Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.
— Mark Twain
Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
— Oscar Wilde
For Americans, thats 109.4 degrees F !!
It was 43 degrees C today!
Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.
It was hot today. Very hot. Las Vegas in July hot. Grand Canyon in July hot. Global warming is real.
We were stomping around temple ruins all day, except for a much-needed 2-hour siesta.
For Americans, thats 109.4 degrees F !!
Remembering Roger Ebert
The great film critic Roger Ebert passed away this week, after a long, heroic battle with cancer. He worked and published until the end. I liked his work, but I loved how he tried so hard to find the good in every film. He was rarely mean, and generally was the warm cheerful foil to the "grouchier" Gene Siskel (who also passed away too early). I could go on and on, but I think the best tribute I read is a list of excerpts from the few movies he (rightfully) hated. I've copied from this excellent post here, by Nico Lang. Enjoy, and think of all the great writing from this American original.
If you like the excerpts below, then I recommend the (kindle) books below. I've loaded them into my iPad mini, for my 2-day flight to Cape Town...$7.69 well spent!
Your Movie Sucks
A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length:More Movies That Suck
Thank you Roger Ebert.
40 Hilariously Mean Roger Ebert Reviews:
1. A Lot Like Love (2005):
“Judging by their dialogue, Oliver and Emily have never read a book or a newspaper, seen a movie, watched TV, had an idea, carried on an interesting conversation or ever thought much about anything. The movie thinks they are cute and funny, which is embarrassing, like your uncle who won’t stop with the golf jokes.”
2. Americathon (1979):
“If you plan to miss this movie, better miss it quickly; I doubt if it’ll be around to miss for long.”
3. Armageddon (1998):
“Here it is at last, the first 150-minute trailer. Armageddon is cut together like its own highlights. Take almost any 30 seconds at random, and you’d have a TV ad. The movie is an assault on the eyes, the ears, the brain, common sense, and the human desire to be entertained. No matter what they’re charging to get in, it’s worth more to get out.”
4. Atlas Shrugged (Part 1) (2011):
“And now I am faced with this movie, the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capone’s vault…There is also a love scene, which is shown not merely from the waist up but from the ears up. The man keeps his shirt on. This may be disappointing for libertarians, who I believe enjoy rumpy-pumpy as much as anyone.”
5. B.A.P.S. (1997):
“My guess is that African Americans will be offended by the movie, and whites will be embarrassed. The movie will bring us all together, I imagine, in paralyzing boredom.”
6. Baby Geniuses (1999):
“This is an old idea, beautifully expressed by Wordsworth, who said, ‘Heaven lies about us in our infancy.’ If I could quote the whole poem instead of completing this review, believe me, we’d all be happier. But I press on.”
7. Battle: Los Angeles (2011):
“Young men: If you attend this crap with friends who admire it, tactfully inform them they are idiots. Young women: If your date likes this movie, tell him you’ve been thinking it over, and you think you should consider spending some time apart.”
8. Battlefield Earth (2000):
“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.”
9. The Beyond (1981):
“The movie is being revived around the country for midnight cult showings. Midnight is not late enough.”
10. Body of Evidence (1993):
“What about the story here? It has to be seen to be believed — something I do not advise. There’s all kinds of murky plot debris involving nasal spray with cocaine in it, ghosts from the past, bizarre sex, and lots of nudity. We are asked to believe that Madonna lives on a luxury houseboat, where she parades in front of the windows naked at all hours, yet somehow doesn’t attract a crowd, not even of appreciative lobstermen.”
11. Breaking the Rules (1992):
“”The movie has to be seen to be believed. It is a long, painful lapse of taste, tone, and ordinary human feeling. Perhaps it was made by beings from another planet, who were able to watch our television in order to absorb key concepts such as cars, sex, leukemia, and casinos, but formed an imperfect view of how to fit them together.”
12. Catwoman (2004):
“The director, whose name is Pitof, was probably issued with two names at birth and would be wise to use the other one on his next project.”
13. Dice Rules (1991):
“Dice Rules is one of the most appalling movies I have ever seen. It could not be more damaging to the career of Andrew Dice Clay if it had been made as a documentary by someone who hated him. The fact that Clay apparently thinks this movie is worth seeing is revealing and sad, indicating that he not only lacks a sense of humor, but also ordinary human decency.”
