My good friend Erik Childress runs a year-round column called Criticwatch, and it's there that he hopes to let you know (based only on their own words) which film critics are worthy of your trust ... and which film critics are blatant "quote whores" who do nothing besides blindly shill for the studios' latest offerings, regardless of how unquestionably wretched the movies may be.

The generally-accepted "King of the Hos" is "Wireless Magazine's" mega-mysterious Earl Dittman, but Earl's taken a bit of a holiday over the past few years, which gave Maxim'sPete Hammond the chance to snatch the crown for himself. And snatch he did. Now don't get me wrong; this is not a case of one film critic knocking another film critic for his 'unworthy' taste in cinema, but really: To anyone who pays attention to this sort of thing, Pete Hammond is either A) clearly in Hollywood's pocket, or B) obsessed with seeing his name in newspaper ads. Probably both.

But no more! In a welcome display of good judgment, the powers-that-be over at Maxim have shown Mr. Hammond the door. (According to Radar Online, that is, and I've no reason to doubt the report.) And to those who think I'm being unnecessarily nasty about this situation, just imagine how much money you'd be wasting if you listened to faulty advice like this:

"The most electrifying thriller of the year!" (Hannibal Rising -- Rotten Tomatoes Grade: 15%)
"A gripping psychological thriller that will have you guessing from start to finish." (Premonition -- 8%)
"Hysterically funny!" (Wild Hogs -- 15%)
"Heart-pounding action!" (National Treasure: Book of Secrets -- 33%)
"A must-see movie." (The Number 23 -- 8%)
"Gripping and fascinating." (September Dawn -- 14%)
"A great time at the movies for everyone!" (Evan Almighty -- 24%)
"Ben Stiller's funniest film." (The Heartbreak Kid -- 29%)

Sheesh. For a whole lot more from Mr. Hammond (and the rest of the shills), check out Erik's perpetually ongoing coverage over at EFC's Criticwatch. Here's hoping Maxim hires an honest film critic this time around. Trailer blurbs and poster quotes are nice and all ... but so is professionalism, honesty and trust. And don't feel too bad for Pete Hammond. With his gift for blindly ebullient over-praise, he's got a great future as a publicist.
categories Cinematical