237 posts tagged with reviews.
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"This wicked conglomeration of horrors..."

This was a world that never quite fit me. I was unnaturally hungry and never found something that could satisfy that hunger. No job kept me. From desks to barns to the muffling din of factories, the concept of a profession was foreign. No drug quieted me for more than a few hours. No friend or lover ever lasted for more than a few days. My family had long since receded into the gray haze of memories.
Thomas Ligotti reviews the new Hot Dog Bites Pizza from Pizza Hut. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jun 29, 2015 - 64 comments

Wesley Morris Eviscerates Seth MacFarlane's Ted 2

You never expect a movie to hurt you. Disappoint? Dismay? Depress? Fine. But when a movie has a field day asserting the humanity of a fake toy bear at the expense of your own, it hurts. I was led to believe, in part by the posters, that I was getting a movie about a character who’d be masturbating or urinating with his back to us. They should’ve turned Ted around since the emissions are aimed at the audience. - Dumber Than Your Average Bear [more inside]
posted by beisny on Jun 25, 2015 - 77 comments

Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month, 2015

Every April for the past several years, Fantasy Cafe has published a series of guest posts for Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month. This year, the article that generated the most discussion was "'I am ... ?': Representation of Mature Women in Fantasy" by Mieneke from A Fantastical Librarian, who asked, "So where are the older women in fantasy? Mature women who are the hero of their own story?" The many other guest posts this year offered an interesting range of questions, observations, and reflections--often by well-known names in the field. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on May 3, 2015 - 22 comments

I almost entirely removed the words "no" and "don't" from my vocabulary.

Criticism and Ineffective Feedback, blog post by Kate Heddleston [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 23, 2015 - 66 comments

“...characters arise out of our need for them.”

From Jamaica to Minnesota to Myself by Marlon James [New York Times] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Mar 10, 2015 - 5 comments

A Time Traveler's Guide to Beer

In the May 1975 issue of Oui magazine, Robert Christgau and Carola Dibbell reviewed four dozen American beers, plus eleven imports.
posted by Iridic on Feb 13, 2015 - 92 comments

“They were actually commenting on the choices I’d made in my life.”

Amazon’s disruption of the traditional publishing model is well-documented. Self-published authors on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited are seeing their incomes plummet by as much as 75%. Citizen-reviewers have wrested the reins of criticism from established newspaper and magazine critics, much to authors’ dismay. But one writer found online reviewing a way to reclaim her identity as a writer—even if she was reviewing a crappy mattress purchase on Amazon. How A Bad Amazon Review Totally Changed My Career. [more inside]
posted by pipti on Dec 28, 2014 - 30 comments

It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it: chip reviews

"To be frank, these chips taste exactly like they are named. Simply, nothing more, and nothing less. The relatively spicy Tapatío hot sauce burns, while the acidic, and citrusy lime flavor shocks the tongue. The classic combination of chile and lime is once again revealed, and executed. Probably the only thing we find a bit unsuspecting about these chips is that there is no cheese flavor at all. Each, and every one of the other Tapatío-FritoLay snacks, seemed to have an underlying cheese flavor among them. For good, or for bad, the cheese flavor was there in all the other; but with these, they simply delivered spicy hot chile and lime." Chip Review takes a look at Lay's "Tapatío and Lime" flavor. More reviews in the Tapatio category of chips. Lime/Limón reviews; salt-and-vinegar. These are general reviews, for their 2014 countdown, see below the fold. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 18, 2014 - 56 comments

Deliver Us

Ridley Scott's new film Exodus: Gods and Kings recasts the myth of Moses in typically grimdark swords-and-sandals fashion. It... ain't so good. Want something more artful? Look no further than The Prince of Egypt [alt], an underrated masterpiece of DreamWorks' traditional animation era. Directed by Brenda Chapman (a first for women in animation), scored to spectacular effect by Hans Zimmer and Stephen Schwartz, and voiced by, among others, Voldemort, Batman, and Professor X, the ambitious film features gorgeous, striking visuals and tastefully integrated CGI in nearly every scene. It also manages the improbable feat of maturing beyond cartoon clichés while humanizing the prophet's journey from carefree scion to noble (and remorseful) liberator without offending half the planet -- while still being quite a fun ride. Already seen it? Catch the making-of documentary, or click inside for more. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 15, 2014 - 86 comments

Electric Literature's 25 Best Novels of 2014

"Year-end lists are always subjective and incomplete, but they are especially tricky for books. A dedicated film critic can watch every wide release film and a theater critic can go to most every play, but the book critic is faced with an insurmountable mountain of books each year. The sheer number of books is inspiring as a reader, but it can make 'best of' lists laughably subjective when the critic has only read a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of novels published each year. With that in mind, I decided to crowd source Electric Literature’s year-end lists. First up: novels."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 10, 2014 - 31 comments

My name is Cybele May and I love candy.