14. Dirty Love (2005):
“Dirty Love wasn’t written and directed, it was committed. Here is a film so pitiful, it doesn’t rise to the level of badness. It is hopelessly incompetent… I am not certain that anyone involved has ever seen a movie, or knows what one is.”
15-16. Freddy Got Fingered (2001):
So great it gets two entries.
“Then he visits his friend in the hospital. A woman in the next bed goes into labor. [Tom Green] rips the baby from her womb and, when it appears to be dead, brings it to life by swinging it around his head by its umbilical cord, spraying the walls with blood. If you wanted that to be a surprise, then I’m sorry I spoiled it for you.”
“This movie doesn’t scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels.”
17. Friends and Lovers (1999):
“Last week I hosted the first Overlooked Film Festival at the University of Illinois, for films that have been unfairly overlooked. If I ever do a festival of films that deserve to be overlooked, Friends & Lovers is my opening night selection.”
18. The Frighteners (1996):
“Last year, I reviewed a nine-hour documentary about the lives of Mongolian yak herdsmen, and I would rather see it again than sit throughThe Frighteners.”
19. Godzilla (1998):
“Going to see Godzilla at the Palais of the Cannes Film Festival is like attending a satanic ritual in St. Peter’s Basilica…It was the festival’s closing film, coming at the end like the horses in a parade, perhaps for the same reason.”
20. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003):
“Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson star. I neglected to mention that, maybe because I was trying to place them in this review’s version of the Witness Protection Program. If I were taken off the movie beat and assigned to cover the interior design of bowling alleys, I would have some idea of how they must have felt as they made this film.”
21. I Spit on Your Grave (1978):
“This movie is an expression of the most diseased and perverted darker human natures, Because it is made artlessly, It flaunts its motives: There is no reason to see this movie except to be entertained by the sight of sadism and suffering. As a critic, I have never condemned the use of violence in films if I felt the filmmakers had an artistic reason for employing it. I Spit on Your Grave does not. It is a geek show. I wonder if its exhibitors saw it before they decided to play it, and if they felt as unclean afterward as I did.”
22. Jason X (2001):
“’This sucks on so many levels.’ Dialogue from Jason X; rare for a movie to so frankly describe itself. Jason X sucks on the levels of storytelling, character development, suspense, special effects, originality, punctuation, neatness and aptness of thought.”
23. Johnny Be Good (1988):
“This movie is simply financial leakage, a squandering of resources equivalent to polluting a river or plowing under a rain forest. I’m serious. We’re desperate for things to think about in this society, and these guys contribute to the situation by providing us with 86 minutes of zip. They oughta have their pictures on the post office wall.”
24. The Last Airbender (2011):
“The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented. The laws of chance suggest that something should have gone right. Not here. It puts a nail in the coffin of low-rent 3D, but it will need a lot more coffins than that.”
25. Little Indian, Big City (1994):
“Through a stroke of good luck, the entire third reel of the film was missing the day I saw it. I went back to the screening room two days later, to view the missing reel. It was as bad as the rest, but nothing could have saved this film. As my colleague Gene Siskel observed, ‘If the third reel had been the missing footage from Orson Welles’ The Magnificent Ambersons, this movie still would have sucked…There is a movie called Fargo playing right now. It is a masterpiece. Go see it. If you, under any circumstances, see Little Indian, Big City, I will never let you read one of my reviews again.”
26. Mad Dog Time (1996):
“Mad Dog Time is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time. Oh, I’ve seen bad movies before. But they usually made me care about how bad they were. Watching Mad Dog Time is like waiting for the bus in a city where you’re not sure they have a bus line….Mad Dog Time should be cut into free ukulele picks for the poor.”
27. Mandingo (1975):
“Mandingo is racist trash, obscene in its manipulation of human beings and feelings, and excruciating to sit through in an audience made up largely of children, as I did last Saturday afternoon. The film has an “R” rating, which didn’t keep many kids out, since most came with their parents… if [Chicago] believes Mandingo should be shown to children, then there are no possible standards left and the only thing to do is transfer the censors to the parks department, where they can supervise paper‑plate‑throwing contests.”
28. North (1994):
“I hated this movie. Hated, hated, hated, hated, hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.”
29. One Woman or Two (1985):
“Add it all up, and what you’ve got here is a waste of good electricity. I’m not talking about the electricity between the actors. I’m talking about the current to the projector.”
