The Eric D. Snider List of “D” Movies

Self loves it when Eric D. Snider awards a “D” to a movie.  The “D” movies are a lot more fun to read about than the “B” or even “C” movies.

Self writes this because Snider just awarded a new movie a “D” (Well, actually a “D+.”  Self thinks he might actually have awarded a few “F”s.  She promises to research the matter for dear blog readers, for a future post!)

Here are the recent movies graced with Mr. Snider’s most hilarious put-downs:

Act of Valor (D+)

With all due respect to the directors, and even more respect to the SEALS themselves . . .  all the SEAL-ish things that the SEALS do in Act of Valor could have been performed by actors or stuntmen —  and in fact have been performed by actors and stuntmen in countless other military movies.  Remember, we’re not watching real missions here.  We’re watching re-enactments of missions in which the soldiers happen to be played by real soldiers.  In between those action scenes, when the SEALS recite their scripted dialogue, it becomes painfully obvious that . . .  well, that they’re not actors . . .  Making the SEALS do acting themselves . . .  especially when it comes to the maudlin, emotional stuff . . .  is about as disastrous as it would be if you sent a troupe of actors to rescue a kidnapped CIA operative.

Gone (D-):  At last (self thinks), Amanda Seyfried in a true, actual DUD!

Jill (Amanda Seyfried) barges into the (police) precinct, all bug-eyed and panicky, declaring her sister missing.  Even if Jill’s story . . .  is true, there’s no reason to think (Self:  Seyfried’s character was kidnapped before, you see:  it’s all very complicated) that Molly (Seyfried’s sister) is even “missing.”  She’s an adult, after all, and adults do sometimes leave without telling their sisters where they’re going.  I can assure you, if Jill were my sister, she would NEVER know where I am.

The Lucky One (D+)

It’s based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, though you may have surmised that from my use of the phrase “sappy hogwash.”  (If anyone can prevent Efron from climbing out of the teeny-bopper ghetto, it’s this guy.)  Efron plays Logan, a shellshocked Marine in Iraq who sees a discarded photograph lying in some rubble, walks over to pick it up, and is thus saved when a bomb goes off right where he’d been standing . . .  Fortunately for our story, the stranger in the picture happens to be an attractive single woman in Logan’s approximate age group.  This would have been a very different movie indeed if Logan’s life had been saved by a snapshot of a grizzled homeless man, or by a picture of a burrito from a magazine ad.  Logan uses contextual clues to figure out where the photo was taken (the movie spends 11 to 12 seconds on this sleuthing), determines it was a small town in Louisiana, then walks there.  From Colorado.  Why not drive or take a bus?

There is only one “A” Snider awards to a recent movie, and that honor goes to a teen/slasher movie, obviously many cuts above its genre, A Cabin in the Woods (At least, here, Chris Hemsworth plays a person of normal size.  Self finds his exceptionally bulked-up physique when playing Thor almost — repulsive?)

And here are a couple of movies that Mr. Snider graced with a “B+”:

  • Casa de Mi Padre (Spanish)
  • Friends With Kids
  • Jeff, Who Lives at Home
  • The Raid:  Redemption (Indonesian)
  • Silent House
  • Wanderlust

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

NYTBR 25 March 2012: Most Helpful Reviews

  • Harold Bloom’s review of Marina Warner’s Stranger Magic:  Charmed States and the Arabian Nights (Harvard University Press).  Self picked this review because of its subject:  15 stories from the Arabian Nights, deconstructed by Warner.  The review itself is dull.  Much time is spent telling the reader what the Arabian Nights are about, and there is some gobbledygook about an “occult Solomon,” but self will read anything that analyzes the Arabian Nights.
  • Marilyn Stasio’s column.  And especially her reviews of Lyndsay Payne’s The Gods of Gotham (Amy Einhorn/ Putnam), about Timothy Wilde, a “damaged hero” who “reluctantly joins the force after losing his employment, his savings and half his face in the great fire that engulfed part of the city” of New York in the summer of 1845; and her review of Simon Lelic’s The Child Who (Penguin), “a baleful look at the matter of murderous children.” (Self does think the second title is very odd)
  • Daniel Asa Rose’s review of Alex Gilvarry’s From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant (Viking):  “A Filipino-born fashion designer” named Boyet “innocently lands himself at Guantanamo as the first detainee captured on United States soil and decides to bring the place a little flair by removing the sleeves from his orange jumpsuit.”  Brilliant!  Self thinks that naming the hero BOYET is an especially nice touch (as she knows many Boyets, including the man who is currently her lawyer)
  • Cameron Martin’s short reviews in the Fiction Chronicle.  Martin shows a particular flair for the snappy first sentence:  “Iyer’s uproarious novel, the sequel to Spurious, follows the combative relationship between two British philosophers, W. and Lars, as they embark on an alcohol-soaked speaking tour of America, unable to persuade people to repent before an apocalypse they insist is imminent.” (about Lars Iyer’s Dogma, Publisher:  Melville House)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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