Maybe I'm missing something, but...
May 7, 2009 12:45 PM   Subscribe

You Can't Please Everyone is a collection of one-star reviews of classic movies, music, and literature on Amazon. It contains reviews of The Odyssey and many others. From Cynical-C [via]
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin (47 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Metafilter: If you want some great writing, try Ayn Rand.
posted by ageispolis at 12:47 PM on May 7, 2009


Okay clearly some of these are meant to be funny. To wit:

Okay, seriously, who the heck are these Spinal Tap fellas? I’m an expert on music (I studied the art form for four years, know every artist of the last 40 years, and scored an A+ on my math test…which really doesn’t have anything to do with music, but it shows you that I am intellegent), and have never heard of these guys before. Let me ask you a perfectly reasonable question: why would you want to watch a documentary on a band that you’ve never heard of before? And to top it all off, the interviewer is some guy named Rob (who resembles a pig! That’s right, a little piggy!). If I wanted to look at a hog for an hour, I’d make some bacon!

Also of note is that there’s some character named ‘Bobbi Fleckman’. How can you people be fooled so easily? Don’t you realize that it’s nothing but a cheap disguise? It’s really The Nanny, Fran Fine! Nice try, Fran, but I didn’t believe it for one second! I guess sometimes, you just have to get away from that butler and that old British guy!

People, whatever you do, don’t buy this trash! Just wait until Limp Bizkit (the greatest band ever!) makes a documentary on their wild and crazy and cool antics! It’s sure to put this to shame!

posted by shakespeherian at 12:51 PM on May 7, 2009


Shit sandwich.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:52 PM on May 7, 2009


I knew that it would be somewhat of a challange, knowing it was poetry and since it was assigned in my Honors English class.

Irony is dead.
posted by cereselle at 12:52 PM on May 7, 2009


Heh. I usually click the 1 star reviews first on anything I'm considering purchasing. It's good to see what stuck in someone's craw about a book/movie/power tool/food item/howitzer/etc.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:53 PM on May 7, 2009


Yeah, dude doesn't seem interested in picking out trolls.
posted by box at 1:01 PM on May 7, 2009


Meh.

I can't sea why anyone would waist time on this cite.
posted by bonehead at 1:03 PM on May 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


John Scalzi posts his own one-star reviews, challenges other writers to do the same... mefi's own Charlie Stross accepts that challenge.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:05 PM on May 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


"The first time Steven [Tyler] saw it he didn't see any humor in it. That's how close to home it was. He was pissed! He was like, That's not funny!"
— Brad Whitford from Aerosmith, commenting on "This is Spinal Tap" (Spin, May 1997)
posted by spoobnooble at 1:10 PM on May 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Beatles bring out the worst in many reviewers:

My friend’s mother’s brother gave it for my birthday I told him I like music from old history which is all gone now anyways he boaght me this well I hate it SERIOUSLY it is unbearable to listen to it gives me the shrivels! and where is paint it back?

That being said, "it gives me the shrivels" is a brilliant line.

I notice another astute music historian blew the roof of Sgt. Pepper's, revealing it as a cheap knock-off of The Dark Side of the Moon. And those Beatle bastards even went so far as to release it six years ahead of TDSOTM. How low will they stoop?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:11 PM on May 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


I am wondering, though: What about one-star reviews for translations? Or bad transfers of movies? A list of one-star translations of different editions of The Odyssey would be helpful, at least...
posted by pxe2000 at 1:13 PM on May 7, 2009


That's a fantastic quote, spoobnooble. Steven Tyler is probably the ultimate example of the rockstar-by-numbers.
posted by Dr-Baa at 1:13 PM on May 7, 2009


"John Scalzi posts his own one-star reviews, challenges other writers to do the same... mefi's own Charlie Stross accepts that challenge."

John Scalzi is also Metafilter's own, by the way.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:13 PM on May 7, 2009


Metafilter: it really sucke
posted by spoobnooble at 1:13 PM on May 7, 2009


Goodfellas:
Little to offer to a Christian-based viewer who ascribes to humanist values.

