Criticwatch - No Grey Areas On The Whore's Ledge

By Erik Childress
Posted 01/30/12 03:17:39

Criticwatch gets very discouraged when the studios begin a new year with a clean slate and instantly squander it with the same old bullshit. Two years running Shawn Edwards and Joel Amos have been the #1 & #2 Whores of the Year. But, we're getting ahead of ourselves as much as the studio's can't wait to tell us either how bad their films are or how lazy their marketers are in being able to find critics that can be trusted. Even their great stand-by, Peter Travers, is not known to kick into high gear until after the doldrums of the January dump period has been left to the whores who don't even write the blurbs which look oh-so-familiar to anyone who has read any single year-end piece from us. If you have not, please join us once again to show you the worthlessness of these people. And in the case of one moron, clearly not thinking before he chooses his words.....written on a memo for him already.

We'll leave Travers alone for the moment as he is always worthy of his own critical feature. For those keeping track though, 2011 was the lowest amount of quotes from Travers since 2004. Going into March last year he only had three quotes. In one month of 2012, he has the same three. We can start right off the bat then with Shawn Edwards. When we last heard from this joke, he was (according to sources) on a junket-bound bus bragging about how he had bested Mark S. Allen for Whore of the Year again. You stay classy, Shawn.

The movie in question is Joe Carnahan's The Grey, arguably the best wide release of the year so far. Argued perhaps by those who like Haywire more, which currently bests The Grey 81-76% at Rotten Tomatoes at the moment. Edwards' quote in question, funny enough has something in common with the guy he beat, Mark S. Allen, who said that "Liam Neeson is electrifying."

"Electrifying. Liam Neeson has never been better. An epic adventure that will thrill you. A masterpiece!" - Shawn Edwards

Do we need to remind Shawn this is the guy that was nominated for playing Oskar Schindler of all people? No knock on Liam as it certainly is a great performance. But this is a phrase not easily contained by Edwards.

"A completely inspiring, moving and motivating crowd pleaser. 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)

And Edwards is just getting warmed up.

"A true masterpiece. One of the most creative, original and visionary movies ever made." (Where the Wild Things Are)
"A masterpiece, absolutely brilliant. One of the most powerful and moving films I've ever seen. A must-see." (Tsotsi)
"One of the best sci-fi films ever! Extraordinary! A true classic not to be missed! Vin Diesel is ecstatically superb." (The Chronicles of Riddick)
"One of the most entertaining, exciting and intense movies ever made." (I Am Legend)
"The Funniest Movie Ever!" (Bridesmaids)
"The most dazzling animated feature ever made." (Robots)
"Totally hilarious! The funniest, craziest and zaniest teen movie ever." (Fired Up)
"Jennifer is back and better than ever!" (The Back-Up Plan)
A magical experience unlike anything you have ever seen." (Idlewild)
"The coolest! Combines romance, action and humor. You've never seen anything like it before!" (Mr. & Mrs. Smith)
"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. Sexy, stylish and altogether the coolest movie of the year." (Twilight)
"Stylish and completely romantic! One of the most epic love stories ever." (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1)

And we bring it back full circle to Edwards' idea of "epic." That's right, boys and girls. It's The Twilight Saga. Does The Grey need to be associated with his sense of what is "epic" anymore than what is "electrifying?"

"An electrifying cinematic achievement!" (American Gangster)
"Electrifying! The most exhilarating movie of this year! Eagle Eye is an action packed thrill ride that puts the pedal to the metal." (Eagle Eye)
"Thrilling! DMX and Jet Li are electrifying in this fact paced nonstop action flick" (Cradle 2 the Grave)

Bet you forgot that movie even existed. Or that there was ever an rapper-turned-actor named DMX. Never put it past Edwards to put race first in what he qualifies as four-star cinema. If it was his goal to exclusively prime audiences for the best in black cinema, so be it. (I would recommend Shadow & Act to see writers doing a far greater job at that.) But his crusade is disingenuous at best if the best movies of 2011 & 2010 were The Help and Night Catches Us, especially if he can casually throw out terms like "masterpiece" and then only rank said film at #8. Granted, he threw the latest Big Momma's House and Tyler Perry Madea films on the heap of the year's worst. Over the years though...

"A throw your hands in the air, knee-slapping, gut-busting crowd pleaser!" (Diary of a Mad Black Woman)
"Hysterical! The most enjoyable and entertaining movie of the season." (Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion)

But we are getting sidetracked. The Grey is "a masterpiece" according to Shawn. Great, expect to see that on your Best of list for 2012. Did all of these receive such a spot?

"A masterpiece!" (Crash)
"A masterpiece!" (The Manchurian Candidate)
"A masterpiece, absolutely brilliant. One of the most powerful and moving films I've ever seen. A must-see." (Tsotsi)
"A true masterpiece." (Where the Wild Things Are)
"A true masterpiece! ***** The Beaver is a crowning achievement in American cinema." (The Beaver)
"A truly haunting and mesmerizing masterpiece!" (Let Me In)
"A modern-day masterpiece. One of the best films of the year!" (American Gangster)
"**** Brilliant! A contemporary masterpiece. (Stranger Than Fiction)
"A 100% certified masterpiece." (Sin City)
"An undeniable masterpiece!" (Grindhouse)
"An ultra-cool masterpiece! The best film of the year!" (Kill Bill Vol. 1)
"An explosive masterpiece tailor-made for those who love ultra-cool high energy action!" (Resident Evil: Apocalypse)
"The year's best film. Jamie Foxx is brilliant. A stunning masterpiece that is destined to become a timeless classic." (Ray)
"A masterpiece destined to become a timeless classic. Uplifting and inspiring. Movies don't get much better than this." (Cinderella Man)


We move on though to Summit's Man On A Ledge.