Candy Blog. Mentioned in passing in a couple previous FPPs, this incredibly in-depth and long-running site deserves a closer look. Candy obsessive Cybele May has ranked thousands of candies since 2005 on a ten-point scale from 'superb' to 'inedible'; taken an in-depth look at candy purveyors from from Just Born to Trader Joe's to See's; brought back news of the yearly All Candy Expo; and of course, compiled The 110 Essential Candies for Candivores. And as if all that weren't enough, there is now a podcast, Candyology, with the first three episodes devoted to Halloween candy, peanut butter candy, and chewing gum.
posted by showbiz_liz on Dec 10, 2014 - 38 comments

The Great Heinlein Juveniles Plus The Other Two Reread

Unlike Elsie, Jackie, or Peewee, poor Podkayne is cut off at the knees before her adventure begins. Podkayne can dream of commanding a space ship but she can never see that dream realized because her narrative purpose is to serve as a doleful lesson to readers. This is where misplaced female ambition can lead! Well, if not Podkayne’s misplaced ambition, then her mother’s. Where the classic Heinlein juveniles are about boys reaching for the stars, Podkayne of Mars is a hectoring lecture, telling women to stay in their place.
James and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Heinlein Juvenile is a review of Podkayne of Mars, the last of the Heinlein Juveniles and last in James Nicoll's series of The Great Heinlein Juveniles Plus The Other Two Reread. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 15, 2014 - 110 comments

Barbie is D'Artagnan. Really.

If you only read one review today, please make it this one. [more inside]
posted by geek anachronism on Oct 26, 2014 - 26 comments

Woof.

A review of the uncomfortable, colonialist-islander RPG, Dog Eat Dog
posted by michaelh on Oct 22, 2014 - 32 comments

An enthusiastic public reading journal.....

In Praise of Anne Rice's Amazon Reviews
posted by The Whelk on Oct 19, 2014 - 30 comments

"So I took up knife and fork and bade the waiter do his duty."

Lieut.-Col. Newnham-Davis was engaged in 1897 as the restaurant reviewer of the Pall Mall Gazette, and his reviews of London restaurants are collected in Dinners and Diners: Where and How to Dine in London, available online from The Dictionary of Victorian London. Newnham-Davis was a bon vivant, amateur of the theatrical world, and man of parts, and his reviews were equal parts reminiscence of the conversation with his pseudonymous companions and recollections and reviews of his opulent and lengthy Victorian dinners. [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees on Sep 27, 2014 - 28 comments

"distinctly queer and contemporary, as if retrofitting a classic car"

"Longings and Desires", a Slate.com book review by Amanda Katz:
[Sarah] Waters, who was born in Wales in 1966, has carved out an unusual spot in fiction. Her six novels, beginning with Tipping the Velvet in 1998, could be called historical fiction, but that doesn’t begin to capture their appeal. It is closer to say that she is creating pitch-perfect popular fiction of an earlier time, but swapping out its original moral engine for a sensibility that is distinctly queer and contemporary, as if retrofitting a classic car.

Her books offer something like an alternate reality—a literary one, if not a historical one. There may have been lesbian male impersonators working the London music halls in the 1890s, as in Tipping the Velvet, but there were certainly not mainstream novels devoted to their inner lives and sexual exploits. Waters gives such characters their say in books that imitate earlier crowd-pleasers in their structure, slang, and atmosphere, but that are powered by queer longing, defiant identity politics, and lusty, occasionally downright kinky sex. (An exception is her last novel, The Little Stranger.) The most masterful of these books so far is Fingersmith, a Wilkie Collins-esque tale full of genuinely shocking twists (thieves, double-crossing, asylums, mistaken identity, just go read it). The saddest is The Night Watch, a tale told in reverse of a group of entwined characters during and after World War II. But among many readers she is still most beloved for Tipping the Velvet, a deliriously paced coming-of-age story that is impossible to read in public without blushing.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 20, 2014 - 29 comments

