22 August 2007

A. V. Club

I don't know if you've noticed, but in addition to being The Nation's Finest News Source, The Onion also offers A. V. Club, which has some of the most consistently good writing about movies and other popculture I've seen around.

In particular, I've taken a shine to Nathan Rabin and his My Year of Flops series about failed movies.

Take for instance this bit from his review of The Real Cancun.

In a rare display of taste, the American public wholeheartedly rejected The Real Cancun and its cynical, pandering assault on cinema. It turns out people still want movies to mean something, even if it’s just two hours in air-conditioned comfort watching giant shape-shifting robots fighting each other. I never felt prouder to be an American than when I learned that The Real Cancun grossed just over two million dollars its opening weekend.

Thank you, Mr. And Mrs. America and all the ships at sea. You saved yourselves and me from an endless deluge of dispiriting reality movies. The resounding, life-affirming commercial failure of The Real Cancun marks perhaps the first time someone actually went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

Or this from his surprisingly warm review of Doctor Detroit.
Are we supposed to laugh with it or at it? Is it intentionally or unintentionally stupid? The presence of smart professionals like Aykroyd and Friedman would seem to suggest it is, but audiences and critics at the time certainly didn’t embrace it as subversive meta-commentary on cheesy comedy.

So is Doctor Detroit a Failure, Fiasco or Secret Success? I certainly enjoyed parts of it, but I feel like giving a movie this ridiculous the highest grade would diminish the highest ranking I’ve concocted for my fuzzy, often maddening little rating system. So I guess I’m going to label it a supremely fun Fiasco ...

Or, to a similar theme, Commentary Tracks of the Damned, a surprisingly entertaining feature: reviews of directors' commentary tracks on DVDs of bad movies. Each one is divided into the same sections:
  • Crimes
  • Defenders
  • Tone of commentary
  • What went wrong
  • Comments on the cast
  • Inevitable dash of pretension
  • Commentary in a nutshell
I am glad that somebody's watching this stuff so I don't have to.

1 comment:

Lydia said...

Might be a little lowbrow for you, but the site somethingawful.com has some similar sections. My personal favourite (though it sometimes makes me cry and/or think that every man in the world must secretly want to do awful, awful things to me) is the hentai game reviews ....