The Lilac Pilgrim – Yet Another Blog

A Selection Of Lulzy Reviews: IMDb I

Posted on: April 2, 2011

When you look at reviews for anything – movies, books, video games and the like – you expect them to be helpful. You want to make a decision whether or not to bother with the subject of the review, and hope to be guided by the reviewer into making a good decision either way. Many reviewers do this pretty well, giving the pros and cons and their reasons for liking or disliking the subject.

Other reviewers? Not exactly.

Unfortunately, a bad reviewing culture is rampant, even worse with the ever spreading reaches of the internet, though that’s not to say that people aren’t allowed to give their opinions. Still, when your review is less of a review and more of an actor-bashing, director-insulting storm of anger, there might be a problem.

Naturally, IMDb is brilliant for these. So today I’m going to showcase a selection of reviews and explain why they are unhelpful or just plain wrong. Yes; again I am reviewing reviews.

Movie: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
This movie about the love between a man-child and his bike and the road-trip he has to embark on to retrieve it after it gets stolen received heaps of mixed criticism. Some people felt it was a fun trip through the real word guided by a small child, others felt (secret word of the day, by the way) it was a terrible, poor excuse for a kids’ movie. Being directed by Tim Burton doesn’t save it even watching it after the director’s great success.

I felt it was a really good film, not exactly mindless as such but definitely fun. Naturally I’m going to disagree with negative reviews. However, I tend to disagree with positive reviews as well if they are not helpful in any way whatsoever, so forgive me if I look a bit biased here; many of the rubbish reviews came from those who hated this film.

IMDb user glistonosz did not like the film, and I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt since they’re Polish and I don’t really follow the argument well, but I’m not sure there’s any excuse for this snippet:

“Firstly, I’m not gay, but I have a lot of friends who are. I frankly don’t care who is doin’ what in the bedroom, but the truth is some of my friends are annoying. When I saw first ten minutes of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure I knew that it’s going to be long movie to watch.”

I’m having a hard time trying to figure out what “gay” has to do with Pee-Wee here. Maybe the cultural divide is so great that “behaves like a small child” translates overseas to “gay as a sparkly rainbow-coloured maypole”. Pee-Wee is a little flamboyant on occasion but that’s not really any reason to be uncomfortable. And yes I’m aware that some people in his country of origin tend to equate Pee-Wee with gay culture but this commentary seems awfully insensitive. And I’d bet glistonosz’s gay friends wouldn’t be too happy to see it either.

Moving on to user Amadeusrye’s review. In its entirety:

“This movie is just plain dumb. Tim Burton is my favorite director and most of his other films are excellent. He really needed practice when he did this one, though. There are a handful of funny scenes, but eventually Pee-Wee becomes too irritating to laugh at. My advice would be to skip this one and watch “Beetlejuice”, “Edward Scissorhands”, “Ed Wood”, or “Sleepy Hollow” instead.”

Let’s be honest; there’s nothing wrong with people saying “I didn’t like this movie”. Amadeusrye thought the movie was stupid, and that’s fine. Let’s hope we’re all mature enough to handle differing opinions. However, this review is just plain bad. Okay, the reviewer did not like Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. They thought it was “dumb”. But why? There is no explanation offered, other than that they found the Pee-Wee character to be irritating. That alone wouldn’t make it a terrible movie, surely? Plenty of movies I adore have irritating characters in them; their presence doesn’t destroy everything else. It doesn’t give the reader an idea of what the movie is about, nor does it tell them why the character is irritating. If I hadn’t seen the movie yet, this review wouldn’t guide me towards a decision, because I don’t know why the movie is apparently so “dumb”.

User loufalce’s review is not only unhelpful, however, it’s needlessly offensive. Entitled “Defines ‘Retarded'”, it goes thusly:

“A movie that I would never have watched on my own. I’m taking a history class of contemporary America-the 1970s to the 1990s, and part of the class is a discussion of cultural and entertainment trends of that timeline. My professor recommended this, so I had to go out and rent it. I’ll forgive him for that since I’m such a nice guy, but, that being said, I found this movie-and the Pee Wee character not only to be intelligence insulting and completely brain dead,but absolutely pathetically painful to watch. In a nutshell, Herman is the man-child living in his own fantasy world. When his bike gets stolen, he embarks on a cross country journey to find it- with utterly predictable results. Duh! I really can’t understand why Burton is considered to be a great director. Personally I find his films to be too self-indulgent and I can’t for the life of me understand why they are considered to be “art”. Anyway, if you get your jollies watching a grown man with a rubbery face in a gray suit and a bow-tie uttering inanities that a 6 year old would find to be lame, this movie is for you. Totally retarded in every sense of the word, this movie has absolutely nothing to recommend itself, but, if you do want to get a look of what very bad American film-making from a good era looked like, by all means go for it.I read somewhere that Paul Rubens intends to revive the Pee Wee character. PS this movie was relased some years before the Florida porn theater-masturbation incident that finished Ruben’s career. Nice character, huh?”

There’s so much wrong with it that I scarcely know where to begin. Fine, loufalce didn’t like it. He felt that Pee-Wee was “painful to watch”. Again, however, there’s very little explanation as to why he feels this way. Sure, there’s a word limit on IMDB, but more than enough space to actually talk about the damned movie. He makes an attack on the artistic integrity of Tim Burton without explaining that either. Then he arrogantly belittles the main character and any viewer who liked the movie in one line. He finishes the whole thing off with a startling insistence that Reubens is clearly Pee-Wee. Because when the actor is arrested, it means the character totally did the crime, too. This is the sort of review that is very difficult to take seriously unless you were already determined to hate the movie – and even then the end is far too loosely related to the character to justify hating the movie.

One can only hope that he didn’t include this in the discussion for his class. I’m not sure what “Reubens was arrested; that makes him evil” has to do with culture.

I think I’m done with this one for now; feel free to look around IMDb for the other bad reviews (or the good ones if you prefer). Next time I’ll post bad reviews about The Marvellous Misadventures of Flapjack. I’m sure my handful of occasional readers are so excited for that.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


  • None
  • HoistTheColours: Dear author, I full-heartedly and absolutely agree with your above statements. I just thought I would let you know, since I don't quite understand w
  • richclark: I covered this in my blog too. Found your post on one of Wordpress' random (associated posts). Has Ask really made the impact it needed to from
  • The Lilac Pilgrim: I couldn't go anywhere without someone mentioning it. It was incredibly obvious and yet people were still arguing about it. Absolutely ridiculous.
%d bloggers like this: