Everyone has a price, and critics are no different. When faced with tough choices, some stand up for what’s right (As game reviewer Frank Provo did, quitting in protest over the rumored firing of a fellow Gamespot critic for refusing to give undeserved positive reviews to advertisers), others sell out to the highest bidder.
Pete Hammond it seems, would be closer to the latter rather than the former. Or that’s what the folks over at EFilmCritic seem to be saying, because I of course would never say such a thing. I don’t have a lawyer. They’ve just awarded the Maxim Magazine critic their “The 2007 Michael Medved Bag of Douche Memorial Award”, a dubious honor given to the critic who they think is the biggest whore on the planet. Apparently Maxim Magazine agrees, because they’ve just fired him. Whoops.
Actually, when I started reading the EFilmCritic article, I was ready to come to the defense of Hammond. I don’t really follow his work (because ironically, only total douches actually read Maxim), but usually when one critic attacks another like this it’s because the attacker is one of those snobby bitches who believes that anybody who liked Transformers isn’t up to their standards. Well EFilmCritic’s Erik Childress may or may not think that, but he does present a pretty damning case against Hammond.
Of the 189 movies Hammond reviewed, he gave positive reviews to 133 of them. The few movies he did assign negative star ratings to, he inexplicably describes in such glowingly positive, quote-worthy terms as “gripping” and “straight from the heart”. Those are his negative reviews folks. And if you recognize Hammond’s name, it’s because he managed to get himself quoted in the advertisements for no fewer than 88 films in 2007. Many of those 88 were movies that he actually gave negative ratings. Ever wonder how they found someone to say something positive about a piece of shit like Premonition? Hi, meet Pete Hammond.
The really sad thing to me here isn’t that Hammond is giving the rest of us a bad reputation, but that almost none of you probably care if he’s a quote whoring douche. Normal moviegoers never bitch about positive reviews, and judging from the comments I see from users on sites like RottenTomatoes, they’d be perfectly happy if every critic in the world was a Pete Hammond. Rather than making the rest of us look bad by giving glowing reviews to awful pieces of crap, in the eyes of the general public Pete Hammond is probably only making the rest of us look better because he’s so positive and open minded. At least I’m pretty sure that’s what my grandma would tell you. Nobody likes a meanie, now do they? Or maybe I’ve just gotten too many death threats for suggesting the pre-emptive burial of Jennifer Lopez’s career in my El Cantante review (a movie which Hammond calls “hot stuff”). That sort of thing can scar you.
Side note: That picture I posted with this story is an actual picture of Pete Hammond. And this folks, is exactly why I don’t plaster my picture up with my articles. Just think about Pete’s poor mother. From now on whenever anyone types the word “whore” into Google Images, his face will be one of the first to appear. I don’t care how much of a douche he is, that’s just not fair.