Time for a personal confession, we love the movies. Before we understood that we could go out and go see movies, we watched them on TV. For years we watched movies on TV, B&W movies, color movies, musicals, westerns, comedies, Sci-fi, whenever there were movies on TV, we watched them. Then — as we got older and could actually drive to movie theaters — we went to movie houses to watch movies. In fact we loved movies so much that we even used to watch TV shows were critics reviewed movies. When cable TV became available we subscribed to three cable movie stations (so we could finally watch movies without commercial interruption). Eventually — some years later as we became a professional writer — we became a movie reviewer our self and began seeing movies on a regular basis (so regular in fact that we figure that we’ve averaged a movie a week for 30 years).
What does this have to do with anything? Well, recently we received a copy of a (very humorous) book of movie reviews that contains some of the most entertainingly hilarious and so, so true movie reviews that we wish that we had written it our self! Seriously.
The book is entitled Love the Sinner Hate the Cinema and carries with it a subtitle that gives it all away (Poison Capsule Reviews). The book is credited to E. Basil St. Blaise (a pseudonym if ever we heard one) and contains cartoon-style spot illustrations by Randy Jones and Martin Kozlowski. What makes this book so gleefully wicked is that the reviews offered up by St. Blaise are essentially all one-liners that play off the title or subject matter of the film itself:
Doomsday — Road Wearier
Drilbit Taylor — Boring
Iron Man — Less than riveting
Sex and the City — Ovary familiar
And on and on, for over 100 pages. It successfully skewers hundreds of movies with the pluperfect zinger every time. (To be sure, it is probably best taken in small doses as it could tend to become tedious if absorbed all at once.) St. Blaise spares no film, famous ones, unknown ones popular films Academy award films, no bit of celluloid is left unmet. There are no Sacred Cows to St. Blaise as every film ever made appears to be grist for his mill. It almost seems that he feels compelled to go out to see movies, but is never moved by what he sees (except perhaps out the front door).
The Dark Knight Rises — to the level of meritocracy
Dark Shadows — the kiss of Depp
The Hangover II — Heir of the dog that bit
Avatar — Army vs Na’vi
Still, perhaps the funniest part of this viciously funny screed is St. Blaise’s hilarious bio which takes up three scant pages at the front of the delightful tome. The bio tells how St. Blaise got his start in the business in entertaining and exaggerated detail and goes on to talk about his schooling, the jobs he held and, of course how he never wrote more than one line of observation about any of the films that he ever viewed. Yes, this book is a pure delight to read, and is an absolute must for anyone who has ever enjoyed sitting in the dark and watching flickering images of light on a screen.