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Criticwatch - Fox Uses The Z-Team - Again!
by Erik Childress

The junket system is broken. Or whatever system is in place that allows tenth-rate hacks to pile on the praise before most journalists and critics of any merit have had a chance to sneak a peek. Criticwatch has only accentuated what most savvy moviegoers were already aware of. Don't screen a movie like Killers for critics before it opens and the studio is putting a vote of "no confidence" in it. Use quote whores in the early ads and commercials and then stick with them into opening weekend and beyond means the marketers could not find anyone of value to praise their film. This is not brain surgery. Yet it's a wonder as to who deserves to be crowned with the monarchy of the indolent - the marketers or the whores they use.

Fox is not having a good June thus far at the box office. Marmaduke failed to draw out those implied talking animal dollars and this weekend The A-Team was doubled up by a bad Karate Kid remake. Now it's hard to blame Fox for trying to show that critics liked their big dog movie. With only ten positive reviews at Rotten Tomatoes it wasn't like they were going to have a load of options. It's easier to question the ten critics who actually liked Marmaduke or the two "critics" found in the ads:

"Terrific. Marmaduke is a treat!" - Patty Spitler, WTHR-TV, Indianapolis
"The perfect family summer comedy." - Joel Amos,

This marked the second weekend in a row that someone from was out in front representing for one of the worst reviewed studio releases of the year. (Sex and the City 2's 16% is just ahead of Killers' 13% and Marmaduke's 10% for the summer.) And it was the second time this year that Joel Amos was their man, having previously called The Back-Up Plan, "the first great romantic comedy of 2010." With Toy Story 3 just a few weeks away at the time, didn't Joel jump the gun a bit on the perfection angle? Or was he just following a longstanding tradition of idiocy?

"A rare film thatís both a great date movie and the perfect family film." (August Rush) - Steve Oldfield
"...the perfect family fantasy film." (Inkheart) Ė Mark S. Allen
"Perfect family comedy." (Herbie: Fully Loaded) - Paul Fischer
"The perfect comedy for moms and daughters!" (Material Girls) Ė Ed Carpenter, The Dove Foundation
I"tís the perfect James Bond experience for kids and teens." (Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker) - Shawn Edwards
"A nearly perfect teen family movie" (What a Girl Wants) - Toni Ruberto (The Buffalo News)
"The perfect family film. Family animation comedy at its best." (Planet 51) - Jim Ferguson
"The perfect summer comedy for the whole family." (A Cinderella Story) - Jim Ferguson
"The perfect family holiday comedy." (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel) - Francine Brokaw, Family Magazine Group

"A perfect family film." (Arctic Tale) - Ben Lyons
"A perfect family film" (Rugrats Go Wild) - Sara Edwards
"The perfect family film." (Marley and Me) - Mark S. Allen
"The perfect family film." - (Daddy Day Care) - Tony Toscano
T"he perfect family film." (The Game Plan) - Greg Russell
"This is the perfect family movie. "(College Road Trip) - Bryan Erdy

"Perfect family fun!" (Bedtime Stories) Ė Rachel Smith, FOX-TV/Las Vegas
"Perfect family entertainment." (Are We Done Yet?) - Shawn Edwards
"Perfect family entertainment! "(Nanny McPhee) - Shawn Edwards
"Perfect family entertainment." (Scooby-Doo: The Mystery Begins) - Pete Hammond

"Perfect for the whole family!" (Evan Almighty) - Sandie Newton
"A heavenly comedy thatís perfect for the entire family!" (Evan Almighty) - Shawn Edwards
"An irresistibly charming comedy for the whole family!" (Mr. Beanís Holiday) - Shawn Edwards
"This comedy is perfect for the entire family!" (Kicking and Screaming) - Shawn Edwards
"A family film that's perfect for everyone." (Are We There Yet?) - Shawn Edwards

On one hand, someone at Fox must be relishing the fact that this is the third year in a row they have produced a "perfect family film" after Marley & Me and The Squeakquel. On the other hand it is lumped in a list with the likes of some of the most untrustworthy reviewers in the business. Which brings us around to The A-Team. If they had a little faith and screened it earlier for critics (like before Tuesday afternoon before opening here in Chicago - many, including myself, liked it) they wouldn't have to use people like this.

"The sexiest fun you'll have this summer!" - Carrie Keagan

---------- "Edge of Darkness will keep you on the edge of your seat."

"A stands for awesome!" - Chris Hewitt

----------"Insanely entertaining" (The Crazies)

"Puts the A back in action! It will totally blow you out of your seat!" - Sandie Newton

----------"A spectacular mind-blowing achievement." (A Christmas Carol)
----------"Transformers will blow your mind."

A total blast. Insane action. The summer's biggest thrill ride. - Jeff Craig

---------- "School of Rock is a total blast."
---------- "A hugely enjoyable knockout of a movie. (The Karate Kid)
---------- "A powerhouse thriller that throbs with action and suspense." (The Book of Eli)
---------- "It throbs with fierce action and suspense." (Firewall)

"The best action film in years! Now it really feels like Summer has begun!" - Pete Hammond

---------- "Spectacular epic moviemaking at its best in the tradition of Gladiator and Braveheart." (Robin Hood)
---------- "Rules over all the others. As big, breathtakingly exciting and relentlessly thrilling as any epic adventure the screen has seen in many years! (King Kong)
---------- "The best action movie since The Bourne Ultimatum. Get ready for the ride of your life. Move over Bourne." (Taken)
---------- "The Bourne Ultimatum is the best action film in decades."
---------- "The heart-stopping, extreme summer action movie of your dreams. The most visually inventive, trailblazing film of its kind in light years." (Wanted)

So what have we learned, people? That a shirtless Bradley Cooper and a couple of smooches makes for the sexiest film of the year according to one Carrie Keagan. (And Mr. T.) Sandie Newton and Chris Hewitt have made it up to "A" in the alphabet. Nobody still knows who Jeff Craig is. And any time we can remind people that Pete Hammond thinks that light years measures time instead of distance, we are going to take it. Because this guy is never going to learn. Hopefully Fox will.

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originally posted: 06/15/10 07:22:44
last updated: 10/04/18 07:05:40
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