Probably true.
posted by djgh at 1:14 PM on May 7, 2009


Yes, I do think some joke-reviews do make it through his filter, but the fact that it takes a bit to tell the difference makes me really question...a lot.

And honestly, this quote totally makes it worth it. I'm thinking about putting it on a t-shirt. Not sure why but it really, really tickled me.

Goodfellas could’ve been a great Scorsese film but after 30 minutes I couldn’t stand all the swearing.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:19 PM on May 7, 2009


John Scalzi posts his own one-star reviews, challenges other writers to do the same... mefi's own Charlie Stross accepts that challenge.

I didn't think this was particularly courageous, because so many reviews can be dismissed as stupid / illiterate. But actually some of those 1-star reviews of Old Man's War should be hitting pretty close to home.

(Stross's chosen 1-star reviews are mostly dumb enough that he can smug through them without taking them seriously.)

I don't know that either of them have reached the level of non-attachment at which they can actually learn something from the 1-star reviews, though.
posted by grobstein at 1:19 PM on May 7, 2009


This would be a great site if it didn't use the F word so much.
posted by tinatiga at 1:22 PM on May 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


This makes me sad.
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:26 PM on May 7, 2009


At one point maybe it was a great book. But hell, now its a waste of time. And why read the book when the movie is out?

You sir, are either a troll or a moron.

I saw this movie and just about puked in my lap because it was so terrible! Go see the Da Vinci Code instead. Tom Hanks is ten times the actor Orson “Fatty McFat” Welles ever was!


You sir, are either a troll or a moron.

Awful language and no point. And if I see the phrase “so it goes” one more time, I’m going to scream! Why in the world this is considered a classic is beyond me.

You sir.... oh, I give up.
posted by Dr-Baa at 1:27 PM on May 7, 2009


I didn't think this was particularly courageous, because so many reviews can be dismissed as stupid / illiterate. But actually some of those 1-star reviews of Old Man's War should be hitting pretty close to home.

Grobstein, I had the same reaction to that first review of Old Man's War. Which, oddly enough, is not to say I didn't really enjoy the book.

In a A Certain World: A Commonplace Book by W. H. Auden, under the heading, "Nursery Library, My," Auden wrote:

As readers, we remain in the nursery stage so long as we cannot distinguish between taste and judgment, so long, that is, as the only possible verdicts we can pass on a book are two: this I like; this I don't like.

For an adult reader, the possible verdicts are five: I can see this is good and I like it; I can see this is good but I don't like it; I can see this is good, and, though at present I don't like it, I believe with perseverance I shall come to like it; I can see that this is trash but I like it; I can see that this is trash and I don't like it.


I find that a useful rubric, and really enjoy certain Sci Fi--Old Man's War included--under "I can see that this is trash [or, put in other words, I'm mindful of its flaws] but I like it."
posted by not that girl at 1:30 PM on May 7, 2009 [16 favorites]


I think what's upsetting me the most now that I've spent more time with the site can best be summed up by this example:

I read this (bold mine because, again, another t-shirt worthy phrase...seriously, Amazon should consider this idea as a profit stream)

This book was God awful. I felt so disappointed when i read that gatsby was murdered. I felt as if the world collapsed on me as i read this catastrophic event. Gatsby is the miz an and daisy is a sliz to the iz ut. Scott Fitzgerald i wish u were alive so i could kill u. Love DGS!!!


So, yeah, ha, ha, I laugh at the one-starring reviewer. But after that initial response, I get too wrapped up in what I want to stay to DGS, which is:

Dude/Dudette, if the end of a book so enrages you that you want to pop a cap in the author because you've gotten so attached to the characters he just killed or if your response to any art is feeling "as if the world collapsed on me" -- the book/art is ACTUALLY GOOD.

Then I realize I'm taking this all to seriously.

And then I find another example and it happens all over again.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:31 PM on May 7, 2009


Awful language and no point. And if I see the phrase “so it goes” one more time, I’m going to scream! Why in the world this is considered a classic is beyond me.

