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Criticwatch - Shawn Edwards & Others Joyfully Take You Into The World Of Whoring
by Erik Childress

It did not take long for the studios to break their promises and pay attention to Criticwatch. OK, so they did not make any promises, but we know several insiders that are paying attention and have even thanked us for exposing these practices of so-called "critics" offering up their stale praise in exchange for all sorts of travel, shelter and nourishment. There are few things more disgusting in the film criticism profession than seeing the Broadcast Film Critics Association refer to their awards as the "Critic's Choice" when 60-70% of them are "entertainment reporters" and rampant blurb whores who say less about the craft of film than Jay Leno. This is a satanic pact that studios have entered into with this crowd for too long now and it is time to finally get out of it. But until they do, Criticwatch will continue to expose how they are hurting their own films.

We are going to give the studios January. It does take a come-down period to get off the crack and those who saw Criticwatch's Whore Week this past December had probably already committed to some of these blurbs. Warner Bros., still the most egregious supporter of this brand of criticism, probably had these locked down in November. Or, at least, written up already.

"Laugh out Loud" - Dawn Henderson, The Mungle Show
"Stomp your feet" - Debra Wallace,
"Dance in the aisles." - Holly McClure, Parables Television Network
"Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton are magic." - Cindy Pearlman

That is what we were seeing on the early ads for Joyful Noise, the Queen Latifah/Dolly Parton un-spectacular. Dawn and Debra are newbies. Holly McClure you can find here and there like the female Ted Baehr and Chicago local Cindy Pearlman has given herself over to Warner Bros. entirely - 6 quotes in 2011 all for them on Contagion, Happy Feet Two, J. Edgar, Sherlock Holmes 2, Arthur and Red Riding Hood.

But now it is the day of opening and three of the usual whores have made it onto the newspaper ads.

"Joyful Noise is a reason to celebrate! It will have you dancing in the aisles." - Pete Hammond

"Don't dare miss it! This year's best reason for celebration. It's that rare achievement moviegoers around the world should be deeply thankful for. A richly entertaining and remarkable film that manages to reveal the humanity in all of us." (Joyeux Noel)
"An absolutely hilarious, rousing and joyous celebration that will have you dancing in the aisles and smiling for days. What a movie! A guaranteed cure for the summertime blues. You’ll want to line up and see it again the minute it ends." (Mamma Mia)

Not sure which connection is funnier. Maybe he should have said it is Joyeux Noel, the World War I getting-to-know-your-enemy drama, meets Mamma Mia, the ABBA-inspired baby-daddy debacle. Then we have 2011's #3 Whore of the Year...

"Triumphant! Something to inspire everyone!" - Mark S. Allen

"Fun, funny and entertaining for everyone!" (G-Force)
"One of Disney's finest. Awesome for everyone!" (Home on the Range)
"The best Spy Kids movie yet! Young, old and everyone in-between will love this movie!" (Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over)

If those three films are for everyone then by definition, Joyful Noise, should be for no one. And, of course, what would the new year be without a shout-out from Mr. I-Love-Black-Film himself:

"Dolly Parton is back on the big screen and better than ever in a fresh, funny and truly joyful film! Queen Latifah is fantastic! She delivers a wonderfully joyful performance." - Shawn Edwards

Not once but twice, Shawn "The Help is the best film of 2011" Edwards couldn't think of a word other than the adjective in the very title of the film? This is the same guy who was reportedly boasting last week on a junket bus that he again won Criticwatch's Whore of the Year in 2011. We are not going to bore ourselves tracking down all the title puns this moron has constructed over the years, so we will just start with this.

"Jennifer is back and better than ever!" (The Back-Up Plan)
"Fabulous, fun and fresh!" (The House Bunny)
"A fabulously fresh and totally entertaining battle of the sexes that both women and men will enjoy. Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey are terrific together and sizzle in this knockout of a romantic comedy." (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days)
"A refreshingly cool, sophisticated and completely romantic film..." (Definitely, Maybe)
"Refreshingly funny and heartfelt. Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts will put the biggest smile on your face this summer." (Larry Crowne)
"Refreshingly funny, super hip and the coolest flick you’ll see all year! DYN-O-MITE!" (Starsky & Hutch)
"Awesome! The freshest and funniest comedy in a long time." (Drillbit Taylor)
"The coolest, freshest and sexiest movie about life, love and relationships in years! It's this generation's When Harry Met sally. You'll love this movie." (Friends with Benefits)
"Sexy, fun and fresh! Queen Latifah and Common are perfect together. Just Wright is a soulful romantic classic you'll instantly fall in love with." (Just Wright)
"Queen Latifah is sensational!...Audiences are going to love this movie." (Last Holiday)

And yes, we did say "start." Because Warner Bros. was not the only culprit in the whore wars this week. Just as Universal and Mark Wahlberg "takes us into the world of contraband," Criticwatch takes you into the world of the even more uninspired direction taken by the studio on the eve of their 100th Anniversary celebration.

"Mark Wahlberg is at his best." - Lee Thomas, WJBK-TV/Fox

Lee Thomas keeps threatening to make a name for himself, but in the last two years has only been quoted on Iron Man 2 and 50/50. He does realize that Mark Wahlberg was an Oscar nominee in a Scorsese film right? Not to mention Boogie Nights, The Fighter, hell even The Other Guys. Even Wahlberg would tell you that Contraband is not his best work. Oh, but look who's back and worse than ever.

