Really Bad Movies

When you look at movie advertisements, you always see quotes from good reviews. Has there ever been a movie with no good reviews. Just curious

Gigli comes to mind.

Battlefield Earth is close, with JoBlo being used on the dvd box as the good review. Even he could only praise the “scene transitions” and said it was just a “good ol’ time at the theater”.

According the Rotten Tomatoes movie review website, there have been quite a few movies with no positive reviews. Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever had 0 positive reviews out of 99 reviews that they surveyed. Roberto Benigni’s Pinocchio got 0 positive reviews out of 51 reviews they surveyed. Using their database search feature, I think that there were something like 38 movies that have earned 0 positive reviews in the past 3 years alone.

Oops, actually the number is 28 movies. I hope this link with the list works:

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/videodvd/browser.php?navsection=videodvd&type=&genre=&subgenre=&tomatometer==0%s&mpaa=&letter=&decade=2000s&year=&video_format=&title_search=&person_search=&plot_search=&sort=OrigReleaseYear+DESC&start_index=0&page=1

Since this is about films, I’ll move this thread to Cafe Society.

bibliophage
moderator GQ

I can’t tell for this, it’s so old and trashy that no one probably bothers to write a review.

The film is:

Othello the Black Commando (1982), directed by Max Boulois, and starring (!) Tony Curtis.

The film is adapted from Shakespeare’s tragedy, and indeed it is a tragedy. Othello is now a leader of a mercenary force, and falls in love with the daughter of a US senator…and somehow the plot shifts to Central America where everything falls apart.

Apart from the plot, nothing is like Shakespeare; the lines are completely rewritten, the acting trashy and stilted, and worst of all, the music - all of it - were written by Ludwig van Beethoven. Mercenaries parachute in the night to the tune of the da-da-da-DUM of Beethoven’s fifth symphony.

The blurb calls Othello “the ultimate war machine”. LOL.

A year or two back it was revealed that a major studio (Sony?) had created its own imaginary review source. It had been noted by reporters that this obscure source was quoted time and again as raving over a film, yet nobody could actually find a copy of this publication.

Sometimes advertisements take quotes very selectively. In the past I’ve seen unfavorable reviews cited in ads as though they had been positive.

I recall that many years ago Mad Magazine did a spoof of this. Actually, 'spoof" may not be the correct term, as their imaginary ads pretty much matched ones which had actually been published. For instance, an advertisement might quote only the words in italics in a passage like this: “It’s amazing that any studio would think of putting garbage this offensive on the screen. To think that some of the finest, most-respected actors in Hollywood were duped into appearing in this tripe. Maybe the studio was simply looking for a great tax write-off, and went out of their way to make a movie nobody would want to see.”

When hundreds or even thousands of reviewers give their opinions about a movie, it is practically inevitable that somebody, somewhere, will say they liked it. Remember that there were, after all, people who willingly bought Edsels and Yugos.

Where a lot of reviewers think a movie is okay, somebody, somewhere, is going to love it. It may even be that some critics use hyperbole in the hope of being quoted. Batman with Michael Keaton was promoted with the tagline “the movie of the decade!” Not much attention was given to the fact that the reviewer who said this wa someone no one had heard of before outside of the small town where he lived. Spy Magazine
later noted that this same critic had already identified something on the order of ten or twelve movies as being “the movie of the decade” in that same decade.

Finally, we ought to consider the experience of Gene Shalit and the movie Benji. After he reviewed the film on The Today SHow, it is said, a theater in New York quoted him as saying “I think it’s time for this message”. He had said it. He had said it as a way of introducing the commercial which followed his review.

I saw one reviewer on a talk show who told the story of how one of his reviews said,

“{Actor’s name} is not a great leading man.”

The ad for the movie quoted him as saying,

“{Actors name} is … a great leading man.”

My all-time favorite was the Bo Derek version of Tarzan the Ape Man. As far as I can recall, it got one good review. From Gene Schalit, no less. The producers took out a two-page spread in the New York Times to run this review.