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Things You Expected of the Day


Apparently Joe McGinnis’s collection of variously reliable gossip about a person who will never again be a serious candidate for major elective office is just as bad as you’d expect. It’s always impressive in its own way when you can motivate America’s Nicest Reviewer to write a hatchet job.

Speaking of hatchet jobs, A.O. Scott on the latest from Adam Sandler Movie-Like Product Enterprises LLC:

Let me put the matter another way: this may be the worst movie Pauly Shore has ever been in.

In its own way, an impressive achievement!

…in fairness, getting Robert Stacy McCain to accuse someone of race-baiting may be enough lulz to justify the whole project. Obvious follow-up question: what’s the “smear”?

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  • DrDick

    On the upside, McGuinnis seems to have inspired the lesser McCain to paroxysms of spittle flecked outrage, which is always at least mildly amusing.

    As to the film, how does one even begin to assess the worst Adam Sandler or Pauly Shore movie? All of them are so horrifically, over the top awful as to put them in the running for the worst movie ever made.

    • Malaclypse

      Like Jonah, everything they make is the worst thing they have ever made, until they make something else.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Anything that could compel RSM to accuse someone else of race-baiting is its own justification.

      • DB

        You know deep down inside Robert Stacy McCain is devastated today.

        How could she?

        • That sure would explain the hoops he’s jumped through to deflect and project

  • c u n d gulag

    Even the French have better taste than to like either Adam Sandler or Pauly Shore.

    And they’re the one’s who consider Jerry Lewis to be a genious autuer who’s equal parts Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Fellini, and Truffaut.

    ‘Nuff said…

    • NonyNony

      Even the Germans know better than to think that Adam Sandler is a good actor.

      And Germans Love David Hasselhoff!

      (Is the ‘French Love Jerry Lewis’ thing any more grounded in fact than the ‘Germans Love David Hasselhoff’ thing? I figured both of them were exaggerated for comedic effect.)

      • c u n d gulag

        Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, I was a Communications major, specializing in film. I had to read translated reviews and theories from all around the world, and let me assure you, the French reverence for Jerry Lewis was very real.

        And some of Jerry’s solo movies were good. And I’ll take any one of them over the entire body of dreck that Sandler and Shore have put together.

        Maybe I’m just getting old…

        • Jerry Lewis was a talented performer.

          Note that I didn’t say “actor.”

          His TV stuff with Dean Martin was classic.

          • Note that I didn’t say “actor.”

            He was terrific in The King of Comedy, Scorsese’s most underrated film.

      • mark f

        From tvtropes:

        The trope is named for Norm Macdonald’s punchline during his “Weekend Update” sketches on Saturday Night Live, which he’d go out of his way to include. David Hasselhoff, the Baywatch actor/producer, who was popular in Germany for his work as a singer in the late 1980s/early 1990s, particularly for being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing, which was being in Berlin at the fall of the wall promoting his new album via a concert tour, which included a popular song he had changed to be about peace and togetherness; he has had seven albums go platinum there. (His popularity has since waned, however, though Dirk Nowitzki, flag-bearer for Germany in the 2008 Summer Olympics and NBA star, claims he hums Hasselhoff songs at the free throw line)

        On Lewis:

        French affection for Jerry Lewis has always mystified Americans. Highbrow critics (the only kind France has) wrote appreciatively about his work beginning in the 1950s, but things didn’t really get rocking until Jerry’s visit to France in 1965. Though past his peak in America by then, he was mobbed at the airport by fans and the press and was the toast of Paris for a week. French critics, who had voted The Nutty Professor the best film of the year, gave him an award, an art cinema put on a three-week Jerry Lewis festival, and the French film library held a retrospective with seminars on Jerry’s art. Rosenbaum recalls Lewis hosting a two-hour prime-time show on French television in the 70s, with “guests like Louis Malle literally at his feet.”

        • Uncle Kvetch

          Highbrow critics (the only kind France has)

          Heh, funny. But bullshit.

          the French reverence for Jerry Lewis was very real

          It was, but it really has faded. Of course that won’t stop it from being a throwaway American comedy trope for the next 75 years.

          • Bill Murray

            Take my comedian, please

        • Njorl

          I always figured the French liked him because he made Americans look like idiots.

