally in 2004. Only 25? You’re slipping a bit, huh? After all, you had 33 in 2003 when you compared yourself in importance to Roger Ebert. You spread the love to Paramount and Universal with six generous quotes apiece. But don’t fret. February is coming up and that’s Black History Month. I suppose that means we can see you cold pimpin’ Hitch and Diary of a Mad Black Woman no matter how good or bad they may be. You’re a disgrace, Shawny. I know it. My peeps know it. Even your co-workers know it. Your quotes in 2004 only further reveal your bias, not to mention a stunning display of arrogance. We know you want your quotes, Shawny. And studios are still obliging you. But nothing will warm my heart than to hear with a Foreman-like intensity – “DOWN GOES EDWARDS! DOWN GOES EDWARDS!” Then again, you do go down quite often for your quotes, so what am I complaining about.

Against the Ropes – Inspirational!
Along Came Polly – Hysterical!
13 Going On 30 - Audiences are gonna love this movie.
Wimbledon - A grand slam. Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst both serve aces in this charming romantic comedy.

Dawn of the Dead - Scary as hell!
Taking Lives - **** A first-rate thriller. Hitchcock would be proud. An erotic, suspenseful and chillingly scary film.
Suspect Zero - Ben Kingsley is riveting! He delivers a frighteningly chilling performance.

Alfie - **** I loved every second of this crazy, sexy and cool flick. You won't see a movie with more style, verve and romance.
The Perfect Score - ****! The Perfect Score swings with a swagger and maverick-like attitude that made flicks like The Breakfast Club and Risky Business so cool.
Starsky & Hutch – Refreshingly funny, super hip and the coolest flick you’ll see all year! DYN-O-MITE!
Walking Tall - Endlessly enjoyable and a lot of fun! R-O-C-K spells action!

Barbershop 2: Back In BusinessThe best comedy of the year!
White ChicksThe funniest comedy of the year. The Wayans brothers have delivered another comedy classic.
Ray - The year's best film. Jamie Foxx is brilliant. A stunning masterpiece that is destined to become a timeless classic.

Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events - One of the best movies of the year.
Connie & Carla - One of the year's most enjoyable films!
Saved! - The Surprise of the Year
Shall We Dance? - The feel-good movie of the year!
Little Black Book - ****! The best romantic comedy of the year!
The Chronicles of Riddick - One of the best sci-fi films ever! Extraordinary! A true classic not to be missed! Vin Diesel is ecstatically superb.

The Manchurian Candidate - A masterpiece!
Ray - A stunning masterpiece that is destined to become a timeless classic.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse - An explosive masterpiece tailor-made for those who love ultra-cool high energy action!

4. MOSE PERSICO (CFCF-TQS, Canada/Entertainment Spotlight) - (19 Quotes)
Didn’t you learn your lesson years again when you appeared on the Jonathon Brandmeier Radio Show, Mose? Remember when he had you on to talk about how you called Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo “insanely funny”? Did it not sink in that you were being mocked? That you were a joke? Everyone listening to the show did. I certainly did. And boy did we have some fun at your expense. Now, we’re gonna have some more. Paramount and Buena Vista got 11 of your 19 quotes in 2004. It’s hard to take recommendations of Lemony Snicket, Mean Girls, Sky Captain and Miracle seriously when you’re peddling the bottom of their collective barrels.

Twisted - Stylish, with a shocking ending! Twisted keeps you guessing!
Suspect Zero - Gripping and suspenseful! A thriller that shakes you up.

Hellboy - Fiction-packed, funny and unique, this is one hero you'll root for
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - Fabulous, fantastic fun! A new screen hero is born for all the ages.
Home on the Range – A family treat! Inspirational and extremely entertaining
The Princess Diaries 2 - Wonderful! Take your little princess or prince to see this splendid family film!
Thunderbirds - Kids will love it.

Wimbledon - Romance anyone?!! A delightful comedy with plenty of 'love' on and off the courts!!
White Chicks - You'll laugh so hard, it will hurt.
Taxi - A wild comedic ride!

