Attack of the Blurbs

Ransom Riggs

What movie ad would be complete without a breathlessly enthusiastic blurb from a critic you've never heard of? The blurbmeisters, as they're known, are legion, and every year they generate -- like a roomful of typewriting monkeys unintentionally producing Hamlet -- some very funny lines. Here are some of our favorites.

Film-going can be hazardous to your health
"¢ According to the Washington Post, "'War of the Worlds' rips you along, seizes you in its first seconds, holds you spellbound and expels you, breathless and spent." Sounds like Captain Ahab's wedding night.

Rolling Stone said of '300': "Prepare your eyes for popping -- they just might fly out of their sockets!"

"¢ On 'The Good Night,' New York Magazine says "The jokes will hit you from behind and underneath while the bleakness smacks you in the face." Now I'm imagining the kinds of bruises I'll have, not how much I'll enjoy the movie. (Sounds like I'll need an icepack between the legs.)

Gene Shalit must be crazy
It seems that the Today Show's movie critic always has something extreme to say.

"¢ Of 'King Kong': "It's so gargantuan that I must create new words to describe it: fabularious ... a brilliantological humongousness of marvelosity." Brillantological?

"¢ 'Death at a Funeral': "It reminds me that the first three letters of 'funeral' are F-U-N." We all saw that one coming, Gene. (Less obvious would've been "The second three letters of "death" are E-A-T!")

"¢ Bodily harm may result from watching the Simpsons Movie: "You'll laugh 'till you can't breathe!"

Movies are my amusement park
You've gotta love Richard Roeper (I guess) but the guy tends to rubber-stamp films. For instance, in 2007 he described '300' as "a non-stop thrill ride," 'The Mist' as "a thrill ride" and 'Beowulf' as "a lusty 3-D thrill ride!" Thanks to Variety's Timothy Gray for pointing this out -- and also this next one, easily the weirdest blurb of the year:

"¢ Mike Gianakos from High Times (let's consider the source here) wrote of 'Air Guitar Nation': "Pack your spandex, stuff your crotch and press on your temporary tattoos, we're going to Finland!" (Funny, he gave the same review to The Kite Runner.)

Anyone else seen a blurb worth ridiculing lately?