The World According to Garp, the film and the novel

"Heralded in its day for its audacious envisioning of an American social landscape ravaged by dysfunctional sexuality – featuring an aspiring single mother who impregnates herself upon a dying soldier’s genitalia; a transsexual [gasp!]; and a feminist society who protest violent rape by cutting their own tongues off – John Irving’s 1978 picaresque now reads like a hysterical (in both senses of the word) male vision of the burgeoning feminist movement. Not much is different in George Roy Hill’s 1982 movie version, except that the absurdist imagery no longer drifts along the cooing flow of Irving’s prose, but rattles and jerks from one set piece to another. What’s missing is a strong characterization of the title character, played by Robin Williams, who scrambles from scene to scene like a quarterback shaken out of his pocket, never finding a consistent behavioral core from which to regard the shenanigans. Glenn Close and John Lithgow deserved their Oscar nominations for breathing dimension and empathy to a couple of kooky types the film otherwise regards with mocking abjection. For its reactionary middle-of-the-road advocacy of American normalcy under the threatening spectre of liberal progress, it’s a worthy precursor to Forrest Gump [TSPDT #577]. Of the films I’ve seen in the past two years for this project, this is the film for whose placement on the 1000 Greatest Films I have the most reservations." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 7, 2014 - 38 comments

45 Game Reviews

I could tell you about the first time we made it to Death Egg. I took it pretty seriously. Instead of a controller - there's no place for Tails in the final level - I had a pencil and paper. I recorded every move the final boss made, so we could figure out the pattern, so we could win. I felt important, and smart, and so sure that I could be Player 2 and be happy.
Alex Roberts, aka @muscularpikachu, reviewed one game per day for 45 days, examining the autobiographical impact of each one. All games listed in chronological order below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Greg Nog on Aug 25, 2014 - 22 comments

"You can fit the cat in. If you want. If the cat wants to go in anyway."

Watch a very good YouTube video review of a Cambridge Satchel bag by Nix T., and enjoy the cat's appearance about 2 minutes in (you can hear the cat's jingle-bell collar just prior). (Cat makes valiant effort to keep appearing in that review.) A jingle-bell can be heard, once again, at the start of the follow-up video review of another Cambridge Satchel bag. Timing is everything; the cat waits until the four minute mark to video bomb its owner. Nix T. then proceeds to make use the cat by comparing its body size to his bag.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 22, 2014 - 25 comments

relative Pitch

Pitchfork recently released a list of what they consider the 200 best tracks of the decade so far (2010-14). [more inside]
posted by threeants on Aug 20, 2014 - 158 comments

Magical Realism Menu

Tables For One is a collection of restaurant reviews "from another New York City" by A. Ponitus and illustrated by Evan Johnson. The restaurants include Frito-Lay themed places, salt-obsessed aliens, a gelato cult, notable NPR personalities, and a cafe for heartbreak.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 14, 2014 - 21 comments

Bloggers review the It-bag of the moment: the Michael Kors Selma handbag

Michael Kors has been causing a bit of a sensation in the fashion world recently, as the popularity of the designer's handbags, and in particular, one handbag—called "the Selma"—threatens to dethrone Coach as the luxury brand to buy (some say it already has). The Guardian notes that in the Kors line of handbags, "The details are right: the gold studs on the base, a practical touch so that you can rest the bag on the floor; a printed silk lining; a phone pocket. But the most important detail is very, very simple: the magic £300 price tag." Obsessions and the internet go hand in hand, so here are some of the best reviews of Selma handbags from bloggers who want to share their knowledge with other handbag enthusiasts. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 21, 2014 - 451 comments

TREASURES!

A Piece of Monologue is a treasure trove of modern, contemporary, and avant-garde expression in literature, philosophy, art, design, painting, music, theater, and more. A smattering of insides: Flannery O'Connor on Ayn Rand. An online guide to the life and work of Samuel Beckett. Twin Peaks Behind the Scenes Photographs. Rare photographs of John Coltrane. And wow.
posted by whimsicalnymph on Jul 10, 2014 - 2 comments

Daily affirmations from a time before this: a fanzine trawl

Do you miss the music fanzine culture of the 1980s and 1990s, when publications like Forced Exposure, Bananafish, Conflict, Superdope, Crank, Siltbreeze, Matter and Lowlife cataloged the under-the-counter culture? Fuckin' Record Reviews brings you highlights from all of these zines and more!

