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Criticwatch - Twilight: A Quote Whore Saga

by Erik Childress

Our long national nightmare is almost over. The final film in The Twilight Saga hits theaters this weekend and is destined to be forgotten as anything but a box office phenomenon that got some bored women funny in the pants. Most of them have moved on from vampires to even less Grey-matter stimulating S&M. We can laugh at that Zalman King relic when it hits theaters and cry if Kristen Stewart gets cast, but right now we're going to do our own retrospective on the adapted franchise that set back vampires, horror, romance, storytelling, narrative, acting and the morals of teenage girls back a few centuries. For a series of films that has produced not a single positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes, the level of grandiose hyperbole on the part of the junket whores is pretty historic. And it is time to put their thoughts into the grave once and for all too.

Before we get to them though it is only fair that we put the Twilight series into a little bit of perspective. While I have gone on record as calling it the worst franchise of films that has ever disgraced the silver screen even I was shocked that the reviews, while bad, were not quite as bottom-feeding as I would have imagined. In the recent history of trilogies and franchises, here are the ones that have averaged out to a positive rating:

Lord of the Rings (94%), The Dark Knight (88.66%), Harry Potter (84.87%), James Bond/Daniel Craig (83.66%), Spider-Man (79.5%), Bourne (78.5%), X-Men (70.2%), Shrek (69%), Star Wars Episodes 1-3 (68%), Madagascar (65.66%), Scream (64.5%), James Bond/Pierce Brosnan (61.75%)

And here are the ones that register as negative:

Spy Kids (58.75%), Paranormal Activity (58.5%), Ice Age (54.25%), Pirates of the Caribbean (52.75%), American Pie (52.75%), The Fast and the Furious (45.6%), Twilight (44.75%), Final Destination (43.2%), The Mummy (38.33%), Scary Movie (35.25%), Step Up (33.75%), Saw (26.71%), Resident Evil (26%), Underworld (25.75%)

So in the world of recent critical perspective there are at least seven franchises worse than the little that Twilight has offered. But nobody is (or should) be confusing it with the accomplishments of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter nor what Christopher Nolan did with Batman and what Sam Mendes has currently accomplished with Skyfall. But here we were in 2008, the year of The Dark Knight, looking at the following:

"THE talked-about movie of fall." – CBS News
"See what everybody’s talking about!" - Tony Toscano
"A full-blown pop culture phenomenon." – Gina McIntyre, Los Angeles Times
"Twilight is the event film of the holiday season." – Emily Christianson,
"The most anticipated novel-turned-movie to hit the screen since the Harry Potter franchise." – Sara Frederick, The Miami Herald

It's always nice when the quotes on the ads are as hollow as telling you that the movie is merely in release, right? "IT'S FINALLY HERE," says Crotchy McButterpants. Sorry to interrupt. Let's get to the real doozys.

"Twilight is the movie to see over and over again." - Earl Dittman
"Intense and powerful." – Kevin McCarthy, CBS Radio
"Robert Pattinson is rebel cool incarnated – the James Dean of the undead." – James Wolcott, Vanity Fair
"The perfect date movie – it will suck you in and rock you to the core. Killer movie!" - Kevin Steincross
"It rekindles the great Hollywood romances." - Richard Corliss
"The most epic romance since Titanic" - Emily Christianson,
"****! Epic! One of the best vampire movies ever. Sexy, stylish and altogether the coolest movie of the year." - Shawn Edwards

Remember Earl Dittman? Don't you miss him? Why can't more of these people take the hint and go away? Starting with Shawn Edwards. This won't be the last time you read his name today. For now we will remind you that 2008 was also the year that a little film called Let the Right One In was making the rounds before Twilight was released. To date the film maintains a 98% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes with a mere 4 negative reviews out of 169. It is genuinely considered one of the best vampire movies of recent years. If not THE best. If not one of the best EVER. If Edwards was really as hip as he purports himself to be, he might have saved such ridiculous hyperbole for that. Back in 2008 I wrote about Edwards' quote:

"EVER! All-time. Top Ten. However you want to slice it, the verbage is unmistakable. There was already one jackass who said this about 30 Days of Freakin’ Night! Equally moronic. Just doing a google search using Shawn’s own words, I came across lists that included:

Nosferatu, Dracula (1932), Horror of Dracula, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Near Dark, Martin, The Hunger, Interview with the Vampire, Fright Night, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Brides of Dracula, Vampire Circus, Vampyr, Daughters of Darkness, Shadow of the Vampire

Hell, you can throw in the Blade films, From Dusk Til Dawn, The Lost Boys, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and Embrace of the Vampire with Alyssa Milano (for purely educational purposes) and Twilight couldn’t hold their reflection without the mirror breaking and slashing its bloodless throat. How many of those films do you think Shawn Edwards has seen? It doesn’t matter. Because the word “ever” is basically a clear path to get your name in the paper and a red flag to how little you know. You want an example of Shawn Edwards’ idea of “EVER?