  • Halloween Jack

    I’m not a big fan of McGinniss (although his article on Palin’s failure regarding the gas pipeline was pretty good), but Maslin’s review isn’t very good at pointing out whatever problems there might be with this book. She says that he’s not “consistent” because he claims that Palin is both a racist and has had sex with black men, and also faults him for saying “both that Ms. Palin is committed to stealth religious control of government, and that she is not sufficiently devout.” Does Maslin not recognize the possibility of hypocrisy?

    • NonyNony

      I’m not a big fan of McGinniss myself. But only because he’s dredged Palin back into the spotlight again when I thought that she might finally (FINALLY) be settling down into her actual level of relevance – somewhere below C-List Hollywood celebrities and above B-list “reality” show TV “celebrities”.

      Now she’s back in the goddamn spotlight again. Goddamn you Joe McGinniss! What’s next? Some kind of expose on Snooki? Something to push Rob Schneider into relevancy? Argh!

      • Nony,

        Actually, I came up with a good reason to talk about this book.

        I do try to limit blogwhoring to once a week but this was a bit too good an opportunity to dissent from what appears to be a unanimous opinion about the book.

    • Warren Terra

      Maslin gets very excited about this possible inconsistency, but the real point is that no sane person should give even a fraction of a sh!t about the sexual escapades of the young, single Sarah Heath.

      F’god’s sake – there’s plenty to write about her terrible performance in public office and her awful influence on public life. Who cares about her youthful peccadillos?

      • calling all toasters

        “Who cares about her youthful peccadillos?”

        Well, her actual supporters probably do, because, really, a black basketball player?. And the Rich Lowrys of the world. Because apparently she wasn’t just winking at him. Personally, I am relieved that I will likely never hear about her being the most bee-yoo-ti-ful-est woman in everywhere since forever, because the comeback line will now be “well, Glen Rice certainly thinks so.”

        • All morning long, after hearing Glenn Rice’s quote on this, I’ve been wondering what his reaction was upon hearing Palin was chosen to run with McCain.

          • CJColucci

            The way I’ve heard it, Sarah was the aggressor. That would make sense; Rice never could stop anyone from scoring.

  • Let me put the matter another way: this may be the worst movie Pauly Shore has ever been in.

    The only worse insult I can imagine is to say Pauly Shore’s presence improved a film

    • UserGoogol

      According to Rotten Tomatoes, Pauly Shore’s best movie is Pauly Shore is Dead, with number two being A Goofy Movie. Neither of those exactly have great scores (62% and 57%), but they’re way the hell above the rest of his movies.

      To contrast, Bucky Larson currently has a score of 0%, although so does In the Army Now, Jury Duty, and Casper: A Spirited Beginning.

      • Pauly Shore’s corpse could certainly improve any Pauly Shore movie.

  • Marek

    Great job by A.O. Scott. I love a good bad review.

    • mark f

      I love the “Oh, who gives a shit?” ending.

      • Scott Lemieux

        “Tonight On Wings! Ah, who cares.”

  • this may be the worst movie Pauly Shore has ever been in.


    Along those lines, “American Oi!” by Stars and Stripes may be the dumbest Oi! music ever recorded.

  • The smear, Scott, is summed up by RiSM here:

    “[T]he media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion.

    Um, force? So Sarah was *forced* to have sex with a man she found attractive? Said man was *forced* to reciprocate (or least confirm that he and Sarah did have a relationship of some sort and that he had a crush on her after)?

    Good lord, she’s not a fucking nun! Get a grip, Stacy!

  • mark f

    Obvious follow-up question: what’s the “smear”?

    Reminds me of the Great National Nightmare that ensued when John Kerry mentioned the commonly-known fact that Dick Cheney has a gay daughter.

    • Njorl

      If one wants to be generous, one could say that accusing her of having a fetish for black men is a smear. It could be construed as accusing her of dehumanizing a whole class of people and reducing them to a single feature.

      Somehow, I don’t think that’s what RSM was going for. His other comments pretty much establish him as an obvious (and oblivious) racist.

      • But McGinniss was quoting a “friend” of Palin’s who was around back then, not making the accusation himself. That’s like saying back in college I had an obsession with getting high.

        Doesn’t make me anti-drug to say that now.

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