The Day After Tomorrow - What a ride! This is what summer movies are all about!
National Treasure - An exhilarating ride! Action, adventure and plenty of twists!
King Arthur - Visually stunning!
The Village – Insightful, intelligent and creepy!
The Chronicles of Riddick - A terrific science fiction epic! Riddick is here to stay!

3. GREG RUSSELL (WB-TV) - (18 Quotes)
Shawn Edwards should probably be higher for helping introduce you to the lexicon of Whoreville. But this is a just to nip this in the bud right now and frankly your rank recommendations somehow managed to trump even Shawny’s. Your grip on the studio’s tit is so tight it’s about time someone Russelled you away from it. OK, certainly not the best pun in the world, but who on God’s Green Earth (other than maybe Thelma Adams) can top your ridiculous pun-shilling ways. Do you actually talk like this?

Against the Ropes – Meg Ryan and Omar Epps will knock you out
Walking Tall - The Rock hits it big in the non-stop, 4x4 whirling Walking Tall
Man On Fire – Denzel sets the screen on fire in this action-packed adventure.
Van Helsing - It's thrilling, it's chilling, it's spine-tingling! It's fang-tastic!
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story - Two balls up!
Without a Paddle - A white water ride with laughs!
Spongebob Squarepants: The Movie - Spongebob is a big screen adventure that will absorb kids and adults alike!

Seven of your 18 quotes went to Paramount (including Against the Ropes, Without a Paddle and Spongebob). Another four went to your friends at Buena Vista and then you spread the love around a bit more.

Taking Lives - You'll be guessing all the way till the end, and you'll still be wrong.
Suspect Zero - A slick, psychological thriller that will keep you riveted to the final credits.

The Prince and Me - Get swept away in this modern-day fairy tale.
The Chronicles of Riddick - A high-powered adventure! The special effects will blow you away.

Alfie - Devilishly charming! Jude Law is exhilarating as Alfie
Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events - A wickedly delightful tale for the holidays.
Around the World in 80 Days A fantastic adventure for the entire family!
Spanglish - A picture of a true American family.
King Arthur - Exciting, dynamic and entertaining!
Raising Helen - You will love this movie!
America’s Heart and Soul – It makes you want to cheer out loud.

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, the recipient of HollywoodBitchslap’s and eFilmCritic’s 2004 “Kevin Thomas Sloppy Seconds Award” is…

2. JIM FERGUSON (FOX-TV/ KMSB-TV) - (27 Quotes)
Jim was far out in front of Mr. Russell and with a steady stream of 27 quotes. Fergie is also on the Board of Directors for the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Remember them? In 2002, you were one of our illustrious “ones to watch” for 2003. The year after, you made it to #8 on our watch. You began 2004 calling Along Came Polly “a great way to start the new year” and you prattled on for another 26 recommendations, most of them atrocious. Congratulations Jimbo, you’ve come a long way. And its time you get knocked back down to where you came from. Enjoy your moment in the sun.

Against the Ropes – This story has heart and soul.
Friday Night Lights - It explores the heart and soul of being perfect.

Twisted - Twisted will keep you guessing
Suspect Zero - A fascinating thriller with several psychological layers.
The Village - A thought-provoking thriller you don't want to miss.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - A fantastic rollercoaster ride for every generation.
Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events - A remarkable adventure for kids of all ages.
A Cinderella Story - The perfect summer comedy for the whole family. Hilary Duff makes the perfect Cinderella.
The Princess Diaries 2 - This fairytale has it all!
Fat Albert - A holiday treat for the whole family!

Home on the Range - Udderly hilarious
Wimbledon - The perfect match.

Miracle – Magnificent! More than a sports film – it’s a classic!
The Alamo - Magnificent!
Troy - Troy is a masterpiece. Brad Pitt's portrayal of Achilles is magnificent.
Alfie - A magnificent performance! Jude Law is Alfie.

