I Am Legend was awful.
I mean, even if you go kooky for effects and vampires and the like, you’ve got to admit that watching Will Smith try to emote in this big budget steaming pile is akin to watching 10-year-olds doing Shakespeare. And the creepy God messages? Please.
And don’t even get us started on how the makers of the film took everything in the original story that it was supposedly based on, and either changed it, threw it out, or got it wrong.
Yes, I Am Legend was ass. But, okay, we can begrudgingly comprehend that some people might dig the special effects enough so as to actually have a good time watching the flick. Admittedly, most of those people would be the kind who breathe through their mouths and take their dates to the Sizzler when they want to get all romantic, but whatever - you can’t legislate taste. Or IQ.
But there ought to, however, be a law against Ben Lyons, who was quoted on the I Am Legend print ad as saying that the film was "Unbelievable. Remarkable."
That, in itself, is ridiculous, but Lyin’ Lyons wasn’t content with those - he went for the Brass Ring of Blurbs. He called I Am Legend (and we’re not making this up, kids) "One of the Greatest Movies Ever Made."
Seriously. Look, there’s the ad, over on the right of the page. It’s in big letters on the top.
Not ‘one of the greatest of the month’. Not even ‘one of the greatest of the year’. He’s convinced I Am Legend is ‘one of the greatest movies ever made’. Ever. In history.
Orson Welles was a pussy, because he didn’t make a movie that featured Will Smith hitting on a mannequin in a Blockbuster store. If he had, he would have made one of the GREATEST MOVIES EVER MADE.
Elia Kazan? What did he know? He didn’t have Marlon Brando driving a product placement Ford around the docks, shooting at deer. He never made an action movie in which all the potential problems of the hero are solved if he just listens to God and heads to Vermont for the weekend with some chick he just met.
Cecil B. Demille? He never quite figured out how to stick a gigantic product placement for the Shrek movies in any of his films, so how can they be called classics? He didn’t even have vampires!
No, clearly nobody ever knew what they were doing until I Am Legend came around. The world of cinema must throw out all conventional wisdom and start again, because Ben Lyons - film historian, respected journalist, academic thinker, and renowned student of cinema - has seen every film ever made and has decided that a Will Smith special effects action film is among the very best pieces of cinema that you’ll ever see.
Bow, peasant, because Ben Lyons knows all.
Or… he’s a giant idiot who only got his job at E! because they actively seek boneheaded, airbrushed smiles who’ll nod happily at anything any celebrity ever says like it’s the smartest thing he’s ever heard, while asking such gripping questions as "what was it like to work with the director?" and "what attracted you to the script?"
Ben Lyons: If you see his name on a movie poster, spit on it.
I Am Sam.
Film Title: I Am Legend
Released by: Warner Bros:
Tomatometer: 68% (as of 4 Feb 2008)
Respected Critics Say: "I liked it better when it was called 28 Days Later." - Duane Dudeck
Borderline Quotewhore Sightings: (4)
"Explosive"- Kirk Vanderbeek, Real Detroit Weekly
"Intense" - Bonnie Laufer, Tribute-TV Canada
"Moving" - Gebbad Hall, Reelz Channel
"Stunning." - David Sheehan
Definite Quotewhore Sightings: (4)
"Magnificent." - Earl Dittman
"Unbelievable. Remarkable…" - Ben Lyons
"One of the greatest movies ever made" - Ben Lyons (again!)
"Dynamic. Exhilarating. Exciting. Entertaining." - Shawn Edwards
"One of the best films of the year" - Shawn Edwards (again!)
"Suspenseful. Gripping. Oscar worthy" - Kelli Gillespie, FOX-TV
I Am Legend marches right into the Criticwatch Movie Hall of Shame for this marketing mess o’quotewhore fluffery. Long time whorebag, Shawn Edwards, doesn’t hold back, dishing out the reacharound to his homeboy Will Smith, and Earl Dittman’s usual multi-line floral bouquet goes missing in favor of the less obvious, but no less incorrect, ‘magnificent’.
But it’s E!’s Ben Lyons who really takes the cake here. Not satisfied with two single-word blurbs that would be almost guaranteed a trailer spot, he goes for the big kahuna of pullquotes - the ‘greatest ever’ line - and Warner Bros, not knowing when to stop puffing up their poster, just goes right along with it.
Here’s a tip, Warner Bros marketers; if it’s too much praise, we know we’re being sold a bill of goods. Next time ask Lyin’ Lyons for something a little less obvious.
Apparently Nicole's rack points due east.
Film Title: The Golden Compass
Released by: New Line
Tomatometer: 41% (as of 4 Feb 2008)
Respected critics say: "The worst crime of a film like this is that not only is it retarded, it expects its audience to be retarded as well." - Walter Chaw
Suspected Quotewhore Sightings: (2)
"A stunning epic. State-of-the-art special effects make this gripping odyssey unforgettable." – Jeanne Wolf
"A visual knockout, extremely captivating and a sci-fi feast." – Roger Friedman
Definite Quotewhore Sightings: (2)
"Beyond spectacular! Transports you to an alternate world of jaw-dropping awe and unforgettable adventure." – Pete Hammond
"The Golden Compass takes its place amongst the great fantasy films of all time. In the tradition of The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia" – Ben Lyons
While most press in the country have already seen The Golden Compass thanks to screenings Monday night, or in some cases even earlier than the national sneak preview on Saturday, New Line somehow allowed the majority of the Chicago press to be relegated to a screening as late as this Wednesday evening, way past most print deadlines and up against other necessary screenings that qualify for Chicago Film Critics Association awards. Real smart, though it didn’t seem to stop the Whores of Quotetania from seeing the film early and giving their big fat thumbs up.
While Pete Hammond was picking his jaw up off the floor, Ben Lyons was creaking open the superlative vault with a ridiculous claim that this is among "the greatest fantasy films of all time."
We suspect maybe Ben hasn’t actually seen any other fantasy films, if he honestly thinks that’s the case. Either that or he’s genuinely insane. Or very, very stupid. Like, ‘walking into walls’ stupid.
Either way, New Line gets a mention in the Hall of Shame for using a couple of hacks like Lyin’ Lyons and Pete "the walking erection" Hammond.