"Dynamic, intense and satisfying." - Mark S. Allen

"Very hot! Thrilling and totally satisfying!" (Mr. & Mrs. Smith)
"Intelligent! Satisfying! Intense and relentlessly suspenseful!" (Firewall)
"An instant classic. The most unique, intense, satisfying film this year!" (Identity)

How many people felt satisfied after watching Firewall? Raise your hands. That's what I thought. Now, raise your hand if you think Shawn Edwards might be the biggest whore of all time?

"Contraband delivers! An intense, adrenaline-pumping, edge-of-your-seat thriller." - Shawn Edwards

"The Wolfpack delivers again!" (The Hangover Part II)
"Insanely funny! Will Ferrell delivers another winner." (Semi-Pro)
"Pure adrenaline." (Battle: Los Angeles)
"The Rock puts the smack down in this adrenaline-pumping, high-octane adventure!" (The Rundown)
"An adrenaline fueled thrill ride with 5x the action and 5x the excitement. A non-stop thrill ride! "It will make your jaw drop and heart pound." (Fast Five)
"Intense and thrilling!" (Faster)
"An intense...heart-pounding thriller." (Straw Dogs 2011)
"A creepy and intense thriller." (The Uninvited)
"Intelligent and intense." (Vantage Point)
"An intelligent and intense thriller." (1408)
"Unlock the secret of the best thriller of the year. Totally creepy and intense" (The Skeleton Key)
"Intense! It grips you and never lets go." (Lakeview Terrace)
"A terrific thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat!" (The Reaping)
"Stylish, sexy and riveting!...More intense and entertaining than The Departed." (We Own the Night)
"100% Exciting! Edge-of-your-seat thrill ride that's a total blast." (The Core)
"Phenomenal! A first-rate edge-of-your-seat thriller loaded with suspense, whiz-bang action and creepy excitement" (Dreamcatcher)
"Dynamic. Exhilarating. Exciting. Entertaining. The best movie of the year! One of the most entertaining, exciting and intense movies ever made." (I Am Legend)

So if We Own The Night is more intense and entertaining than The Departed, then perhaps Contraband IS Mark Wahlberg at his best. It's like these whores work together, sharing the same brain, or at least the same pages of pre-written quotes or press notes that they can coin a phrase from. Is it sinking in yet studio publicists? Allow us to spell it out very simply for you. What good does it do to use Shawn Edwards saying that Bridesmaids is "The funniest movie ever" when TWO MONTHS later he is calling Horrible Bosses "The funniest movie of the year." Either this dipshit does not understand the concept of "ever" or you do not understand that Shawn Edwards doesn't give a shit about your movie. He doesn't. He is in this for one thing and one thing only - his own sense of importance and fame. If that is OK with you, then Criticwatch will continue to point out how you are in bed with the devil.

Speaking of which, we cannot go away this week without mentioning the following. When friend, colleague and all-around horror film supporter, Scott Weinberg, asked me on Twitter who was responsible for calling The Devil Inside, "an instant horror classic," I had to plead ignorance. Had not seen any newspaper ads nor any updated commercials with the surprise hit last weekend that Paramount chose not to screen for critics. With good reason as it turns out. Scott insisted it was out there though and it took one brief combo search on Yahoo to come up with the answer. Using this link, I found the following on a Paramount website:

Forget about the horror fanboys on there. You can expect that usually with even the worst horror dreck out there. Last year's Creature got positive quotes, for God's sake. But look at the first two quotes. That is #10 finishing Rick Florino and two-time finishing runner-up Whore of the Year, Joel Amos. These are two whores that have popped up since 2009 and are pretty freakin' shameless. You have to understand about The Devil Inside that this is a film that is being booed throughout the country. It received an "F" on Cinemascore. Priest got a C+. The Roommate and Red Riding Hood got a B-. The Arthur remake got a "B". BEASTLY got a B+. It would not be shocking if Paramount changed the marketing to say "see the ending that everyone is talking about" (and hates with a blinding passion.) And yet here are these two morons, Florino and Amos, not just saying its good (when 94% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes say otherwise), but saying it deserves placement in the lexicon of the great horror films.

Please go back to The 2011 Whores of the Year piece to see why Joel Amos is ranked as the second biggest whore on the market after Shawn Edwards. You will notice Rick Florino there at #10 if for no other reason than calling The Hangover Part II as the "BEST SEQUEL EVER!" We will leave you with a sampling of the 20 quotes that Florino has given us in the past three years. And when you get to the last one, do not forget that he is also on record as saying that The Devil Inside is "one of the best horror flicks this decade"

"Hilarious. The best way to kick off the summer! Fun for the whole family." (Imagine That)
"The perfect film to ignite 2011!" (I Am Number Four)
"Explosive" (The Losers)
"A hyper-charged, high octane thrill ride locked and loaded with engaging performances and explosive action!" (The Mechanic)
"Explosive. It will blow your mind." (Sucker Punch)
"It's breathtaking." (Clash of the Titans)
"You'll want to see it again and again." (You Again)
"Raw, raunchy and wretchedly hilarious" (The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard)
"Endearing, engaging and enchanting. One of the year's most unforgettable films." (Flipped)
"One of the funniest movies of 2010." (Lottery Ticket)
"The funniest film of 2010. A new comedy classic." (Due Date)
"The year's best adventure." (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows)
"The best X-Men yet." (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
"Best sequel ever. Raucous." (The Hangover Part II)
"The scariest movie since The Exorcist!" (The Haunting in Connecticut)

Rick Florino, ladies and gentlemen.

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originally posted: 01/14/12 04:34:18
last updated: 01/14/12 04:40:23
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