Friday, January 25, 2008


I envision a moment sometime this weekend when I can just sit down and jot a few notes a la Larry King about things coming up, things on my mind, brief thoughts on recently seen movies, whatever. But until then, I cannot let the Friday that brings us a brand-new chapter in the improbably continuing saga of John Rambo pass without noting the pull quote in the movie’s ad (seen in the Los Angeles Times this morning) from Harry Knowles.

For years my favorite blurb has been from Rex Reed, who shouted from the movie pages about the star of Saturday Night Fever, “John Travolta is so intense, he burns a small hole in the screen.” Well, Knowles’ bizarre quip re Rambo makes Reed’s assessment look downright subtle by comparison. Harry wants us to see Rambo. He really wants us to see it:

“When the film knocks it up to that final gear, Jesus will weep-- and you will cheer!

Christ, it’s even poetry! Can anyone think of anything they’ve seen that can approach or top that?



Anonymous said...

I remember when Ain't it Cool was still as poorly designed as it was, but was actually somewhat useful and interesting. Now they hardly report anything at all without being paid to. It's awful. They've been gushing about Rambo since before it started shooting. To paraphrase the site's own talkbackers, "Harry's gotta eat!"

Greg said...

Well frankly, I like my blurbs from my SynchFish post
I wanna be a quote whore
. Although none have been used yet. I must be doing something wrong.

Hey, I just realized I wasn't the first comment - I'm off my game apparently. I agree with Anon, Knowles should change his last name to Tool. When he started he seemed like a real fan and then he just sank to the depths of studio sychophant. How depressing.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

I know someone from Entertainment Weekly or E! News or some such summed up I Am Legend as "One of the Greatest Films Ever Made", but in the context of Harry Knowles, that one now strikes me as eloquent.

Greg said...

I know someone from Entertainment Weekly or E! News or some such summed up I Am Legend as "One of the Greatest Films Ever Made",

That would be one Ben Lyons, son of quote whore Jeffrey Lyons. Apparently it's genetic.

Alonzo Mosley (FBI) said...

Larry King does it a lot too. Not that he's a professional film critic, but I have seen his blurbs used. For "Cinderella Man", he said the inventive "This is one of the best movies ever made!". Not that it wasa bad film or anything, but c'mon Larry.

Anonymous said...

The cover of the DVD box for THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM has a quote from Pete Hammond, Maxim: "THE BEST ACTION PICTURE IN DECADES!" I thought that was pretty preposterous, but it comes nowhere near "Jesus will weep."

Matt Zoller Seitz said...

I love that in Rex Reed's "Saturday Night Fever" blurb, he specified "a small hole." Like it didn't want to seem too effusive.

Ken Lowery said...

I wish I got paid to come up with ridiculous hyperbole.

"This movie is SO GREAT that it would KICK THE BABY JESUS IN THE HEAD!"

"I laughed, I cried, I got projectile leprosy. Projectile leprosy of AWESOME."

"So-and-so's performance was so riveting that I STOPPED STUFFING MY FAT FACE FOR THE LAST ACT."

Where's my check?

D. said...

"This was so good I actually woke up from my nap and WATCHED THE ENDING!!!" (true story, for Spaceballs and for I'm Not There... which I really loved, both, by the way.)

When I read a lame, effusive review, I usually think of the Blurb-o-Rama column in the late great Spy magazine. He used "Ooomph!" a lot, his signature phrase for being hit in the gut with greatness.

Payola aside, Harry Knowles is worthless, about as much so as Larry King or name-your-ubiquitous-web-or-radio station-quote-whore-of-choice... one of the reasons I'm not a critic anymore is the legions of bad ones have made me cranky and cynical, and I never want to be too tired, too pressured on deadline, or too malaise-ridden to ever be as bad as them...

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Matt: Rex has been a source of amazement ever since I heard him on the Tonight Show one night in January of 1974 proclaim that The Exorcist would likely fry your hair! I think I went right out and bought Conversations in the Raw the very next day.

Ken, D: You guys are stirring in me a desire to see a go-for-broke blurb-off to accompany the real thing. What I wouldn't do to see the quotes you guys served up featured in real ads!

By the way, the ad in the Sunday L.A. Times for the new Eva Longoria (Parker) rom-com featured another blast of stupidity, not quite as noxious as Harry's little bit of rhyme, but still pretty mind-numbing. I will share that one before the week is out!

Anonymous said...

This is my absolute favorite Harry Knowles quote. It's from his review of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", and I swear to you I have not doctored this in any way:

"Everytime I see a baby – it amazes me that just a few short months before – it was a perhaps seven bites of steak digested by two different people that created the pieces that made this creature with astonishing curiosity… but other than that – I don’t see a great many miracles in our world."

Is there any comment I could possibly add to this? No, I don't think so. I can do nothing but stare at it, open-mouthed.

Ed Howard said...

A guy I work with was enthusing yesterday about Rambo, which he had apparently seen TWICE in a row over the weekend, and his biggest endorsement seemed to be a count-off of the number of times Rambo slit someone's throat. I dunno, I wasn't sold. But Jesus weeping? Now I have to see this!

Bob Westal said...

I'm still trying to figure that one out. Is Jesus saddened by violent content, or perhaps by minimalist, yet leaden, dialogue?

Or, is he saddened because he is familiar with the career of co-star Julie Benz, who played Darla on both "Buffy" and, like Jesus, was later ressurected for "Angel" (she was Angel vampire's "sire" though, through various plot machinations, was actually human for a time, after being "killed" while already dead) and has lately been so effective on "Dexter" playing the girlfriend of the serial-killer hero and, with His infinite compassion, is He thinking just once she'd like to be on screen without requiring the company of a man who is compelled to drink blood and/or kill people on a regular basis.

As for the cheering part, you're guess is as good as mine.