Gigli Sucks!
August 1, 2003 5:53 PM   Subscribe

Critics Gone Wild. Rarely do entertainment journalists have as fine an occasion to cut loose and shower their barbs as the opening of Gigli: "I fought the urge to punch someone once it finally ended." Not that anyone's surprised! Enjoy, if you get a kick out of scalding prose.
posted by scarabic (51 comments total)
I apologize in advance if anyone takes this as a worthless thread.

My intention was not at all to post:
"Hey, that J-Lo movie's not doing so well with the critics!"

But rather:
"Hey, look at this often amusingly-written string of damning reviews."

I hope y'all enjoy them for their verbal venom.
posted by scarabic at 5:55 PM on August 1, 2003

Kind of a pleasant distraction, like when your doctor busts out with "Baby Got Back" during your colonoscopy.

[this is good]
posted by letitrain at 6:08 PM on August 1, 2003

Is that the lowest tomato-ometer reading ever?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:09 PM on August 1, 2003

inpHilltr84 -- Apparently, according to Defective Yeti, there are at least two films that have garnered 0% positive ratings on the tomato-ometer.
posted by Kat Allison at 6:16 PM on August 1, 2003

The Onion's story on Gigli this week is the best thing they've written in at least a year.
posted by xmutex at 6:31 PM on August 1, 2003

this is gonna be a close race.
posted by poopy at 6:33 PM on August 1, 2003

That's great, when movies like Gigli or Glitter get one, and only one, positive review. You gotta wonder what the critic who wrote it is thinking-- not only in writing the review, but also if he's questioning his own critical skills at that point.
posted by nath at 6:41 PM on August 1, 2003

Ah, one of my favorite things! When Movie Critics Attack! I'm still recovering from the From Justin To Kelly rotten-o-rama: "Messages that read 'I O U A BRGR. U GAME?' ... propel the plot forward. Alas, all the scenes in which Prince hijacks the cell phones have been left on the cutting room floor."
posted by kittyb at 6:42 PM on August 1, 2003

Warning, self-link. I edited the "Gigli" review for (it got no stars) and for fun, made an app citing some of the best lines from the bad reviews I've seen so far. Scroll down in the review to see them. I think my favorite is "A recent episode of South Park suggested that a fourth-grader's hand puppet could turn in a better performance than Ms. Lopez, and in the case of Gigli, it's hard to argue."
posted by GaelFC at 6:43 PM on August 1, 2003

Charles Taylor of Salon claims:

"Gigli" turns out to be merely bad -- not a train wreck, not the crime against humanity it's been rumored to be. That, and the fact that it's fashionable to hate Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez right now, will probably do nothing to discourage the predictable pig pile of critics trying to outdo each other by seeing who can be the most dismissive or scathing.

Go here for a thoughtful review of a movie that sounds like it might have its redeeming points.
posted by orange swan at 6:44 PM on August 1, 2003

"It's nasty, brutish and long."

Nobody trashes like my secret boyfriend Stephen Hunter trashes.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:54 PM on August 1, 2003

Ha! Normally, scarabic, I would decry a movie-review link, but who can resist this turkey shoot? A.O. Scott has a high old time in the Times:
"...Larry's name is pronounced ZHEE-lee, or as he likes to say, "rhymes with really."

As in really, really silly, which is the kindest way to describe this hopelessly misconceived exercise in celebrity self-worship, which opens to nationwide ridicule today...

Mr. Affleck and Ms. Lopez's combined fees reportedly ran close to $25 million, and they earn their money by hogging as much screen time as possible and uttering some of the lamest dialogue ever committed to film...

That Ricki is a lesbian temporarily stymies Larry's fantasy of sexual conquest and leads to an extraordinary debate about the relative merits of the penis and the vagina. Ms. Lopez has the last word — not one that I can quote here — and it comes at the end of a speech about sea slugs, Mount Everest and the bottom of the ocean that she delivers while executing a series of yoga poses. This causes poor Larry to fall hopelessly in love with her and sets up their eventual bedroom consummation, a tasteful woman-on-top montage initiated by Ms. Lopez declaring that "it's turkey time."...

