I have a sound effect for Kristen Wiig.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
(From last November. And Jeffrey Lyons runs a very close second.)
I've been seeing those commercials for Shrek The Third on DVD that say, "Critics call it the best Shrek yet!" They do? I've seen all three, and calling Shrek The Third "the best Shrek yet!" is like calling Godfather 3 "the best Godfather yet."
So I started watching the spots to find out what kind of moron would actually say that, because I wanted to e-mail that person and ask them if they really do think that Shrek The Third is "the best Shrek yet," or if they just like seeing their name in print, because they know they'll be the only nimrod on the face of the planet that will say something that ludicrous?
In this case, the nimrod is Pat Collins of WWOR-TV, and instead of e-mailing her, I decided to dig a little and find out what other universally loathed movies won her self-serving, flatulent praise. It was so much worse than I expected that I had to make a list of her keen observations, along with quotes from slightly more discerning critics for comparison.
Ms. Collins is not the only critic who loves every movie she's ever seen (hello, Jeffrey Lyons!), but someone has to take one for the team.
Pat Collins: "The best Shrek yet!"
Premiere: "Whatever wit and charm were present in the original Shrek have long since vanished."
Village Voice: "Blinded by avarice, and all out of ideas."
San Diego Union-Tribune: "Essentially the movie is saying to its loyal crowd: You bought this stuff before, now take it re-canned."
Pat Collins: "Truly amazing! You have never seen anything like it before!"
Roger Ebert: "Plot, character, dialogue and even your engagement all disappear into the Suck Zone."
FilmCritic.com: "Never before have I experienced a movie that blew it so badly."
Supercalafragilistic.com: "I hate this movie."
Pat Collins: "The mother of all comedy events! Williams and Crystal are hilarious!"
Roger Ebert: "Brainless. This movie could have been written by a computer."
Austin Chronicle: "I have visions of producers clucking to themselves about how Billy Crystal and Robin Williams were the stars of their movie and what more could anyone want?"
ReelViews.com: "Fathers' Day isn't just bad, it's awful."
Pat Collins: "Taxi is the year's funniest movie!"
Roger Ebert: "A lame-brained action comedy... wall-to-wall idiocy."
Los Angeles Times: "Full of weak jokes and scenes so meandering they make Saturday Night Live look like a paragon of brevity and wit."
Reel.com: "We have a winner! Taxi is officially the worst movie of 2004."
Pat Collins: "The best romantic comedy since Pretty Woman!"
BBC: "Bizarre. Mistakes asinine for amusing."
Orlando Sentinel: "If you think that Jennifer Lopez showed poor judgment in planning to marry Ben Affleck, wait till you see Maid in Manhattan."
Philadelphia Weekly: "An airless, prepackaged Julia Roberts wannabe that stinks so badly of hard-sell image-mongering that you'll wonder if Lopez's publicist should share screenwriting credit."
Pat Collins: "A heart-stopping, spine-chilling, adrenaline-pumping, run-for-your-life thriller!"
Roger Ebert: "A shallow exercise... contains no substance or meaning."
Washington Post: "A brightly wrapped, ketchup-
Apollo Guide: "With all the star-power at their disposal, this is the best they could do?"
Pat Collins: "The best Batman yet."
Austin Chronicle: "Batman forever… and ever… and -- yawn -- ever."
FilmCritic.com: "The plot has enough holes to drive the Batmobile, the Batplane, and the Batboat through."
Variety: "Hollow at its core."
Pat Collins: "This is the volcano movie to see!"
New York Times: "Numbing... exhausting... patronizing."
Roger Ebert: "An absolutely standard, assembly-line undertaking. No wonder one of the extras is reading a paperback titled 'Screenwriting Made Easy'.''
Internet Reviews:"Even the dog should be embarrassed. Does Tommy Lee Jones need money this badly?"
Pat Collins: "Better than the first!"
The New York Times: "The fun is gone. Lazy, unresponsive, perfunctory."
Ebert: "Confusing and endless action scenes."
Washington Post: "The setup is the same, the characters are the same, even the jokes and some of the scenes are the same. The only difference is that nobody seems to be having much fun this time out -- the audience least of all."
Pat Collins: "Uproariously funny. It brings down the house!"
Variety: "A retrograde affair, wallowing in the mustiest racial and political stereotypes."
New York Times: "Haphazard plotting and uninspired direction. A mess."
L.A. Weekly: "Actor-screenwriter-director Chris Rock makes the kind of movies that Chris Rock the standup comedian slashes and burns in his live routines."
Pat Collins:"Two medal-winning performances in a go-for-the-gold love story!"
Roger Ebert: "There is essentially not an original moment in the entire film. This material is as old as primeval cinematic sludge."
Washington Post: "Hackneyed and feeble. Rocky on skates."
Pat Collins: "The best Weapon yet! A big winner."
Austin Chronicle: "Riggs and Murtaugh now seem little more than stock characters who fall just short of caricatures -- Abbott and Costello in blue.
Rolling Stone: "Mediocrity wielded by experts. It's not a movie, it's a machine. Why a third time? The first movie earned $65 million, and the second more than doubled that. End of discussion."
Pat Collins: "100% pure excitement. Visually stunning and refreshingly different."
Washington Post: "In a word, dullsville."
Movieline: "Soupy and derivative of all the wrong movies."
FilmCritic.com: "A bloody mess (in both artistry and gore), and extremely difficult to watch."
Pat Collins: "A must-see laugh-out-loud comedy! Hilariously funny."
New York Post: "Rock's second dud in a row as an actor-
Slate.com: "Not a funny movie. At all."
Pat Collins: "Val Kilmer is a sexy, seductive, sinfully good saint."
New York Times: "Loud, frantic, ridiculously overproduced and featuring a preening performance by Val Kilmer. Matches Mission: Impossible in needless remaking."
Salon.com: "A soulless piece of claptrap."
Pat Collins: "Hilarious! Just when you think it can’t get any funnier…it does."
Salon.com: "Gratingly unfunny, mean-
New York Post: "The Farrelly Brothers have jumped the orifice."
Los Angeles Times:
Pat Collins: "The best romance since Gone With The Wind!"
Roger Ebert: ""A square peg pounded into a round hole. Not believable at all."
Austin Chronicle: "There's no spark or chemistry."
Movieline: "Hobbled with a meandering script, an erratic performance by Richard Gere, and an overbearing score by Danny Elfman."
Interesting enough, I suppose, although I can't say I ever wondered.
When the Beatles recorded the unearthly crash chord that kicks “A Hard Day’s Night” into gear, they inadvertently posed one of rock’s great riddles: What notes were John, Paul, and George actually playing? The question’s stumped guitarists for 44 years — and now a mathematician-slash-guitarist named Jason Brown has solved it.
Interviews with the musicians themselves had led others to believe that the main chord — some sort of G, or perhaps an F or a D — was struck on George Harrison’s 12-string Rickenbacker electric, supplemented somehow by John Lennon’s 6-string Gibson acoustic and Paul McCartney’s iconic, violin-shaped Hofner bass.
But Brown used an algorithm called Fourier transform and concluded that those instruments couldn’t possibly have produced the frequencies that the Beatles’ producer, George Martin, captured on tape. A hunch and more testing led him toward the missing element — a nearly inaudible piano chord, most likely played by Martin himself, that duplicated several key guitar notes and added an F.
Brown, who sees math and music as two sides of a coin, says the discovery had a certain symmetry to it: As a boy, he’d heard the Beatles and traded his piano in for a 6-string. As a man, he hit upon the solution by reconsidering the keyboard.
Who says life can’t be as tidy as math?