Check out the early writings of musicians like Steve Albini, Bill Callahan, Alan Licht and David Grubbs, as well as veteran rockcrits like Byron Coley, Gerard Cosloy, Tom Lax, etc.
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 2, 2014 - 8 comments

I'm not a sexbot, I'm just written that way

In case you are thinking otherwise, I was not scouring the text for these solecisms, setting out to set you up, but like all people who are preparing a review I was keeping notes throughout the reading. The protocols around a first novel by a young writer do matter. I kept noting all the bad stuff (much more than reported here), but I was looking for good bits with which to try to encourage you. I found none. It gradually dawned on me that I was wasting my time. Barricade was unyielding in its awfulness. It was a book I did not wish to write about.
Christopher Priest is less than complimentary about fellow science fiction writer Jon Wallace's Barricade. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 26, 2014 - 149 comments

Brief film noir reviews: 290 and counting

Some guy has reviewed 290 film noir flicks and is still going.
posted by MoonOrb on Jun 11, 2014 - 15 comments

you have to be venerated to be satirized

The Mike Judge HBO series Silicon Valley premiered last night. The AV club calls it "incisive satire" (while comparing it [favorably] to Entourage). Some people in the real Silicon Valley are not happy about it. Maybe Silicon Valley will have the last laugh: HBO has put the first full episode on youtube.com.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Apr 7, 2014 - 115 comments

My Husband's Stupid Record Collection

Alex and I have lived together for 9 years. In those 9 years we have packed up, moved and unpacked his record collection 5 times. It’s about 15 boxes, about 1500 hundred records “that includes the singles and stuff, which you’re also going to have to review.” Is what Alex just said to me from the other room... Here are the rules I’ve set for my self. Start with the “A’s” these records are set up in alphabetical order by artist. Listen to the entire thing even if I really hate it. And make sure to comment on the cover art. Are you with me? Let’s see how far I can go. (20 so far...)
posted by Going To Maine on Mar 16, 2014 - 230 comments

"This book fills a much needed gap in literature"

Buzzfeed may think that if you can't say anything nice you'd better say nothing, but Kathleen Geier knows better. Sometimes a good old fashioned hatchet job is not just preferable, but necessary. She lists a baker's dozen of the best negative reviews to prove her point. Featuring all your old favourites, including Matt Taibbi flattening Tom Friedman, Katha Pollitt demolishing Katie Roiphe's victim blaming book on date rape, Molly Ivins vs Camille Paglia and of course the New York Times carpet bombing flavortown.
posted by MartinWisse on Jan 23, 2014 - 45 comments

Objective Game Reviews

Objectivegamereviews.com is a website. Visitors to the site can read objective reviews of video games.

Each review is an objective assessment of a video game. The top of the review contains an image from the game. The review lists the genre, developer, and platform the game is available for. Reviews describe how the game is played. Reviews contain descriptions of the story, graphics, and sound. At the end of the review the game is objectively scored on a scale of 1 to 10.
(description via SecretAsianMan)
posted by juv3nal on Jan 3, 2014 - 36 comments

When everyone has an opinion, what's the point of a professional critic?

Mark Kermode (previously) discusses internet anonymity, the popularity of negative reviews, and 21st century film criticism in an excerpt from his new book.
posted by figurant on Sep 29, 2013 - 26 comments

The St. Louis Slinger Tour

The bloggers at The St. Louis Slinger Tour have completed their comprehensive 16 month review of the Slingers available at 58 different St. Louis area restaurants. Follow them chronologically or check out Tim and Tony's Top 10 for later enjoyment (consensus favorite: The Sidebar). Also available for your convenience is a list of the worst Slingers in St. Louis (e.g. Uncle Bill's), to be avoided or ordered out of morbid curiosity. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Jul 24, 2013 - 37 comments

Turn Around, Go Home, and Never Return to This Place

What we saw was... something else. A drugged-out looking dancer in a white thong, white athletic socks, and white sneakers marching in place on a lighted platform. Just marching, marching. Sometimes he would lift his stiff arms and make grabby hands at the old dudes watching him. The best part was the CD player was broken, so "Don't Cha?" by the Pussycat Dolls played on repeat. Marching, marching, marching. One Star Yelp Reviews Of Strip Clubs
posted by mannequito on Jul 14, 2013 - 117 comments

The camera never falls over during a scene. Actors are always in frame.

If Films Were Reviewed Like Video Games
posted by cthuljew on Jul 10, 2013 - 63 comments

The Pride of the South Side

The WHPK Record Library. Scans of notable (or notably commented-on) records from WHPK's rock collection.
posted by kenko on May 30, 2013 - 13 comments

Sweethome (not Alabama)

If product reviews annoy you with their lack of a definitive answer, you may already know electronics and gadget review site The Wirecutter, which tells you, definitively, what the best TV, office chair, smartphone, umbrella, and $100 earbuds are. Now there is The Sweethome, which does the same for home goods: ice cube trays, shower caddies, skillets, household drills, and the best toilet paper (unless you don't live near Walmart).
posted by blahblahblah on May 28, 2013 - 77 comments

“Don’t go around asking the question, ‘Is this character likeable?’

