Thursday, 8 April 2010

REVIEW REVIEWED

My last blog post, about Clash of the Titans, was rather pleasingly received: my friend Richard Kaufman (editor of the magic magazine, Genii) quoted it on his Facebook page as "a partial haiku":

"The kraken wakes.
The audience sleeps."
The blog reader smiles. :)

And Maxine - she of the highly literary Petrona website - was kind enough to leave a comment describing my mini-critique as * blush * "The best film review I've ever read. Brilliant!"

Very kind, I'm sure; but not a patch, I think, on my all-time favourite film review, written by C A Lejeune, The Observer's long-serving movie critic, who succinctly dismissed the 1947 June Haver picture,

I Wonder Who's Kissing
Her Now


in just four devastating words...

"I couldn't care less."

Now, that is brilliant!

18 comments:

Maxine said...

Yes, that is good, but yours is better ;-)

(I like the haiku version also)

I am just relieved that these excellent reviews mean I don't actually have to see either film.

Brian Sibley said...

True, Maxine, and I'm glad to have obliged even if, for me, the price was rather too high! ;)

Andy J. Latham said...

Brilliant review in both cases! You should make it your life's goal to do a revview in three words to beat that one ;)

Geno said...

I must say that at first I was disappointed, I was expecting a full review of the many reasons why I should not watch it, but after a bit I went back and read it again and saw the simplicity of it and smiled. I knew I would not be watching this film just based on that alone.

Brian Sibley said...

ANDY - Your suggestion did make me think of a TWO word review, as follows...

Clash of the Titans:

They miss.


GENO - You're right! I was being a bit lazy in not really pulling the film limb from limb!

I did write in a tad more detail about some of the film's shortcomings in the comments to the original post, but what struck me most forcibly about the experience was the fact that the cinema audience (and it was a full house) clearly didn't give a damn about the picture.

As you leave the cinema at the end of a screening, there is normally some sort of 'buzz' about the foregoing two hours' entertainment: after Clash, the exiting audience wandered away into the night like sleepwalking zombies - numbed, I believe, into total apathy!

Suzanne said...

In French, the film is billed as "the SHOCK of the Titans" (shocking I know) and the review I heard on Belgian radio was similar to yours - in a word soporific. I was never tempted before these reviews, but maybe I should buy the DVD instead of swallowing sleeping pills every night!

Brian Sibley said...

SUZANNE - Well, the best 20 minutes or so (relatively speaking, of course!) are right at the end, I think it might do the trick! Long before Medusa slithers on screen you should, indeed, be safely in the arms of that Greek deity named Morpheus!

Sheila said...

When young Sibley writes a review
Of a film you should flush down the loo
If it’s sent him to sleep
The director will weep
At Brian’s words, which are cogent and few

Brian Sibley said...

Many thanks to SHEILA, the Bard of Ascot.

Andy J. Latham said...

haha that's a great one too Brian :P

Geno said...

I understand what you mean about the "buzz" after a film. I have only went to the theater maybe four times (two of those being the Narnia's) since watching Return of the King. There has been nothing to top that theatrical experience, and it just is not worth the admission for me to be disappointed anymore.

Brian Sibley said...

I hope there will always be at least some films where I experience that sense of excitement in the cinema. I think, however, the likelihood of it nowadays is probably in inverse proportion to the amount of hype I'm subjected to in advance!

Sheila said...

Brian, your minimalist approach to reviewing is catching!

In today's Guardian Guide, Will Dean reviews new music releases. For Kate Nash's CD Do Wah Doo, his review reads:
Do wah don't.

Brian Sibley said...

Brilliant! Just think of the trees that would be spared if all reviewers followed this trend!

Muir Hewitt said...

Brian , you quoted C.A.Lejeune her most famous pithy review of I Am A Camera ( based on the Christopher Isherwood Goodbye To Berlin stories ) was " Me No Leica" !!!!

Brian Sibley said...

I always thought this was originated by C A Lejeune and was going to quote it on my blog. However, I checked it before writing my post and found that "Me no Leica" is originally credited to the American theatre critic Walter Kerr in his review of John Van Druten's play I am a Camera (based, as you say, on Isherwood's novel) published on December 31, 1951 - four years before the release of the film of the same name.

If Lejeune really used the same phrase of the film, did she nick it from Kerr or just chance to come up with the same gag?

On the internet you will also find the quote credited to Kenneth Tynan, so the mystery deepens...

Brian Sibley said...

ROGER e-mailed to say...

In the Observer's Top Ten attendances at films last week I see they abbreviate Director as 'DIRE' with no full stop, so they show at Number One:

Clash of the Titans
Dire

Brian Sibley said...

The truth will out!