movie film review | chris tookey
 
harsh reviews
An A to Z of the World's Deadliest Movie Reviews From Affleck
to Zeta Jones
SELECT VICTIMS BY INITIAL LETTER OF SURNAME
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 
Robert Altman
Director, M*A*S*H (1970)
The movie is callous and flippant... The treatment of the Sally Kellerman and Robert Duvall characters is brutal, while the final football game is a feeble retreat to unenlightened conventions.
(David Thomson, A Biographical Dictionary of Film, 1980)
Director, Brewster McCloud (1970)
Directed in the style of Myra Breckenridge (hysterical confusion) by Robert Altman who, I find difficult to admit, also directed M*A*S*H. Another mess like this, and he may be forced to retire early - not only from movies, but from sane society as well.
(Rex Reed, Holiday)
Director, McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971)
The cinematic incompetence of director-scripter Robert Altman is all too visible in this immature farrago.
(Films in Review)
Altman often seems to be trying to make his movie worse than it actually is. Working on impulses that seem more self-destructive than artistic, he insists on slicking up this straightforward saga with a barrage of stylistic fillips that badly undercut the action.
(Jay Cocks, Time)
Director, Thieves Like Us (1974)
Altman has most of the qualifications for a major director except the supreme one of having something significant to say.
(John Simon, National Review)
Director Nashville (1975)
A film in which virtually every aspect of directorial style has nothing to do with the communication of coherent meaning, everything to do with the creation and maintenance of the impression that something - anything - is happening, moving or changing. Nashville may also be the ultimate tribal comedy, a film in which twenty-odd characters react - or fail to react - to a series of situations that are strung together like beads on a string. It is just barely possible that Altman had parody in mind, that he directed Nashville as he did to show that, ultimately, the premises and aesthetics of television will lead a television-pervaded culture into a meaningless box without exits and without windows onto the real world. But if Altman constructed the elaborate box called Nashville only to demonstrate that television-saturated audiences live in a box and probably like it in there, then he has created a nasty, mean-spirited work that has little to do with the expansive, liberating ends of art.
(James Bernardoni, The New Hollywood, 1991)
Wildly over-praised Altman, with all the defects we once looked on as marks of healthy ambitiousness: terrible construction, messy editing, leering jokes at its own characters, unending pomposity.
(Time Out, 1980)
Only occasionally spoiled by Altmanís weakness for cheap shots and druggy attitudinizing.
(David Thomson, A Biographical Dictionary of Film, 1980)
Director, Three Women (1977)
The most pretentiously, ludicrously empty film in years, one of the worst since Altman's own Images. The new picture serves only one purpose: it clarifies Altman's essence. It's a middle-class mind. In the past he has shown humor, especially M*A*S*H and The Long Goodbye but also in the inflated Nashville and in such fuzzy affected things as McCabe and Mrs Miller and Buffalo Bill. When he divests himself of humor, as here, he reveals why even some of
his humorous films fail. It's a middle-class mind with middle-class talent and middle-class ambitions. He sees what's happening among genuine artists, then adapts their achievements to
his dwarfish stature and uses them as decor. He's the film equivalent of the advertising- agency art director who haunts the galleries to keep his eye fresh.
(Stanley Kauffmann, New Republic)
Director, Quintet (1979)
Robert Altman is becoming a public embarrassment.
(Stanley Kauffmann, New Republic)
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