For those readers who have a copy of the Leonard Maltin Film Guide, you’ll know he rates movies on the scale of four stars for the best, BOMB for the worst.
What are some films Lenny has called a BOMB, yet you think are fabulous?
Just so you know, in case you don’t have a copy, here are some the Maltmeister had dubbed BOMB.
“The Cannonball Run” (Burt Reynolds)
“The Care Bears II, A New Generation” (Maltin is merciless)
“Casper” (Yeah, the one with the ghost)
“Cheech & Chong’s The Corsican Brothers” (Leonard is down on C&C in general)
“Death Wish 2” (Charles Bronson of course; Lenny also “bombs” Parts IV and V).
“Ernest Goes To School” (same with Jim Varney)
“Ghosts Can’t Do It” (Bo Derek…Leonard “bombs” John Derek films generally…surprise, surprise)
“Heartland Reggae” (Bob Marley, Peter Tosh etc.)
“Howard the Duck” (quack, quack)
“The Karate Kid III” (you know what it is)
“Myra Breckinridge” (Raquel Welch)
“Night Train To Venice” (Tahnee Welch)
“Police Academy 2” (in fact every “P.A.” film EXCEPT the first and third).
“Sextette” (Mae West)
“S.F.W” (Reese Witherspoon)
“The Trial Of Billy Jack” (who is dubbed “Mr. Peace Through Violence”)
“Who’s That Girl?” (The chick with the pointy brassiere)
“Zombie” (Lucio Fulci directed…I say this film should be immune to a BOMB rating because of Auretta Gay alone)
As a point of interest, Leonard’s book give “Blade Runner” one and a half stars (second lowest rating) and “Taxi Driver” two stars. The ratings then go up in half star to four stars.
“The Dark Knight” only got two stars; “Redacted” got one and a half. These are just examples.
Which ones do you think are worthy of higher praise, even though King Leonard calls ’em BOMBS?
Hmm, I’d disagree on The Dark Knight, perhaps give it 3 stars (I know liking the Dark Knight is soo out of fashion, but what ya gonna do), but yeah, of the ones you listed I’d probably agree with Maltin on. Though Zombi might be two stars in my book … but barely 2 stars. I’m not too familiar with Maltin’s opinions except I remember he praised Gorgo which pretty much sums up his credability.
Who is Leonard Maltin?
He looks like the kind of guy who would love Gummo
I’ve never heard Maltin cited as a respected reviewer. His guides are more about quantity than quality. He is kind of a go-to guy for all things Disney.
Maltin strikes me as someone who automatically gives 4 stars to any classic Hollywood film, Woody Allen, and anything comfortably mainstream with the last name “Streisand” attached.
All of the “bombs” he got right. The latter films you mentioned, I disagree with him.
Leonard is a capsule reviewer of the worst quality.
I tend to like John Derek films (he is a very thematic filmmaker and since wealth, machismo and beautiful girls are all an interest of mine, I tend to like his film).
Maltin is also hard on Woody Allen giving Stardust Memories BOMB status and Godard’s Lear only got one and a half, silly, silly, silly
Leonard Maltin (born 1950) is an American film reviewer who has been releasing “capsule review” film and video guides for many years. He’s also the reviewer for “Entertainment Tonight” and has been since 1982. On television, he simplifies his ratings down to a cross (fail) or the “much sought after check”.
Lenny gives “Gummo” the BOMB rating (“plotless, clueless, mind numbingly awful” say the capsule)
Lenny does give some reasonably tepid reviews to La Streisand. I know it wasn’t a Babs vehicle, but he DID give “Meet The Fockers” one and a half stars. “Yentl” and “Funny Lady” get two and a half stars each. “Nuts” and “Funny Girl” don’t manage better than three. Generally, he’s actually pretty lukewarm about the tragically initialed B.S. Surprising, given she’s a co-religionist of Lenny’s and (I think so) incredibly hot (I love that frizzy hair she has, or had, I should say).
I should say, he’s tepid on “Forrest Gump”. Also, I believe these choices (ratings) are made to a degree by committee. And the ratings sometimes change from year to year (somewhere over the years, “The Godfather” jumped from 3.5 in my 1997 guide to 4 stars in my 2009 book).
I’m glad he gave “Knight” such a low rating, if only to balance out the hype. I thought it was an okay film. I still prefer the 1966 “Batman” film.
“King Lear” is “bizarre, garish…punk apocalyptic” something or rather…“pretentious” says Leonard.
Personally, I think “Myra Breckinridge” doesn’t deserve a BOMB rating. I’m not fond of the whole “star rating” system, but “Myra” is an entertaining, downright weird film, it has Raquel Welch, so what’s the problem?
“Cheech & Chong’s The Corsican Brothers” deserves praise because C&C showed the world they could make a movie without marijuana references…and yes, I do find it hilarious. Same goes for “Still Smokin’”.
“Grunt! The Wrestling Movie” is not a BOMB. It’s better than “No Holds Barred” with Hulk Hogan, which Leonard and Co. give a ludicrously magnanimous two stars. Okay, so “Grunt!” looks like it was made for a budget of eighty-nine dollars, but as a time capsule of wrestling and for pure kitsch value, it rules. Plus, the wrestling scenes are unusually well-structured. Mickey Rourke’s matches in “The Wrestler” were little more than garbage wrestling and brawling.
I reckon a book about wrestling in movies would go down well, but you’d need a wrestling fan with a good knowledge of films (as opposed to a film buff who clearly has disdain for wrestling, as Leonard shows) to make it work. And you could fill much of it with El Santo movies from Mexico in the 1960s, along with the “better” wrestling flicks of the past decade (admittedly this would appeal more to rasslin’ fans than film buffs generally).