Van Helsing - An incredible movie with great action! Stephen Sommers takes the genre to another level with an amazing vision. Hugh Jackman is a hero for the generations.
I, Robot - Excellent. A summer blockbuster. Outstanding!
Taxi - Explosive fun! You'll love the ride!
The Grudge - If you liked The Ring, you're going to love The Grudge. This one is special.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse - Bigger and better than the original!
Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed - Mystery Inc does it again. This time better than ever
The Day After Tomorrow - Spectacular! Fantastic! Roland Emmerich has done it again!
Around the World in 80 Days - Hilarious! Jackie Chan does it again!
The Village - The creator of The Sixth Sense & Signs has done it again.

But there was one who achieved greater heights of disgrace. A name who has become synonymous with the term “quote whore”. The genuine staple of professional whoredom and the name the industry can’t seem to live without even while many at the studios laugh-at and condemn him. The 2004 “Peter Travers Quote Whore of the Year” is none than….

1. EARL DITTMAN (Wireless Magazine) - (23 Quotes)

People have been asking how we haven’t awarded the Ditt this special prize yet. And I always answer how we only created this particular award last year and 2003 just HAD to go to Access Hollywood’s Clay Smith and his stunning 45-quote tally. And don’t forget that The Ditt has been in the Top 5 since we began Criticwatch. He came out of hiding last February with an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show and just as quickly we wished he would go back under that rock in Texas where “Wireless Magazines” originates. For a state that harbors both Dittman and Harry Knowles, we’ve got more than enough cause to mess with Texas. Earl, you are hereby charged with supplying 14 Quotes to Paramount and Warner Bros. and the only critic since the inception of Criticwatch to make the Top Five for three straight years. You’ve made it to the top of the mountain, Earl. Hopefully the air is very, very thin up there cause clearly you aren’t responding to those at the bottom yelling “JUMP!...JUMP!”

Chasing Liberty – Lovable, sexy and full of charisma, Mandy Moore reveals her knack for comedy. Cool, clever and hilarious!
The Perfect Score - Scarlett Johansson reveals her brilliant comic abilities in The Perfect Score

The Manchurian Candidate - A serious contender for best picture of the year.
Against the Ropes – A true action-packed contender. Gripping and exciting.
Hellboy - One blistering, exhilarating action adventure. You won't want to miss a second of this incredibly fearless motion picture...Hellboy is hot!
Catwoman - 100% pure fun and excitement! Berry's performance is sensational. Catwoman is eye-popping

The Polar Express - It's a remarkable, jaw-dropping acting achievement.
Suspect Zero - …filled with one shocking, jaw-dropping plot twist after another! An expertly-conceived psychological thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat from the moment it lights up the screen to the final flicker of its last frame.
Twisted - ...With one jarring twist after another

Suspect Zero - A chilling, haunting, nail-biting whodunit…
The Forgotten - A haunting supernatural thriller.
Enduring Love - A haunting tale of romance and obsession! The ultimate film seduction!
Taking Lives - Angelina Jolie gives the most emotionally daring and physically seductive performance of her career

Starsky & Hutch - The comedy you've been waiting for
Welcome to Mooseport - Hilarious
Little Black Book - Hilarious.
13 Going On 30 - Hilariously entertaining and irresistibly charming.
Jersey Girl - Utterly entertaining...simply irresistible
Shall We Dance? - Utterly entertaining! Simply enchanting. Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon are extraordinary. Shall We Dance is a dream come true.
Laws of Attraction - The best romantic comedy pairing since Tracy and Hepburn. Funny and delightful!

The Prince and Me – **** A majestically entertaining date movie that will stir your every emotion and ignite your deepest passions. A cool and hip modern-day Cinderella story thats enchanting and regally hilarious.
A Cinderella Story - Wildly witty and furiously funny.
New York Minute - A big-hearted, joke-filled movie treat for the whole family. A slapstick comedy that will turn movie-lovers of all ages into fans.

Or as we like to call them – The Ones To Watch In 2005

LEONARD MALTIN (Hot Ticket/Playboy) – (31 Quotes)
After a #9 ranking in 2003, we thought Lenny was going to hit the Top Five this year after a full 19 Quotes just through May. Seven months and only 12 Quotes later and his worth dropped off. Thank God!

