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My Year of Flops: The A.V. Club Presents One Man's Journey Deep into the Heart of Cinematic Failure

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  • Posted October 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    FUN!!

    Nathan Rabin writes movie reviews for the website The A.V. Club, a sister site to The Onion. And over the past few years his mission has been specifically to review movies that, for all intents and purposes, are flops. Movies that were box office poison, that cost a ridiculous amount to make but brought in next to nothing, movies that were uniformly panned by critics or reviled by audiences. Movies that everyone--except for perhaps a small cult following--agreed were just plain bad. His goal? To find out what all the anti-hype was about, to see for himself if these cinematic disasters were really that bad or if perhaps there were a few hidden gems. Or, at the very least, to warn the rest of us once and for all.

    The whole project started with his raging hate of the movie Elizabethtown. It's a, let's say, romantic comedy starring Orlando Bloom as a brooding sad guy and Kirsten Dunst as a "manic pixie dream girl," as Rabin puts it. His review has the hilarious quality of someone who needed so badly to rant about this movie that if you were sitting next to him on the train he'd probably be talking your ear off about how awful it was. He hated it so much that his editor even asked him to re-watch it and write a new review for the book. He does, including both reviews, and he finds that after several years have passed, he doesn't hate Elizabethtown QUITE as much as he once did, but it's still pretty bad. Plus he can now say he's watched the movie three times, making him fear that he has become its primary "cult follower."

    Not all of the "flops" in My Year of Flops cause Nathan Rabin so much psychic pain. In many cases he manages to find the hidden wonder (or "secret success") of some of the world's least successful films. Joe Versus the Volcano, for example, is one that Nathan Rabin (like my partner Mike) concludes is very underrated. In a lot of cases, though, his reviews serve as a welcome relief that he's already watched these movies so I don't have to.

    For more reviews, please visit my blog, CozyLittleBookJournal.

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    Posted December 15, 2010

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    Posted July 9, 2011

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    Posted December 12, 2010

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