James Berardinelli Quotes

It's not hard to understand why an accomplished director like Gus Van Sant (whose most recent success, Good Will Hunting, gave him mainstream clout) would be interested in making this film. The lure of an exact remake presents a tremendous challenge. Unfortunately, it was undoubtedly a lot more stimulating for Van Sant and his crew to make Psycho than it is for an audience to watch it. [C]uriosity is going to be one of the primary reasons why people pay money to see this movie; boredom will be the predominant result.

James Berardinelli

Godzilla is the ultimate culmination of the "who cares about plot" summer movie. A loose remake of the 1954 "classic" Japanese monster movie, Godzilla, King of the Monsters (which is itself pretty thin in the story department), Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin's big-budget lizard-stomps-Manhattan disaster flick has been written with the brain dead in mind. The script isn't just "dumbed down," it's lobotomized. Godzilla lives and dies on special effects alone.

James Berardinelli

The term "godawful" should be used sparingly in connection with motion pictures. With Angels & Demons, however, it seems oddly appropriate. Not only does this prequel-turned-sequel to The Da Vinci Code make its predecessor seem like a masterwork of pacing and plotting, but it may represent a nadir for director Ron Howard and is probably the worst instance of acting from star Tom Hanks since back in the days when he was struggling out from under the shadow of Bosom Buddies.

James Berardinelli

Norbit operates on the principle that vulgarity is automatically funny. Crassness doesn't need a joke attached because it is (in and of itself) the height of hilarity.

James Berardinelli

Legally Blonde 2 should never have been made. It is a cinematic abomination a source of embarrassment for everyone involved. There have been worse films this year, but none has been marketed as this fun-loving and upbeat. Worthwhile moments are few and far between, and Reese Witherspoon's incandescent charm, which was one of the original Legally Blonde's saving graces, is so bright that it creates a glare. There's such a thing as being too perky.

James Berardinelli

If you thought it was impossible for a film to contain less effective comedy than Date Movie, here's evidence to the contrary.

James Berardinelli

Of all the indignities to have been visited upon Dracula during the past century (including being the "inspiration" for a cereal and a Sesame Street character, and being lampooned by Mel Brooks), none is more unsettling than what has happened to the world's most famous vampire in Dracula 2000. Dimension Films, the exploitation division of Miramax, decided that, with their two horror franchises currently on hold (the Scream and Halloween films), they would turn their attention in another direction. So they sunk their greedy fangs into the most venerable monster they could find and sucked him dry.

James Berardinelli

As absurd as it might sound, there's a strange synergy between very bad movies and very good ones. That's because films on either extreme of the quality scale have the ability to burrow deep into the subconscious, with unpredictable and occasionally remarkable results. Great works of art can cause euphoria, touch a deep emotional chord, or, in rare cases, affect fundamental changes in a person's outlook on life. Conversely, viewing unwatchable tripe can be damaging, possibly resulting in psychotic episodes, an appreciation of '70s fashion, or leaping to the defense of Pauly Shore. There's something almost profound about enduring a horrifically inept piece of cinema, and Coyote Ugly, living up to every letter in its name, offers the opportunity for such an experience.

James Berardinelli

I can't figure out who might appreciate this movie. Those who are expecting to sit back, stop thinking, and watch cool wall-to-wall battles are going to be disappointed. Those who yearn for a movie to recapture the long-lost horror and glory of the original creatures are going to be borderline suicidal. ... Simply put, [Alien vs. Predator: Requiem] is trash.

James Berardinelli

Those who delight in bad movies and enjoy producing their own unfilmed versions of Mystery Science Theater 3000 may gain a measure of semi-masochistic enjoyment out of Van Helsing. There are quite a few unintentionally funny moments, although the overall experience was too intensely painful for me to be able to advocate it as being "so bad, it's good."

James Berardinelli

When a movie is this bad, it's hard to adequately describe its awfulness in words. The temptation exists to write something along the lines of: "Something this horrible has to be seen to be believed." Of course, that kind of advice would lead to e-mail death threats and other assorted nasty comments from those who spend money on The Devil's Rejects. ... Aside from its poor production values, horrendous acting, and ignoble morality, The Devil's Rejects isn't engaging cinema. Even if the simple act of sitting in a movie theater watching people get hacked up for 90 minutes doesn't bother you, the dullness and repetition is likely to.

James Berardinelli

There's good news and bad news about 2 Fast 2 Furious, the moronic follow-up to The Fast and the Furious and a contender for the worst movie of 2003. The good news is that it's better, albeit marginally, than Freddy Got Fingered. The bad news is that it's 15 minutes longer.

James Berardinelli

It's mind-boggling to consider that movies this bad are actually committed to film. The poor quality of The Pest in almost every category humor, intelligence, creativity, and just plain entertainment value ranks it somewhere between a bad infomercial and a local cable newscast. Rarely do I consider the act of seeing a movie to be a chore, but this kind of experience is the exception.

James Berardinelli

Michael made his debut in John Carpenter's 1978 horror classic, Halloween, possibly the best scare movie to come along in the last twenty-five years. ... [W]ith the release of the sixth (and hopefully final) movie to bear the Halloween moniker, we see how far the mighty have fallen. ... In the final analysis, The Curse of Michael Myers is a horrific motion picture just not in the way the film makers intended.

James Berardinelli

I have to report that this motion picture is arguably the worst piece of cinematic crap I have ever experienced theatrically. Hyperbole, you wonder? I looked through my list of zero-star movies and couldn't find one entry (except the immortal Zombie vs. Mardi Gras, which was a straight-to-video release) that ranked as more difficult to endure. Words like abomination and travesty don't do this movie justice. Sitting through Freddy Got Fingered was one of the most depressing experiences in my 10 years of reviewing films. It's not even enjoyable on a campy level. It's just bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.

James Berardinelli

I could start this review by stating that Dumb and Dumberer lives up to its name, or by calling it stupid, moronic, and idiotic, but I believe that approach is a trap, since a movie like this might relish being the object of such bland invectives. Instead, let me try a few that can't possibly be misconstrued as twisted praise: unfunny, boring, torturous, and unwatchable. ... No movie could be more aptly compared to raw sewage than this film

James Berardinelli

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