The Incredibles - Like nothing Pixar, or anyone else, has ever done before.
Hidalgo – Hot! A welcome return to high adventure, the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long time.
Intermission - Ferocious, fresh, & funny...a genuine original...a first-rate ensemble!
Mean Girls - A smart, funny film
Seeing Other People - Smart, fresh and funny!...outdoes many of hollywood's big-league attempts to romantic comedy!
Frankie and Johnny Are Married - Fresh and funny. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The kind of movie I live for!

Teacher’s Pet – A hip, fast-paced, funny movie! I give it my HOT vote!
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen – Double HOT!
Home on the Range - Hot! Fun for the whole family
Ella Enchanted - This is my definition of family entertainment! Clever and funny with the kind of contemporary humor that can be enjoyed on several levels. A twist on the classic fairytale. It's a movie parents and kids can enjoy together.
America's Heart and Soul - Hot! A moving collection of stories about all kinds of upbeat movie for the entire family.
Benji: Off The Leash - Surefire family entertainment! I'm giving this movie my HOT vote!

Welcome To Mooseport - Totally Entertaining! The parts fit Romano and Hackman perfectly
The Prince and Me - A cute movie with an appealing cast. Julia Stiles is just right.
The United States of Leland - Daring! A thoughtful, moving film! The cast couldn't be better!
Connie & Carla - Hot! I found this movie, and the two leads - Nia Verdalos and Toni Collette - irresistible. I succumbed to it completely. David Duchovny is absolutely charming as the love interest.
Laws of Attraction - Pierce and Julianne make a great screen couple. Brosnan steps into Cary Grant's shoes with ease!
The Notebook - The kind of passionate, no-holds-barred love story we rarely see on-screen...with great performances by both generations of actors.
Ned Kelly - Double hot! Heath Ledger has charisma and the skill to back it up

Anyone who has seen Stevie on TV, knows that you have to keep one eye on him at all times. Here’s just a little taste.

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed - Fun for the whole family! I loved it.
Little Black Book - Brittany Murphy is a powerhouse talent. Academy Award winners Holly Hunter and Kathy Bates lead a terrific supporting cast.
Suspect Zero - A riveting, first-class film, filled with suspense and tension.

Maria used to be quite a staple in the days before Criticwatch. Maybe she’s finally looking to get back in the game and shoot for that Top Ten. She seems to have a love affair with Universal, labeling two of their films as “the best” or “the greatest.”

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights - Sizzling hot!
Two Brothers - The greatest family adventure of the summer!
America's Heart and Soul - Timeless
A Cinderella Story - Sweet and romantic. A cool modern twist on the classic tale.
The Princess Diaries 2 - This movie rules!
Ladder 49 - Travolta and Phoenix give award-winning performances!
Friday Night Lights - Powerful, compelling, gripping and emotional.
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason - The best romantic comedy of the year!

JIM SVEJDA (KNX/CBS Radio) – (15 Quotes)
Shh-veda hosts a classical music show in Los Angeles. But apparently he knows someone at Buena Vista because this guy accomplished a nearly unprecedented feat as far as director studio whoring goes. Between Walt Disney and Touchstone Pictures, they released 18 films in 2004. Shh-veda provided love to 13 of them. THIRTEEN!!! Other than Harry Potter and Rosenstrasse, each and every quote of his was for a Buena Vista flick, each seemingly better than the last. The words speak for themselves.

Teacher’s Pet – Teacher’s Pet is the year’s first big surprise: a charming, imaginative, laugh-out-loud winner!
Miracle - The year's first great film!
Hidalgo – Magnificent! A film with the look, sweep and heart of a masterpiece.
The Ladykillers - Early candidate for best picture of the year. Tom Hanks' best performance since Forrest Gump
The Alamo - Powerful!
King Arthur - A rip-roaring adventure with action, excitement and energy to burn!
America's Heart and Soul - One of the most inspired movies ever made!
The Village - More gripping than The Sixth Sense. More frightening than Signs.
Mr. 3000 - Hilarious!
The Last Shot - Wonderfully funny, delightfully off-kilter.
Ladder 49 - One of the year's best films! Heroic, heart-wrenching, and utterly inspiring!
National Treasure - The year's best action adventure!
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Hilarious. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou confirms Bill Murray's status as the great comic actor of our time. It's also Wes Anderson's best film to date.

