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The Greatest Quote Whore of All Time Will Make You Laugh, Make You Cry and Make You Think

Photo of Sam Adams By Sam Adams | Criticwire January 3, 2014 at 10:38AM

eFilmCritic regularly "honors" the critics most willing to furnish studios with poster-ready quotes, but this year, one is in a category all his own.
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Critics: Don't be this guy.
Critics: Don't be this guy.

Every year, eFilmCritic's Erik Childress honors so-called "quote whores," movie critics whose principal talent consists of providing -- or lending their name to -- blurbs backing the most rancid of studio product. This year's roster is chockablock with roller-coaster rides and must-see films, proclaimed by such otherwise-unknown figures as Rusty Gatenby of Minneapolis' KSTP-TV and Sixty Second Preview's Jeff Craig. Maria Salas, of Telemundo and Gems Television, can always be relied upon to find a movie like Peeples or A Haunted House "hilarious" or "laugh-out-loud funny," epithets she's attached in past to Scary Movie 4 and Hall Pass.

This year, however, Childress' frequent #1 merited his own article. Shawn Edwards, of Kansas City, Mo.'s Fox 4 News, has topped Childress' list three times before, but this year is different. Childress writes:

Latest developments have not only strengthened his case on the prize, but they have forced us to put the studios on high alert. This is the last year you are going to use Shawn Edwards on your ads. We mean it. He has now become a symbol of your own failings and every time he pops up in a commercial, a newspaper ad or setting foot in one of your advanced junkets you are exposing yourself in the fraud you are helping to perpetrate.

The trouble with quote whores -- and I mean no offense to honest sex workers -- is proving that they're lying through their teeth. Maybe they're just people with terrible taste in movies, who happen to love every rancid nugget of studio offal tossed their way. But Mike McGranahan of Aisle Seat caught Edwards dead to rights, first praising The Hangover III in its trailers -- "The Funniest Trilogy Ever Comes to an End!" (In your face, Kieslowski!) --  and then, on its DVD release, warning, "Avoid it like the plague! The sad demise of a franchise that began with such promise." 

Edwards said he simply changed his mind, but as McGranahan points out, his original review called the movie "not funny" and awarded it 2 popcorn bags out of 5 (The DVD got zero). We'll overlook the repulsive nature of that rating system to focus on the clear dishonesty here. Maybe Edwards did change his mind -- it happens -- but going from "glorious" to "avoid it like the plague" is hard to swallow. In the words of Witness for the Prosecution, Were you lying then, are you lying now, or are you not in fact a chronic and habitual liar?

The other charge McGranahan and Childress muster -- that Edwards told Tyler Perry he liked Alex Cross in an interview and later panned the film -- is hardly of the same magnitude: You can chalk that up to anything from cozy disingenuousness to simple politesse. But Childress has several pages full of quotes to demonstrate that Edwards speaks fluent marketing-ese, dispensing ad-ready quotes like a busted vending machine. And he's plainly had enough. To the major movie studios, he says:

You are all on notice now. Shawn Edwards is Kubrick's Gomer Pyle and we have found his jelly donut for the last time. Anytime his name is mentioned from now on, your marketing department will be called out as well. You are harboring a fugitive in plain sight and it is time he goes into the box forever. He lies on the ads. He lies during interviews. What could you possibly want him for? There is a collection of junket whores just waiting in line to take his place and while not one of them have the genuine critical sense and love of film that every filmmaker and moviegoer alike deserves, the lot of them are only 99.9% full of shit. That definitively makes Shawn Edwards "the worst quote whore of all time." Ever. To date. Yet. And whatever other words he can use that he clearly has no perspective on. Every studio now should have perspective on Shawn Edwards. He is the four-time Peter Travers Quote Whore of the Year. Do not give him the opportunity to make it five.

We'd call that that threat spine-tingling, a real thrill-ride -- the best of the year, in fact.

This article is related to: From the Wire


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