She also threatens the apparent ringleader with a baroque martial-arts torture, which involves gouging out the eyes and also removing that part of the brain that stores visual information, so that the victim will not only be blind, but will also lose all memory of what he has seen. Having seen "Gigli," I must say that the idea has a certain appeal.
I admire your gallantry, orange swan, but I think you're wasting it here.
posted by languagehat at 7:43 PM on August 1, 2003 [1 favorite]

I'm glad this was posted, just because I would have hated to waste a whole thread to point out that Ty Burr had the opportunity to memorably savage, not just one, but two films in today's Boston Globe:

I've saved the worst for last: Larry and Ricki eventually climb between the sheets in a scene that is insulting to the sexuality of all living creatures, from plankton on up.

... you could argue that "Masked and Anonymous" is twice as good as 1978's "Renaldo and Clara" simply because it's half as long ...
posted by yhbc at 7:59 PM on August 1, 2003

xmutex - I haven't laughed so hard in a very long time. My favorite quote from the Onion article:

"Some comments showed a lot of careful thought, such as 'point blank through head from right side,' 'both at once with single shot from elephant gun,' and 'several hundred times, with multiple camera angles showing their bodies jerking as they're shredded with a heavy hosing of lead, spraying the lens with gobbets of meat and bone and blood, with the sheer number of fist-sized exit wounds obviously precluding any sequel.' And shootings weren't the only ideas suggested, believe me."

followed by...

"Getting shot is fine, but what about an automobile fire in which Ben and Jennifer are shown perishing in a slow-motion montage, their newfound love discarded as they try desperately to claw their way past each other's melting bodies, while slowly roasting to death in their own fat? You'd be surprised at how many people came up with that one."
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:04 PM on August 1, 2003

And (imho) the Oscar goes to

Danny Minton, KBTV-NBC (BEAUMONT, TX):

"Gigli is so horrible I had to go cleanse my palate afterward by watching Glitter."
posted by 111 at 8:19 PM on August 1, 2003

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution review says, "Gigli" makes "Hudson Hawk" look like a hiccup, "Ishtar" like a minor misstep.

A little harsh on Hudson Hawk, don't you think? I have fond memories of that movie.
posted by UKnowForKids at 8:33 PM on August 1, 2003

What seems most inexplicable to me is that Roger Ebert actually seemed to not hate it...
posted by JollyWanker at 8:38 PM on August 1, 2003

Yes, I love reading reviews of hideously bad movies. I especially liked Joe Morgenstern in today's WSJ:

"Gigli, which starts Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, is the worst movie -- all right, the worst allegedly major movie -- of our admittedly young century. More stupefying follies may come, but it's impossible to imagine how they'll beat this one for staggering idiocy, fatuousness or pretension."
posted by pmurray63 at 8:56 PM on August 1, 2003

For me, the first startling flash of hilarity was the link text on "'Gigli' is really, really bad."

It's a shame, in a way. J.Lo was fun in Out of Sight. But now, maybe out of sight is the best place for her to be.
posted by swerve at 9:06 PM on August 1, 2003

Perhaps a little bit of it is that Lopez seems to be doing her best to wear out her 15 minutes of fame. How many magazine covers is she on this last month?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:10 PM on August 1, 2003

Civil_Disobedient, you made at least two people laugh really hard tonight. When The Onion hits, it hits mightily.
posted by squirrel at 9:14 PM on August 1, 2003

Boers and Bernstein on The Score in Chicago have been having a field day reading all these reviews of Gigli on their show.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:37 PM on August 1, 2003

Charles Taylor of Salon claims [...]

The exception that proves the rule if you ask me. I'm a Salon subscriber but that Charles Taylor is a strange 'un: his take on films (and everything else) always seems to indicate a set of critical priorities not found anywhere else in nature; certainly not found in any normal moviegoer. One of the best examples of a critic too caught up in his own issues to write reviews for a mass-market readership.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:48 PM on August 1, 2003

Is Charles Taylor really a film critic? From his review "it deserves credit for its refreshingly frank sexuality." He seems to have missed at least half of the films of the last 40 years.
posted by Joeforking at 10:32 PM on August 1, 2003

"A rigli, rigli bad movie."