You can actually read more about that in the May 25 piece "The Worst Shawn Edwards Yet" which includes the additional gem:

"One of the coolest vampire movies ever!" Priest - Shawn Edwards

Let's move on to the second film in the series, New Moon, now branded with the moniker that this is a saga.

"More action. More romance. New Moon delivers a powerful and passionate punch." - Sandie Newton
"The most romantic movie of the year!" - Shawn Edwards
"Look out world - here comes Taylor Lautner." - Steve Oldfield

That last one really is special, ain't it? Probably my favorite on the entire list. Definitely more of a threat than a promise by Oldfield. But there is ol' Shawn Edwards again. Granted, 2009 wasn't exactly the headiest of years for romance with films like (500) Days of Summer, An Education and Up in the Air being more about learning from failed ones than living happily ever after. But c'mon. Anvil!: The Story of Anvil was more romantic than watching drama queen Bella take up extreme sports to satisfy the absence of her main squeeze for about TWO-THIRDS of the damn movie. Do you want more proof that you want to avoid date night advice from Shawn Edwards at all costs?

"**** 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)
"A refreshingly cool, sophisticated and completely romantic film..." (Definitely, Maybe)
"Tremendously funny. An old-fashioned romantic comedy with a cool contemporary vibe! Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney are a flawless match." (The Wedding Date)
"A grand slam. Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst both serve aces in this charming romantic comedy." (Wimbledon)
"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)
"Wonderful! Delightful! Enchanting! Penelope is the most charming and irresistibly romantic movie you'll likely see all year. I loved it." (Penelope)
"The best romantic comedy of the year." (A Good Year)
"****! The best romantic comedy of the year! A qitty, clever and sexy romp that both women and men will find incredibly enjoyable." (Little Black Book)
"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)
"**** One of the best romantic movies in years!" (At Last)

Honestly, I had to look that last title up. Did I miss an Etta James biopic at some point? Nope, but it turns out that the film Shawn Edwards calls "one of the best romantic movies in years" actually maintains a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Only five reviews, sure. But all negative. Even the 68 user ratings on IMDB only register it a 5.2. That is lower than The Ugly Truth, Life As We Know It, 27 Dresses and New Year's Eve - otherwise known as the career of Katherine Heigl. (At Last just barely beat One for the Money and Killers with their equal 5.1 ratings amongst IMDB raters.) Good call, Edwards. Time for an Eclipse.

"*****. Exhilarating!" - Shawn Edwards
"Eclipse delivers." - Thelma Adams
"Epic! More action, more romance, more suspense." - Maria Salas
"Romantic and intense. This saga just keeps getting better and better." - Mose Persico
"A blockbuster rooted in romantic rapture. The best Twilight movie so far!" - Owen Gleiberman
"The best Twilight yet." - Kevin Steincross
"You don't have to be a twi-hard to enjoy Eclipse." - Alynda Wheat

Yeah, you kinda do Alynda. But Twi-tards read People magazine so that's your audience. We shouldn't be surprised that Eclipse got Gleiberman'ed, he being of the opinion that Made of Honor and What Happens In Vegas are superior to Amelie (no, we will never let that go.) He also liked That's My Boy and What To Expect When You're Expecting. No we don't think he is a whore, just has the taste of one who hasn't had a chance to spit yet. Hey, who is that out the top of the list there? Why it's our worst enemy. The only good thing to come of that quote is that he was noted as "Shawn Edward" without the "s" in the ads. Fine, what else is on his list of ultimate exhilaration?

