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Criticwatch - The Quote Whore (Runners-Up) of 2014
by Erik Childress

It is that time of year again. Time to run down the year in movie ad quotes and, more importantly, who is responsible for them. Since we don't have the names of the studio reps who write a number of them, we have to look elsewhere to the junketeers all too happy to take credit. There was a lot of competition for the Top Ten list this year. So close in fact that we really did not want to misplace anyone who deserves a little singling out for their quote-filled efforts in 2014. In lieu of the "ones to watch" that we have done in previous years, we are offering a runners-up list of those who were ever-so-close of having the Criticwatch ranking on their resume. The top ten list will be arriving shortly, but until then a little appetizer of the Quote Whore Runners-Up of 2014.

(6 Quotes. 3 Rotten Tomatoes. 1 Under 30%)
Bill got off to a solid start in 2014. So solid that he looked like he could be a threat to mount a serious challenge for a top five finish. Things calmed down after March and after getting his name attached to a few very well-received films, he began dropping down the list quick. However, this is a perfect opportunity to show the difference between the belief that Criticwatch is all about mandating taste and how critical perspective is not a power that the reviewers on our list possess. Sure we love to point out that these folk are generally found on the dregs of cinema's universe but it is mainly to emphasize the warped connection between hyperbolized advertising of an inferior product and those who don't use words for a living. At least not in the visual review sense. Bregoli epitomizes that, even overemphasizing good films that has the consensus even going "whoa, scale it back buddy." Maybe that should be the new slogan for Criticwatch. While we decide something that looks snappy on an ad, let us begin by looking over why Bill Bregoli made the runners-up list this year.

"The year's first must see movie." (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit)
"The year's first must see movie!" (The Notorious Bettie Page)
"The first must-see movie of the year." (Unknown)

"Witty. Wonderful." (The Fault In Our Stars)
"Wry, witty and irresistible! More terrific performances than any other film this year." (Matchstick Men)
"Scathingly funny & witty!" (The Nanny Diaries)

"A howling good time. The Dogfather of all comedies." (Mr. Peabody & Sherman)
"Action! Thrills! Feathered fun for the whole family!" (Valiant)
"Four-footed fun for kids and adults." (Racing Stripes)
"The year's funniest movie! Grown-up or cub, two feet or four - you'll howl with delight!" (Madagascar)
"Howlingly funny." (Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit)

"Reinvents the epic. Christian Bale is bold and brilliant! A human story on an epic scale. Witness a hero's inspirational journey that changed the world." (Exodus: Gods and Kings)
"Memorable and moving. A timeless story brilliantly told." (The Book Thief)
"A bold new breed of action film. Bruce Willis' best performance in years. (Tears of the Sun)

"A 3D spectacular not to be missed. Bigger, bolder and badder." (300: Rise of an Empire)
"You won't want to miss Nights In Rodanthe. It will make you want to fall in love." (Nights in Rodanthe)
"A big summer adventure as only Michael Bay can do it!" (The Island)
"The biggest jaw-dropper since The Sixth Sense" (The Forgotten)

"The funniest sequel ever made." (22 Jump Street)
"They did it again...all the charm and wit of the first Shrek plus wonderful new characters and hilarious gags." (Shrek 2)
"An eye-popping, jaw-dropping adventure! Better than the original!" (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life)
"Better, scarier, more intense than the first." (The Ring Two)
"Even blonder than the first." (Legally Blonde 2)
"One of the best screen pairings ever!" (Rush Hour 3)

(4 Quotes. 3 Rotten Tomatoes. 2 Under 30%)
Two-time top ten finished (2007 & 2008) was absent from the Criticwatch scene from 2011-13. Literally. We did not see or find any quotes from him. Health-wise we hope he was OK but professionally we were hoping he would not return. Yet he did in 2014 with four quotes; three of them for Sony's Tri-Star division of all places with an average score of 31%. The only "fresh" film that Steve was quoted on this year was for Open Road's Kill the Messenger, a film so forgotten by even the studio that Academy members never got screeners of it for awards consideration. Nevertheless...