When someone says "it's beyond them," they're admitting their stupidity.

So, yeah.
posted by grubi at 1:38 PM on May 7, 2009


IT IS CALLED PLADGERISM, FOLKS!

I feel bad for some of these people, because I honestly suspect there might be some mental issues at work, like with the guy who did the 5th review down for Blazing Saddles. But I guess I think that more because of the random capitalization, quotation marks, brackets, and excessive exclamation marks and ellipses.

But boy, some of these people are awfully mad. My favorites are the ones where they apparently had no idea what kind of movie they were seeing and are SO ANGRY that it's not the sort they like.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 1:41 PM on May 7, 2009


Like a wise man once said, The Beatles have copied every rock band that came after them.
posted by daniel_charms at 1:50 PM on May 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


grobstein:

I didn't think this was particularly courageous, because so many reviews can be dismissed as stupid / illiterate. But actually some of those 1-star reviews of Old Man's War should be hitting pretty close to home.

I've been a professional critic for two decades, so that helps in terms of not taking negative reviews personally; I've dished out enough of them (thousands of them at this point) that I know it's about one person's experience of the work, not a referendum on me as a person.

Also, I'm the sort of person who when I get hate mail I grade it and send it back for revision, so, you know. It takes a lot to get to me.

In any event, I like intelligent negative reviews. I'm not so egotistical that I think everyone will love everything I do, and a good negative review can be useful. Some of the negative reviews (or negative comments in positive reviews) of my book The Last Colony centered on a species of creatures called the "werewolves" -- those comments were on point enough that when I wrote Zoe's Tale, the follow-up, I addressed those concerns.

So basically, seeing negative reviews as an opportunity for useful criticism rather than a personal attack really is the way to go.
posted by jscalzi at 1:58 PM on May 7, 2009


One of my favorite things about negative reviews is the quest to restore balance and meaning to the universe by explaining how people who like it don't really like it:

Folks who want to appear intelligent (even though they’re not) will swear this is a good movie, when they really don’t understand it.

Why this album is so popular will always be a mystery to me. I guess if you take a lot of drugs anything will sound good.

In this soap-opera-like “classic” nothing is accomplished except reviewers making themselves look good by calling the book good.

We really don’t need to pretend to be smart by liking Citizen Kane.
posted by lore at 2:10 PM on May 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


Did you guys, like, kill this site or something? Can't seem to get through. Is it just me?
posted by Clay201 at 2:13 PM on May 7, 2009


Reminds of this classic one-star: "Gene Wolfe isn't a reader's writer. The hammers out wrds to decribe events with little use for grace or refinement."
posted by Iridic at 2:28 PM on May 7, 2009


Clay201,

No, I can't access it either.
posted by Sangermaine at 2:32 PM on May 7, 2009


I'm glad I saw this page a few days ago instead of today. It's on the front page of MeFi and Fark. God help it.
posted by darksasami at 2:36 PM on May 7, 2009


I had the misfortune on having to watch this trash. I am here to warn you… NEVER EVER SEE THIS BORING NON-SENSICAL GARBAGE!

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

* * * * *


I gave it one star for Jeff Bridges. Usual his presence would guarantee at least a 2 star rating, but he wasn’t exactly lust material in this.

"You mean coitus?"

* * * * *


It just seemed to go on forever. I guess with movies that have no real plot, there can’t actually be much of a natural ending.

"The story is ludicrous."

* * * * *


I saw this movie on tv, with all the language cut out, and thought it was very funny.

YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FIND A STRANGER IN THE ALPS?

* * * * *


However after hearing the “F” word every three or four words, I shut it off. Sorry to see our language sink to such low levels.

"Do you have to use so many cuss words?"

"What the fuck are you talking about?"

"Okay, Dude, have it your way."

etc. et ad inf.
posted by gompa at 3:24 PM on May 7, 2009


One of my favorite blogs! Looks like all the sudden traffic means I can't read it for now. This series is pretty funny - worth checking out when the site is back up. I thought about making a mefi post about these but worried everyone would 'meh' on one of my favorite places.