That tomato says it all...

*Busy wiping tears from eyes after reading Onion article, especially the illustration of the survey. Oh, man!*
posted by soyjoy at 11:22 PM on August 1, 2003

Another fine compilation of the best snark that American film criticism has to offer:

I'm happy for the critics. It's nice to see them let loose!

The Washington Post: "Guys, I'm telling you: Don't go to this movie!...You're walking into a trap!"
posted by jengod at 1:29 AM on August 2, 2003

Ebert makes some really poor recommendations on occasion. I think he's taking money under the table, or has too many industry friends, because I just can't explain some of the stuff that is universally panned that he semi-recommends. Orange County, for instance. Bleecccch.
posted by mecran01 at 7:16 AM on August 2, 2003

With very few exceptions, don't make a movie with your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse. Usually you get something like Shanghai Surprise.

And while we're talking about snarky reviews of bad movies, one of my favorites was when CNN called Martin Lawrence's What's the Worst That Could Happen? "arguably the nadir of a nadir-centric movie career."
posted by kirkaracha at 8:31 AM on August 2, 2003

other popular methods of achieving Lopez and Affleck's on-screen demise included car bombs, multiple stab wounds, acid baths, rabid wolf attacks, lightning strikes, and, in one case, a "hammer party."

Hehe... "hammer party" caused me to snort out loud. Good job Onion!
posted by wfrgms at 9:46 AM on August 2, 2003

Enjoy, if you get a kick out of scalding prose

I used to get a kick out of scalding prose. But it would never scream or kick or otherwise be entertaining when I threw it in the water, so I had to ask, what's the point?

Now I torture my prose by simply writing badly. That makes it scream... oh yes, my pretty....
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:00 AM on August 2, 2003

Don't forget Battlefield Earth

Ebert served it up cold for that one:
"Battlefield Earth is like taking a bus trip with someone who has needed a bath for a long time. It's not merely bad; it's unpleasant in a hostile way."
posted by noisemartyr at 10:09 AM on August 2, 2003

The CNN movie guy who looks too much like Shadoe Stevens for it to be purely a coincidence (and who I think is named Leatherman) said:

"I've seen better chemistry when my dog humps the sofa cushions."
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:14 AM on August 2, 2003

"..a smoldering Affleck..."

I propose that this term be a new euphemism for a bowel movement, as in:

"Dude, you might want to stay out of the john for a while, I left a smoldering Affleck in there."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:27 AM on August 2, 2003

ob charles taylor: agreed that the man has issues. i think part of the problem with letting ole chucky (or his similarly fuckwit wife stephanie zacherak) write reviews like this is their fawning adoration of late film critic pauline kael. "no one was more reckless about praising...blowsy female performances (e.g., elizabeth taylor in x, y and zee or cher in come back to the five and dime, jimmy dean, jimmy dean)."
posted by pxe2000 at 10:56 AM on August 2, 2003

I always thought that this review for Lara Croft: Cradle of whatever was one of the best recent movie reviews I've read - spot on, heh..

Of recent movies I would also submit Dumb and Dumberer as a recent movie for which all involved should be shot. Out of a cannon preferably, urgh..
posted by Mossy at 12:12 PM on August 2, 2003

Don't forget Battlefield Earth

Dude, Battlefield Earth was frickin' high-larious. Maybe they didn't mean it to be, but I don't mind. I'd pay money to go see the sequel, so long as it still has Travolta and Whitaker as nine-foot-tall drag queen rasta-Psychlos with British dentists, and so long as the man-animals still hoot'n'holler like chimps as they fly umpty-thousand-year-old Harriers. And I'd also want to be convinced that it was filmed at Batman angles with awful wipes between every scene.