"A white-knuckle action thriller!" - Mose Persico
"Wow! A white knuckle affair from start to finish!" (Eagle Eye)
"A rock-solid action thriller with plenty of twists to keep you guessing!" (Inside Man)

Is it right exactly to call Spike Lee's film an "action thriller." There really isn't even an "action" sequence in the film unless Mose is just referring to everything that happens once the director calls it out. Maybe any heist movie is an "action thriller" to Persico. Just like more than one movie this week was referred to as "a white knuckle thriller" as US Weekly's Mara Reinstein called The Grey. Let's stay on the Ledge though.

"A heart-pounding adrenaline rush! What a way to kick off the New Year!" - Kevin Steincross
"Get ready for a good scare." (The Roommate)
"The feel-good movie of the Spring." (Arthur)
"A sexy thriller that keeps you guessing every step of the way. The ending will blow you away." (Perfect Stranger)

In 2011, Kevin Steincross kicked off his New Year of whoring by recommending The Roommate, a pathetic excuse of a psycho thriller not screened for critics that just happened to maintain its status as one of the worst reviewed films of the year not named Bucky Larson, Jack & Jill or Abduction. This dipshit can also be seen recommending Underworld Awakening

"Kate Beckinsale is back and fiercer than ever" - Kevin Steincross

Mind you, that film opened a week earlier than Man On A Ledge. So why isn't THAT film the "way to kick off the New Year!" Who cares if he saw Ledge first? Think before you speak, dumbass. We don't need to be guessing until the very last movie about your intentions.

"Clever and suspenseful. Keeps you guessing until the very end." - Greg Russell, Movie Show Plus
"Pacino is excellent... Very suspenseful and thrilling." (88 Minutes)
"Suspenseful and thrilling with an ending you won't see coming." (Orphan)
"You'll be guessing all the way till the end, and you'll still be wrong." (Taking Lives)

How many times does Criticwatch have to say it? If you reach the end of a movie like this and you are still guessing, 95% of the time you are an idiot. Everything you need to discover happens well before the ending. Unless the question one really needs answered is what the hell William Sadler is doing in this film. But the bigger question is - Just how big of a whore is this Joel Amos guy?

Consider the following. On January 23, - where Joel "writes" - they published an "extended preview" of the film four days before it opened. This consisted all of posting a video of the film's trailer, but plugging themselves further.

"Wildly original. Full of twists and turns." - Joel D. Amos

Thanks to Adam Lippe for directing us to this link where the website actually quoted their own blurb given to the studio by Joel Amos, four days before his "review" was published. Amos' review itself is a stroke of incompetence that would get his application laughed out of any critic's group aside from the Broadcast Film Critics Association. But this calls back to what Criticwatch has been right to ask about Peter Travers and Pete Hammond all these years. What comes first? The blurb or the review? Was "wildly original" the first thing that came to Amos' mind? Or did he choose it from the studio's pre-determined list of marketing blurbs? Either way, was he now stuck to make sure he worked it into a review that tries to praise Elizabeth Banks' performance by comparing it to a film that hasn't even been released yet? That is for the whore watchers to decide. Forget the issue of taste as we point out that only The Devil Inside (7%) and One For The Money (4%) are worse-reviewed wide releases in the new year. (Man On A Ledge currently sits at 24%.) Forget whether or not Amos is genuine in his praise of anything he's been blurbed on since 2009. Because calling Man On A Ledge "wildly original" tells you all you need to know about his true faculties as a "critic."

First off, I am not the only one to walk out of the film and make some immediate reference to The Negotiator. Remember that film? It came out not that long ago in 1998. It was also about a cop accused of a crime he didn't commit who is then forced into creating a high-rise standoff with the very police officers who might have had a hand in his framing. Sam Worthington is on a ledge. Samuel L. Jackson takes hostages. Christ, even the actors have the same damn name.

Here's the kicker though. Just a year ago, another film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. It starred Charlie Hunnam as a guy who goes to the top of a building with ulterior motives and has to be talked down by Terrence Howard, a cop who - like Elizabeth Banks - has some personal issues. Do you know what it was called? THE LEDGE. It was released in theaters by IFC Films in July, a month after it was playing On Demand. Even if Joel Amos did not see the film, as a professional film critic does he not, at least, have a responsibility to know it existed. Six months ago, for God's sake. Calling Man On A Ledge "wildly original" goes beyond simple logistics and taste. It is like Shawn Edwards calling Bridesmaids "the funniest movie ever!" only to turn around two months later and say that Horrible Bosses was "the funniest movie of the year." (Only Bridesmaids made his best-of list at #10.) It goes against the very being of what responsible film critics and true film lovers carry in the back of their head every day. Actual knowledge about film and accountability for what they say. It is about time studios started taking advantage of that knowledge and stop using jackasses who offer and choose cheap hyperbole like Shawn Edwards and Joel Amos.

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