There are few things I enjoy more than a scathing movie review. One of my favorites was when Ebert was discussing a movie (I forget which), and he stated that (paraphrased) “This movie was so bad that Gene walked out halfway through. I stayed til the end, but I wish I had left with Gene.” At any rate, this review is pretty funny:
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie look like they had a terrific time making “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”
The New Yorker review of Star Wars III, no question.
The general opinion of
Dammit, that one looked funny.
Ebert’s review of North is, to my mind, the best scathing review I’ve run across.
Near the end he comments:
“I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.”
I always like this review of Koyaanisqatsi from the Time Out Film Guide:
“A wildly charitable viewer might describe this as an ecological documentary. Less than 90 minutes transport us from the primordial cuteness of the American South-West (a Good Thing) to the squalor of a Manhattan rush hour (a Bad Thing); and in case you still don’t get the message, there’s plenty of time-lapse photography to make people look like machines, and an apocalyptic score by Philip Glass to tell you off for daring to find visual pleasure in New York’s skyline. At once maudlin and doggedly sarcastic, the film gives you the uncomfortable sensation of being condescended to by an idiot; it is, transparently, a product of the advanced technology it purports to despise. The title, by the way, is pilfered from the Hopi tongue and means ‘vacuous hippy’.”
Ebert’s initial review of “Brown Bunny” was pretty funny and inspired an entertaining feud with Vincent Gallo.
You will find some really good ones over at Movies Worth Watching – http://moviesworthwatching.com/ – written by Alan Trustman, the screenplay author of The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, The Call Me Mr. Tibbs. He knows his stuff and pulls no punches.
Not a movie, but Iain Banks’ novel “The Wasp Factory” has a bunch of blurbs on the cover – many of which are highly negative.
“As a piece of writing, The Wasp Factory soars to the level of mediocrity. Maybe the crassly explicit language, the obscenity of the plot, were thought to strike an agreeably avant-garde note…. Perhaps it is all a joke, meant to fool literary London into respect for rubbish.” – London Times
“A repulsive piece of work and will therefore be widely admired. Piles horror upon horror in a way that is certain to satisfy those readers who subscribe to the currently fashionable notion that Man is Vile.” – Evening Standard
But also a number of positive reviews such as:
“A Gothic horror story of quite exceptional quality… This is an outstandingly good read.” -Financial Times
Hope you won’t mind a fictitious one. My all-time favorite, and I think of it often enough for real films.
From Bloom County, circa 1983 or 1984. Opus writes:
“George Phblat’s new film, ‘Benji Saves the Universe’ has brought the word ‘bad’ to new levels of badness. Bad acting. Bad effects. Bad everything. This bad film just oozed rottenness from every bad scene. Simply bad beyond all infinite dimensions of possible badness.
“Well, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but Lord it wasn’t good.”
Bloom County rocks!
I really enjoyed James Lilek’s free-association review of Star Wars III.
“I love Yoda. I really do. Especially when he gets that mean look. Even though he reminds me of a cranky old man who finds his favorite stool at Denny’s is occupied by some high schoolers.”
More props to JPS. Thank you for posting that! Phblat!
Oh, the Filthy Critic has your fix, you betcha. Random review:
Just browse the archives.
Ebert: “Mad Dog Time” is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time.
“‘No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad,’ Roger Ebert once wrote, and apparently somebody took that as a challenge. (You know a movie’s in big trouble when its high point is a cameo appearance by Michael Bolton.)” – Mike D’Angelo on Snow Dogs
Guys, guys. How could you forget the Hitchmeister’s take on old lardball?
I don’t remember who wrote the reivew, but when “Battlefield Earth” came out in 2000, someone immediately dubbed it “Worst Movie of the Millenium.”
Not that this movie will be remembered by anyone, but back when Brian Bosworth made his first attempt at “acting” in a movie called “Stone Cold”, the critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer (I’m not exactly sure why they even sent their critic to review a Brian Bosworth movie, but whatever) wrote something like “It was probably less painful for Brian Bosworth to get run over by Bo Jackson that it was for me to sit through this garbage”.
Sticking with the football theme, this wasn’t actually a movie review, but it was a funny line related to movies. A couple years ago, Howie Long was in a pretty bad John Travolta/Christian Slater movie called “Broken Arrow”.
Anyway, on the Fox Pregame show, Howie Long was doing his “All Tough Guy” team, and Steve Wisniewski from the Raiders made it and when he introduced himself he goes “I’m so tough i sat through Broken Arrow…TWICE”.
the friendly grizzly
One of my favorites was about books. I don’t know which one; I don’t remember. But it read something like this: “This is not a book to be casually cast aside. It should be thrown with great force”.
OK This is too easy but I’ll do it anyway:
BBC review of Gigli
“Having your skin flayed by a potato peeler would be less painful.”
I should add my own two-sentence review, of a intl. film-fest flick called Seashore which I saw to please the wife.
Due to traffic we arrived a half-hour late. Later it was clear to me that we’d arrived an hour-and-a-half too early.
She agreed, except with profanity.
If folks are putting books in then I should toss in the worst video game review ever:
The “thrown with great force” book review was from the inimitable Dorothy Parker, who in her time wrote some scathing reviews. She once remarked of Katharine Hepburn “She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.”
A word in defense of “Broken Arrow”: It’s so shamelessly and exuberantly bad, it’s actually wonderful. As PJ O’Rourke described Dr. Ruth’s show, it’s “awful but as compelling as eating Cheez Doodles.”
(I nominate PJ for the upcoming thread on best backhanded praise.)
Walter Chaw taking down Welcome to Mooseport:
“Romano’s a small-screen vampire, and 35mm is his sunlight.”
Sheila O’Malley has a most wonderful collection of snarky “Battlefield Earth” reviews at http://www.sheilaomalley.com/archives/000138.html
Warm me to the marrow, they do.