Bad movie reviews

The other day the Guardian had a piece about bad movie reviews which featured such barbs: “There are inflatable toys that are livelier than Stone, but how can you tell the difference? Basic Instinct 2 is not an erotic thriller. It’s taxidermy.“ and this one for Striptease: “Not funny enough, or dramatic enough, or sexy enough, or bad enough, to qualify as entertainment in any category.” I had a look on the web and I found some more:



Patch Adams made me want to spray the screen with Lysol. This movie is shameless. It’s not merely a tearjerker. It extracts tears individually by liposuction, without anaesthesia. Roger Ebert, Patch Adams



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. Roger Ebert, North



There is something hoary and semaphoric in the actors’ gestures, as if they were meant to be viewed from a distance; the Phantom, for example, keeps swishing his cloak to one side at random intervals, like Batman getting rid of a bad smell. “Touch me, trust me, savour each sensation,” he demands. Would you mind awfully if I don’t? Anthony Lane, The Phantom of the Opera


Mark Steven Johnson’s insufferably precious “reduction” of John Irving’s popular 1989 novel “A Prayer for Owen Meany,” might be described as the movie equivalent of a piece of stale angel food cake. Bite into it, and what you’ll find is a nearly flavourless mixture of air and sugar and more sugar and a texture so parched that a mouthful is almost impossible to swallow without risk of choking. Stephen Holden, Simon Birch


Should we mind that forty million readers—or, to use the technical term, “lemmings”—have followed one another over the cliff of this long and laughable text? I am aware of the argument that, if a tale has enough grip, one can for a while forget, if not forgive, the crumbling coarseness of the style; otherwise, why would I still read “The Day of the Jackal” once a year? With “The Da Vinci Code,” there can be no such excuse.

The movie is baloney; the movie is an accurate representation of the book; therefore, the book is also baloney, although it takes even longer to consume.”

“Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, except at Columbia Pictures, where the power lunches won’t even be half-started. The Catholic Church has nothing to fear from this film. It is not just tripe. It is self-evident, spirit-lowering tripe that could not conceivably cause a single member of the flock to turn aside from the faith. Anthony Lane, The Da Vinci Code


“Go tell the Spartans, passer-by, that here, by Spartan law, we lie.” So reads the ditty Simonides wrote about the Battle of Thermopylae, where, around 480 BC, Sparta’s King Leonidas led a force of only 300 in a suicidal defence against a Persian army perhaps a thousand times bigger. Their brave stand has been the subject of poems, novels, and films – the latest being 300, Zack Snyder’s adaptation of the 1998 graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. In short, 300 is a perfect combination of moral wrong-headedness and inept filmmaking. On any level beyond the pictorial, Snyder makes clunky Cecil B. DeMille epics like The Ten Commandments look positively deft. It presents itself as an instructive case study in nobility and bravery, but the only lesson I came away with was, “When in doubt … kill the hunchback.”

Go tell the Spartans, indeed. Tell them to go fuck themselves. LA City Beat,  300



Like ‘Tootsie,’ only without the drag. Or the class. Or the laughs. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry 



There are good movies. There are bad movies. There are movies so bad they’re good (though, strangely, not the reverse). And once in a while there is a movie so bad that it takes you to a place beyond good and evil and abandons you there, shivering and alone. Watching The Love Guru (Paramount Pictures) is a spiritual experience of a sort, but not the sort that its creator and star, Mike Myers, intended. This tale of a guru who brings joy to all who meet him is the most joy-draining 88 minutes I’ve ever spent outside a hospital waiting room. In the course of those long minutes, Myers leads you on a journey deep inside himself, to the source from whence his comedy springs—and it’s about as much fun as a tour of someone’s large intestine. Dana Stevens, The Love Guru


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