Leonard should also include a section on “El Santo” films in his book and give more ink to Australian films, although I believe he does a reasonably good job with older Australian titles.
He’s a good go to go guy if you want a run of the mill opinion
I don’t know about this Maltin fella, he looks like a rapist, or a Communist…
yup. Maltin got it right. All bombs.
I can’t comment on the others, but ‘The Cannonball Run’ wasn’t that bad.
It is silly to hate things like Cannonball Run
its so good natured and it does have a few laughs
plus the rat pack are in them
And where else would you see Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore and Jackie Chan in the same film?
I like Smokey and the Bandit and Cannonball as films where the leads had a great time and some of it is shared with the audience.
Much better than those Oceans films
When I was younger I loved Cheech and Chongs The Corsican Brothers. Now I think it’s completely stupid, but I still enjoy it just because it was one of those movies I watched and liked when I was younger.
I’m a staunch defender of Cheech and Chong films, and I can’t understand why Maltin is so harsh on them. I agree they are silly, but endearingly so, much like “Police Academy” films.
During my school years, instead of doing my assigned homework during the school holidays, I’d go to the video store (back when it was still around, a mere four-minute walk from my house) and pick up a few C&C videos.
In other words, I believe immersing one’s self in the sheer lunacy and psychedelia of C&C’s comedic brilliance is more crucial to life than a high school education. Still do.
They had pretty much all the C&C films with one or two exceptions. “Still Smokin’” is NOT a BOMB. The skit where C&C wrestling the ‘Invisible Man’ is genuinely magnificent physical comedy. Plus the commentary during the match by C&C is silly yet priceless. And you can’t argue with those Dutch sauna women. One of them has a rack the size of twin windmills that is worth two big perky “stars” on the Maltin scale by themselves.
“Corsican Brothers” is another one I fancied very much. Leonard calls them BOMBS, yet those are probably my two favourite C&C flicks. ‘Twas interesting to see C&C do a period comedy minus the usual doper humour. I share their flower power dress sense, but I’ve never “indulged” in the green stuff (I still have trouble convincing people I meet). “Things Are Tough All Over” is also very underrated. They are basically funny, silly, inventive films that provide more laughs than countless more recent comedies.
By saying the “Care Bears II” is a BOMB, you confess to having seen it!
It’s fitting I’ve mentioned C&C and Care Bears in the same post, because the image below looks less like an innocent children’s cartoon than it does one of C&C’s acid-and-marijuana fulled drug trips.
Mark I am guessing he gave Bomb status to Far Out Man as well (and that is just criminal). BTW I saw Chong do stand up 3 years ago (he has still got it!)
“It is silly to hate things like Cannonball Run "
Just because you give something a poor rating doesn’t mean you hate it. I don’t hate the McRib sandwich but I know it’s bad.
I think there is some hate in calling something a bomb.
For instance I would not give the worst Mel Brooks comedy Bomb status (Robin Hood Men in Tights) because it was cheery and featured fun people who seemed to be having a good time. I would give it one star (or half of one if possible)
But something like 88mins which was tired and charmless and insulting I would have no trouble giving bomb status because I have a bit of hate for it
Well, I would call Cannonball Run a bomb, if I rated things that way, but I agree it’s too innocuous and silly to be hated. Maltin may hate it, but I doubt he does. There are too many bad films for me to actually hate them all. Many I’m just indifferent to.
Leonard Maltin gave “The Blob” (1950s original) two stars out of four (which is the third lowest rating on his “seven point” scale). However, Leonard says “how can you hate this film”?
So I agree with what you’re saying and I see from where Leonard is coming with this.
I think Leonard is the type of guy who loves “Robot Monster” and Ed Wood films, but invariably BOMBS these shockers.
You know: so bad they’re good. However, the ones I’ve listed in my initial post, were followed by REALLY bad comments. “So bad they’re just bad”.
I know “Robot Monster” is dreadfully constructed, yet I would gladly pay admission to enjoy it again at the late night cinema. You must laugh at James Cameron for spending half a billion on his C.G.I. Smurf-Thundercat cartoon hybrids.
James needs to learn: Man in Gorilla Suit + Deep Sea Diving Helmet + Bubble Machine + Bronson Caves = Science Fiction Brilliance!
Leonard Maltin’s banal opinions are not to be trusted. The following ‘bombs’ are masterpieces and cult classics:
Seven Notes In Black
Flesh For Frankenstein
Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom
Mandingo, The Lonely Lady, Wild Orchid, Gwendoline, Lemora, Lipstick & I Know Who Killed Me are also personal favourites. Matlin is a bore.
Bastard gave “Rules of Attraction” a BOMB for being “ugly”. I mean… really?
Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a pretty nasty, well-made little horror. The only Halloween film worth watching, in fact. Hardly a BOMB, Lenny.
Wow, didn’t know that he bombed The Brood. urious to see what he gave Videodrome.
2 movies that he mercilessly bombed:
The Missouri Breaks: I rather liked this. Maltin totally missed the boat calling Brando’s accent inconsistent. Brando’s bounty hunter purposely assumes different personalities (And thus different accents) when hunting different people. The movie’s a bit overly violent for some, but I thought it was pretty well handled throughout with the final scene between Nicholson and Brando priceless.
99 and 44/100 percent Dead: John Frankenheimer with probably the greatest title of all time. Really just a generic action film. But, it’s very well made and showed that Richard Harris could actually have a good time once in awhile.
So, that’s 3 films that Maltin totally missed the boat on.
“Bastard gave “Rules of Attraction” a BOMB for being “ugly”. I mean… really?”
yeah, he should give given it a bomb for being a shit film instead ;-)