The President of the Chicago Film Critics Association (not the picture you see before you) received a fax this week regarding Prince Caspian, the adaptation of the second Narnia book (albeit chronologically the fourth of the seven stories.) This fax informed him that the chairman of the Christian Film & TV Commission (and the editor of Movieguide.org) hails it as “a fantastic epic adventure” and “a very exciting, fantastic epic that re-imagines the book’s story.” I think we all know what “book” he means has been “re-imagined.” And that “he” is Ted Baehr (yes, HIS picture right), whom you may have seen here and there on movie ads or more notably as a subject of ridicule here at Criticwatch. Back in 1988 he was at the forefront of the protests on Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ but now advocates the series where Father Christmas hands over weapons to children to do battle for the kingdom. Solid Christian message, all around, don’t you think?
While the CFCA board is receiving this fax to tell us what others think of the movie, the majority of the membership will not have a chance to see the film until the Wednesday evening (May 14). Christ, even Jesus was given three days to rest before the resurrection. The Sun-Times and Tribune got a look more than a full week earlier. So “hear me now Israel…Aren’t your ways unequal?” (Exekiel 18:25)
Bryan Erdy, after a brief separation from the Disney teat, is back calling Prince Caspian “Even better than the first. Astonishing in the every way.” And that’s just on the TV spots. In the New York Times Sunday he also called it “Extraordinary! Destined to join the original as a classic!” This from the guy who never met a straight-to-video Disney animated sequel he couldn’t blurb (Bambi II, Brother Bear 2, Cinderella III & The Fox and the Hound 2.) Last year National Treasure 2 was “spectacular, exciting fun.” Believe in Jesus or the Lord, our Father, or a talking lion all you want, but by believing in Erdy you’re putting your faith in the guy who said The Game Plan was “one of the funniest movies in years” and that College Road Trip was “the perfect family movie.” Here are some more false Gods put before the nation’s critics singing Narnia’s praises:
“****” Gorman Woodfin, CNN
“Triumphant.” Stephen McGarvey, crosswalk.com
“Brilliant! A captivating adventure that’s thrilling from start to finish. – Mose Persico
“Wildly exciting! Bigger and better, Prince Caspian hits the mark! – Bonnie Laufer
“The must-see film of 2008.” S. Choi - TLN
Psalms says that scorn is for the proud. And I’m damn proud not to be any of these people.
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.