There was a review in Newsday of Species II where the reviewer said not only was he not giving the movie any stars, but he was automatically subtracting a star from the next movie in the series if it was released.
I believe it was in Roger Ebert’s I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie that he mentions how easy it is to write about very, very good movies and very, very bad ones. It’s the middle-of-the-road films that give reviewers trouble. After all, how many way can you come up with to say “Meh…it was ok, I guess”?
One of my favorites was from North – the review that inspired the title for Ebert’s book: “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 can confirm this, though when you write reviews of great movies (or games in my case), you can’t help but feel like a company shill. The last bad game I reviewed, I wrote about 50% more than I was paid to write (online review, no big deal), because I was ranting and didn’t want to stop.
Here’s an article by Ebert summarizing some of his “favorite” worst films, with links. (Including the famous “North” review.) The category headings are great: “Sex, romance, music, drama and other crap”. One stop bad-movie review shopping!
He had just given two films 0 stars in the same week: “Duece Bigelow II” and “Chaos”. The creators of both films objected strongly, so it was discussion time all around.
It’s hard to pick out a specific favorite, between some of the pro review and the snark sites like Jabootu and The Agony Booth. If I had to pick one, I’d go for the Agony Booth Batman & Robin review. (Yes, I’m still bitter about paying full price to see this in a theater.)
nitpick – it was From Hell it Came, a fond memory from my childhood. It’s about killer reincarnated as an ambulatory tree. He looks like one of the talking trees from The Wizard of Oz gone horribly wrong. Laughably, wonsderfully bad. IIRC, the quoted review was supposed to be from The New York Times.
I can’t recall which actress it was, or which movie, but it was in the long-ago 1970s when Gene Shalit started a review with something like:
“It seems that , in every movie, the worse (actress) acts, the prettier she looks. She has never been prettier than in this film.”