Claire Messud: “A woman’s rant” [National Post] "Over the last week, discussion surrounding Claire Messud’s new novel, The Woman Upstairs, has shifted from the book to an interview its author recently gave to Publishers Weekly, in which Messud took issue with the following question: “I wouldn’t want to be friends with Nora, would you? Her outlook is almost unbearably grim.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 10, 2013 - 23 comments

Britain's Greatest Living Movie Analyst?

Philip French, Observer Film Reviewer and possibly Britain's Greatest Living Movie Analyst puts down his pencil after 50 years. A living repository of cinematic knowledge, French's ethos is "You should assume your reader is intelligent, but not necessarily as well-informed, since they spend their days doing something else for a living." He will retire from August. [more inside]
posted by biffa on May 4, 2013 - 10 comments

Boardgames are fun again!

Quintin Smith (of Shut Up & Sit Down) argues that we're entering a golden age of boardgames (45m Vimeo talk). [more inside]
posted by kavasa on Apr 14, 2013 - 157 comments

Then Play Long

Marcello Carlin and Lena Friesen review every UK number one album so that you might want to hear it, starting in July 1956 with Frank Sinatra's Songs For Swingin' Lovers (reviewed August 2008) and so far ending up in September 1981 with Genesis' Abacab (March 2013).
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 2, 2013 - 7 comments

The duty of the satirist is to go one worse than reality

Five classic book reviews from the New Statesmen archive: Including V S Pritchett on Orwell's 1984, V S Naipaul on Memento Mori by Muriel Spark and Martin Amis on J G Ballard's High Rise.
posted by thatwhichfalls on Mar 14, 2013 - 4 comments

No, not Pepsi Blue, I promise.

What's Good at Trader Joe's A blog of amateur reviews of Trader Joe's products. For example: Cookie Butter.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies on Mar 11, 2013 - 209 comments

Rewarding The Poison Pen

The Omnivore's Hatchet Job of the Year rewards "the angriest, funniest, most trenchant book review of the past 12 months," with the winning critic taking home a golden hatchet and a year's supply of potted shrimp. 2013's winner: Camilla Long, for her devastating review of Rachel Cusk's divorce memoir, Aftermath. Among other things, she described it as a nasty, bizarre memoir written by a "brittle little dominatrix and peerless narcissist." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 18, 2013 - 71 comments

Brutally Honest

Best known for their Honest Trailers [previously], Screen Junkies also features a fantastically entertaining youtube feed where silly interviews, behind the scene movie footage, and strange reviews abound. [more inside]
posted by quin on Feb 4, 2013 - 2 comments

"I'm livin' in America. And in America you're on your own."

Killing Them Softly - Trailer(Youtube) - is based on a 1978 novel by George V. Higgins (Boston's Balzac), set in Boston. The movie was filmed in New Orleans and set in 2008. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 2, 2012 - 17 comments

1/10. Who doesn't love pirates?

How is the new game Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse? Find out for yourself! [more inside]
posted by kmz on Nov 28, 2012 - 45 comments

"The phrase 'intergalactically stupid' appeared... and he responded."

The Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film Review YouTube channel has a lot of videos of film reviews from the livestream of their BBC radio show and podcast, going back about five years. They are sorted by genre, film rating, geographic origin and one special category, Classic Kermodean Rants, which includes his reviews of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Sex and the City 2, in which he ends up sing-shouting The Internationale, and Angels and Demons, which woke a man from a coma (mp3, story starts at 5:10, and it is followed up here, beginning at 5:30).
posted by Kattullus on Nov 10, 2012 - 32 comments

"The bookful blockhead ignorantly read" - Alexander Pope

A Short History Of Book Reviewing's Long Decline: 'By the time of the first quote “book-review,” criticism had been in circulation for centuries—long enough for writers to know how it can sting. Understandably, then, the critic’s skepticism of an artist's genius has invariably existed alongside the artist's doubt over the critic's judgment.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 22, 2012 - 11 comments

"modern masterpiece"

RJ Ellory's secret Amazon reviews anger rivals. [guardian.co.uk] "Crime bestseller caught using sock puppets to trash colleagues and hymn his own 'magnificent' work." Under the pseudonym "Nicodemus Jones":
"All I will say is that there are paragraphs and chapters that just stopped me dead in my tracks," he wrote. "Some of it was chilling, some of it raced along, some of it was poetic and langorous and had to be read twice and three times to really appreciate the depth of the prose … it really is a magnificent book."

posted by Fizz on Sep 3, 2012 - 40 comments

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