Gimme that, and you've got my five bucks.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:26 PM on August 2, 2003

mr_crash_davis: it is scary how well that works!! two thumbs up :)
posted by evening at 1:44 PM on August 2, 2003

Which brings us to the subject of our favorite horrible movies. Mine include Papillon, Bad Timing and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, arguably the the zenith of Pia Zadora's career.
posted by squirrel at 2:00 PM on August 2, 2003

my personal favorite bad movie is the day the earth froze, made popular on mst3k. if you know what a sampo is, write it down on a piece of paper, throw it away and try not to think about it. you'll be glad you did.
posted by pxe2000 at 2:28 PM on August 2, 2003

Know what a sampo is, hell, I gots me one. My old 13" tv says SAMPO on it, big as life and twice as ugly.

Me, I prefer Attack of the The Eye Creatures for my MST3K fun. Yes, the title really does have two the's in it.

Or The Creeping Terror, in which the filmmakers lost most of the soundtrack and replaced it with voiceover narration and bad music. "Bob asked Fred to check it out, and Fred agreed to do so..."

But Red Zone Cuba.... that's not a film for seeing, that's a film for laying down and avoiding.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:46 PM on August 2, 2003

Papillon is a bad movie?
posted by noisemartyr at 9:54 PM on August 2, 2003

I enjoyed following the Rotten Tomatoes reviews for Glitter, and I've enjoyed the reviews of Gigli. One difference I've noted between the two sets of reviews is that Gigli comes recommended by at least one or two reviewers as enjoyably bad ("gourmet fromage"), several critics specifically went out of their way to stress that Glitter isn't even a good bad movie. I love Stephanie Zacharek's comments from that review:

"I confess there's a part of me that wishes I could shield Carey from my own criticism of her: Her recent personal problems have been reported well past the point of exploitation by the press, and no celebrity deserves that.

But there's an overarching principle to consider here: Movies shouldn't be poo. I desperately wanted "Glitter" to be trashy and over-the-top, to be so courageously awful that I'd be able to recommend it as an afternoon of candy-floss diversion. As it is, it isn't nearly bad enough to be that kind of good."
posted by ramakrishna at 10:19 PM on August 2, 2003

Is that schadenfreude I see congealing on the walls? Note to self: when becoming a big-name movie star, never let one's relationship with another minimally talented movie star overshadow the frickin' sun.
posted by solistrato at 10:54 PM on August 2, 2003

Is that schadenfreude I see congealing on the walls?

OMG... do you think?

Note to self: when becoming a big-name movie star, never let one's relationship with another minimally talented movie star overshadow the frickin' sun.

Yeah, let us know how it all turns out, solistrato.
posted by soyjoy at 11:12 PM on August 2, 2003

Sorry to be so snarky, solistrato, but you sound like you could really use a good dose of that Onion article.
posted by soyjoy at 11:15 PM on August 2, 2003

Charles Taylor of Salon claims:

But what is Charles Taylor of Liberia's take on Gigli

(How the hell is Gigli supposed to be pronounced, anyway?)
posted by kayjay at 4:29 PM on August 4, 2003

That guy makes a mean high top sneaker.
posted by mecran01 at 4:35 PM on August 4, 2003

Or Charles Taylor of McGill....

Is Charles Taylor really a film critic? From his review "it deserves credit for its refreshingly frank sexuality." He seems to have missed at least half of the films of the last 40 years.

Although sex absolutely pervades hollywood movies, I'm not sure you can really say it's often represented in a "refreshingly frank" manner. It doesn't sound to me like watching jenn & ben engage in or discuss sexual interactions frankly (cutting fingernails, "gobble gobble", etc) would be the least bit enjoyable, but it might be novel. Anyway, hopefully this'll help kill their careers. It truly sounds like a horrendous film.

And yeah, what's with Papillon in all time bad movie category?
posted by mdn at 4:43 PM on August 4, 2003

Y'all liked Papillon? Steve McQueen as a wrongly-convicted French man? Maybe I was taking the blue pills when I should have been taking the white ones. We thought it was a laugh riot, but pure rot. Well, TEHO.
posted by squirrel at 7:17 PM on August 4, 2003

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