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Movie Review Clichés

March 23, 2010

break out the sounds of silence on this airport scene.

1. If there a shot of one person standing on the people mover at LAX, the scene is said to evoke THE GRADUATE.
Did I miss something? Was LAX build to accommodate the production needs of Mike Nichols? Because I’m reasonably sure the airport and its people mover were there before. And if not, standing on a people mover looking zonked is not exactly a novel experience, particularly if you’ve departed from the following airports: O’hare, Heathrow, Golly Charles or Kennedy.

2. Look, nothing is really “Beautifully Realized” or a “Tour-de-force” or “Riveting”.
Just say: The star didn’t punch out the director and production was completed on time and under budget. or Lead Actor hogged the screen. or Lead Actress has new bewbs.

3. “Channeling her inner Streep” or “Channeling his inner Brando”.
How about saying, “I really enjoyed the performance.”?

4. “In this against type role…”
translation: I am a bigot so I’m uncomfortable with depictions of fat people with healthy relationships, black men with professional jobs or black women who don’t honey, chile their way to the movie. Or own up to the fact you think the damn role was woefully miscast!

5. “Hollywood’s hardest working actor…”
Translation: I’m about tired of this motherfucker. Can’t they get someone else?

20 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2010 7:14 am

    So great to see the internet’s hardest working blogger channel her inner Ebert. But seriously, I love the way you skewer the pop vernacular.

    I always felt “riveting” translated as “didn’t need to run out of the theater to throw up.”

  2. March 23, 2010 8:45 am

    Ha. Could be. It’s entirely possible. Depends on the actor though.

  3. March 23, 2010 9:44 am

    I’m kinda sick of critics invoking “Old School Hollywood” or “Golden Age Filmaking”. First of all, they really DON’T make ’em like that anymore, and second of all, there were plenty of crap films made in the “Golden Age”. Nostalgia is a bitter bitch.

  4. March 23, 2010 9:52 am

    Don’t forget “The Citizen Kane of _____” Most recently used to describe The Hurt Locker as “The Citizen Kane of Iraq War Movies”. Yeah right.

  5. March 23, 2010 9:55 am

    I’m going to leave the “Gone With the Wind” of comments. Just wait.

  6. March 23, 2010 10:07 am

    That’s a tour-de-force I’d like to see!

  7. March 23, 2010 10:13 am

    I think you mean farce.

    *clown horn*

  8. March 23, 2010 11:07 am

    “tour de farce”

    that’s usually reserved for any film starring more than two members of Monty Python.

  9. March 23, 2010 11:24 am

    “sleek, hip, sexy” =

    “tired out, but you’ll see tits”

  10. evmaroon permalink
    March 23, 2010 11:53 am

    THIS. Sure, some things are derivative, but honestly, should reviewers knock a whole movie for a 3-second shot that reminds them of something else?
    But come on, don’t you love a good actor brawl?

  11. March 23, 2010 12:15 pm

    Nothing is sweeter than the sound of a silk blouse tearing.

  12. March 23, 2010 12:17 pm

    These are my girls. This is right up there with “Cecil, DON’T YOU DIE ON ME.”

  13. March 23, 2010 12:19 pm


  14. March 23, 2010 12:23 pm

    that might need to be our new blog “tagline”

  15. March 23, 2010 12:24 pm

    It should be!

  16. March 23, 2010 12:27 pm

    I like “channeling his/her inner _____” because it infers that unless the actor is channeling a better actor, their own acting basically sucks.

  17. March 23, 2010 12:31 pm

    Steve Guttenberg, who is actually as horrible as all those bad late night talk show monologues would have you believe.

  18. March 23, 2010 12:31 pm

    ooh, make it so!

  19. evmaroon permalink
    March 24, 2010 1:16 am

    inspiring, right?

  20. March 24, 2010 8:09 am

    When are we doing the Moldavian Massacre?

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