Monday, December 14, 2009

The Critics Agree Part II: Rise of the Fallen


The following is a compendium of actual unedited reviews from Netflix subscribers. I find this hilarious.

Fitzcarraldo


--"Boring, weird, confusing and truthfully, I fast forwarded through most of the movie because it just did not have the spirit it proposed to." --1 star

--"Extremely disappointed. All in German, including the subtitles. Would have been nice to know. Couldn't even watch it." --1 star

-"Probably one of the most boring movies ever made. It has not point, other than to get a river boat over a mountain, through the jungle. Would have been eaiser to build a new one..." --1 star

Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror


--"THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE AVERAGE VIEWER!!! FILM STUDENTS TURN AWAY BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE: I tried, I really did, but would someone PLEASE explain to me what makes this movie so great? I am sure it was quite frightening and innovative 80 years ago, but ignore those reviews that claim it is a timeless film. Two stars only because the makeup for the vampire and the actor who played him are amazing. You know what this movie would be good for: to watch it and make up what they are saying for yourself, and drinking would also be helpful. However, something tells me this review will not be well-received. Movie-eater out." --1 star

Nosferatu the Vampyre


--Hit the "mute" button and ad lib your own (comic) dialogue!... In my opinion, the gestures accompanying this flat and stilted script are so over-dramatic, that the movie is best enjoyed as a late-night absurdity." --1 star

--"This film in Not in German as indicated. It should NOT charged to my accont asit was incorrectly advertised. Indication should read Film In English!" -- 2 stars

Aguirre: the Wrath of God


--"This one was really boring. Again this was like one of those films you are required to watch for a college course although the only thing I learned was that the conquistadors were a bunch of dufasses." -- 2 stars

Days of Heaven


--"I'm a huge Malick fan, becoming so after seeing only one of his films, 'The Thin Red Line'. 'Days' didn't inspire me at all however. Love triangles aren't exactly novel for me anymore. Also, big stars are somewhat distracting to me (Gere). This film seemed very narrow comparitively. Maybe I'm not the traget market - male." --2 stars

The New World


--"This movie had the potential of being an awesome film. It has great Actors, scenerie, costumes. But the storyline SUCKS!!! What a waste! And what's with the annoying atrusive music? Also the ending is vague and weak. Leave it to Eberg and fatturd to leave a good review." --2 stars

--"SNORE... it's a bad sign when I pick a movie for me and my Hubby and he falls into a deep sleep in the middle of it. Yes, that's how slow and quiet this movie was. Sure some beautiful landscape and Colin was hot and all, but we ended up turning it off before the end. So what was the point of the movie. Who knows. So if any of you ladies are looking for a movie to put your Hubby's to sleep with, this is the one." -- 1 star

--"The New World? I prayed for the world to end watching this borefest. Terribly tedious...pathetic action sequences....and Colin Farrell was pathetic as usual. I know that he is eye candy for the ladies, but come on! He can't act to save himself. Maybe he should stick to drinking. Avoid this movie. Don't waste a spot on your queue." --1 star

The Thin Red Line


--"If you are having trouble sleeping, rent this movie. Thin Red Line is visually stunning, but so anti-climatic that its much more exciting to watch golf." --1 star

--"I can't even put into words how horrible I thought this movie was. I would've given it about -3 stars if I could have... Watch "Saving Private Ryan" instead." --1 star

--""The war movie recasted as a blood-soaked poem”. No way in hell. I would like to punch out this director for wasting 3 hours of my life. Of my list of the 5 WORSE movies I have EVER seen this one has been right at the top, NUMBER ONE, for the past 8 years since I nearly walked out of the theater. (When after 3 hours, we finally gave up that the movie would somehow redeem itself, got up and started to walk out only to turn around and see that the credits had started rolling.) 170 minutes of pointless non-sequential war stuff. There is no point to the non-sequential aspect of this as there is no story line. There is no point to this movie at all, I can not stress this enough. It is just a bunch of stuff happening in no particular order solely to be “artistic”. I am an artist and even I hate that. Example: Midway through the film, we randomly join soldiers struggling to take a hill for 30 minutes, only to leave this scene and have no mention of it again. The worse, most pointless movie I have ever seen in my life. Artistic Crap." --1 star

His Girl Friday


--"92 minutes of intensely annoying and constant banter. Characters have no redeeming qualities. Was this satire? well, I missed it." --1 star

Twentieth Century


--"This movie is completely boring with marginal acting. This movie is a drama but John Barrymore treats it like a comedy. Carole Lombard doesn't know how to act. The movie goes on and on with very little to care about." --1 star

The Big Sleep


--"The film is like the porn version of the book, following the plot, more or less, but otherwise just film-noir dames - every single one of them - falling over each other to go down on the puny Bogey. Except that all the nudity is gone. Stay with the book, is my advice, it's a lot more fun." --2 stars

Red River


--"I have no review, because we didn't order it or watch it. You need a space for "no opinion" for such occurances." --5 stars

I couldn't have said it better myself.

1 comment:

Mark said...

The original version of NOSFERATU stands as one of the most influential movies in history. German cinema gets nowhere nearly enough credit for being cinematic pioneers.

Try to imagine cinema without NOSFERATU and you can pretty much kiss goodbye not only all vampire films, but pretty much all horror movies. At best, the horror genre would have taken years to find an edge.

NOSFERATU was the template for every vampire movie that followed...until that silly TWILIGHT movie just about destroyed the genre. Also, NOSFERATU was the first classic horror movie (I'm not certain THE GOLEM from 1920 qualifies as horror in the NOSFERATU sense, but even that stands up well, and it's yet another German film), just like METROPOLIS (another German production) was the first classic science fiction film (METROPOLIS influenced STAR WARS, ROBOCOP, BLADE RUNNER, you name it).

Although remakes have a reputation for being unnecessary and disappointing, the modernisation of NOSFERATU (1979) was quite agreeable. Also, it was interesting to see the NOSFERATU story shown with spoken dialogue and in colour (with a terribly forboding score). Werner Herzog made a very grim, rather different type of vampire movie (without having a vampire who glitters when exposed to direct sunlight, for crying out loud).

Regarding the Netflix user's criticism of the gestures used by the performers in the latter version of NOSFERATU: I believe these wide-eyed facial expressions and theatrical gesticulations were the whole idea, and the still from the movie featured in the article is one of the best scenes in the film. Witnessing this scene for the first time, I noted Isabelle Adjani had the expressive face of a silent movie actress. She could have easily been a great performer in her role even if she had been in the original NOSFERATU.

Many screen performers ceased to be stars with the advent of talkies because they had unfavourable voices. I wonder, if the situation were reversed, how many expressionless performers in the twenty-first century would be able to survive in silent films?

I also wonder if the average Netflix reviewer is aware this "80-year-old" movie still plays at cinemas around the world to appreciative audiences.

Mark Vanselow