30. Pink Flamingos (1972):
“John Waters’ Pink Flamingos has been restored for its 25th anniversary revival, and with any luck at all that means I won’t have to see it again for another 25 years. If I haven’t retired by then, I will.”
31. Revolver (2005):
“Some of the acting is better than the film deserves. Make that all of the acting. Actually, the film stock itself is better than the film deserves. You know when sometimes a film catches fire inside a projector? If it happened with this one, I suspect the audience might cheer.”
32. Saving Silverman (2001):
“Saving Silverman is so bad in so many different ways that perhaps you should see it, as an example of the lowest slopes of the bell-shaped curve. This is the kind of movie that gives even its defenders fits of desperation. Consider my friend James Berardinelli, the best of the Web-based critics. No doubt 10 days of oxygen deprivation at the Sundance Film Festival helped inspire his three-star review, in which he reports optimistically, ‘Saving Silverman has its share of pratfalls and slapstick moments, but there’s almost no flatulence.’ Here’s a critical rule of thumb: You know you’re in trouble when you’re reduced to praising a movie for its absence of fart jokes, and have to add ‘almost.’”
33. Sex Drive (2008):
“Sex Drive is an exercise in versatile vulgarity. The actors seem to be performing a public reading of the film’s mastery of the subject. Not only are all the usual human reproductive and excretory functions evoked, but new and I think probably impossible ones are included. This movie doesn’t contain ‘offensive language.’ The offensive language contains the movie.”
34. The Skulls (2000):
“The Skulls is one of the great howlers, a film that bears comparison, yes, with The Greek Tycoon or even The Scarlet Letter. It’s so ludicrous in so many different ways it achieves a kind of forlorn grandeur. It’s in a category by itself.”
35. Sour Grapes (1998):
“Sour Grapes is a comedy about things that aren’t funny. It reminded me of Crash, an erotic thriller about things no one finds erotic. The big difference is that David Cronenberg, who made Crash, knew that people were not turned on by auto accidents. Larry David, who wrote and directed Sour Grapes, apparently thinks people are amused by cancer, accidental castration, racial stereotypes and bitter family feuds… The more I think of it, the more Sour Grapes really does resemble Crash (except that Crash was not a bad film). Both movies are like watching automobile accidents. Only one was intended to be.”
36. Spice World (1997):
“The Spice Girls are easier to tell apart than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but that is small consolation: What can you say about five women whose principal distinguishing characteristic is that they have different names? They occupy Spice World as if they were watching it: They’re so detached they can’t even successfully lip-synch their own songs. During a rehearsal scene, their director tells them, with such truth that we may be hearing a secret message from the screenwriter, ‘That was absolutely perfect — without being actually any good.’ Spice World is obviously intended as a ripoff of A Hard Day’s Night which gave The Beatles to the movies…the huge difference, of course, is that the Beatles were talented — while, let’s face it, the Spice Girls could be duplicated by any five women under the age of 30 standing in line at Dunkin’ Donuts.”
37. A Taste of Cherry (1997):
“A case can be made for the movie, but it would involve transforming the experience of viewing the film (which is excruciatingly boring) into something more interesting, a fable about life and death. Just as a bad novel can be made into a good movie, so can a boring movie be made into a fascinating movie review.”
38. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003):
“I like good horror movies. They can exorcise our demons. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre doesn’t want to exorcise anything. It wants to tramp crap through our imaginations and wipe its feet on our dreams. I think of filmgoers on a date, seeing this movie and then — what? I guess they’ll have to laugh at it, irony being a fashionable response to the experience of being had. … Do yourself a favor. There are a lot of good movies playing right now that can make you feel a little happier, smarter, sexier, funnier, more excited — or more scared, if that’s what you want. This is not one of them. Don’t let it kill 98 minutes of your life.”
39. Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie (2012):
“As faithful readers will know, I have a few cult followers who enjoy my reviews of bad movies. These have been collected in the books I Hated, Hated, Hated, HATED This Movie, Your Movie Sucks and A Horrible Experience of Unendurable Length. This movie is so bad, it couldn’t even inspire a review worthy of one of those books. I have my standards.”
40. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2010):
“If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination… The movie has been signed by Michael Bay. This is the same man who directed The Rock in 1996. Now he has made Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Faust made a better deal.”
I'm an applied-math-research Ph.D. and serial startup founder. I am a recognized computer security expert, fortunate to join the ranks of many, great CTO's. I've founded and seed-funded multiple, successful, VC-backed companies. I'm still at it!