"****. One of the best films of the year. Jeremy Renner delivers an Oscar-caliber performance. Smartly directed. A must-see movie." (Kill the Messenger)
"****! One of the best films of the year." (The Pursuit of Happyness)
"One of the year's best films." (We Are Marshall)
"The funniest film of the year!" (School for Scoundrels)
"One of the year's best films. An Oscar-worthy effort, brilliantly directed by Rob Marshall." (Memoirs of a Geisha)
"Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo give Oscar-caliber performances." (Reservation Road)
"****! I loved this film! Brilliantly acted! Masterfully directed, from the stunning cinematography to the hypnotic Oscar-caliber score!" (Evening)

"Perfectly captures the spirit of the book." (Heaven Is For Real)
"Out of this world! Every bit as smart and funny as the book that inspired it! (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
"Amy Adams gives a perfect performance!" (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day)
"A rare film that's both a great date movie and the perfect family film." (August Rush)
"Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell are perfect together." (Bewitched)
"Brilliant. Perfect. Director Irwin Winkler delivers a masterpiece." (De-Lovely)

"It's Hoosiers meets Friday Night Lights" (When the Game Stands Tall)
"This year's Bourne Ultimatum." (Traitor)
"Very cool! in the spirit of Seven and all the other great, creepy, intense movies." (Untraceable)
"A winner! More than just a great sports movie? It's a terrific family film!" (Invincible)
"Whether you love NASCAR or have never seen a race, this movie's for you!" (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby)

"Explosive. Powerhouse." (Pompeii)
"Explosive! Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo give Oscar-caliber performances." (Reservation Road)
"An intense captivating film. Chris Cooper and Ryan Phillippe give powerhouse performances." (Breach)
"A smart, compelling film with powerhouse performances." (Black Snake Moan)
"Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker give powerhouse performances." (Street Kings)
"Powerhouse performances!" (Georgia Rule)
"Brittany Murphy is a powerhouse talent." (Little Black Book)

If you are wondering, he also gave four stars to Flyboys. That's right, the Franco one where he got the prop gun for This is the End. May this be the end of quotes from Oldfield.

(5 Quotes. 4 Rotten Tomatoes. 1 Under 15%)
We have a newbie to Criticwatch. To the list anyway. And we're worried that he may be making the leap into the Top Ten sooner than later. Getting his first quote on Pacific Rim ("Amazing") in 2013 was not that big a deal. On the other hand, though it was fairly well-received we have to wonder the veracity of anyone quoted in singulars by Warner Bros. Did we have another WB loyalist on our hands? Not just yet as he switched to Disney for his second quote, calling the Vince Vaughn film, Delivery Man, " My favorite surprise of the year!" It may not be the worst-reviewed Vaughn flick at Rotten Tomatoes (that distinction belongs to Couples Retreat) it is still a pretty rank film. Personal feelings aside, its nice to have an ally on Zach Braff's Wish I Was Here where Scott said "Hilarious, heartwarming and inspiring! Perfect performances by Braff, Hudson, Patinkin, King and Gad," he did make the transition to joining the cadre of Warner Bros. go-to people.

"Honest, exact and riveting." (Godzilla)
"A true classic. A riveting story with layers of deep characters, heartbreak and laughs." (The Judge)
"They're back and even crazier." (Horrible Bosses 2)
"Awesome" (Blended)

Wow! You take Godzilla out of the equation and he may have made the top ten this year. Including him on ads like that may give him credibility in the minds of the studios. Or astute observers could just look at him and believe he certainly has a type given quotes for both Godzilla and Pacific Rim. But it gets uglier from there and anyone who goes from praising Godzilla to calling Adam Sandler's Blended "awesome" in the span of a single week earns not a shred of credibility.

12. NANCY JAY (Daybreak USA)
(6 Quotes. 4 Rotten Tomatoes. 2 Under 25%)
After being quoted five times between 2009-12, Nancy really upped her quoting in 2003 with a full eight. Junketeers and "entertainment reporters" have made the Top Ten with less, but we wanted to see where this was going. Warner Bros. was generous enough to quote her on Gravity, The Conjuring and Hobbit 2 making it harder to question her hyperbolized one-offs. In 2014, WB felt she had earned the reputation to sell their crappy films as well.

