movie film review | chris tookey
death by raspberry
Movie by Movie, The World's Funniest Bad Reviews
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  Fingers (1977)

The most interesting thing about Fingers — correction, the only interesting thing —is Pauline Kael's review of it... a masterpiece of equivocation that nevertheless manages to bring in, however ambiguousIy, Orson Welles, Sir Carol Reed, Dostoyevsky, Conrad, Kafka, Mailer, and Tennessee Williams to gild Toback by association. The review has to be read in toto to reveal America's most loved and feared film critic tergiversating in the most pathetic and ludicrous way, eg "Yet the film never seems ridiculous, because [Toback has] got true moviemaking fever." What that means in plain English is that if you are this desperate to make a movie, you deserve high marks even if you lack the requisite talents. It is as if a doctor said: The patient died, true enough, but look at the beautiful parabola of his fever. Be it noted that for a couple of years now James Toback has been one of Miss Kael's steadier escorts around town. Like an unfunny Falstaff, Toback is not only shabby in himself, but the cause that shabbiness is in others.
(John Simon, National Review)

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