I like to watch films and so read a lot of film reviews since there are so many films and so little time and I need guidance in selecting what to watch. But while good reviews are the most helpful, it is the nasty ones that are the most fun to read, especially if they are written in a witty manner.
Film critic David Edelstein provides capsule reviews of the worst films of 2013 that is fun to read even if you never intend to watch the film. Here is his review of Labor Day.
America’s most overrated director, Jason Reitman, has finally made a film that will have even his most slavish devotees choking back bad laughs. It’s a fancy adaptation of Joyce Maynard’s primitive romantic fantasy about a depressed woman (Kate Winslet), her fatherless son (Gattlin Griffith), and the convicted murderer (Josh Brolin) who escapes from prison, takes them hostage in their home, and … bakes pies. Peach. Best crust they’ve ever had. Butter and shortening. Would have used lard if there was any. You gotta keep the butter cold. Work the dough with your hands. Work it. Don’t overmix. Let it rest. Omigod, omigod. That’s so good. How ’bout some fresh chili? Yum! Alas, there’s no time for poulet en croute or paté de foie gras. There are leaks to be fixed, fences to be mended. The boy must be taught to catch a baseball. And the lady must be made love to like no one has made love to her before, so that her broken faith in love itself is repaired. (It doesn’t hurt that the hunky escapee ties her up first — because, you see, she has to be able to pass a polygraph test if the cops accuse her of harboring a fugitive … Peach pie and bondage: double yum!) Nearly every scene in Labor Day is high hilarity, although I didn’t enjoy seeing Winslet make a fool of herself.
He also makes the point that the Razzies, the anti-Oscar award show that hands out awards for the worst films and performances for the year, seem to be picking on easy targets like Adam Sandler and Sylvester Stallone, when they should be paying more attention to bad or over-the-top performances by widely-admired actors in Oscar-nominated films rather than by low scores on Rotten Tomatoes.
Closer to our time, imagine the Razzies going after The Reader, that pathetic post-Holocaust melodrama that won a richly undeserved Oscar for one of our best English-speaking actresses, Kate Winslet (who merits another Razzie for Labor Day, opening wide on January 31). Consider this year’s insufferable documentary Salinger or the limp Disney weeper Saving Mr. Banks. What a statement it would be to nominate Meryl Streep, a certifiably great actress, for her honking, drug-addled, fright-bewigged gargoyle in August: Osage County. How about the dismal parade of puttied white actors playing twentieth-century presidents in Lee Daniels’ The Butler? I know such nominations would royally piss some people off, but what’s the point of the Razzies if not to give offense?
He says that that would give the Razzies an edge that it seems to have lost.