"Jaw-dropping. An instant classic." (Godzilla)
"An instant classic." (Dark Shadows)

"Genuine. Perfect." (Blended)
"The perfect film" (Star Trek)

Once again we find another quote whore going from Godzilla to Blended in just a few days. Gareth Edwards can't feel too good about someone calling his film "an instant classic" one week and then calling an Adam Sandler film "perfect" the next. With only 19 quotes to her credit to date, Criticwatch does not the fullest of archives to compare and contrast her trumped-up adjectives with the rest of her 2014 quotes...

"Pure entertainment. Costner at his best." (Draft Day)
"Melissa McCarthy does it again." (Tammy)
"My favorite film this year!" (Wish I Was Here)
"This is one of the best movies of the year." (This Is Where I Leave You) we'll just give you the rest of them to date. If 2015 and beyond is anything like 2013-14, Nancy is going to give us that Jay archive soon enough.

"More thrilling and powerful than the first." (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug)
"Anchorman 2 delivers." (Anchorman 2)
"Filmmaking will never be the same." (Gravity)
"Epic fun" (The Lone Ranger)
"Scary fun." (The Conjuring)
"The first summer blockbuster has arrived. An absolute blast" (Olympus Has Fallen)
"Amazing" (The Fighter)
"Stellar cast. Legendary matchup. Sensational. A blast. Packs a punch." (Grudge Match)
"Gut-wrenching action." (Taken 2)
"Non-stop fantasy action." (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters)
"Dark of the Moon delivers. It's bigger, better, badder. This is the one you've been waiting for. Absolutely mind blowing! This is what going to the movies is all about!" (Transformers: Dark of the Moon)

(3 Quotes. 3 Rotten Tomatoes. 2 Under 25%)
Mr. Sargent will always have a place at Criticwatch when he basically admitted on Inside Edition that he has given quotes for a film he had not seen. A mere 3 quotes in 2014 is normally not enough to qualify for our year-end list, but when they come on films rated 35%, 23% and 16%, your score is going to add up. They may have even been good enough to crack the top ten, but alas Mike might just be a runner-up, but he is the first loser. See if you believe these films deserved such a response and why quotes like these mean less and less with each passing year from guys like Sargent.

"Action packed...and chock full of surprises!" (The November Man)
"Hilarious! Engaging, funny and full of surprises." (City Island)
"Spectacular...Packs more entertainment in two hours than any three films you'll see this summer." (White House Down)
"Laugh-out-loud funny and refreshingly smart. The perfect way to start the summer!" (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past)
"The most fun you'll have this summer! Sharp dialog, fantastic car chases and colorful characters (Hollywood Homicide)
"The most fun you'll have at the movies this summer!" (Shorts)

"Romantic and unforgettable! Hauntingly real and emotionally charged." (Third Person)
(1) "Unforgettable. Mesmerizing. Brilliant." (2) "Gritty, powerful and unforgettable." (Brooklyn's Finest)
"The best romantic comedy since When Harry Met Sally." (Must Love Dogs)
"The best family fun since the original Home Alone" (Are We There Yet?)
"The best use of 3-D since Avatar." (Wrath of the Titans)

"Like fine wine, Keaton, Douglas and Reiner just get better over time." (And So It Goes)
"A remake of the Coen Bros. Blood Simple that completely works. Smart, funny and enormously entertaining. Quite possibly the best remake or re-imagining ever done." (A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop)
"An instant classic. Eastwood, Adams and Timberlake are all at the top of their game." (Trouble with the Curve)
"Forbidden Kingdom is pure entertainment! Jackie Chan and Jet Li are at the top of their game!" "The best martial arts epic ever! (The Forbidden Kingdom)
"Pure entertainment with Stallone and Schwarzenegger, the two best action heroes of all time! A true team up of the best action heroes of all time! This is the film Stallone Schwarzenegger fans have been waiting for!" (Escape Plan)
"This is what Star Wars fans have been waiting for." (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

And we have what you are waiting for soon - The Top Ten Quote Whores of 2014!

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originally posted: 12/31/14 03:22:38
last updated: 12/31/14 03:36:07
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