TONY TOSCANO (KJZZ-TV/Talking Pictures) – (15 Quotes)
I’m too tired. Ask Eric Snider about Tony.

Hellboy - Wickedly funny and action-packed - Hellboy delivers a wild time at the movies!
Without a Paddle - Absoutely hysterical! Wildly entertaining.
The Perfect Score – Breakfast Club meets Ocean’s Eleven
Mr. 3000 - Bernie Mac hits one over the fence!
The Village - Chilling!

Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid - A real popcorn movie...One of the few nice surprises of the summer!
13 Going On 30 - A feel good comedy not to be missed. Jennifer Garner shines!
Two Brothers - A magical movie experience, not to be missed. One of the most rewarding films of the year.
Ella Enchanted - The best family film of the year!
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - Spectacular! A family adventure that's action packed, and thrill packed! The best time I've had at the theater all year.
The Last Shot - The funniest film of the year!
Shall We Dance? - The most romantic film of the year!
Spanglish - One of the best films of the year. End the year on a very high note - see Spanglish. (What? With all that greatness he was peddling? How could we end 2004 any higher?)

What do you think of when you consider the term “masterpiece”?

A masterpiece, pure and simple (Million Dollar Baby) – Roger Ebert
This film is a masterpiece! (Undertow) – Roger Ebert
A masterpiece! (When Will I Be Loved) - Roger Ebert
This is a masterpiece. (Closer) – Richard Roeper

****! A masterpiece! (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) – Glenn Kenny
****! A masterpiece! (Dogville) – Glenn Kenny
A masterpiece (Before Sunset) - Peter Rainer, New York Magazine
A masterpiece. (Kinsey) – Rex Reed
A masterpiece! (Hero) – Richard Corliss

A masterpiece! (The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi) – Michael Wilmington
****! A masterpiece. (The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi) - Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News

A hilarious masterpiece! (The Ladykillers) – Dean Richards
A virtual masterpiece. (The Terminal) - Eddy Friedfield, WOR Radio
An absolute masterpiece (The Polar Express) - Sam Hallenbeck

Troy is a masterpiece. (Troy) – Jim Ferguson
***** A masterpiece. (Around the Bend) - Michel Therrien, Le Journal de Montreal
Director Irwin Winkler delivers a masterpiece. (De-Lovely) – Steve Oldfield
An unbridled, mad-love masterpiece! (Love Me If You Dare) - Aaron Gell, W Magazine
A heartfelt little masterpiece (Kitchen Stories) - Bruce Feld, Film Journal
A film with the look, sweep and heart of a masterpiece. (Hidalgo) – Jim Svejda

A masterpiece (Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow) – Mark S. Allen
A masterpiece! (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) – Mark S. Allen
A Masterpiece! (The Village) – Mark S. Allen
A comedic masterpiece that touches the heart. (Barbershop 2: Back In Business) – Mark S. Allen
A masterpiece! (The Phantom of the Opera) – Mark S. Allen
A musical masterpiece! (The Phantom of the Opera) – Clay Smith

A masterpiece! (The Manchurian Candidate) – Shawn Edwards
A stunning masterpiece (Ray) – Shawn Edwards
An explosive masterpiece (Resident Evil: Apocalypse) – Shawn Edwards

Compiled not from the above whores, these quotes represent the worst of the unrepresented and we’d like to keep them that way. It doesn’t mean we aren’t going to embarrass them for some of the dumbest things said or printed in 2004.

25. “Finally, an erotic thriller for grown-ups.” – Playboy (The PG-13 rated Wicker Park)

24. “This film is what dreams are made of.” - Michelle Fizer, FOX-TV (A Cinderella Story)

23. “You'll need a second viewing just to catch all the jokes” - John Patterson, LA Weekly (Welcome to Mooseport)

22. “The spirit of Christmas again lives on!” - Film Advisory Board (Christmas with the Kranks)

21. “… addition to being good-looking with a pumping Foo Fighters rises above recent teen comedies with its substance.” – Allison Benedikt, Chicago Tribune (The Perfect Score)

20. “At last, a romantic comedy that's funny and romantic. Full of wit and wisdom - bravo!” – Ted Baehr, Movieguide (Laws of Attraction)

19. “Not since Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise has one actor’s debut been so auspicious. Matthew Goode is the next big thing.” – Anderson Jones, E! Online (Chasing Liberty)

18. “Halle Berry is the hottest film feline in 40 years.” - Bob Ross, Tampa Tribune (Catwoman)

17. “Marvelously voiced by Bill Murray. So the movie has a one-two punch: It's Garfield funny and it's Bill Murray funny.” - Eleanor Ringel Gillespie (Garfield: The Movie)

16. “Thunderbirds may be the prettiest movie all year.” - Ray Bennett, Daily Southtown (Thunderbirds)

15. “If you're a fan of Hilary Duff, you'll love every minute of Raise Your Voice, because nearly every minute of the film is about her - singing, dancing, and even, maybe just a little bit, falling in love.” - Karen Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Raise Your Voice)

14. “More naked breasts than a Super Bowl halftime show”
– Anonymous (Eurotrip)

13. “You Got Served is a high-octane, hard-to-stay-in-your-seat dance movie." - Lana Wilson-Combs, Scripps Howard (You Got Served)

12. “A ghetoo-licious send off of 1980's Airplane!” – Anonymous (Soul Plane)

11. “A hoot times two. Mary-Kate and Ashley like you've never seen them before.” – Jeanne Wolf, Jeanne Wolf’s Hollywood (New York Minute)

10. “I, Robot is respectful of my father's work. The movie conveys the essence and spirit of his stories. I hope you will all venture out and see the movie.” - Robyn Asimov, daughter of Isaac Asimov (I, Robot)

9. “It’s the deepest Ashley Judd has ventured in years. It’s a great character…The darker the night, the later the hour, and the quieter the moment, the better to watch it.” – Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner (Twisted)

8. “The best film of the year.” - Mike Szymanski, Tribune Media (Alexander)

7. “Not only did the 7-year-old boy inside me have a high old time, so did the 7-year old daughter sitting next to me.” – Ty Burr, The Boston Globe (Thunderbirds)


6. “Two Thumbs Down” - Lisa Howard, McDonald's (Super Size Me)

5. “By far the best comic book based movie I have ever seen!” - Jason Feinberg, E! (The Punisher)

4. “The Surprise Comedy Hit of the Season!” – Mike Sargent, WBAI Radio “Niteshift” (Surviving Christmas)

3. “If you want to raise humane, ethical kids, take them to see this movie.” – Columnist Julia Szabo, New York Post (Benji: Off The Leash)

2. “The egomaniacal young director-producer-writer David O. Russell is a member of the new group of anarchists that includes Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Jonze, freaky Todd Solondz and the dismally overrated non-writer Charlie Kaufman, who wins critical praise for writing incoherent movies about why he can’t write coherent movies.” – Rex Reed (Not on any quote ad, just one of the most idiotic things said by a critic in 2004)

1. “Three Men and a Baby meets Boyz In The Hood!” - Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News (My Baby’s Daddy)

And so we close the whore book on 2004. Peter Travers recorded a record 61 Quotes, only a mere 10 behind Roger Ebert’s total. Kevin Thomas for the first time in Criticwatch history did NOT finish second (usurped by Jeffrey Lyons, Richard Roeper and A.O. Scott) but still managed to put 40 quotes out there. Our 2003 Whore of the Year Clay Smith from Access Hollywood didn’t even make the Top 15. His quotes were cut in half, but is still getting too much dap from the studios as a legit critic.

Criticwatch 2005 will be updating regularly very soon and our 2004 Whore of the Year, Earl “The Ditt” Dittman has already jumped well out in front with 4 quotes on Coach Carter, Racing Stripes, Assault on Precinct 13 and Hide and Seek. If the first four months of the 2005 release schedule are any indication, there could be quite a few whores battling it out for the title. Happy whoring, whores! We’ll be watching.

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originally posted: 02/04/05 09:16:26
last updated: 07/09/05 09:08:15
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