Eric D. Snider

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Archive for April 3rd, 2008

Great moments in publicist hyperbole: ‘Chapter 27’

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

I got an e-mail containing a press release from Peace Arch Entertainment, who is currently distributing “Chapter 27,” the film about the guy who shot John Lennon. You might know it as the movie where Jared Leto got really fat. The headline on the press release reads:


Can you spot the funny part? That’s right: “critically acclaimed.” At the moment, Rotten Tomatoes has the film at 20%, with 24 negative reviews and only 6 positive. (It’ll be 25 negative as soon as I get around to posting mine.) The average score is 4 out of 10 — which means those who didn’t like it REALLY didn’t like it. Even champion quoted whore Pete Hammond panned it, and he gives out negative reviews about as often as Paula Abdul.

So how, exactly, is Chapter 27 “critically acclaimed”? I guess it did get acclaim from six people, and those people are critics, so technically the description is accurate. But come on, publicists. You’re not foolin’ anyone.

New column! ‘Eric’s Bad Movies’

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Over the years, many readers have expressed great fondness for my highly negative reviews of highly bad movies. They are fun to write, and I’m glad people like them. They help heal the pain inflicted by the films themselves.

The problem is, sometimes we’ll go for weeks at a stretch without a new F-grade movie being released, and negative-review-loving readers feel deprived.

The solution? Start going after the bombs I missed the first time around.

Today I am delighted to introduce “Eric’s Bad Movies,” a new weekly feature devoted to the contemplation and evisceration of Hollywood’s terrible mistakes. Every Thursday I will watch and review something awful that I have not seen or reviewed before. The inaugural edition: “Super Mario Bros.” (1993), the very first video-game-based movie, and a frightful omen of things to come.

Longtime readers might recall that I wrote a similar column years ago for the online literary journal White Shoe Irregular. That column was called “In the Dark” (I eventually chose that title to encompass all of my reviews), and “Eric’s Bad Movies” is its natural successor. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time, and I’m grateful that my overlords have given me the opportunity (not to mention money, which justifies the time and energy involved).

I welcome suggestions for films that should be addressed in future editions of “Eric’s Bad Movies.” The only criteria are that they need to be films I have not already reviewed; they need to be awful; and they need to be available on DVD. I’m trying to avoid obvious “worst movie ever” selections like “Plan 9 from Outer Space” and “Showgirls,” as those have been written about too much already. Feel free to post or e-mail your suggestions.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the new column!

UPDATE: Another stipulation: I want to stick to movies that readers will generally have at least heard of, if not actually seen. Trolling the video store for obscure films would no doubt yield some awful movies, but where’s the fun in that? I want to go after films that a major studio actually expected people to pay to see. In my worldview,  underground titles, straight-to-DVD flicks, and made-for-TV movies don’t deserve quite the same punishment that, say, “Kazaam” does.

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