This is subjective of course, but what is funny about these reviews is IMHO, that the reviewers aren't simple trolls, but rather someone who has been told something was great, really REALLY GREAT, but they are in a place in their own life where they JUST CANNOT SEE IT. They are frustrated, angry, disappointed, bored. And it's kind of sweet really. Their disappointment is amusing at first, yeah, I'm probably being condescending as I laugh at them, but then they remind me of times in my own life where I didn't get something because of youth or impatience or because I simply refused to do so.

These are examples of different levels of artistic interpretive maturity that may or may not change. As someone above mentioned if it makes you so mad you feel like killing over it- it's actually pretty good stuff. But I like these for their suggestion of youthful rebellion. So full of passion, even though they're missing the point. It's cute.
posted by dog food sugar at 3:34 PM on May 7, 2009




I prefer Daniele Steele, and there’s no basis for telling me I’m wrong. Vonnegut is no better or worse than Daniele Steele!


Sure, if you're illiterate its all just shapes on a page.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:47 PM on May 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The book begins with the hero sitting down in front of his house in order to stop it being demolished to make room for a highway. He’s lucky he wasn’t Rachel Corrie, an American who was killed by an Israeli driving a bulldozer. Her death didn’t receive one per cent of the publicity accorded this book, which descends into a cycle of abstruse stupidity.


Where do these people come from? They can't all work for the Kansas Board of Education.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:54 PM on May 7, 2009


Maybe I’m missing something, but I thought it was really rushed, didn’t have a whole lot of content, and the ending was really weird and unexpected.. lol maybe I should have read the cleft notes or something..
posted by merelyglib at 6:28 PM on May 7, 2009


I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who read all of them.
posted by jeffamaphone at 6:33 PM on May 7, 2009


Cleft notes.

*giggles*
posted by merelyglib at 7:12 PM on May 7, 2009


Slaughterhouse-5 is so random that it just doesn’t make sense at all. It doesn’t seem to have a point, and it loses all credibility when it talks about how Billy Pilgrim has an “enormous wang.” If this is such a great anti-war book, why doesn’t it make that point?
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:59 AM on May 8, 2009


from 'The Odyssey' link: Now let me begin by saying I understood this book. I read it for my freshman english class, and really didn’t have much trouble understanding it. That being said, I still hated this book. It was tedious, boring, and extremely conceited.

This made me cry.

Really.

I'm crying right now.
posted by koeselitz at 3:41 AM on May 8, 2009


When I see garbage like this, I finally understand what is wrong with the world. I watched this movie on a dare and was absolutely mortified!!!!! I would have given it negative stars if I could have. As an animal lover and vegetarian, I was especially offended!!! Anyone who is a fan of this series should run, not walk to the nearest Psychiatrist. You are in desperate need of having your head examined. And we as a society wonder why violence and seriel killers have become a part of daily life. Well, ladies and gentlemen I present to you Exhibit A…….

Granted, I haven't seen the movie in a few years, but I don't remember any animal torture or violence porn in The Sound of Music.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 4:57 AM on May 8, 2009


Also, "series"?
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 5:00 AM on May 8, 2009


(This review also covers Slaughterhouse 1-4)
posted by grobstein at 5:42 AM on May 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


It’s the book that killed John Lennon. Oswald had a copy.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:20 AM on May 8, 2009


Granted, I haven't seen the movie in a few years, but I don't remember any animal torture or violence porn in The Sound of Music.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 6:57 AM on May 8


You haven't seen that version? I guess not many people stay up to watch the 1 am version of The Sound of Music. It's full of animal torture and porn. You'll never think of Do Re Me the same way...ever.
posted by rand at 7:43 AM on May 8, 2009


Look at this.

I think the Sound of Music guy mixed up the reviews. He was talking about a "Faces of death" collection. Still very funny, though.
posted by Baldons at 8:29 AM on May 8, 2009


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