"Electrifying! The most exhilarating movie of this year! An action packed thrill ride that puts the pedal to the metal." (Eagle Eye)
"Exhilarating! Jennifer Aniston sizzles in this terrific thriller." (Derailed)
"Engaging and exhilarating. Brilliant! It's a movie you won't soon forget nor can you easily ignore." (The Kingdom)
"****. Exhilarating. The first great movie of the year!" (Unknown)
"Dynamic. Exhilarating. Exciting. Entertaining. The best movie of the year! One of the most entertaining, exciting and intense movies ever made." (I Am Legend)

We now move onto Breaking Bella's Hymen Part I

"****" - Mose Persico
"A breathless, faithful portrayal." - Alynda Wheat
"One of the best movies of the year. Even better the second time around!" - Greg Russell
"You're in for the most intense, exhilarating ride yet." - Bonnie Laufer
"The best Twilight film yet!" - Mark S. Allen
"Takes the Twilight franchise to the next level. Captivating from the first frame. Romantic, epic and action-packed." - Jennifer Fox, Yahoo! Movies
"Stylish and completely romantic! One of the most epic love stories ever." - Shawn Edwards

For those not keeping track throughout this piece, that makes two quotes each for Mose Persico and Alynda Wheat and a 4-for-4 for Shawn Edwards. Shall we recap those for you in order?

"****! Epic! One of the best vampire movies ever. Sexy, stylish and altogether the coolest movie of the year." - Shawn Edwards
"The most romantic movie of the year!" - Shawn Edwards
"*****. Exhilarating!" - Shawn Edwards
"Stylish and completely romantic! One of the most epic love stories ever." - Shawn Edwards

Even better news around this time - Shawn Edwards is not quoted on the ads. At least not yet. Thanks to those forwarding me his thoughts on Twitter though can see that Edwards just can't help himself. Not to let any cool, hip vampire movie get by him, he slips in the "reviews" this week that one of the most astoundingly incompetently made films of 2012, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a better film than Steven Spielberg's Lincoln. Remember a couple of weeks ago when he lied right to the face of Tyler Perry that he liked Alex Cross - before giving it zero stars and ripping him directly on the air? Watch him call the boring Lincoln "fascinating" in his nterview with Sally Field. Edwards wasn't lucky enough to be chosen for a fifth time to pimp one of the worst film series of all time (not letting that go either). But the quotes on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 are going off with a bloody head-pounding bang.

"The best Twilight ever." - Manny De La Rosa
"Phenomenal. A brilliant love story, loaded with great surprises!" - Mose Persico
"A wild twist ending that will leave you breathless. They've truly saved the best for last." - Chris Parente, KDVR-TV
"A finale that will live forever! Don't miss this movie!" - Chloe Houser, KPDX-TV
"A jaw-dropping end to the cultural phenomenon that changed the world." - Andrew Freund, MySpace

We really don't need to add commentary to this do we? You are all smart enough to either be laughing this off, outraged as all hell or headed to Amazon to replace the keyboard that just broke as you banged your noggin off it. Gleiberman and Kevin Steincross got to call the third film the best of the bunch. Mark S. Allen did it for half of a goddamned movie with the last one. This year the honor goes to Manny De La Rosa. Mose Persico gets his third Twilight quote in a row. Chloe Houser goes against my opening theory by playing into vampire immortality. Thanks for playing but we have no use for you. Chris Parente who called Dark Shadows "Pure fun" for WB and then Rock of Ages "Pure fun" for WB now joins the De La Rosa bandwagon teasing a "wild twist ending" that (A) Oliver Stone already beat them to, (B) destroys the only hope that viewers have in that most of these idiot characters get their heads ripped off and (C) can't possibly live up to the dream that director Bill Condon decided to have Edward & Jacob tell Bella they don't give a damn and then make out like pedophile zoophiliacs. (Cause Edward is old and Jacob is still a teenager. Don't write me letters. That goes double for the furries.)

But Andrew Freund, you of the social media site that nobody but spamming zoophiliacs enjoy anymore, it is time for you to step up to the mike and explain how Twilight changed the world? Did it reverse the polar ice caps? Did it stop global warming, bring peace to the middle east or turn America into one great, big nation of purple? No, it made us dumber. YOU just made us all dumber. We are willing to listen to Elizabeth Olsen make her play for why the faux vampire books she reads in Liberal Arts are fine, passable time-wasters that she recognizes as dumb pleasure. But nobody with that character's brain, nor A brain, would refer to Twilight as some everlasting romance or movie franchise that will stand the test of time. But now it is all over. Done with. Finito. Good riddance. Next - Shawn Edwards.

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originally posted: 11/17/12 11:41:32
last updated: 09/24/18 14:19:23
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